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Meet The Makers

Third Annual

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Exclusive offer for ticket holders only. First come first Served Basis. 

This year we will be hosting our third annual "Meet The Maker" event on both Saturday and Sunday. Listen to their story, taste their whiskey, and ask the questions you've always wanted to ask your favorite whiskey brands.

This year's group of Makers are as follows:


Steve Beam from Limestone Branch Distillery

Ian Stirsman from Ross & Squibb Distillery

Nick Smith from Bardstown Bourbon: SOLD OUT

Blaine Adams from WhistlePig

Darryl Mcnally from Limavady

Dan Garrison from the Garrison Brothers Distillery

There will be tastings each day between 2pm and 5pm hosted by select sponsors. There will be a limited number of seats available for each tasting and they are expected to go FAST, so make your reservations quickly before they're all spoken for.​ Meet them and purchase your tickets below!

Location: The Rock N Rye Lounge located in the Village picnic area

$25 Presale/Per Session

Note: These tickets are NOT interchangeable. You must purchase your tasting ticket for Rock N Rye and then select the "Meet the Maker" session you wish to attend as an add-on in order to be permitted to join. If you do not have tickets for Rock N Rye, you will not be permitted to join. This event is 21+

Refund Policy for all Rock n Rye tickets: Sorry, event is rain or shine!

Meet This Year's makers

Darryl McNally Founder & Master Distiller, Limavady Single Barrel Irish Whiskey 

Darryl is widely recognized as one of the world's best Irish Master Distillers. Few have earned the right to be called a Master, and Darryl has earned it by making some of the best whiskey in the world for well over 20 years. Darryl's wholehearted passion for time-honored traditions and groundbreaking innovation have become legendary. 

When Darryl first entered the whiskey world he had no idea his ancestors owned the original Limavady Distillery. This might explain how/why he developed such a passion for whiskey- it's in his DNA. This journey started several miles from his boyhood home at the Old Bushmills Distillery. It was there he learned the traditions and techniques of Irish Single Malt – from the inside out and everything in between. 

Flash forward more than two decades and the student has become the master, creating, and celebrating some of the finest whiskeys Ireland has to offer. Since 2010, his brands have been awarded Best in Class at the world's top whiskey awards, over a dozen times. 

Today, Ireland's greatest Master Distiller takes his leap. Limavady is reborn and breaking new ground for the fast-growing Irish Whiskey category. Darryl is leading the revival in partnership with WhistlePig Whiskey, declaring a new era of Irish Whiskey with Single Malt quality and Single Barrel distinctiveness. As Ireland's first Single Barrel Single Malt Whiskey, Limavady is now celebrating four Gold Medals from the Beverage Testing Institute, Whiskies of the World, The Drinks Business Awards and John Barleycorn Awards, as well as being named “#1 Irish Single Malt" by the Beverage Testing Institute and 2021's “Best Irish Whiskey" by John Barleycorn. Limavady is expanding across the United States and launching in key 

international markets in 2022. | @limavadyirishwhiskey

Stephen Beam: Founder and Master Distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery


Stephen Beam's bourbon roots run deep. Stephen's great-great grandfather was Joseph Washington Dant, an early bourbon pioneer. On the other side of his family tree, he is the great-grandson to Minor Case Beam, the eldest son of Joseph M. Beam, of the legendary Beam lineage. 



Since college, it was Stephen's dream to return the Yellowstone brand back to the family. In 2010, together with his brother Paul, they started Limestone Branch Distillery. Shortly thereafter, they brought the Yellowstone back to the family and restored it to its original glory, more than a century after his great-grandfather Minor Case Beam sold his distillery to J. W. Dant. Limestone Branch Distillery today blends the Beam history and heritage with the brothers' passion for making great spirits in small batches. 



As a founding member of the Kentucky Craft Bourbon Trail, Limestone Branch Distillery is proud to be a craft distillery - filling one barrel per day and using traditional distilling methods. Visitors coming for tours are treated like family and are able to learn about the family heritage, taste some of Kentucky's finest bourbon and enjoy their time relaxing in our beautiful garden or sipping a cocktail in our bar. 


Limestone Branch Distillery

1280 Veterans Memorial Hwy. Lebanon, KY 40033

(270) 699-9004 


Ian Stirsman: Founder and Master Distiller of Ross and Squibb Distillery

As master distiller of Lawrenceburg, Indiana-based Ross & Squibb Distillery, lan Stirsman leads all operations for the Ross & Squibb family of brands, including George Remus Bourbon and Rossville Union Rye Whiskey, as well as any future brands released under the Ross & Squibb name. 

In this role, Stirsman is responsible for guiding the product-development process for new innovation and annual limited releases, hosting customers for barrel picks and distillery visits, and building brand awareness for the distillery and its brands. Additionally, he serves as a spokesperson for the brands with media and other key stakeholders. 

Promoted to this position from his previous role as master distiller at MGP's historic Lawrenceburg, Indiana, distillery, Stirsman will continue to serve as a resource to his MGP colleagues in addition to his new day-to-day responsibilities at Ross & Squibb Distillery. 

An MGP employee since 2014, Stirsman has worked as a production shift manager, process engineer, and fermentation/distillation manager before earning the Master Distiller distinction in October 2019. Before joining MGP, he served as a process engineer and shift manager for PH Glatfelter Co., a global manufacturer of engineered materials. 

Stirsman graduated in 2010 from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering with a minor in biological sciences. 

In his free time, lan enjoys playing sports and traveling. 


As head distiller of Bardstown Bourbon Company, Nick Smith has been a part of the company since day one. He honors the traditional art of making whiskey while bringing a modern technical approach to the distiller’s day-to-day operations and mash bill creations.


A native of Bardstown, Kentucky, Smith comes from a well-known family in the spirits industry, one that owns and operates the local Smith Brothers Distributing Company of Bardstown. After graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2012, he worked his way up to distillery supervisor for Jim Beam in just four years before becoming distillery supervisor for Bardstown Bourbon Company in 2016. As one of the founding team members, Smith played a pertinent role in the company’s initial growth by aiding in the expansion of the state-of-the-art distillery. From engineering to operations–down to shipping and receiving–Smith has had a hand in the development of each department.


Promoted to head distiller in 2019, Smith now works alongside Master Distiller and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer, Steve Nally, the former master distiller at Wyoming Whiskey and Maker’s Mark. He’s taken his passion for chemistry and technology to new heights by helping Bardstown Bourbon Company to become the first distillery to utilize the Ignition System as a full process control system–a powerful new software that increases accuracy and efficiency. For Smith, the more data, the better, as he and his team are often managing multiple products at once, all while navigating the latest automations.


You can catch Smith leading a group of bourbon-curious guests around the property during his “Behind the Scenes with Head Distiller Nick Smith” monthly tours. And when he isn’t working, you can find Smith enjoying time with his wife and son, on the links playing golf, or cheering on his beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

Blaine Adams: Special guest from Whistlepig: Head of western brand education and cocktail development

Blaine Adams has been in the liquor industry for over a decade. He got his start running and enjoying dive bars and working his way up to running some of the most impressive liquor programs in Los Angeles. He has been blessed to have met and learned from distillers all across the globe. Whiskey has always been his passion. Blaine left the bar scene to work with WhistlePig Whiskey 5 years ago and never looked back. He is currently the head of western brand education and the head of cocktail development for the company. He loves talking and sharing a dram!

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Dan Garrison: Founder & Proprietor of The Garrison Brothers Distillery


In 2004, Dan Garrison walked away from a financially rewarding but volatile career as a software marketing professional to go get Whiskey Bent! A lifetime lover of straight bourbon, Garrison was reading a newspaper story about another Texas vodka. He wondered aloud to his wife why anyone would make that crap when they could make Bourbon. She replied, “As much of that stuff as you drink, maybe you should. We’d probably save money.” Two weeks later, he was in Kentucky. After numerous trips to the birthplace of bourbon to learn the craft from the best in the world, Garrison set up shop on his small farm and ranch in the Hill Country. He borrowed money from family and his reluctant but curious bourbon drinking friends. He built a small “experimental barn” and began tinkering with equipment, tanks, pumps, plumbing, steam, barrels, grain and yeast. In November 2007, he bought an antique pot still named The Copper Cowgirl. She was originally built in 1972 for Wild Turkey.


Seven months later Garrison uncorked one of the test recipe bourbon barrels he’d been working on. After aging in oak barrels in the hot Texas sun for just months, the bourbon was outstanding. Garrison began to beg, borrow and steal to build a bigger distillery.


Since then bottles of Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey have become sought after collectors’ items. Five vintages have been released and each has sold out in a matter of days. When a new release is announced, bourbon drinkers road trip to the Hill Country to get their hands on a bottle.


Some bars in Austin and Fredericksburg are selling more Garrison Brothers (at $12 to $20 a glass) than Jack Daniels. The family farm and distillery has become a bourbon Mecca attracting hundreds of visitors a week.


Unlike many craft vodkas, rums, and whiskies, which are actually produced elsewhere and just bottled in Texas, Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey is authentically made by hand, from “corn to cork,” at the little distillery in Hye. Garrison uses expensive organic corn from the Texas Panhandle. When the rain gods cooperate, he grows his own wheat. Bottling at Garrison Brothers is an adventure with volunteer bottlers driving in from all over Texas to lend a hand.


The Distillery releases more and more bourbon every year but demand in Central Texas is so strong that Garrison has been unable to distribute his bourbon to other regions of the state. It just keeps selling out locally.


Garrison’s favorite leisure activities are running in the beautiful Hill Country and drinking bourbon. He has been married to a wonderful fifth generation Texas whiskey girl for 17 years and together they are raising two smart, beautiful kids in Hye and Austin.

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