Bourbon Blitzkrieg Run 2017

The one "vacation" I take every year if I can, is the Bourbon Blitzkrieg Run (or BBR). It's the only time I get to see a few of my classmates from Chicago, and really the only time I make it to the city at all anymore. I use this trip as kind of a warm-up for wedding season so mostly I'm looking for story, expression, composition, light, and form, in an attempt to create a photojournalistic narrative for the weekend. This Blog will be more image intensive than most with lots of links to the killer places and products we experienced. (A link to images at the bottom of this blog.) 

The BBR.

The BBR.

First I have to say thank you to Mitch and the crew from Tin Militia ( or for encouraging Fonz to get into hot rodding. If it weren't for you I wouldn't make my yearly train ride across about 1/3 of the country back to Chicago only to drive about one thousand miles in old cars.

The 59 Merc in front of Waffle House, a dietary cornerstone of the trip.

The 59 Merc in front of Waffle House, a dietary cornerstone of the trip.

kentucky Peerless Distilling

The first evening we stoped at Peerless ( a newly reopened distillery in Louisville, Kentucky.

Buffalo Trace Bourbon

The next morning started at a long time favorite of the run, Buffalo Trace! It was awesome to see Freddy again. Freddy is hands down the best tour guide I have ever had. His grandfather told him when he was young that one day he would also work at Buffalo Trace just like his father, grandfather and great grandfather, so Freddy became an engineer... After several years of being an engineer Freddy realized that he needed a change and got a job at the distillery his family worked at for generations, and has been loving it! 


Glenns Creek Distilling


Urban decay, classic cars and bourbon, Glenns Creek is just getting there wheels under em. They are in the process of reclaiming the long abandoned Old Crow Distillery.

Jeptha Creed Distillery


Jeptha Creed is the only female owned distillery in Kentucky. They have a beautiful grounds and were hosting a wedding the evening we visited. 

Makers Mark is quite a bit off the beaten path but worth the trip if you have the time, just be sure to stay with the pack. We go separated and the route we ended up taking was through a storm, with no wipers, down a twisty little old one lane Kentuckyhighway. 

Makers Mark


Who doesn't know Makers Mark? It is a common name in any bar in america & I was happy to go back again. Only 4 more years until "OTK's Party Juice" is ready! 



The Beatersville car and bike show is the final destination for our run. It takes place in Louisville, KY every Memorial Day.

Link to Images:

If you are interested in any of my images from the run or just want to see more follow this LINK


The preview blog can be seen HERE.

If you are in Chicago and into Bourbon make sure to check out the Chicago Bourbon, a blog about, well... Bourbon!

Zak Jokela is a wedding photographer and photojournalist currently located in Billings, Montana, who frequently serves the Red Lodge, Bozeman, & Big Sky areas in Montana, Cody in Wyoming, and his hometown of Watford City, North Dakota. He is also happy and willing to travel elsewhere nationally or abroad. Fill out a CONTACT form for more information regarding booking.