Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kentucky Brewgrass Trail

Country BoyAfter we completed the Bourbon Trail, we went to the Visitors Center to pick up our free* (minus the cost of all those tours and bottles of bourbon to take home) T-shirt. While there, we were told about the Kentucky Brewgrass Trail, which works in a similar way - but with craft beer instead of bourbon. Visit all the Lexington area breweries, get stamps at each and get ANOTHER T-shirt.

Country BoyCountry BoyWe had two days left, and we had already planned on going to two of these places anyway ... so that's only six more ... and most are in the Lexington area. Vicki and I aren't the ones to turn down a challenge. Call it ambition or boozy, whichever word you prefer, and we completed this tour in about a day and a half.

Country BoyCountry Boy Brewing - the first time I heard of this one was at the Rails & Ales Festival in Huntington. I've bought some of their beers whenever I've had the chance, so I was excited to visit their actual location. Country Boy has some very tasty beers. I especially liked their jalapeno porter. You could just smell the jalapeno. Very good. A little not-super-welcoming environment, but Vicki won everyone over by the time we had to leave.
Ethereal BrewingEthereal Brewing

UntitledEthereal Brewing - This place has the coolest layout. We drove around what seemed like a sort of abandoned warehouse district, only to walk up to the behind of a building and have it totally open up to this indoor/outdoor space where they served very tasty beer. The Ethereal Anomaly Saison was a tasty one.

West Sixth BrewingWest Sixth BrewingWest Sixth Brewing
West Sixth BrewingWest Sixth Brewing - I think this was my favorite of the breweries! The interior was so cool, I liked ALL the beers, and the vibe was just way cool. One really cool thing is that they do an experimental brew each Thursday, and this week's was a double IPA with orange, thyme and ginger. Very tasty.

Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company - We already talked about this one over during the bourbon trail (it's on both tours). This place is a "brewstillery" - so they have beer AND bourbon. We got four chips to start with and could choose what we wanted to drink - whether that's liquor or beer. I did a mixture of the two. I liked both their Kentucky Ale and the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout (which is beer made from the bourbon barrels). Yum!

ChaseChase Brewing Company - This was the most disappointing of the bunch. First of all, their hours are wrong on their website. Then, when we do go back, they don't actually have any of their own beer. I ended up ordering a CiderBoys cider.


Beer Engine
Beer EngineBeer EngineBeer EngineBeer Engine - Beer Engine was a good bit more south - about an hour south in Danville. But we took the treck down, and I'm so happy we did! I liked their Sauerbock. Plus we ordered some of their beer cheese - which was a little spicy and thicker. Housemade. Literally - he was making it as we walked in. It was delicious.


Rooster








RoosterRoosterRooster Brew - Then we went all the way up north. We were welcomed as soon as we walked in the door. I gravitated toward the "Quiche My Ass." It was tasty and has a sassy name. Not much better than that.

Blue Stallion







Blue StallionBlue StallionBlue Stallion Brewing Company - This was our final one, and I was pretty tired by the end of the day. When we arrived, it was getting late, and it was so loud. We saddled up to the bar - and by that, I mean I had to literally jump up on the stool and the bar was up to my chest. Tallest bar ever. This one probably had my least favorite beers - but that was also probably a combination of being full and exhausted.

Blue StallionThe Brewgrass Trail was a lot of fun, and because it was all so local, we were able to knock it out pretty quickly. It doesn't take as much planning, because you can go in whenever you want and leave whenever you want. No hourlong tours. Plus, I know a bit more about beer than I do bourbon.

But, mostly, it was fun to have all three girls together for this whole tour. We were able to talk about what we like, sample a little bit of everything and see what each other also liked.

Plus, it was just a really nice way to end our visit in Kentucky. Between learning about bourbon and trying some of their craft breweries, I learned a lot. And I learned a lot about what I personally like. Kudos, Kentucky. Kudos.