The Western & Southern Open tennis tournament returns to Cincinnati Aug. 14-22 and if you're looking to take a break between matches (or drown your sorrows if your favorite player falters), you can do so with a local bourbon.
Northside Distilling Co. is now the exclusive bourbon partner of the tournament after signing a three-year contract with the Western & Southern Open.
“This tennis tournament is one of the most recognizable events held in Cincinnati and we are honored to be able to support them along with introducing our spirits to the more than 200,000 attendees that visit each year," said Aaron Haslam, CEO of Northside Distilling, in a release.
As the name suggests, Northside Distilling was launched in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood. After starting out in a 100-year-old abandoned horse barn in 2015, the distillery opened a new space and tasting room on Race Street in downtown Cincinnati in 2017.
And while corn whiskey was its first spirit, Northside Distilling Company now has its own aged bourbon whiskey. Northside's bourbon whiskey rings in at 90 Proof and offers a "rich, caramel aroma and a hint of vanilla," says the distillery. "It’s crafted with a low rye mash bill, filtered using a zero-chill process, which preserves more of its natural flavor, and hand-selected after five years of aging."
At the Western & Southern Open, you can find this local spirit a the Northside Distilling Bar, in between the Racquet Club and Rhinegeist Brew Balcony. The bar will feature specialty bourbon cocktails, as well as samples of Northside's other offerings including vodka, gin and American agave.
Northside Distilling's vodka won a bronze medal from the American Craft Spirit Association and earned a gold rating at SIPS, an international competition. While vodka is typically made with wheat or potatoes, Northside Distilling makes it with corn and distills it six times to create a smooth flavor.
“Like our tournament, Northside Distilling proudly touts its Cincinnati roots, and that shared pride in our community will be a unique aspect of this partnership," said Katie Haas, COO of the Western & Southern Open, in a release.
Last year, as a result of the pandemic, this prized tennis tournament — the oldest to be played in its city of origin — left Cincinnati and instead took place at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. No spectators were permitted.
The first ball to hit the court in the Western & Southern Open (originally the Cincinnati Masters) was in 1899, when the matches were held at the current-day site of Xavier University. It has been held outside of the city four other times — in 1914 and 1917, it was held in Indianapolis, and in 1919 and 1920, the tournament was held in Fort Wayne.
According to Western & Southern, the Open creates about $69 million in economic impact for the city.
For more information or tickets, visit wsopen.com.
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