Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr., the iconic figure behind one of America’s most coveted bourbon brands, celebrates what would have been his 150th birthday on March 22. This legacy has continued to shape the world of whiskey and beyond through a four-generation family business.

As the patriarch of the Van Winkle distilling family, Van Winkle’s influence has extended far beyond his lifetime, continuing on in the entrepreneurial success of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“My grandfather built the Van Winkle bourbon brand through hard work and a dedication to ensuring quality over profits every time,” said Julian Van Winkle III, Pappy Van Winkle’s grandson and the president of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “Honoring what would have been his 150thbirthday isn’t just about remembering him as a person. It’s about celebrating the values of family and shared experiences that he instilled in my father, who instilled them in me, and that I have instilled in my own children as they’ve gone out to make their mark on the world.”

The 150th anniversary of Pappy’s birth also coincides with another legendary event – the Kentucky Derby, which will host its 150th running this May. Derby Day 1935 also marked the start of Van Winkle’s Stitzel-Weller Distillery, which officially joined iconic brands W.L. Weller and Old Fitzgerald under one distilling and sales roof.

“Derby Day has always been special in our family, not just because it’s such a big event in Kentucky but also because it marked the start of my grandfather really doing what he loved – making high-quality bourbon that brought people together,” Van Winkle III said. “This year is especially important because we are celebrating 150 years of Pappy and the Derby.”

The Van Winkle family will commemorate the 150th birthday with a Sip ‘n Shop event at Pappy & Company on March 22. Created by Pappy’s great-granddaughters, Pappy & Company offers bourbon inspired lifestyle goods, including apparel, premium cigars, bourbon barrel-aged gourmet food, barware and home accessories. The brand is one of several enterprises under The Van Winkle Family brand that is expanding the family name beyond just bourbon.

“Anyone who knew my grandfather knew that bourbon was in his blood,” Van Winkle III said. “But what has always stood out to me wasn’t his love of bourbon; it was how that bourbon brought people together, creating remarkable memories and experiences shared between family and friends. That’s what we are hoping to share with everyone.”

Sip ‘n Shop with the Van Winkle Family for Pappy’s 150th Birthday will be held at the Pappy & Company Store on March 22, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy craft cocktails, family-favorite appetizers and gourmet treats with signature Pappy & Company flavors. Attendees will receive 10% off all items in-store. Guests interested in attending can RSVP on the Pappy & Company Facebook page.


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Owner/President at The Bourbon Flight, LLC | + posts