This is just an idea now, but if enough people get behind it, it could become a reality.
I first suggested it here, on my blog, back in August. "Attract collectors. Get a law passed allowing whiskey collectors (legal age only, of course) to have a legal and above board swap meet."
Let's say it's in a hall somewhere in Bardstown, a big room. Exhibitors have to register in advance but the only requirement is that they be of legal age. Collectors who want to exhibit pay a fee to do so. People who want to attend but don't want to exhibit buy a ticket. There probably will need to be a limit placed on how many bottles a non-exhibitor may carry in. Again, the only requirement is that everyone must be of legal age and IDs will be checked. All transactions will be private, between the participants. Transactions can take the form or either trades or sales. It lasts for maybe three hours on Saturday afternoon. And it's all legal.
Subsequent to that post I briefly discussed the idea with Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers Association. He seemed to like the idea. The Festival, which KDA co-sponsors, would have to figure out how to do it legally, which might require some new legislation, so KDA is the outfit to work on that. Mr. Gregory seemed to think it was not completely outside the realm of possibility.
Mr. Gregory, by the way, is staff, but the KDA changes its board leadership every year. The new chairman for 2011 is John Rhea of Four Roses Distillery, the vice chairman is Jeff Conder of Beam Global, and the Secretary-Treasurer is Tom Krekeler of Campari (Wild Turkey). The other board members are Chris Morris (Brown-Forman), Andrea Wilson (Diageo) and David Hobbs (Heaven Hill).
If you think this is a good idea, let the KDA know.
I would also encourage anyone who thinks it's a good idea to help flesh-out the idea here with comments to this thread. How might it be done? What would get you to participate?