Grab your sampling glass and get ready – 180 beers brewed by 51 breweries from across the nation will be on tap at the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest this Saturday, May 16, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Lexington Center’s Heritage Hall. The beerfest is one of the largest in the region and is even doubling its floor space this year, boasting local food, craft distillers, live entertainment and sensory sessions. The Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest will serve as one of the culminating events for the third Annual Lexington Craft Beer Week May 9-17, a celebration of Lexington’s craft beer culture.
The day will kick off early for go-getters with the inaugural Horse Capital Marathon and Half-Marathon, the only marathon in the state of Kentucky. Alltech just signed on as the title sponsor of the race, which starts at Fasig-Tipton thoroughbred auction firm in Lexington and winds its way through horse country. It is the first full sanctioned marathon in Lexington since 1980 and a Boston Marathon qualifying event. Kentucky Ale® brews will be served at the finish line.
The fun continues at the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest downtown, with a total of 52 special tappings occurring every 15 minutes from each brewery for specialty and collaboration brews, including brews such as Country Boy Brewing’s Warehouse Experiment 3, Sweetwater Brewing Company’s 18th Anniversary Cork and Cage Belgian Tripel, and a barrel-aged collaboration between Dogfish Head Brewing Co. and Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. A full list of special tappings is available at here.
Rare brews, including some not yet distributed in Kentucky, like Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Cigar City Cider & Mead, will also be on tap – including the company’s highly regarded Jai Alai IPA and Cowboy Dan’s Holiday Extravaganza, a cider that tastes like caramel apples.
Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. will feature multiple rare brews from the brewers’ warehouse including a limited edition Kentucky Kölsch aged in apple brandy barrels; Kentucky Blue Ale, a Belgian ale accented with blueberries; and Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale, a popular past winter seasonal. The brewery’s new summer seasonal, Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale, modeled after an Old Fashioned bourbon cocktail, will also be on tap.
For the first time, the festival will also include craft distillers from across Kentucky, including Limestone Branch Distillery, Lebanon; Barrel House Distillery, Lexington; Copper and Kings, Louisville; Willett Distillery, Bardstown; The Gentleman Distillery, Paris; and Town Branch Distillery, Lexington. Distillers will offer spirits samples for tasting.
Onsite food vendors offering samples and meals for purchase include Claw Daddy’s, The Village Idiot, Enoteca, JDI, Noodles & Co., The Cheezy Mac, Dupree Catering, Popcorn Paradise, COVAP Ham and The Sweet Spot.
Keeping the environment lively throughout the day will be a range of live music from The Bohannons, Willie Eames, Patrick McNeese Band, Josh Nolan, and The Marble Creek Rangers.
The recipient of the Alltech Commonwealth Cup, will be announced at the festival, and staff from the Alltech Brewing & Distilling Academy will be onsite offering sensory sessions. The Alltech Commonwealth Cup, now in its second year, is the only professional craft beer competition in Kentucky and is open to both local and global entrants.
The Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fest serves as a kickoff for the Alltech REBELation, an international event exploring innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas in Lexington, Ky., USA, from May 17-20. The conference features a Brewing and Distilling symposium, which begins on May 18 and will feature Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery, Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co. and Bill Samuels, Jr. of Maker’s Mark. Registration is open to the public and available at rebel.alltech.com.
Brewfest tickets can be purchased online for $30 until Friday, May 15 at midnight, EDT or can be purchased at the door for $35. All tickets include 20 beer samples, three food samples, a commemorative glass and free entertainment. Designated driver tickets without beer sampling privileges will be available online and at the door for $10. Attendees must be 21 to enter.