#KentuckyCraftBeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
“Fusing Fun, Life, Flavor, and Science into Great Craft Beer.”
This is the motto of Lexington, Kentucky’s Fusion Brewing and their Stange Days Czech-style Kolsch is a fine exemplar of this motto. Crisp, clean and light yet rich and malty, this fusion of Czech Pilsner and Czech Ale goes down easy any time of the year.
Lexington, KY’s Ethereal Brewing is known for brewing a wide range of outstanding Belgian farmhouse and American craft beers with a focus on quality and a penchant for creativity. Their annual Baba Yaga Imperial Stout, a shining example of this approach, is aged exclusively in Four Roses barrels for 8-12 months.
The COVID-19 pandemic was instrumental in shining a light on the importance of mental health. While society was taking steps in raising awareness of mental health before COVID-19, it became even more important during COVID-19. It especially became important in the craft beer world, an industry that was extremely affected by the shutdowns and restrictions.
To continue to normalize mental health in the craft beer industry and community, Hope For The Day, a non-profit movement empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention and mental health education, has partnered with Eagle Park Brewing, Hopsmash, Malteurop Malting Co., Egoproof and Hollingbery & Son Hops for an international beer collaboration.
The city of Bardstown, KY was founded by two brothers, William and David Bard, in 1780. William was a surveyor, land agent and frontiersman and, after drawing the first lots of Louisville in 1779, he explored beyond Louisville and laid out the city of Bardstown 40 miles away. David was a graduate of Princeton College, where he studied theology and later became a Presbyterian Minister. His goal was to bring the community of Bardstown together.
Now, after 240 years, Scout & Scholar Brewing Co. opened in downtown Bardstown, paying homage to William Bard, the “Scout” and David Bard, the “Scholar.”
West Sixth Brewing is set to open a new retail location and taproom in Newport, Kentucky — West Sixth Box Park. West Sixth Brewing opened its main brewery and taproom at 501 W. Sixth St. in Lexington, Kentucky in 2012. Since then, they have opened three more Kentucky locations: West Sixth Greenroom in downtown Lexington (currently closed due to Covid-19), West Sixth NuLu in Louisville and the West Sixth Farm in Frankfort.
Country Boy Brewing opened in Lexington in 2012 by four Kentuckians, Daniel “DH” Harrison, Jeff Beagle, Evan Coppage and Nathan Coppage. Their four core beers Cougar Bait Blonde Ale, Shotgun Wedding Vanilla Brown Ale, Cliff Jumper IPA and Halfway Home American Pale Ale quickly gained popularity among craft beer drinkers across the Bluegrass State.
In February of 2017, Country Boy Brewing opened a 22,500 sq ft. taproom and production facility in Georgetown, Ky, just 19 miles from its original location in Lexington. And in May of 2019, Country Boy added a $1.8 million expansion to the Georgetown facility, adding 19,000 sq. ft. This weekend, Country Boy Brewing celebrates nine years of brewing craft beer in Kentucky.
The three tier-system was instituted after the fall of Prohibition as a means to prevent monopolies and corruption from engulfing the craft beer industry. However as the beer industry has flourished in the modern era, many states have recognized that the institution of distribution isn’t completely black and white. As it currently stands, 39 states across the U.S. have made it possible for breweries to sell their own beer directly to licensed retailers, bars and restaurants. This has allowed thousands of small independent breweries across the country the opportunity to grow more quickly with greater access to market. Kentucky is not currently one of those states.
However, Kentucky breweries have introduced legislation to change that. The Kentucky Guild of Brewers and its brewery members introduced Senate Bill 15 to the Senate to Committee on Committees on Feb. 3, 2021. The proposed legislation advocates for two things. First, it would allow brewers to self-distribute up to an annual total of 2,500 barrels per year. Second, it addresses the unfair contractual relationships between the distributors and craft breweries.
With all the delicious clutter out there in the beer world, sometimes you just want a good, solid example of a classic style. For all of the Sours, Pastry Stouts, Hazies and Seltzers, there are still plenty of classics available. Falls City Brewing Co. brews a prime example of a classic Pale Ale with their English-Style Pale Ale.
If we learned anything in 2020, it to learn to put ourselves first. We cannot help others unless we’ve helped ourselves. Whether it’s your mental health or physical health (or both), the need to practice self-care cannot be underestimated.
As we transition into 2021 and people set forth on new year resolutions, many are focused on bettering their physical health. For beer drinkers, this is always a weird transition right after the holidays. With Braxton Brewing Co.‘s Hop Fit Low-Cal IPA, you don’t have to compromise taste to maintain your 2021 goals — you can continue drinking flavorful, full-bodied IPAs like you did during the season of indulgence.
Kentucky’s craft beer scene was set to explode in 2020, but due to COVID-19 that didn’t happen. Still, despite pandemic and shutdowns, five breweries opened their doors in Kentucky–four in Louisville in 2020. There are currently 88 brewery licenses in Kentucky (some breweries have multiple licenses) and while Kentucky is not a state known for craft beer, I think 2021 has big things in store for “the Bourbon State.” Until then, let’s take a look at the 2020 Kentucky Best in Beer Year-End Honors.
Gravely Brewing Co. in Louisville, KY won two medals at this year’s Great American Beer Festival. Sprockets, a German Pilsener, won a gold medal and Doc’s Dunkel, a German Wheat Ale, won a bronze. Gravely Brewing was the only Kentucky brewery to bring home medals at this year’s Great American Beer Festival.
Kentucky’s Goodwood Brewing has a habit of brewing beers that are touched with wood at some point during the process. Sting Like a Beer spends quite a bit of time lingering in a brandy barrel before we get a chance to taste it. And boy is it worth the wait.
Louisville has been at the forefront of the Black Live Matter movement for months due to the death of Breonna Taylor on March 13. So, When the opportunity to participate in the Weathered Souls Brewing Black is Beautiful beer collaboration came up, Louisville breweries didn’t think twice about participating. It was the perfect way to combine two things very important to them: brewing great beer and supporting their community.
Newport, Kentucky’s Wooden Cask Brewing Company doesn’t mess around when it comes to brewing traditional English, Irish and Scottish ales. As soon as you pick up one of their bottled beers, visit their website or step into their brewery (located on historic York street, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati), you are greeted with their motto: Time, Taste and Tradition. As their website notes, they are committed firmly to “quality not efficiency” and adds that “there is no point to brewing our beers unless we make taste superior products.” Their Reformation Scottish Stout clearly meets these standards as soon as it begins to ooze its thick, dark and malty richness into a glass.
Since there is always something new to try in the golden age of craft beer, some folks (this Porchdrinker included), rarely drink the same beer twice. However, in a time of great stress and fear of the unknown, it can be comforting to revert back to things that are familiar and comforting, and this consistently satisfying beer has earned its rightful place in your beer fridge.
Lexington, Kentucky’s West Sixth Brewing (named brilliantly for the street corner on which it resides) started as a humble little brewery back in 2012 when Kentucky was barely a blip on the craft brewing radar. At the time, Kentucky had only 14 breweries and ranked near the bottom of the Brewer’s Association 2012 list of US breweries per capita at 43.
Craft brewing in Kentucky has exploded since then, with West Sixth being particularly successful, albeit through an unconventional definition of success. Their focus on community, sustainability, ethics and keeping things local has served them well. To learn more about why this model has worked for them and to get their thoughts on the future of the industry as a whole, we posed five (okay, six) questions to West Sixth’s Creative Director, Kelly Hieronymus, and co-founder Ben Self.
I tend to be the type of beer drinker who plays favorites. For several years, I fell into a rut of good-beer-drinking. I knew what I liked and that’s mostly what I drank. But my eyes have been opened to the massive range of variety in today’s craft beer scene. In my home state of Kentucky, craft brewing was a little slow to take off but has really hit its stride over the past few years. Lately, I’ve been on a mission to seek out new Kentucky-brewed beers. On a recent visit to Liquor Barn in Lexington, I was perusing the aisles, trying not to get taken in by the label gimmickry that has become prevalent in craft brewing.
I failed. My eyes were immediately drawn to one particular beer, mostly because the label was, well…rather disgusting. I’m all for humor in beer labeling, but, really? Then I noticed the brewery: Louisville-based Against the Grain.
Rhinegeist in Cincinnati is about the celebrate six years of brewing, and what a journey it has been. Three years ago, we featured the brewery’s Streaker Rye IPA and I wrote, “Streaker Rye IPA from Cincinnati’s up-and-coming Rhinegeist provides insight into why this Queen City brewery is enjoying such rapid success.” Well, three years later, it is no longer accurate to describe Rhinegeist as “up and coming.” They’ve arrived.
The brewery operating in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in Cincinnati (from whence the brewery name is derived), has grown into one of the nation’s largest breweries. We had a chance to pose Five Questions to Bryant Goulding, Co-Founder and VP of Sales & Marketing for Rhinegeist, and ask about where the brewery is, where it’s been and where it’s going.