At the Craft Brews and Food Fest on Saturday, May 17, Lexington-based Alltech is promising more than 120 beers brewed by 40 breweries from across the United States, alongside artisan food samples from local and international food vendors.
The festival will feature the first professional craft beer competition in Kentucky, the Alltech Commonwealth Craft Beer Cup.
The Brews and Beer Fest is part of the Second Annual Lexington Craft Beer Week, an annual celebration of Lexington’s craft beer culture and best brews, scheduled for May 10-18.
They include Three Floyds Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Founders Brewing Co., as well as local favorites like Blue Stallion Brewing Co., Country Boy Brewing and the Kentucky Ale family of beers from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
From the release:
With many events throughout the week, Lexington will be centerstage for Kentucky breweries and a highlight for craft beer lovers in the area. With 40 breweries each serving three different beers – including ever-popular rare special tappings – Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest organizers expect 5,000 people from Kentucky, surrounding states, and abroad. It’s anticipated that up to 20 percent of attendees will be from outside the United States, demonstrating the popularity of American craft beers.
In addition to craft brewers, local restaurants and food makers will also be in attendance to offer free samples, as well as food items for purchase. Food offerings will include small plates from Enoteca, bourbon-infused delicacies from Bourbon Barrel Foods, international biscuits from Seymour’s of Cork, artisanal cheeses from Boone Creek Creamery, to-go orders from Dupree Catering, desserts by The Sweet Spot and more.
Alltech, for the uninitiated, is a billion-dollar enterprise that has segued from animal feed products to consumer goods such as beer and bourbon. Alltech recently organized the International Craft Brews and Food Fair in Ireland and Savor Kentucky event at the Alltech Arena last October in Lexington.
“For years Kentucky has been synonymous with bourbon, and rightly so,” Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech, stated in the release. “However, there is a craft beer revolution going on right here in Kentucky and what better way to highlight that than by showcasing some of Kentucky’s finest local beers side by side with some of our country’s finest?
“In fact, while the rest of the beer industry is flat, craft beer sales rose 18 percent in 2013. While they are 9 percent of total volume sales, they make up 15 percent in total revenues.”
The Craft Brews and Food Fest is scheduled for the the Lexington Convention Center from noon to 8 p.m. Early bird tickets are available for the festival through today for $25, which includes 15, 3-ounce pours.
Ticket prices increase to $30 after today.
Several local bands will be on hand to entertain the crowd, including honky-tonk soul favorites Coralee and the Townies, acoustic singer Jordan English, guitar virtuoso Ben Lacy, and rock and soul by the DeBraun Thomas Trio.
About the beer competition:
The winners of the first annual Alltech Commonwealth Craft Beer Cup will be announced on Saturday evening after two days of blind tasting according to standard beer judging procedures by a panel of independent industry veterans. Gold, silver, and bronze medals will also be awarded to top brews. The Alltech Dublin Craft Beer Cup in February drew more than 300 entries, and the release states that 1,000 beers from around the world will enter the Lexington competition.
The Alltech Symposium: The Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest will serve as the intro event to the 30th Annual Alltech International Symposium, from May 18-21. With a new format in 2014, the popular yearly event will explore the question of “What If?” in sessions focusing on Crop Science, Life Sciences, Africa, Business and Technology, Modern Farming, and The Algae Opportunity.