New Riff Distilling will release nearly 900 bottles of a 15-year-old straight bourbon whiskey in early spring, with all profits benefiting relief funds for bar, restaurant and service industry workers in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Anchored by the Cincinnati Bourbon Society, the project aims to raise $120,000 in direct relief for a group hard-hit by the pandemic.
“We sprung this extremely limited bottling from our warehouse to support the bar and restaurant community that has supported us from the start,” said Hannah Lowen, vice president of operations. “This is how we can raise a glass — and funds — for our embattled friends.”
The New Riff Relief 15 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be available exclusively at the distillery. The distillery’s in-house tasting bar, The Aquifer, will offer single pours as well. Distilled in Indiana and bottled in Kentucky by New Riff, this exceptionally rare high-rye bourbon is bottled in bond without chill filtration and will be priced at $200 per bottle. For purchasing information, visit http://newriffrelief.com.
All profits will be donated to the Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, who will disburse the funds as direct relief to individuals in need. “Both these organizations have worked to support service industry workers since the pandemic began,” Lowen said, “and they’re perfect partners for this project.”
To be eligible for one of the $300 grants, applicants must work in a bar or restaurant in Kentucky and live in a designated zip code in Kentucky or Ohio. Priority will be given to applicants with dependents; those not receiving other forms of relief; those with drastically reduced hours; and those with other forms of hardship.
“It is no secret that of all the industries the pandemic has affected, the service industry has been among the hardest hit,” said NKY Chamber President Brent Cooper. “Local bars and restaurants are more than places we simply eat and drink; they’re places we gather with friends, celebrate special occasions and make memories. We applaud New Riff for launching this fund. The strength of the Northern Kentucky community is on display, showing the care we all have for one another. That’s why we have and will continue to persevere through this time.”
And across the river, the Ohio Restaurant Association will coordinate grants for those living in the Cincinnati area.
“The Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation is thrilled to partner with New Riff Distributing on raising funds for the Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund,” said Executive Director Patricia Halper. “The restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry and its employees have been devastated by the recent pandemic. These are our neighbors, friends and relatives that work in the communities that we call home. By working together, we will be able to help our industry’s employees with groceries, housing, utility, and medical expenses at the time when it is needed the most. Efforts like this will enable our industry to become vibrant once again to celebrate life’s events and support our local communities.”
Funds raised through the sale of the New Riff Relief 15 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be split between the two agencies for disbursement. Kentucky residents can apply via the NKY Chamber at nkychamber.com/NewRiffReliefFund; Ohio residents can apply via the Ohio Restaurant Association at OhioRestaurantsRelief.org.