Congrats, Tailspin, on landing in the top 10 Best Beer Festivals in the country. | Courtesy of Tailspin Ale Fest
Congrats, Tailspin, on landing in the top 10 Best Beer Festivals in the country. | Courtesy of Tailspin Ale Fest

USA Today readers recently were asked to vote for their favorite beer festival in the country, and Louisville’s Tailspin Ale Fest, which took place just last month, came in at a respectable No. 7. The event, which once again sold out, is held at a Bowman Field hangar and raises funds for Dare to Care Food Bank. This year they donated $12,000 to the nonprofit.

Voting began in late February for the top 10 Best Beer Festivals, and Tailspin sits among notable suds shindigs like the Great American Beer Festival in Denver (No. 1), the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison, Wis. (No. 3), BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival in Galveston, Texas (No. 5) and the Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers in Chicago (No. 9).

Tailspin sits at a respectable No. 7.
Tailspin sits at a respectable No. 7.

Tailspin co-creator Tisha Gainey tells Insider that she and her partner, Trevor Cravens, are thrilled to be recognized. She also says she couldn’t have done it without the help from the community.

“It’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears two of us put into this festival, because it is a passion to give people a great experience with craft beer,” says Gainey. “We couldn’t do it without the support of our families (which we don’t see much of leading up to the fest) and our relationships with the breweries, distributors and support from our sponsors like Liquor Barn, Yum! Brands Foundation and Middleton Reutlinger. Plus, the entire Louisville community that gets behind trying great rare and beers you can find throughout our city.”

This year’s Tailspin was the third of what generated from a small idea between her and Cravens. She says it’s thrilling to see it not only sell out, but also attract visitors from all over the country.

“When I see that we have guests coming from Colorado, Washington, Florida, Maryland, Alabama, New York, Alaska and 17 other states, it’s an overwhelming sense of honor and accomplishment that people are traveling for our fest,” she says. “We’re honored that Tailspin Ale Fest is now listed among the many great reasons to visit our great city of Louisville.”

The article says a panel of experts selected the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 were determined by the popular vote.

The date of next year’s Tailspin has already been chosen, so mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."