Bourbon conference held at UK’s James B. Beam Institute

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A partnership between the University of Kentucky and James Beam could help promote the future of bourbon.

This was the inaugural James B. Beam Institute Industry Conference. (Photo: WKYT/Jim Stratman)

UK’s James B. Beam Institute hosted a series of panels Thursday about the industry.

Bourbon distillers are hoping the partnership will help cultivate a new workforce, new technology, and new advancements.

“Because that’s what it’s all about is education of our product and education of this industry, whether it’s with us or in the future,” says Fred Noe, from Jim Beam.

A panel of experts said the partnership will bring brighter minds and more workers to an industry that's been doing things the same way for a long time.

"You know who drinks bourbon? Your grandfather, your father, too, now it's popular. You know we've kind of ushered in - we've kind of watched this industry grow," Fred Noe said.

"It's not necessarily about celebrating what we've done, it's about looking back at what we've done and figure out how we continue this on for the next 225 years and beyond," Freddie Noe said, Fred's son.

Panels were held all day long, hitting on topics from every stage of bourbon distilling.

Thursday’s discussions made up the inaugural James B. Beam Institute Industry Conference.