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Barrel Room Chronicles

BRC EP 7 - ABV Network and Kentucky Tours

On this episode of Barrel Room Chronicles I speak with Steve Akley, founder of the ABV network about his whiskey journey and how his hobby grew into the network he has today. Then later in the show I speak with Bob White, founder of Kentucky Guides LLC, on how he went from local newspaper reporter to small business tour guide and entrepreneur.

Guest Bios

Steve Akley is the owner of the ABV Network, LLC. We are a bourbon media company that got started in 2016. Our mission is to provide quality content via podcasts and live events for our fans that is both fun and educational. We plan to deliver on this goal by always looking at what we are doing via the approach we had before we ever got into this business... as fans of the products, people, companies and industries we are talking about. As long as we continue to provide the type of fun, educational, entertainment that we were seeking to hear ourselves before we got on the air, it is the belief of our team that we will always exceed your expectations.

Bob White is a native Kentuckian who joined the Bourbon boom in 2011, after a decade reporting small town news in Central Kentucky. That prior experience continues to offer him, and his guests, meaningful background information to best tell the story of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey-making in the Bluegrass State. A planner, guide and commercially-licensed driver, Bob founded Kentucky Guides, LLC with a mission to take bourbon enthusiasts deeper into the science, history and geography behind America’s Native Spirit. Having contracted as a guide for tour operators for years, Bob knew visitors hungered to learn more about this barrel-aged, corn-based whiskey than what a bus driver and basic distillery tour guide has to offer. Launching his micro-tour operation in the beginnings of the Covid-19 pandemic was suitable, since a tour with Kentucky Guides LLC doesn’t rely on gift shops and distilleries to remain open in order to conduct a full-weekend bourbon tour. With love for his home state’s budding tourism industry, Bob received a Governor’s Commission as a Kentucky Colonel following his recognition by Louisville’s Tourism and Convention Commission as an important conductor ‘‘Behind the Scenes.” Being a Kentucky Colonel doesn’t relate to the military, but Bob served in the US Navy right after high school, working in ships‘ engineering departments between 1991-1993. Bob loves showing visitors to his home the best Kentucky has to offer. Like Daniel Boone said, Bob believes ‘‘Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.’’ And he’s doing what he truly loves. ‘‘Whether I die tonight, or win the lottery in the morning, I’ll still be guiding tours around Kentucky,’’ he says.

Barrel Room Chronicles is a production of 1st Reel Entertainment and is distributed by Anchor.FM and is available on Spotify, Apple, Google, iHeartRadio, Amazon and wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

Theme song: Kentucky-Bluegrass-Mornin Composer: Clay Tyler Smith © Pond5.com