What happens when TWENTY EIGHT different breweries take similar bourbon barrels and fill them with their beer? According to our friend Derek Selznick, Executive Director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, “By working with one brand’s used Bourbon barrels, folks attending the Kentucky Craft Bash will be able to distinguish the impact of Willett whiskey lingering deep in the barrel staves across a wide ﬂavor spectrum of unique beers.” What Kentucky Craft Bash you ask? This festival is likely worth a drive no matter where you live!
Kentucky Craft Bash, Saturday, June 23, Noon (VIP) or 1 – 5 PM. Festival Plaza at Waterfront Park, 212 E Witherspoon St, Louisville, KY. Thirty to 32 breweries in total are involved with dozens (estimate 90+) of beers. What makes this festival unique and SO ‘Kentucky’ is the “What’s in your Willett” special collaboration between The Brewers Guild of KY and the historic Willett Distillery of Bardstown, KY. Barrels were retrieved from the distillery by the brewers, each filled with a unique beer, and they’ve been resting since about December for a nice six month sleep in the wood to provide a lot of oak, vanilla, and bourbon flavor to beers the brewers are most proud of. tickets here
Realize you have to plan carefully to max out getting a 2 to 3 oz sample of many of these special beers yet there is more good news. There are two distinct tents with barrel aged beers to spread them out. Plus there will be 3 to 4 released every half hour. so they won’t all be consumed early. We figure there are perhaps 6,000 samples of these special beers in total giving you a good chance of trying many of them!
MORE SPECIAL BEER: In order to give you another advantage, Derek Selznick, Executive Director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers tells me when they set out to plan this festival they wanted to create Kentucky’s biggest tap room. Thus, THIRTY TWO taproom only beers from the smallest to even the biggest KY brewers such as Against the Grain, Country Boy, Falls City, and West Sixth, are providing beers not otherwise available at retail! In total that makes SIXTY unique beers in one festival.
Why am I writing about KY breweries on indianabeer.com KY is 1 minute from Indiana at several spots. This fest is 1 minute from Indiana. KY breweries are cool and deserve the promotion, too! Where else can you get such a grand experiment!
Here’s the answer to “What’s in Your Willett,” all the beers aged in the Willett Distillery barrels, from the Breweries:
3rd Turn – “Cowboy Coffee, imperial brown with coffee” – a historic church in Jeffersontown, 10408 Watterson Trail, Louisville,
Akasha – Russian Imperial Stout, quaint downtown location in L’ville at 909 E Market St
Alexandria – “Brothers in Arms” stout with poblano peppers, 6 weeks old brewery at 7926 Alexandria Pike #1, Alexandria, KY
Altech — Russian Imperial Stout; Large brewer/distiller in Lexington at 401 Cross Street
Against the Grain – Belgian Style age with Brettanomyces; crazy global brewery with cool restaurant 401 E Main St. L’ville
Bircus – “Diving Elk” Belgian dubbel; Circus Theater + taproom, 322 Elm St, Ludlow, KY (near Cincinnati)
Blue Stallion – a double barrel sour Belgian Golden Strong aged for 18 months in a barrel to sour, transferred to the Willett barrel
……………………….(small brewery focused on European beer at 610 W 3rd St, Lexington, KY)
Braxton – Belgian quad; 3-yr-old successful family dominated brewery in the heart of Covington, KY.
Country Boy — wood aged fruited sour ale with Italian plums; 6-yr-old now in Lexington (436 Chair Ave) and Georgetown (108 ………………………….Corporate Blvd) and a fav of ours; crazy smart guys with solid beers
Darkness — “Royal Pleasant” an imperial Kentucky Common; microbrewery across from Cinci. 224 Fairfield Ave, Bellevue, KY
Dry Ground – “Cold hard Truth” a Scotch Ale; 3-yr-old microbrewery 3121 Broadway St, Paducah
Ethereal — Imperial Oatmeal Stout with coffee and maple syrup; hip brewery with cool space , 1224 Manchester St, Lexington
Falls City — Barleywine; 8-yr-old revival of famous local name; 901 E. Liberty, Louisville, KY
Goodwood – “Black Blood of the Earth” imperial stout; classic place brewing wood aged beers; 636 E. Main, L’ville
Gordon Biersch Baltic Porter; classic beers from a chain that does not get enough credit; 400 S 4th St, Louisville, KY
Holsopple — “The Devil’s Mark” Belgian golden strong ale; 1-yr-old microbrewery from veteran brewing/distilling couple
Hopkinsville – blonde stout; nano-brewery near 5th and main in the “Eclipse City” will celebrate 2 years this fall.
Jarfly – “Ballhoot” Black IPA; named for cicadas this 2-yr-old brewery is at 103 W Mt Vernon St, Somerset, KY
Lemons Mill – Peach Blonde Ale; unique micro-brewery with a cool story. 103 W Mt Vernon St, Somerset,
Milewide – “BUKU” imperial American stout; 2-yr-old brewery at 636 Barret Ave, Louisville, KY
Monnik – Belgian Brown Ale; cool brewery in Schnitzelburg at 1036 E Burnett Ave, Louisville
Old Louisville — Barleywine; opened 2 years ago at 625 W Magnolia this brewery is planning a tap room on Shelbyville, KY
Paducah Beer Werks — IPA, an old bus station is home to this award winning brewery since 2015; 301 N 4th St, Paducah
Pivot – :”FIncastle” fire cider, Kentucky’s first cidery at 301 N 4th St, Paduca
Rock House – “Barrel oh Cherries” farmhouse ale, is in a tiny rock house old quarry building at 119 Luigart Ct. Lexington
West 6th – Old Ale with KY Sorghum, a veteran brewing firm aged 6 years puts out great beer at 501 W Sixth, Lexington
White Squirrel – “I love it when you call me big porter” – imperial porter, 3 yrs old already, 871 Broadway Ave, Bowling Green, KY
Wooden Cask – “Pot Still Porter” English Brown, traditional and modern beers at 629 York St, downtown Newport, KY
Okay, it took me a long time to comment on each brewery. Yet if you’ve not heard of them they are worth a road trip.
Cheers! Greg Kitz