Rain and cold didn’t dampen the spirits at Angel’s Envy Distillery on Friday.

The relatively young bourbon brand located at 500 E. Main St. hosted a brunch and cocktails event to celebrate the Kentucky Derby weekend. The event was held in a decorated tent in the visitor center’s courtyard with a bluegrass band playing and servers passing around food tastings and strong bourbon cocktails.

“This is our first year that we have the new distillery open for Derby and Oaks season,” said Wes Henderson, chief innovation officer for Angel’s Envy. Henderson and his father Lincoln Henderson founded the brand at the beginning of this decade and then sold it in 2015 to Bacardi Limited.

Guests included out-of-town visitors and local partners of the Angel’s Envy brand.

“This is a really good way for us to give back and kind of say thank you for everything our partners, consumers and everyone’s done for us,” Henderson said.

He added that the distillery on Main Street has seen a bump in visitors during Derby week. The distillery is closed on Derby Day but will be open Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. for tours.

“Yesterday was amazing,” Henderson said. “I walked downstairs, and visitors center was packed full of people all over the world, a lot of energy.”

As for a Derby pick, don’t ask Henderson.

“I’m the worst handicapper who ever lived,” he said. “I just go up there and throw it on whoever.”

Although the distillery just opened its visitors center late last year, Henderson said, they already are looking at possibly expanding it by adding an enclosed event space in the current courtyard.

“We are still a small brand, and we have to get out and work hard every day to maintain what we have and be competitive in an ever competitive industry,” he said.

Caitlin Bowling
Louisville native Caitlin Bowling has covered the local restaurant and retail scene since 2014. After graduating from the Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Caitlin got her start at a newspaper in the mountains of North Carolina where she won multiple state awards for her reporting. Since returning to Louisville, she’s written for Business First and Insider Louisville, winning awards for health and business reporting and becoming a go-to source for business news. In addition to restaurants and retail business, Caitlin covers real estate, economic development and tourism. Email Caitlin at [email protected]