Several Kentucky breweries, including five from Louisville, will collaborate on a special series of Kentucky-sourced beers, to be released this fall. Photo by Benreis, Wikimedia Commons

Five Kentucky breweries will join several others from around the state to collaborate with farmers and Kentucky State University to create six special beers that will be released in October as part of Kentucky Proud Beer Week.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant and Great Flood Brewing Co., both of Louisville, will collaborate to create a blackberry witbier using Kentucky-grown blackberries. Paducah Beer Works and Somerset’s Jarfly Brewing will use blackberries to create a blackberry stout. The berries will be sourced from KHI Foods in Burlington and will be processed by KSU’s fruit and vegetable mobile processing unit.

Kentucky-grown hops will be a main ingredient in a collaboration dry-hopped saison by Monnik Beer Co. and Lexington’s Country Boy Brewing, while Mile Wide Beer Co. and Falls City Brewing Co. of Louisville will brew an IPA. Hops will be provided by the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance.

Pawpaws are native to the eastern United States and are found in Kentucky. Photo by Clarknova, Wikimedia Commons

One of the beers will be a pawpaw ale, utilizing Kentucky-grown pawpaws, brewed by West Sixth Brewing and Ethereal Brewing of Lexington. Meanwhile, Rooster Brewing of Paris and Lexington’s Rock House Brewing will get together on a pawpaw Berliner weisse. The pawpaws will be processed by KSU and will be sourced from multiple farms around the state. The pawpaw is native to the eastern United States and has a sweet, custard-like flavor.

“We wanted to showcase the diversity of the beer,” said Kentucky Guild of Brewers executive director Derek Selznick. “We wanted to show the different ways we can use the product, doing different styles that pair well with the product.”

“This collaboration will produce agricultural products that add value to the individual ingredients,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who helped announce the project Wednesday morning in Georgetown, said in a media release. “This is a great example of Kentucky Proud farmers and small businesses helping each other. We were pleased to play a role in bringing this project together.”

Kentucky Proud Beer Week is Oct. 12-14; two beers will be released each day during that time, and will be available at the participating breweries involved in the specific collaboration, although exact release dates haven’t been announced yet. That information will be available in the fall through the Kentucky Guild of Brewers website.

“This venture will support small family farms and small businesses in new economic activity, as well as bring a unique Kentucky fruit, the pawpaw, and blackberry, the Kentucky state fruit, to consumers in new value-added products,” said Dr. Kirk Pomper, director of Land Grant Programs at Kentucky State University.

This article has been updated to correct the beers being brewed by West Sixth Brewing and Ethereal Brewing, and by Rooster Brewing and Rock House Brewing.

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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]