Savor 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.
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!