Out with the Old, In with the New!

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.


Our cold storage warehouse, where thousands of barrels of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale age for six weeks to pick up the notes of caramel and oak.

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.



Moving tanks to our second location to make room for one of the new brewhouses coming in 2015!



We are Lexington’s oldest craft brewery and have grown leaps and bounds since our start in 1999. Today, we are distributed in 25 states and six countries, and many more coming soon.

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.

The 1 millionth case of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was produced in Feb. 2014


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.

Peach Barrel Ale by Alltech Brewing and Distilling, new for summer 2014

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.

Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fair in Dublin

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.

Town Branch Breast Cancer Awareness Month bottleLaunched 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.

Kentucky_Pikeville_PorterCrowned 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!

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Posted in Beers, Events, Kentucky Ale News, spirits

Buzzing Around: The Making of the Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale Video

Shooting_RichardHoseyRichardHosey_HoneyKenLee_RichardHosey_KYHoneyBarrel_smallerIt was a sunny, surprisingly warm October day – perfect for a honeybee hive video shoot. If it wasn’t above 60 degrees and sunny, the bees wouldn’t be happy and wouldn’t be flying, we were told by beekeeper
Richard Hosey of Hosey Honey in Midway, Ky, not too far from Lexington.

So why was a craft beer team dealing with bees? Our new Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale was set to hit the market soon, and our brewers used 1,700 lbs of honey from Hosey’s hives in the brew, which also included ginger. The brew also included some local hops from a local hop farm in Clark County, Kentucky, one of a handful of hop farms popping up in the Bluegrass State, which have now joined together to create the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance. We were hoping to get the word out through a short video about this awesome new brew that utilized Kentucky Proud ingredients.

Two of our talented videographers/photographers on our team used the beautiful day to shoot b-roll of the bees at work, even getting their hands covered in bees as they got in close to capture images of them. They wore veils, and had carefully followed beekeeper Richard Hosey’s suggestion to avoid wearing black, which apparently will make bees more aggressive. Amazingly, no one got stung!

KenLeePortrait_HivesWe also had the pleasure of having Dr. Tammy Horn, Kentucky state apiarist (yes, we actually have a state beekeeper – fascinating!), for an interview, as well as our master brewer, Ken Lee. The whole two-minute video shoot took most of the day, as well as one morning to get more beauty shots of the sunrise. And now we are happy with the final result – a beautiful video showcasing our Kentucky Honey Barrel Ale in its native Central Kentucky. It’s our first winter seasonal in our barrel-aged seasonal series that was launched last year with Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale®.

Enjoy the finished short video below! Kentucky Honey Barrel Ale is available in 4-packs in most of our territories in limited amounts. Check your local business that carries craft beer.

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Posted in Beers, Kentucky Ale News

Our Spirits Awarded Three Medals at the Washington Cup!

WashingtonCupSpiritsExciting news! Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. has received three more awards for our distinguished whiskeys.  The Washington Cup awarded a gold medal to our Pearse Lyons Reserve, Kentucky’s only single malt whiskey since Prohibition. Our Town Branch® Bourbon received a Silver, medal, and our Town Branch Rye, which was launched earlier this year, also picked up a Silver medal.

The Washington Cup is a unique competition because the first round of judging is by trained judges, while the second round of judging is conducted by bartenders and restaurant owners, and the third and final round is performed by the general public attending the event.  Our spirits scored well in both the professional judging and the bartender judging, but our standout whiskey, Pearse Lyons Reserve, took home the gold in the general public tasting.

Distilled in dual copper pot stills from Scotland, Pearse Lyons Reserve is the first malt whiskey produced in Kentucky since 1919. Pearse Lyons Reserve offers notes of molasses and brown sugar with a touch of nutmeg and vanilla.

Aged in spent bourbon barrels that have also been used to age the brewery’s flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale®, Pearse Lyons Reserve® picks up a unique taste from these barrels. Our spirits are available to purchase at our Visitor Center at 401 Cross Street, Lexington KY 40511, or in six states. The distribution map is found here.

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Posted in Bourbon, spirits

Derby Day Drinks!


You can feel the energy across Kentucky. The annual Run for the Roses is fast approaching on May 3, and everyone is abuzz, wondering what horse will win, and of course, what Derby drink to try! Mint juleps are a classic, but who doesn’t want to try a new twist on old favorites? Read on for two great, easy drinks to make at your Derby party. Guests will love this Kentucky twist on an Irish coffee – perfect for brunch – as well as a mint julep made out of beer instead of bourbon. Here’s to the greatest two minutes in sports!

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Mint Julep

A simple, no-fuss version of the traditional mint julep – this time using beer! A great alternative drink on Derby day for beer fans. Our beloved Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is the flagship brew of the company. It’s made using our Kentucky Ale brew aged for six weeks in fresh Kentucky bourbon barrels from the best distilleries in bourbon country, so that the brew picks up the wonderful tastes of caramel, cherry and vanilla and a becomes KBBA. Now to try it in mint julep form!

To create the KBBA Mint Julep:

  • Muddle 6-10 mint leaves in a glass
  • Top muddled mint leaves with a cold bottle of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
  • Garnish with additional mint as desired.
  • Drink and enjoy!


Bluegrass Sundown – a Kentucky Twist on an Irish Coffee

A bourbon-infused coffee liqueur that is sold as a concentrate in a beautiful dark bottle. Available in most liquor stores in the Town Branch bourbon distribution area (see distribution map here).

Bluegrass Sundown, a Kentucky twist on an Irish coffee, made at Town Branch Distillery in Lexington.

Recipe: Bluegrass Sundown is made by filling a tempered glass 1/3 full with Bluegrass Sundown, followed by 2/3 of boiling water. No need to stir.

Simply float heavy whipping cream on top of the mixture using an inverted spoon to keep the cream from mixing with the Bluegrass Sundown. Enjoy sipping the warm liquid through the cool cream.

Perfect for Derby brunch or watching the early races! Happy Kentucky Derby!




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Posted in Beers, Bourbon, Recipes

Town Branch Rye is Launched; Fourth Spirit made by Town Branch Distillery

Town-branch-rye_v2Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company is launching its fourth spirit with Town Branch Rye, a spicy robust whiskey style that has regained popularity in recent years, even in Kentucky, where bourbon reigns supreme. The new spirit will be distributed across Kentucky, as well as Ohio and Indiana. Many great events will be taking place in Lexington and Louisville to celebrate the new addition, starting next week.

RyeATjonathansTraditionally known as the key ingredient in Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned cocktails, rye whiskeys are often chosen by whiskey connoisseurs and mixologists for their depth of flavor and slight spiciness. With Town Branch Rye, enthusiasts will appreciate the spicy floral aroma, then the light spicy rye notes of vanilla and oak, finishing with a peppery warm dry finish.

Distilled by George Washington with growing popularity until Prohibition, Town Branch Rye revives a style of whiskey with a history as rich as its flavor and aroma. Made from a mash of fermented rye grain, barley and corn, rye whiskey has a more assertive flavor than the rounder, sweeter bourbon, which uses corn as its primary grain.

The many Town Branch Rye kickoff events going on this month include:

Master Distiller Mark Coffman Bottle Signing at Town Branch Distillery, Sat. March 8

Where:  Town Branch Distillery, 401 Cross St, Lexington KY (Coffman will be in the distillery building itself, which boasts two glass walls and copper pot stills. Bottles can also be purchased here)

When: March 8, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The public is invited to purchase Town Branch Rye at the distillery and have it signed by Master Distiller Mark Coffman. Tours will also be going on on the hour, with the last tour of the day at 4 p.m.

Town Branch Rye Kick-off Cocktail Party at Jonathan’s with Master Distiller Mark Coffman, Thursday, March 13

Where: Jonathan’s at Gratz Park, 120 W. Second St., Lexington

When: 5:30 to 7 p.m., March 13

Cost: $20, includes appetizers and two drinks.

Call: To reserve your ticket. Quantities are limited. (859) 252-4949

Drink specials will also be available at nearby locations, including Bell’s, Parlay Social, Harvey’s and Henry Clay — more locations could be added. Visit the Town Branch Facebook page for updates.

Original Maker’s Club Lexington Launch party presented by Town Branch, Friday, March 14

Edition II Launch to kick off a new year, featuring member Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.’s new Town Branch Rye, a signature cocktail, and other products.

Where: The Livery, 242 Water St.

When: 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. March 14

Cost: $50. A limited number of tickets are available at: Theoriginalmakersclub.com/event-tickets

Louisville Rye Kick-off Weekend at St. Charles Exchange and Sidebar, Thursday, March 6

When: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: St. Charles Exchange, 113 S 7th St, Louisville, KY 40202

After Party:  Sidebar, 129 S 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40202. Formal Dress., 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

First Friday Trolley Hop Louisville and Rye Celebration at Haymarket Whiskey Bar, Friday, March 7

When: 9 p.m.to close

Flights of spirits and highlighted cocktails with Rye

3 music acts (spinning 45 rpm records, old-school)


More events may develop and we will update here! Thanks for your support.

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Posted in Bourbon, Events, Kentucky Ale News, spirits

Alltech’s International Craft Brews and Food Fair Returns to Dublin

KY Ale barThe Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair returns to Dublin’s Convention Centre, Ireland, February 6th – 8th 2014.  Due to the phenomenal success of the inaugural and unique event held in July of last year, another gathering of trade exhibitors, food pairing experts, world renowned beer judges and international trade professionals will come together for three days of learning, networking and entertainment.

Focussing on the needs and trends in the craft brewing and distilling industry, the Fair is aimed at brewing and distilling enthusiasts and professionals. It is open to trade on the 6th and 7th February with the public welcome to attend and sample the craft beverages and artisan foods from 5pm on Friday 7th and from noon on Saturday 8th February.

Trade professionals will examine the latest trends in brewing and distilling and explore how distillers, brewers and craft beers resellers can best profit from them. The Fair presents an enormous opportunity to connect with as many as 50 international craft breweries and distilleries, network with buyers and resellers from around the world and showcase beverages to the public.

The Fair will feature a full programme of educational talks and demonstrations that will cover many facets of craft brewing and distilling. Also returning this year is the Dublin Craft Beer Cup competition, where craft beverages will be pitted against each other across seven different categories, with local breweries and distilleries competing head to head with their global competitors. Entries will be sorted into their respective categories and a winner will be chosen by a panel of judges from the industry.

 “I began my career in brewing and distilling and it has remained a passion of mine ever since. Despite spending the previous 30 years in the animal nutrition industry I never strayed far from brewing and distilling, founding my company on yeast technology and eventually opening a joint brewery and distillery in Alltech’s home of Lexington, Kentucky. Today, our industry is in need of assistance and education, especially in the areas of quality control, the brewing process itself, and in the ability to produce a beer that has transportability,” Dr. Lyons explained. “The Alltech International Craft Brews and Food Fair is designed to gather brewers and distillers from all levels across the world, in Dublin, to hone their craft and network with each other. It has always been a dream of mine to host an international meet up of brewers and distillers and where better to host such an event than in Dublin, Ireland.”

Register your interest today at www.alltechbrewsandfood.com

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Posted in Beers, Events, Intl Craft Brewing & Distilling Convention, Ireland, Kentucky Ale News

Cheers to You, 2013!

???????????????????????????????We enjoyed another great year in 2013! It was fast-moving, fun, and of course, tasty.  We launched a new beer in our Kentucky Ale family with our Kentucky IPA, opened a new beer tasting room at our “brewstillery” in Lexington, and even expanded into 20 states with our beer, and six states with our spirits.

IPA_Can_Pint_On_BarWe felt as lucky as ever to be in the craft brewing and distilling industry, as beer and bourbon continue to pick up steam and garner even more attention in the mainstream. Lexington continues to grow as a craft beer destination, while Kentucky has caught the attention of national and world news outlets for our Kentucky Bourbon Trail® that is apparently fast on its way to becoming the next Napa Valley.

What will 2014 have in store? More new products and events, of course! Stay tuned as we continue to do what we do…strive to make great beer and spirits.

Other 2013 LBDC highlights included:

  • Launched a barrel-aged seasonal series, with Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale as the first in the series. More exciting styles to come in 2014!


  • Celebrated the one-year anniversary of our Town Branch Distillery, which is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.®

  • Opened a new beer tasting room at our Town Branch Distillery when a new law allowed us to begin offering samples of our beer again, along with spirits samples.

Brewery-Tasting-Room-06 (2)

  • Began canning some of our brews in 16-ounce cans thanks to the installation of a new canning line. Kentucky IPA™ was the first to be canned, followed soon after by Kentucky Kolsch.™
  • KenonCanningLine
  • Re-branded our Kentucky Light to Kentucky Kolsch. The brew remained the same, but we just wanted the name to better reflect the actual beer style that so many craft beer fans are now familiar with.


  • Hosted the first-ever brewfest at “Savor Kentucky,” drawing together brewers across the Commonwealth at the Kentucky Horse Park as part of the Kentucky Gathering and Alltech National Horse Show.


  • Hosted the first International Craft Brewing & Distilling Convention in Dublin, Ireland that drew 800 participants. This year’s updated event, the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, will be Feb. 6-8 in Dublin again and registration is open now!


  • Held another successful Kentucky Ale Brew-Off – our annual competition that lets homebrewers compete for the chance to have our brewery produce their brew and a chance to compete in the annual Great American Beer Festival in Denver.  This year, a Black IPA by created by Alex Brenner, Matt Armentano and BJ Saunders, all from the Lexington area, took top honors.Kentucky_Black_Mountain_IPA_Glass_v2


  • Sponsored the Bourbon Barrel Project on Town Branch public art project. Talented artists painted our Town Branch bourbon barrels and displayed them in downtown Lexington to reflect the history of the Town Branch waterway that runs under Lexington and served as the heart of the birthplace of bourbon. The event raised nearly $65,000 to support the nonprofit arts organization LexArts and its partner organizations._MG_1887
Posted in Beers, Bourbon, Kentucky Ale News, Press Coverage

Town Branch Bourbon Wins a Gold Medal from TheFiftyBest.com

TheFiftyBestTown Branch Bourbon has won another gold medal – this time from the New York-based FiftyBest.com’s “Best Bourbon” awards for 2014. During the groups’ recent Bourbon Whiskey Tasting, 27 bourbons were evaluated using a blind-tasting system and rated on a 5-point scoring system. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on judges’ impressions.

The judges described Town Branch as having a nose of honey, blossom, banana, cinnamon, and oak. The palate was described as tasting of dried fruit, nectar, butter, toffee, and spice. The finish, they noted, tasted of citrus, sweet oak and was fresh and lingered. TheFiftyBest.com is an online guide to fine living, featuring rated listings from unbiased surveys and proprietary tastings judged by food, wine/spirits journalists, spirits professionals and connoisseurs.


It’s exciting to see expert judges enjoying our Kentucky bourbon! Let’s hope they’ve headed south from New York before and visited us and others on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®and gotten the full experience of our great distilleries here in the Commonwealth.


This year, Town Branch Bourbon®  also captured a gold medal from the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the Spirits International Prestige Awards, as well as silver medals from the 2013 Denver International Spirits Competition and the Spirits of the Americas awards.

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Posted in Bourbon, Kentucky Ale News

2nd Annual Alltech International Craft Brews & Food Fair in Dublin








It’s the most wonderful time of year…that is, the time of year when we gear up for the 2nd annual Alltech International Craft Brews & Food Fair February 6-8 in Dublin, Ireland! With the craft brewing and distilling industries undergoing rapid growth, there’s no better time for brewers, distillers, pub owners, food artisans, and craft beer enthusiasts to gather together and share ideas about the field. Participants can learn, network and, most importantly, have fun with fellow passionate industry insiders from around the world.


Experts will be on hand throughout the Fair to explain the science behind food pairings and to demonstrate how to pair your product effectively. Educational offerings on various topics of brewing and distilling will again play a key role in the fair. Plus, the Dublin Craft Beer Cup will be back again this year, with many delicious and qualified beers competing for the overall winning spot. Last year,craft beverages from over 100 different breweries and distilleries, hailing from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania participated in the competition. Hilden Brewing Company, Ireland’s oldest independent brewery, won the overall award for their Twisted Hop brew. The competition also awarded 69 medals to some of the best breweries from all corners of the globe. We hope you can join us this year! Please visit http://www.alltechbrewsandfood.com/ for more information and to register.


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Posted in Beers, Intl Craft Brewing & Distilling Convention, Ireland

SAVORing Kentucky’s Craft Brews

2013-ky-gathering-BOURBONBARSavor Kentucky – what a good time! We were thrilled with the scores of people who came out to enjoy the event.  The inaugural event brought in more than 1,000 attendees, often standing elbow to elbow as they talked and sipped from commemorative 5-ounce pilsner glasses, discussing which of the more than 25 local brews were their favorites and which they still needed to try. Brewers from across the Commonwealth showed us their best, from Country Boy’s classic local favorite Cougar Bait, to Against the Grain’s rich Milk Stout, to Apocalypse’s unique why-isn’t-it-summer-now Watermelon Crack specialty brew.  For those who love a good pumpkin beer – they were in luck. Our Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale made a special appearance at the specialty bar, a few steps away from the Cumberland Brews booth that featured their pumpkin ale.


Bourbon fans lined up around the 360-degree wood bar, conversing with representatives of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and garnering samples from more than 35 bourbons. Bourbon fans – as well as pretty much everyone – were awed by the huge wooden barrel that attendees walked through to get into the Savor Kentucky room. Inside, you could learn about the brewing process through a video, as explained by our own awesome brewer, Chris Lady. You could also just hang out inside to escape the more crowded areas, and imagine what it is like to be bourbon aging in a barrel. More fun to drink it than be it – at least that’s our opinion.BourbonBarBlokesCafeCitadelle

 Plenty of (smart) people also took advantage of the Sensory Bar, where they could belly up and learn from the best of the best about beer and spirits and sample along with the experts. Our own Master Brewers Ken Lee, Mark Phipps and Chris Lady all led people through tasting on the beer side, with Mark Coffman mostly running the show from the spirits side. It was a rare opportunity for the public to learn to be a beer or bourbon connoisseur, and patrons loved it. Who wouldn’t?


Five local food vendors also rolled up their sleeves and hustled to keep up with the throngs of people interested in trying the samples of beer cheese grits, bourbon smoked paprika popcorn, mint julep brownies, and other foods. The food was all delicious, and I’m sure that Red State BBQ, Wallace Station, Wine and Market, Bourbon Barrel Foods, and Critchfield will all see a bump in business this week! Other attendees hung near the stage, enjoying country singers like Dillon Carmichael, as well as plenty of Bluegrass artists fiddling away.

We can’t wait to get everyone together again next year for more fun times!

SavorKY_KYGatheringIIISavor Kentucky at Alltech's KY Gathering featuring local beer and food.


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Posted in Kentucky Ale News, Kentucky Gathering

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