My three beers to try at the Kentucky Craft Bash

The second-annual Kentucky Craft Bash happens Saturday, June 23 and the beer list, which numbers about 90, is now available. I won’t go into the entire list in this column, but let’s hit a few highlights from this all-Kentucky festival.

The three beers I’m most looking forward to trying are Brothers in Arms Stout with poblano peppers, aged in Willett bourbon barrels, from Alexandria Brewing; wood-aged, fruited sour ale with Italian plums from Country Boy Brewing; and 1792 Kentucky Common from Dreaming Creek Brewery.

I am excited about the Brothers in Arms stout, in part, because I love peppers in stout — it’s that simple. But it’s also one of close to 30 beers that will be tapped at the festival that also have been aged in Willett bourbon barrels. That should make for some wrecked palates… in the tastiest of ways.

I’m looking forward to the sour ale from Country Boy simply because I’ve never had a sour from Country Boy that I didn’t love. Seriously.

And my love of brewing history is what has me interested in Dreaming Creek’s Kentucky Common. Not only is the brewery named for a Richmond creek that, legend has it, was named by Daniel Boone… Not only that, but Kentucky Common wasn’t created until sometime in the mid-1800s, so the year in the name intrigues me.

Those Willett barrel beers all look pretty interesting, though, truth be told — from a Russian imperial stout (Akasha Brewing Co.) to a Belgian dubbel (Bircus Brewing of Ludlow) to an imperial oatmeal stout with coffee and maple syrup (Ethereal Brewing of Lexington), no two will be alike. Well, except for the influence of the fresh barrels the beer has been aging in for several months.

There’s more: My favorite beer names on the list are Alexandria Brewing Company Go Hop Yourself, for the snarky name and the hop potential; and Against the Grain’s An Ale of Interest, which I’ve not yet tried and, well, how could I not be interested? And honorable mention goes to Paducah Beer Werks’ The Dude, because Lebowski Fest is not far away.

Tickets to the festival can be purchased at kycraftbash.com; general admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets, which include early entry, are $70.

13th Fest of Ale again a hit

The 13th Fest of Ale, which happened June 2, was yet another sellout, and it didn’t hurt that it was a sunny day — a nice break for a festival that has, at times over the years, fallen prey to passing storms.

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From a pretzel necklace-making table — anyone who’s been to a beer fest is familiar with the pretzel necklace — to a firefighter-sponsored dunking booth, Fest of Ale was a hit, with beers, ciders and wines from near and far across, about 100 vendors.

I didn’t discover anything special during my couple of hours there, but that didn’t mean the selection wasn’t varied and interesting. (For you “Dazed and Confused” fans, Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewing offered up a rye IPA called Alrye’d Alrye’d Alrye’d. In addition, California-based Firestone Walker Brewing Company made its Indiana debut.)

Founder Todd Antz said the festival raised roughly $17,000 for the WHAS Crusade for Children, which is about $1,000 more than last year, bringing to $125,000 the overall total over the course of the event’s life. Not bad for an event that started in the parking lot at the Clarksville, Indiana location of the Keg Liquors.

Goodwood Brewing expands into Florida

Next time you hit Tampa for vacation, you’ll be able to have a Louisville Lager or a Bourbon Barrel Stout. Goodwood Brewing Co. announced that it will partner with Republic National Distributing Co. for statewide distribution in the Sunshine State.

Brandy Barrel Honey Ale and Bourbon Barrel Ale also will be distributed statewide in Florida. Goodwood recently has begun distributing in Georgia and Minnesota. Goodwood also is sold in Indiana, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, West Virginia, Missouri and Oklahoma, along with its home state.

What’s in the fermenter?

Stopped by Falls City Brewing’s taproom the other day and started chatting with Head Brewer Cameron Finnis about what beers he was working on. He admitted that the fermenters were empty at the moment — even brewers have paperwork to do — but that he had a big brew planned for the next morning.

He told me he would be brewing a double IPA using Idaho 7 and Citra hops, saying, “I might add more, depending how I feel.”

The more, the merrier. The beer doesn’t yet have a name, but look for it in the taproom in about three weeks.

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