Today is National Beer Day -- the observance of the day 82 years ago when the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect, lifting the Prohibition on beer sales and consumption. These days, you can find a beer to suit any palate, and here in Kentucky, local microbreweries are producing some unique and delicious brews.
Of course, you can't talk Kentucky beer without mentioning the Hofbräuhaus in Newport. They're only trying to recreate the ducal brewery of 16th century Munich, NBD. Lofty aspirations aside, this place is fantastic. The food. The beer. More food. More beer. Y'all, it's just so good. Get the Jägerschnitzel. And the Schwarzwälder Kirsch Torte. And the Hefe Weizen. My next visit, I want to try the hot-brown-on-a-potato-cake situation; I can't imagine that it would be anything other than amazing.
Kentucky Ale's Bourbon Barrel Ale is my very favorite local beer. It's actually aged for up to six weeks in bourbon barrels, so it takes on the rich notes of vanilla and charred oak that are so familiar to bourbon drinkers. If you're in Louisville, head out to Coal's Artisan Pizza in St Matthews for a Bourbon Barrel Ale with your pizza. Same goes for Feast BBQ. Or pretty much anyplace else you see it on tap. It really adds an interesting, distinctly "Kentucky" flair to classic pub food.
If you love stouts and coffee (and I do!), then it stands to reason that you'll love coffee stouts. The limited edition Heine Brothers' Stout at Bluegrass Brewing Company is an oatmeal stout that adds the flavor of the Derby City's favorite coffee.
These are just a few of my favorites, but there are so many other awesome microbreweries to mention. Lexington's West Sixth has been a game-changer in bringing quality local beer to central Kentucky. Country Boy Brewing, also located in Lexington, wins the "best name ever!" award with its Cougar Bait brew. There's talk of a microbrewery opening near my hometown! And my favorite Paducah native tells me that when you're in the Purchase area, you MUST try Dry Ground Brewing.
Here's to drinking locally! Cheers, y'all!