New Riff Distilling, which helped establish Northern Kentucky as an official Gateway to the popular Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, has received meetNKY |Northern Kentucky CVB's prestigious Star of Tourism Award.

New Riff Distilling, which operates a distillery and events center in Newport, attracts thousands of visitors to NKY and is scheduled to begin selling its first bottles of locally-produced bourbon this summer.

"On behalf of our entire team at New Riff Distilling, we are so very honored to receive the Star of Tourism Award," said Ken Lewis, the founder, president and owner of New Riff Distilling. "This really is a recognition of the great start we have had, and all of us at New Riff are excited about going forward and frankly shocked at how much we have accomplished.

"This prestigious award is something to take back and celebrate with our team.  It is always nice to have the local community respect and recognize your efforts, and we continue to work closely with the tremendous staff at meetNKY on our common goal of bringing visitors to the region."

New Riff Distilling is also a prominent member of meetNKY's The B-Line, an inviting collection of Northern Kentucky craft distilleries, bars and restaurants that is already increasing visitor traffic to the region, according to Julie Kirkpatrick, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at meetNKY.

"Visitors to want to see how bourbon is made, they want to visit distilleries," Kirkpatrick said. "New Riff will continue to gain attention and prominence as it becomes a must-visit stop after crossing into Bourbon Country.”

Lewis came to Northern Kentucky 27 years ago to open The Party Source in Bellevue, which he sold to his employees after launching New Riff. He is also developing a Whiskey Campus near the Licking River on Newport's west side where the New Riff bourbon will be aged and stored.

"Throughout the span of 27 years, I have been met with nothing but the positive attitude and can-do spirit of Northern Kentucky," Lewis said. "I see that with The B-Line, a great and effective way for Northern Kentucky distilleries, restaurants and bars to grab some of the bourbon tourism that is such a large and growing part of Kentucky."