Honey tastes better when it’s local, and even better still when it’s in a craft beer. Central Kentucky farmers are helping make the first winter seasonal brew produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. truly a showcase of some of Kentucky’s greatest strengths – agriculture, bourbon and, increasingly, beer.
Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for six weeks, picking up the caramel and vanilla flavors of the barrel, as well as the sweetness of honey from Central Kentucky’s Hosey Honey. That sweetness is balanced by the spiciness of ginger and bittnerness of hops from Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm in Clark County, a founding member of the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance. The beer is the first winter seasonal produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. in its barrel-aged seasonal series launched last year.
“Alltech is an agricultural company at its core, so we’re always excited to work with farmers on the beer side as well when we can,” said Ken Lee, master brewer for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “This winter seasonal is something we are really proud of not only for the local sourcing aspect, but also because it is just a really good beer. The ginger and honey are a perfect combination, particularly as the weather starts to cool down and people are looking to enjoy something to warm them up.”
Farmers and other Kentuckians benefit from these partnerships, said Kentucky’s Commissioner for Agriculture James Comer.
“This is what Kentucky Proud is all about – helping Kentucky producers work together to create exciting new products,” Comer said. “Kentucky consumers can feel good about enjoying products that help Kentucky farmers make a living. Congratulations to our Kentucky Proud friends at Alltech, Hosey Farms and Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm on this great new product.”
Kentucky Proud is the official state brand for farm products that are grown, raised or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians. More than 3,000 farms, businesses, restaurants, processors, school districts, colleges and universities, farmers’ markets, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Markets are members of Kentucky Proud.
This is the first time Hosey Honey has been used in a local craft brew, and nearly 1,700 lbs. of the sweet nectar were required to make Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale.
Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company’s barrel-aged seasonal program allows the brewery to step outside of its year-round offerings and further its reputation as one of the largest barrel-aging operations in the country. The brewery regularly ages 3,000 to 5,000 barrels (bbls) at a time, and handles up to 1,000 bbls per week.