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Summertime: Midyear Reflections & Celebrations

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Halftime Reflections:

Celebrating the mission, values and heritage of Pappy & Company midway through 2024 


The Halftime Show:

Midway through the year - and midway through the summer - may seem like a busy time to stop and reflect on 2024 so far, but for us it is a natural time to pause and think about it. Probably because for us, summer is when we turn to time spent with family and friends, traveling to places we love and gathering together more often. This reinforces for us, both personally and professionally what really matters - and reminds us why we started Pappy & Company in the first place 10 years ago. 


 2024 has been poignant for many reasons. It is the year we will honor the 10th anniversary of Pappy & Company, the year we celebrated the 150th Birthday of the man who started it all, Pappy himself, and the year that marked the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, an event intrinsically tied to the history and legacy of Kentucky, bourbon and of course, Pappy Van Winkle.  


 We have accomplished so much in the 10 years since we packed up our first order in Louise’s basement, and boy do we have a lot in store for the next 10, and beyond. As always, thank you for being an integral part of our story, and for helping us shape the past and future of Pappy & Company. We couldn’t have done any of it without you…nor would we have wanted to!



Our Focus:


The original goal of Pappy & Company has always been to craft products that honor and share the legacy of our great grandfather in meaningful ways, by working with partners who share the same passions and dedication to quality, focusing on sustainability and finding ways to give back to our community through our philanthropic initiative, Bourbon for Good.  The natural origin of our company itself has overtime become the foundation and the mission of our company, and one we make sure is the base for any product we make or partnership we embark on. It is a guiding light that enforces for us on a daily basis, why we do what we do and reminds us why we love it so much.


Partnerships & Collaborations:


Easily one of our favorite aspects of growing Pappy & Company over the years, is also one of the most organic aspects of how and why we got started in the first place - seeking partnerships and collaborations with like-minded small businesses and partners. This has never been more evident as we look back at the partners who have been with us from the beginning, the ones we have recently brought into the fold, and the ones we are excited to begin working with soon!


It is also exciting to reflect on the evolution of some of these partnerships and to see how we have grown the original products and in some cases, really expanded into a line of barrel-aged or bourbon inspired goods. For example - this year we introduced our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Spicy Maple Syrup. This was a truly collaborative process that saw us reinventing one of very first, and to this day favorite amongst many of us personally and many of our customers, with one of our longest standing partners, Bissell Maple Farm. Combined with the ghost pepper mash from another longstanding favorite and original partner, Midland Ghost this was creative and innovative collaboration at its finest! It also serves as an example of what it means to have true partnerships who share the same passions and dedication to high quality products. 


We also introduced a new cocktail mixer with another longtime partner, Bittermilk. Our Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Sour Mixer spent a long time in the creative process. We knew what we wanted and we were incredibly fortunate to have a partner willing to work with us through the testing and tasting phase (another perk if you will) until we got it just right. Fortunately for all of us, and you, we really did. Finding complementary flavors and unique and exciting ways to repurpose our genuine, retired Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels (just pause for a moment to imagine pure wildflower honey that is slowly smoked over a retired Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel stave, infusing the natural flavors with a hint of smoky sweetness that meets the brightly tart citrus of lemon and orange...is your mouth watering yet), with partners who understand is a the only secret sauce we need for a truly special product launch. (Also, just a hint...you are gonna want to stay tuned to see what we have percolating with Bittermilk...trust us.)



Perhaps one of our best examples of creative collaborations is one that truly epitomizes what happens when you put your mission, heritage and passion into the world. This partnership came about in a completely unexpected, serendipitous and exciting fashion, and while it has allowed us to pursue something that feels wholly natural and absolutely representative of what we have always wanted to make and who we have always wanted to be, it has also surprised us and pushed us in ways we couldn't have ever imagined. Working with another family brand, Thompson Traders, who have truly become like family, to create our line of Everyday Heirlooms, has been our way of reminding ourselves daily why we began Pappy & Company in the first place. 



We got to take another trip to Nicaragua, to visit our cigar partners, Drew Estate, and see the incredible craftsmanship and true artistry that goes into making our Pappy Van Winkle Barrel Fermented and Pappy Van Winkle Tradition cigars. Watching the cigarillos work in pairs to hand roll our cigars in small batches was such a tangible reminder of what it means to be dedicated to a singular passion, and to work with partners who value quality above all else. 

 



We were also thrilled to see our friend and longtime collaborator, famed chef and restauranter, Edward Lee, publish a cookbook that celebrates a shared love of whiskey and food, Bourbon Land: A Spirited Love Letter to my Old Kentucky Whiskey. Hosting a book signing party with him at our local Nulu headquarters is just one of the fun and interactive ways we have been able to highlight local businesses and the shared passions of honoring the one thing that represents and displays the heritage and legacy of Kentucky. 



Philanthropy:


Beginning on a small scale, Bourbon for GoodHOP on a CUREwas our way of sharing the most coveted thing we could, our family's bourbon, with our loyal customers, while bringing attention and funds to  selected non-profit that represent causes that are near and dear to our hearts. It is remained a founding priority, along with increasing our efforts at sustainability, to maintain a philanthropic focus throughout our work. Expanding Bourbon for Good to reach beyond our Pappy Van Winkle bourbon sweepstakes to include smaller efforts, in person efforts, and continued support throughout the year with our local and national philanthropic partners is a true joy. We will continue to look for new ways to offer support in our own neighborhoods, and beyond, and we have a few really exciting partnerships, events, and even products that will highlight these efforts (so again, you will want to stay tuned...)


This year we were honored to work with a dear friend John Driskell Hopkins, and to support his incredible efforts at turning a devastating diagnosis of ALS, into hope for families like his across the world through his organization, HOP on a CURE. We are beyond inspired by his grace, his grit and determination, and the support of his family and his bandmates from Zac Brown Band, to truly come together and shine a beacon of hope and love. We are humbled to play just a small part in supporting this incredible organization, and a truly incredible force of a man, family and band. 


 Celebrations!

Of course, as a brand devoted to sharing the legacy and heritage of Pappy Van Winkle and his namesake bourbon, we aren't just passionate about sharing the dedication to quality he has passed along, but also to the love of entertaining that living a bourbon lifestyle represents! We hosted a party to honor the 150th Birthday of Pappy Van Winkle this spring, opened our doors to welcome in old friends, and new, and to equally celebrate the man and the legend. What a wonderful way this was to honor our family, our heritage and all of you together. 





We were honored to be invited to be a part of the Garden & Gun Insider's Getaway to Bourbon Country this May, that also happened in early May alongside, of course, the most famous May event, the Kentucky Derby, as well as the event, Garden & Gun honors Women of Whiskey. Sharing the spotlight during this weeklong of festivities that truly honored Kentucky, bourbon and the people and places that make it was a huge honor, and a special way to celebrate the legacy of both, that we are incredibly proud to consider our own heritage as well. 



Of course, this year also marks the 10 year anniversary of Pappy & Company. In some ways it feels like we have been doing this for our entire lives (and in some ways, we suppose that is true), while some days feel like we are just at the starting gate. We are truly grateful everyday for the experiences, the lessons, the partnerships and the friends that have come along the way, and for the ones we know are waiting in the wings. Thank you for coming along for the ride...and joining us for the next ten, and beyond! We are equally excited about what we have accomplished in our first ten years, as we are about what is on the docket.