• SOME THINGS JUST SURPRISE YOU

    It’s like finding a turtle in a field of jackrabbits.

That’s what it feels like to discover the Neltner place — a surprising assembly of art, music, artisan bourbon (served in a 150-year-old tavern), family farm and wedding venue cradled in the rocky hills of northern Kentucky.

The farm started it all. The Neltner farm sits at the intersection of Kentucky Route 547 and Stonehouse Road, straddling 4 Mile Creek as it tumbles its way to the Ohio River. The property has been in the family since 1892, over six generations, long enough that locals use its location as a point of geographic orientation. “You just take the next left after Neltner’s place.”

See? Everybody around here knows.

Keith’s mom, Claire, her grandchildren, and older brother Kevin run the family farm and local markets they’ve maintained since 1978. The farm hosts autumn farm festivals, and has become a popular venue for weddings. Younger brother Rick pitches in wherever needed. These are busy people. (They’d be called entrepreneurs or “makers” in certain circles, but here, it’s just how mom and dad taught them to provide for family and community.) Nobody gets much sleep.

And in 2016 Keith’s life got even busier, as he and wife Amy acquired the Camp Springs Tavern, the watering hole just across the road. After a knuckle-busting renovation, the tavern now features music, food trucks, and a much livlier vibe overall. While they were finalizing the sale of the tavern they found photos of Keith’s forefathers, one a driver of horse-drawn Weidemann Brewery wagon in the 40s, another hoisting a stein of dark beer in 1896. Images that now grace the walls of the tavern, providing historical proof that beer has been in the Neltner blood for generations.

And all of this just 12.4 miles from Cincinnati, where a younger Keith machine-tooled his artistic talent into a career building some of America’s best-known brands.

A collection of talent, knowledge and experience now residing in Camp Springs, Kentucky. A destination of unexpected discovery.

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