Brian U’Sellis of Falls City Brewing pours samples of Y’all, a beer that will be unveiled at the Craft Bash Throwdown on Sept. 7. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

When the inaugural Craft Beer Throwdown happens at Bowman Field on Thursday, Sept. 7, you’ll get more than just the same old, same old. Six local breweries will compete for attendee votes to see which one is the victor.

Along the way, the event will raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless, a local organization aimed at ending homelessness in the Louisville area.

A preview tasting held last week at Falls City Brewing Co. unveiled a sneak peek at one of the competitors, a barrel-aged chocolate pecan brown ale. In essence, the beer, which is simply named Y’all, is like a slice of Derby Pie paired with a side of bourbon — Kentucky in a glass.

“We can’t say Derby Pie” in the name, however, according to Falls City marketing manager Brian U’Sellis. “That’s illegal.”

If that beer is any indication of what’s to come, it will be an event well worth checking out. Brewed with cocoa nibs, the creamy beer is sweet, with plenty of chocolate and a hint of the pecan, of course with overtones of the bourbon left in the barrel.

The boozy beer packs more than 9 percent ABV.

“Originally, I thought, ‘That sounds terrible,’” U’Sellis said at the tasting. “But it really turned out well. We think it will make people happy.”

The samples offered made the small crew in attendance quite happy. But the chocolate pecan brown ale will face competition.

Great Flood Brewing Co. will bring Citra IPA, dry-hopped with Citra for aromas of mango, orange, lime and lemon with, according to the brewery’s description, “reasonable bitterness.”

Holsopple Brewing, meanwhile, brings a style that has been rising in popularity here in Louisville in a Northeast IPA. The beer has a “creamy yellow” color, with hints of lemon and orange zest and a slight earthy pine on the finish.

Monnik Beer Co. will bring Never Be Gold, a barleywine that was aged in a Copper & Kings brandy barrel for one year.

Mile Wide Beer Co. also will enter a beer, which hasn’t been revealed, and Against the Grain declined to share details of its entry.

“We like to keep people guessing,” a brewery statement declared.

Falls City’s Y’all | Photo by Kevin Gibson

The Craft Beer Throwdown specifically will raise funds to help provide homeless young adults with stable housing.

During the tasting event, which was broadcast on Facebook Live, Melissa Kratzer, director of development for the Coalition, spoke of the organization’s ongoing mission. The beer festival is a fun and timely way to raise funds and awareness.

The event was created by the Coalition’s Associate Board of Directors, a recently formed group of 20 volunteers focused on engaging young professionals with the organization’s efforts.

In January, the Coalition and 50 community partners created what it calls the “Louisville Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness,” specifically aimed at addressing the needs of 838 homeless young people in the Louisville area.

“My goal is that one day I am out of a job because homelessness is eradicated here in Louisville,” said Katzer.

The Craft Beer Throwdown happens Thursday, Sept. 7, from 6-10 p.m. at Louisville Executive Aviation hangar at Bowman Field, 2700 Gast Blvd. Attendees will taste the exclusive brews and vote for a winner. In addition, breweries will be selling pints of other beers, and $1 from each pint sold will be donated to Coalition for the Homeless.

Steel City Pops, Zoom Zoom Yum, and Moe-licious BBQ will be selling food and donating 10 percent of sales back to the Coalition.

Admission is a $25 donation at the door, but tickets in advance are available online for a $20 donation. The first 200 guests will receive a swag bag.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]