Augusta Distillery along Kentucky's B Line Bourbon Trail (photo by Rick Mariani)
Food + Drink

Explore Northern Kentucky’s B-Line Trail

This route hits seven distilleries and a multitude of bars and restaurants that give a taste of what makes bourbon country great.

Some travelers decide their route first and which restaurants and bars to go to second. If you want to immerse yourself in bourbon country, flip the script and start by picking bars and bistros along the B-Line Trail. With seven craft distilleries and countless bourbon bars and restaurants, this trail will take you on a route to legendary sips throughout northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati area. Here’s what you’ll find at 25 stops along the way.

1. At Augusta Distillery in Augusta, bourbon lovers get the ultimate first taste. On the “Pardon Our Dust” Distillery tour, you’ll get to pop the barrel bung yourself and pour a sample right from the cask. 

2. Taste 100 proof bourbon distilled on-site at Pensive Distilling Co. in Newport or go for a sweeter sip with apple pie moonshine. 

3. Bourbon flights and comfort food await at Tousey House Tavern in Burlington.

4. Top shelf pours, fresh pasta and a view of the Ohio River — it doesn’t get much more soul quenching than Caproni’s Restaurant in Maysville.

5. Shareable menu items and cocktails create a vibrant atmosphere at Coppin’s at Hotel Covington. 

6. Located right next to another B-Line stop (looking at you, Coppin’s!), Knowledge Bar and Social Room in Covington delivers a memorable craft cocktail experience.

7. For nearly a century, Pompilio’s Restaurant, a Newport favorite, has been serving classic Italian dishes, and their featured bourbon list is worth a pour or two.

8. Revival Vintage Spirits and Bottle Shop in Covington feels like a museum, except you can drink the exhibits. This stop is a must if you’ve got a bourbon bucket list. Taste and take
home rare bottles. 

9. Pair a Lisse Old Fashioned with a Holland Farms Beef Brisket at the beautiful, Dutch-influenced Lisse Steakhuis in Covington.

10. Patio dining on the banks of the Ohio River is complemented with a locally sourced menu and a four-column whiskey list at The Beehive Augusta Tavern in Augusta.

11. Three Spirits Tavern in Bellevue offers both a cozy indoors and a dog-friendly outdoor space, along with a bourbon list so long you have to ask for a special menu.

12. A Cheerwine Bourbon Slush is on the menu at Libby’s Southern Comfort in Covington if you need to sweeten up your B-Line adventure. 

13. Pair fine bourbon and savory smoked meats at Smoke Justis, located in a unique historic spot in Covington.

14. Named one of the best bourbon bars in Bourbon Country by The Bourbon Review, Covington’s Rich’s Proper Food & Drink takes pride in their Southern-fusion menu, bourbon collection and craft cocktails. 

15. Find pours beyond the ordinary at Second Sight Spirits, a craft distillery in Ludlow that produces the first legal bourbon in Kenton County since Prohibition. 

16. Carrying on generations of family legacy, Neeley Family Distillery in Sparta crafts and hand-bottles products ranging from single barrel bourbons to Southern Dew Bourbon Ball Moonshine.

17. Above Goodfellas Pizza in Mainstrasse Village, Wiseguy Lounge embodies speakeasy vibes and serves mouth-watering drinks like the Wooden Nickel, a bourbon cocktail with maple smoke.

18. Whether you prefer your bourbon neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail, The Globe, a friendly Covington bar, has you covered. 

19. Over 500 bourbons and ryes line the bar shelves in Newport at the Purple Poulet, a Southern bistro also known for its epic fried chicken. 

20. The Prohibition Bourbon Barin Newport is reminiscent of a speakeasy, but its collection of bourbon and whiskey is anything but secret. With more than 6,000 offerings, this legendary spot has a claim on the world’s largest collection. 

21. The Old Pogue Distillery in Maysville carries on a family legacy of producing small batch bourbon in the historic hills of Kentucky. 

22. The cozy brick patio at Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Covington is a perfect spot to end your day. Ask the bartenders about special vintages or craft cocktails. 

23. Admire the three-story copper column still (and sample its products) on the tour at New Riff Distilling, a must-stop in Newport for folks interested in the art and science behind spirits.

24. From pickle platters to wagyu beef meatballs to sweet corn cake, the locally sourced menu at Bouquet Restaurant in Covington is as eclectic as it is delicious, and their bourbon collection is also impressive. 

25. A tour at Boone County Distilling in Independence comes with equal parts bourbon and stories. After all, they claim their whiskey is “made by ghosts.” 

Proof Magazine is for Ohio spirit lovers. It is produced by Great Lakes Publishing three times a year. Dont miss an issue by subscribing to Ohio Magazine. View a digital version of the Proof Magazine Winter 2023 edition here