2014 has treated Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. well, and it’s all thanks to our fans and their support. It’s exciting to see craft brewing reaching more people, as tastes are changing and the general population is becoming more knowledgeable about beer. Our Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale keeps exploding in sales across the country, and even the globe. The four beers we launched in our barrel-aged seasonal series brews, many of which use local Kentucky products, are selling out each season. We also launched a brand new spirit in March this year with our Town Branch Rye.
In other news, we will break ground on a new brewstillery in 2015 in Eastern Kentucky called Dueling Barrels Brewing & Distilling Co. that will bring tourism and jobs to this area. And here in Lexington, Kentucky, two new brewhouses are on the way from Germany to help us keep up with brewing and distilling capacity. Once these are going full force in the next year or two, our capacity will quadruple! Our team is also redesigning our brewery building so that eventually visitors will be able to see our gleaming new brewhouses from the outside, thanks to new exterior glass walls.
2015 will certainly have much to bring, and it also happens to be our 15th anniversary, making us Lexington’s oldest craft brewery.
2014 brought many great events, products, and fun times. Here are some highlights:
Hosted the first Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest in downtown Lexington, Ky. in May that drew nearly 4,000 people! Held during Lexington Craft Beer Week in May and boasted more than 120 beers from 40 breweries from across the nation.
Collaborated with local breweries Country Boy Brewing and Blue Stallion Brewing Co. on limited edition brews. Our collaboration with Country Boy resulted in the aptly named “Kentucky Boy” – a a blend of our two-year-aged special Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout and Country Boy’s Black Gold Porter that is then barrel aged. Our two breweries were chosen from hundreds of craft breweries nationwide to debut the specialty beer at an exclusive collaboration salon at SAVOR Craft Beer in Washington, D.C. in May, an annual event that showcases the best of the best breweries.
Our Kentucky Stallion Bourbon Barrel Maibock, or “bock beer of May” in German, was an early springtime version of a German bock beer. It boasted caramel and fruit notes, as well as oak and vanilla flavors picked up from bourbon barrel aging.
Produced the 1 millionth case of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale since its launch in 2006, when it was one of the earlier barrel-aged craft beers on the scene. Today, it is our flagship beer.
Held first annual Town Brach Cocktail Contest – A Lexington bartender’s “Town Toast” cocktail consisting of fresh muddled strawberries, vanilla, Town Branch® Rye and Ale-8-One, complemented by the spice of cinnamon, took home the top prize in the first Town Branch® Cocktail Contest in August. Daniel Weeks of Shorty’s in Lexington won the $1,000 cash prize.
Crowned the first Commonwealth Craft Beer Cup winner at our brewfest. The first professional beer competition of its kind in Kentucky, a tasty Christmas ale from a tiny brewery in northeastern Hungary called Zip’s Brewhouse took home the top prize. The brew boasted cinnamon, ginger, star anise, curacao, nutmeg, lemon peel, among other spices.
Expanded our barrel-aged seasonal series, with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine in spring, Kentucky Peach Barrel Wheat Ale in summer, Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale returning in fall, and Kentucky Honey Barrel Ale in winter.
Hosted the second annual Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin, Ireland, drawing a sold-out crowd for the two nights of fun that included beer, food, rugby watching, learning how to be a beer judge, and the Dublin Craft Beer Cup.
Launched a limited edition Town Branch breast cancer bottle during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Thanks to the bottle, $2,500 was raised for Kentucky CancerLink to provide support to those diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as their families.
Crowned the winner of the 8th Annual Kentucky Ale Brew-off – Chad and Mary Shive of Lexington saw their robust porter scaled up by our brewery and distributed on tap locally to excited fans. The winning brew, later named Pikeville Porter, in honor of Pikeville, Kentucky where our next brewery will be built, is a light-bodied, chocolaty ale with a dry finish. We are looking forward to next year’s brew-off in May, which will again bring in many talented home brewers and kick off Lexington Craft Beer Week! We hope to have you join us!
Created some cool videos this year perfect for beer and bourbon fans, with a visit to Kelvin Cooperage (have you seen how those barrels look when they are fired?) and a trip out to some local beehives to showcase the local honey used in our Kentucky Honey Barrel Ale.
Cheers to the close of a great year, and to the start of 2015!