New Riff Hosts its Second Annual Giant Bourbon Toast on Purple People Bridge — and an OH vs. KY Tug-of-War

National Bourbon Day is June 14 — celebrate with a toast and competition

click to enlarge World's first "Biggest Bourbon Toast" in 2018 - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
World's first "Biggest Bourbon Toast" in 2018

Newport distillery New Riff is celebrating National Bourbon Day on June 14 with its second annual big ass bourbon toast on the Purple People Bridge.

The distillery is inviting anyone and everyone who likes bourbon to head to the bridge to reenact last year's World's Biggest Bourbon Toast, which it held to honor the release of its first long-awaited batches of New Riff brand bourbon. 

This year, the first 500 guests will get a commemorative Big Bourbon Toast shot glass filled with New Riff Bourbon to toast with. If you aren't one of the first 500 — or if you just want more than a shot of booze — there will be cash bars set up along bridge for additional cocktails. 

In addition to the toast, this year will also feature a tug of war between Kentucky and Ohio. The winning state will be recognized at the toast, receive a gilded bottle trophy and earn bragging rights (...until next year). The two teams will be led by New Riff’s 2020 Community Barrel awardees and charities: the Cincinnati Parks Foundation and the City of Newport’s 225th. The Community Barrel program donates proceeds from a barrel's worth of bourbon to each awardee.

“These last five years have been a lot of work, but they’ve given us a lot to celebrate, too. This toast serves as a reminder to make time for fun,” said Ken Lewis, New Riff founder and president, in a press release. “We wanted to incorporate hard work and having fun in this year’s Big Bourbon Toast by adding the tug of war between Kentucky and Ohio. The Big Bourbon Toast is a great way to celebrate two amazing states, two great charities and delicious bourbon in this region.” 

Newport's tug-of-war team currently consists of "Newport Police, Fire/EMS, Public Works, multiple community groups and two really strong finance guys," according to Scott Clark, historic preservation officer of the City of Newport. And Cincinnati's team has "dedicated Park volunteers, board members, Park Commissioners, Cincinnati Firefighters, Cincinnati Police Officers, the City Manager, local elected officials and your favorite local mascots," says Jennifer H. Spieser, executive director of the Cincinnati Parks Foundation.

The Big Bourbon Toast will take place 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 14. For ages 21 and up. Free admission. Purple People Bridge, Newport,

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