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West Sixth Brewing Company

West Sixth Brewing Company
Scott Hoffman

Shameful admission number 1: I didn’t drink quality beer until after I left Kentucky in 2006. My experience with beer consisted of keg parties with Natty or Keystone Light—beer for purposes of getting drunk or having a cheap evening.

Shameful admission number 2: I’m really not all that ashamed. Lexington circa 2003-2005 wasn’t much of a beer Mecca. You drank bourbon or you drank cheap beer; those were your options. A handful of bars served good beer. One brewery had a solid footing in the area, and even their best beer involved bourbon. I’m pretty sure the water had traces of bourbon in it.

Much to my surprise, Lexington has changed immensely since my college days. It wasn’t exactly a subtle change—the city has been working on revitalizing downtown for years, and several neighborhoods have received particular focus as part of the turnaround. But now breweries and beer pubs are opening up, chief among them West Sixth Brewing Company. It’s a beautiful thing to see a once beaten down neighborhood now anchored by an ambitious brewery.

The brewery itself is surprisingly large, given its infancy. Once you walk in, you’re presented with a large bar and open space with room enough for 10 tables or so. Then there’s the beer garden. For God’s sake, they’re already canned! This is a bourbon town!

The beer was, for the most part, delicious. There were some missteps, but the good vastly outweighed the bad. West Sixth IPA was the shining star of the bunch, perfectly balancing floral and fruit notes to make a flavorful and powerful beer. Dead Heat Wheat will become a complement to every grill-out and tailgate party in the area. There’s a lot to like.

Hopefully this new beer-centric movement will be embraced.

Now excuse me while I down this shot of Woodford Reserve.

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