Meet the Team
Sam Rock grew up in Woodford County, Kentucky, attended Washington & Lee University, in Virginia, and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Sam is a practicing lawyer and also sells and builds houses and other investment property, as well as being one of the founders of Bluegrass Distillers. Sam’s initial fascination with the bourbon industry and history grew out of his childhood in Woodford County in which there were no operating distilleries, only distillery ruins. He believes a bourbon is about the hard work and dedication of the team that makes the bourbon. While packaging is important, the team’s dedication and will to distill are the heart of the spirit.
Nathan Brown was born in Arizona and grew up in Barcelona, Spain before moving to central Kentucky for college and graduate school. He has been an entrepreneur for the past 17 years owning several businesses including founding Bluegrass Distillers in 2012. He is most excited about being a part of a team that is passionate about making a unique and handmade craft product that honors the proud history and tradition of Kentucky Bourbon. His interests include sports, outdoor activities, travel, and spending time with friends and family; wife Katy and children Oliver and Stella.
Kee Pyles is a Lexington, Kentucky native who discovered his love of brewing and distilling a few years ago. After working for another distillery, he realized he wanted the integrity and pride of craft bourbon which he has rule over. As the Head Distiller, he develops the mash, oversees the fermentation, controls the distillation, fills the barrels, and labels the bottles. The growth of the craft bourbon industry and Bluegrass Distillers motivates him to create the best.
Rachel Kalnasy grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and moved out to Lexington after college and marrying her husband, Alex. She has a passion for historic preservation and woodworking as well as experiencing food and drinks. Her work as Administrative Coordinator involves tours and sales, marketing, events, and brainstorming for exposure and distribution. Outside of the distillery, she enjoys experiencing new places in Lexington and playing with her dog.
Jonathan Hardwick grew up in Waynesburg, Kentucky. While earning his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Kentucky, he interned at Bluegrass Distillers identifying specific compounds in bourbon associated with various flavors and aromas. He kept on at the distillery after his internship working on mashing, distilling, and bottling. He is currently earning his MBA with the hopes of one day opening his own craft distillery.
Reni Coulson grew up in Chicago, Illinois where she realized her love for visual communications and the arts. She took her passion to the University of Kentucky to major in Integrate Strategic Communications focusing in creative advertising and a minor in dance. She is currently finishing her senior year at UK while working at Bluegrass Distillers as a Marketing Intern. Her primary duties revolve around designing and executing ads, maintain social media accounts for exposure, event planning, and communicating with customers and business associates.
Maggie Young is a Louisville, Kentucky native, who will be graduating from the University of Kentucky in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in both Marketing and Management. After experiencing business classes in high school, she realized a desire to help small businesses grow to their potential. She is one of our Marketing Interns who focuses on tours, event coordinating, and marketing exposure. Outside of the distillery, she enjoys trying new restaurants, live music, and hanging with her dogs.
Nathan Svec is Lexington-born and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in History at Berea College. Working at Bluegrass Distillers as a Tour Guide and Sales Associate has allowed him an opportunity to work with the history of craft bourbon in an environment in which he can learn more each day. He is currently a Specialist in the Kentucky National Guard and finds delight in hiking or enjoying a ride on his motorcycle on any one of Kentucky's beautiful back-roads in his spare time.