BARDSTOWN, KY (June 14, 2023)—Elijah Craig Bourbon is pleased to announce its fourth annual Old Fashioned Week, a ten-day celebration taking place at participating bars around the country from October 13-22, bringing delight, inspiration, and creativity to the classic cocktail’s New Era while supporting the hospitality community nationwide. This year, Elijah Craig has pledged to donate $1 for every Elijah Craig Old Fashioned sold at participating bars, up to $100,000, to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing emergency support, relief, and mental health assistance to those in the food and beverage industry. Participating bars will be added on a rolling basis, and will be searchable–via a map of participating bars near any given zip code–on the “Find a Bar” widget on the website, launching in August.
Elijah Craig first launched Old Fashioned Week in 2020 to support the food and beverage industry in a moment of crisis. Over the past three years, donations of more than $300,000 have been given to Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation and Southern Smoke Foundation. Elijah Craig is proud to continue hosting Old Fashioned Week in 2023, and support Southern Smoke in directly benefiting the bar and restaurant community. In 2022, Old Fashioned Week more than doubled participation with over 4,100 bars featuring Elijah Craig Old Fashioned riffs on their drink menus.
Old Fashioned Week is once again led by National Heaven Hill Portfolio Mixologist and Old Fashioned Week Host Lynn House.
“Old Fashioned Week is my favorite time to be a part of this community and we are really looking forward to upping the ante this year,” said House. “Each Old Fashioned Week brings together more tastemakers in the community, adds a healthy dose of competition, and benefits a great cause dedicated to the hospitality industry.”
In 2022, Old Fashioned Week raised $100,000 to benefit Southern Smoke Foundation, and directly impact members of the food and beverage industry. That October, with the help from Elijah Craig’s donation, Southern Smoke Foundation provided more than 80 no-cost mental health counseling sessions to industry workers nationwide through their mental health program, Behind You, and distributed $109,775 in emergency relief grants to workers affected by crises including natural disasters; the Jackson, Mississippi water crisis; and other unforeseen events.
“Restaurant and bar workers, farmers, distillers and other food and beverage workers across the country need our support, whether they’re in crisis or want to address their mental health,” said Southern Smoke Founder Chris Shepherd. “Old Fashioned Week is a great way to give back to those individuals while raising a glass in celebration of the industry that we love. I’m grateful to Elijah Craig for getting behind Southern Smoke Foundation as we take care of our own. Cheers to a great Old Fashioned Week!”
In addition to the ten-day celebration of the cocktail, Elijah Craig invites bartenders to submit their most exciting riffs on the Old Fashioned in a nationwide competition to name the ultimate innovators of the classic cocktail. Entries will be accepted from August 1-October 31, with additional details and submission guidelines to be announced soon.
The Old Fashioned is the only whiskey-based cocktail to grow in popularity since 2019, with market research indicating that a super premium whiskey is of the utmost importance to the drink’s makeup. During Old Fashioned Week, thousands of bars across the country offer a riff (or two or three…) on an Elijah Craig Old Fashioned. Once launched, guests are invited to use Old Fashioned Week’s “Find A Bar” tool to locate participating bars in their neighborhood and partake in the festivities.
Elijah Craig will kick off the festivities with a media-only preview of Old Fashioned Week hosted by Spirited Award winner Lynn House at the 21st annual Tales of the Cocktail on Tuesday, July 25 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm.
For more information on Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill Distillery, and Old Fashioned Week, please visit https://elijahcraig.com/, https://heavenhilldistillery.com/, and follow along on Instagram @elijahcraig.
ABOUT ELIJAH CRAIG BOURBON: Known as “The Father of Bourbon,” Elijah Craig is credited with being the first distiller to age his wares in charred oak barrels to make Bourbon. The clear, unaged corn whiskey became transformed into a bold amber liquid with a distinctively smooth flavor that makes Bourbon what it is. Today, Elijah Craig’s community impact continues through Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week, providing total donations of up to $300,000 to date to organizations supporting the hospitality industry. Produced by Heaven Hill Distillery, the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and led distillery and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon, the Elijah Craig lineup includes: Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey, Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Elijah Craig’s accolades have included Whisky Advocate’s Whisky of the Year, Best Small Batch Bourbon and Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon and Best Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon at Whisky Magazine’s 2023 World Whiskies Awards. For more information, please visit www.elijahcraig.com. Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”
ABOUT SOUTHERN SMOKE FOUNDATION: Created in 2015 by Chef Chris Shepherd, Southern Smoke Foundation supports members of the food and beverage industry nationwide through emergency relief funding and access to mental health care. Since its founding, the 501c3 nonprofit has distributed more than $10.6 million to food and beverage industry workers in crisis across America. Simply put, we “take care of our own.” To learn more, please visit https://southernsmoke.org.
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