By Steve Coomes
The Bluegrass Region’s international reputation for bourbon is well earned, but in the past two years, the craft brewing scene has exploded and given the brown liquor a run for its money.
The boom began with the creation of Kentucky Ale in 2000, yet for the next 13 years, no one entered the game until West Sixth Brewing and Country Boy Brewing opened in late 2012. Beer Engine and the (now-closed) Lore Brewing bubbled up in nearby Danville, followed by Blue Stallion in Lexington and Rooster Brewing in Paris.
Ethereal Brewing and Chase Brewing Co. are the latest to join what has come to be known as the Brewgrass Trail, and to cement the region’s position as Kentucky brewing central (for now, anyway), Alltech Brewing & Distilling Co., maker of Kentucky Ale, launched a Craft Brew & Food Fest in 2014. In May 2015, some 5,000 drinkers filed into the Lexington Convention Center for the event, making it the Commonwealth’s largest beer festival by a factor of four. The proximity of all eight Brewgrass Trail breweries—and, ideally, the Craft Brew & Food Fest—makes for a perfect and busy three-day weekend. Consider following this suggested path for your own Brewgrass Trail visit.
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