It's officially upon us, and just days away, The Top of the Hops Beer Festival hosted by Red Mountain Entertainment, sponsored by both Kentucky Ale & Valumarket, and bringing to town over 200 hand crafted beers for your tasting. If you love great beers, experimenting with your taste buds to find newer ones, and the excitement of diversity, then look no further. All that and more will be here, and what better way to pay homage to the guy that raised you your entire life? Doesn't he deserve a beer for all of that?
Over the past couple of weeks leading up to this event I've had the opportunity to meet a handful of some great people, learn some things about the brewing business that I didn't already know, and take on a more profound understanding and love for the craft that not only brings me joy, but also a buzz. Guys like Jay Wilson, representative for the company putting on this event, and all around good dude to share a conversation and a beer with, as well as Jeremy Markle & Ken Lee with Alltech's Kentucky Ale, the Lexington based, Kentucky brand, and official beer of the World Equestrian Games. And though each his very own man, all seemed to share the same love and need to introduce an awareness for not only his very own brand, but for all great products across the spectrum.
The guys from Kentucky Ale were super stoked about sponsoring this beer fest, and I think that with the exposure their beers are going to get here they'll gain a larger following. Both, with this festival and the world renowned Equestrian Games that they're gearing up to sponsor as well, not only do they have some large shoes to fill, but they've got some great things in store in their future, because these guys produce some incredible beers. The exposure that they're guaranteed to gain from the both of these events will do nothing but provide them a platform to expand their business into differnt markets other than the relatively small one that they now cater to, and that's a positive element for Kentuckians. Never has such a small brewery sponsored such a large event, but over the past several months Kentucky Ale has been scaling up their operations to do so.
Chef Gil Logan with Valumarket will also be putting on a seminar in the mid-afternoon where he'll be pairing different beers and cheeses together, but it goes deeper than that. More than just a pairing, Gil has brought together a marriage of small artisan brewing with hand crafted artisan cheese that will take you on a trip thru the Kentucky countryside and change your perception of beer-cheese forever. Gil will also demonstrate other great beers and food pairings, For example, he'll be putting together a wonderful salad of local lettuces, candied pecans, pumpernickel croutons, and a unique dressing made from sourwood honey and Kentucky Ale. Also on the menu is a hearty soup made from bacon, beer, cheddar, and potatoes.
Anyway about it, you can't go wrong spending four hours out of your Saturday afternoon tasting incredible beers from all over the world, and getting caught up on your brewing 101 education. Plus, as I mentioned before, what better way is there to not only thank your father for being there your entire life, but also share an impeccable experience with him that you'll both remember the rest of your lives? I realize that professional baseball was deemed the national pass time over a hundred years ago, but doesn't having a beer with the old man sound like a better time? The moment you both walk into this event you'll be handed a pamphlet illustrating the different breweries participating, where their booths are located, and those brewers contact information for future reference. You'll also receive a souvenir tasting mug that you'll approach these brewers with and sample their beers, and if there was one that you enjoyed, the cool this is, the pamphlet that's in your hand can be written on in hopes for a future reference.
The event is on Saturday, June 19th from 2-6 p.m., and is being held downtown at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Tickets are $39.50 in advance, or $45 the day of the show to anyone over 21 or older. For the exclusive benefit of tasting beers that the general public won't have access to, VIP tickets are also available for $75. Tickets are available at http://www.topofthehopsbeerfest.com/ but can also be purchased the day of the event.
Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Entertainment
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