#KentuckyCraftBeer – PorchDrinking.com
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.