In its second year, Lexington Craft Beer Week will feature an overflowing mug of events. From a homebrewing contest and a gut-busting fun run featuring beer cans and boxing gloves, to a beerfest anticipated to be one of the largest in the region, the week that celebrates all things beer will be foaming and frosted with fun times. The highly anticipated 8th Annual Kentucky Ale Pro-Am Brew-Off homebrewing competition will take place on Saturday, May 10, and will also include the inaugural “Boxing Gloves and Beer Cans” unique half-mile sidewalk dash between two breweries, topped off with the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest on Saturday, May 17, at the Lexington Convention Center in downtown Lexington.
Kicking off at 9 a.m. on May 10, the Kentucky Ale Pro-Am Brew-Off at Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. offers homebrewers the opportunity to create their best brew for a chance to be produced and distributed for a limited time. The event is free and open to the public and will feature food and beer for purchase. Homebrewers’ entries are brewed on the brewery grounds within specified guidelines and later judged by local brewing experts. The beer chosen as the top brew by a panel of judges is then scaled up by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. and distributed on tap in the local market. Along with the chance to showcase their beer to a wider local audience, winning brewers are also awarded a trip to Denver to enter their brew in the 2014 Pro-Am Competition at the Great American Beer Festival. Several recent winners of the Kentucky Ale Pro-Am Brew-Off now have their own breweries or are involved in beer projects, including 2010 winner Jeff Beagle, co-owner of Lexington’s Country Boy Brewing. Beagle won with his popular Kentucky Coal Porter, a rich, dark, robust Porter-style brew.
As the brew-off wraps up, the “Boxing Gloves and Beer Cans” half-mile sidewalk dash presented by Bodyfit Punch will kick off at 4 p.m. on May 10. Runners will tackle the challenging task of holding an empty beer can between two inflatable boxing gloves as they run from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. on Cross Street to Country Boy Brewing Co. on Chair Avenue. Proceeds will benefit Prayers for Paxton, which helps 5-year-old Lexington boy Paxton Bloyd, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma in March. Space for the run is limited, so preregistration is recommended.
The 2nd Annual Lexington Craft Beer Week will close with a major beer fest expected to feature more than 120 different beers – the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest on May 17. The event celebrating the best beer from across Kentucky and the nation will take place at the Lexington Convention Center from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will feature a slew of rare and specialty brews made just for the festival, including collaboration brews. The names of beloved craft breweries continue to pour in, and are all listed at www.AlltechBrewsandFood.com. Some regional and national highlights include Green Flash Brewing Co., Founders Brewing Co., 3 Floyds Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co., Bell’s Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Co., New Holland Brewing, and Brooklyn Brewery. Local highlights include Against the Grain Brewery, Country Boy Brewing, Falls City, Sterling Beer, Apocalypse Brew Works, BBC, and Blue Stallion Brewing Co.
In addition to craft brewers, local restaurants and food makers will also be in attendance at the beerfest to offer free samples, as well as food items for purchase. Food offerings will include small plates from Enoteca, bourbon-infused delicacies from Bourbon Barrel Foods, international biscuits from Seymour’s of Cork, artisanal cheeses from Boone Creek Creamery, to-go orders from Dupree Catering, desserts by The Sweet Spot and more. Local entertainment will play throughout the event.