Brews from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. have expanded into new states, including Texas, New Mexico and New Hampshire, where fans are eager for the brewery’s unique brews, particularly its flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. The award-winning ale is aged in bourbon barrels from Kentucky distilleries in the heart of bourbon country for at least six weeks and has developed a devoted fan following since its launch in 2006.
Distribution will also spill into Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island in late summer and early fall, including an expanded reach in current territories of Illinois and Tennessee, bringing total distribution to 25 states. Already available internationally in Canada, Ireland, France and China, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale also recently became available on a limited scale in Hungary as well. The Kentucky craft brewery — known as a “brewstillery” since it also produces spirits on the same grounds at its Town Branch Distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail — is partnering with various distributors in the new territories.
As the thirst for craft beer has continued to grow nationwide, and even globally, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. has amped up production, adding new equipment, including a larger, faster bottling line. Particularly experienced in barrel aging, the company’s brewers regularly age 3,000 to 5,000 barrels at a time in the brewery’s large cold storage warehouse and handle up to 1,000 barrels per week. The brewery continues to expand its sales team as it adds new territories and plans to continue filling out the eastern portion of the United States with distribution, while spreading north from its westernmost distribution points in Texas and New Mexico.
While most new territories will eventually carry the full line of the Kentucky Ale family of beers, which includes Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Kölsch, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout and Kentucky IPA, the initial focus will be on rolling out the flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. The brewery’s rotating barrel-aged seasonal series, launched in the fall of 2013 to further showcase the brewery’s barrel-aging expertise, will also be part of that portfolio, and so far has featured Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Barleywine and Kentucky Peach Barrel Wheat.
“Every day we hear from our craft beer fans across the country who ask us, ‘When are you going to make it to my state?’” said Hal Gervis, global sales director for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “We’re excited now to be able to bring Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale to those enthusiasts so they can enjoy a unique, barrel-aged craft beer that embodies the spirit of Kentucky.”
The craft beer market in the United States grew 20 percent in dollar sales growth from 2012 to 2013 and now is a $14.3 billion market. In Kentucky alone, state craft beer production boasts a $271.3 million impact, according to the Brewers Association.