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Kraft Beer With Kindsey: Kentucky Craft Beer Festival

It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. I want to shed light on this amazing industry and what it means for Kentucky.

Hardin County voted to allow the sale of alcohol with the ability to take it home in 2011.

This changed everything. It opened up a lot of opportunities for local businesses and the ability for a craft beer community to develop in Elizabethtown. It did.

In 2015, Elizabethtown hosted its first craft beer festival, the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival.

“We were just interested in kind of bringing opportunities to the marketplace that introduced locals to the great craft breweries that are out there around the state and beyond,” said Kenny Rambo, co-founder of the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival. “So we launched the festival kind of in that regard.”

The closest brewery during the first year of the festival was in Louisville, about 45 miles away. That quickly changed. Elizabethtown opened its own brewery, FlyWheel Brewing, in November of 2017. Although FlyWheel was part of the festival last year, this will be the first time the Kentucky Beer Festival will feature beer from its own city.

Having their own brewery means a lot to the people of Elizabethtown.

“It’s just really cool to be able to say,”Yeah we have this now in Elizabethtown,” Rambo said. “It just kind of creates a source of pride in the community and an opportunity for people to come here. Either from here or visiting and take part in something that they can’t experience anywhere else in the world because there is only one FlyWheel Brewing.”

Facebook: Kentucky Craft Beer Festival

FlyWheel has is more than just a brewery to the people of Elizabethtown. It’s part of their personality.

“The taproom is kind of a gathering place,” Rambo said. “It just becomes one of those destinations where people want to be able to spend time catching up with friends and family, visiting one another.”

This feeling will be evident tomorrow at the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival, where over 23 breweries from across the state pouring beer at the Brown-Pusey House Garden in Elizabethtown.

The Kentucky Craft Beer Festival is doing things a little different than most festivals. People will be drinking beer, but they will be drinking beer for a great cause.

“We have a non-profit organization called Give 270 that is based here in Elizabethtown,” Rambo said. “And our goal is to basically to meet the unmet philanthropic needs in three-county area; Hardin, LaRue and Meade County which kind of make up our local metropolitan municipal area. So basically our presenting and our featured breweries have made a contribution to that non-profit or a sponsorship to the non-profit to be part of the festival.”

The goal of Give 270 is to engage 270 people in giving $270 and distribute the funds to projects identified in partnership with United Way of Central Kentucky. The Kentucky Craft Beer Festival serves as an additional fundraiser to benefit Give 270.

But the fundraising doesn’t stop there.

“We have a 3-year relationship with one of our presenting sponsors, which is Liquor Barn,” Rambo said. “The way they support our event is they have allocated us a bottle of Van Winkle 12-Year Special Reserve. And one of our partner non-profits will actually be selling raffle tickets for $10 a piece and those funds will benefit an area non-profit called CASA of the Heartland.

Rarely do you see a festival, of any kind, give back in the way the Kentucky Craft Beer Festival. That is just one of the many reasons why the Kentucky craft beer community is so popular and successful.

And are there two better things than drinking beer and giving back? The answer is no. So if you live in Elizabethtown or closy by, you better be there on Saturday.

Facebook: Kentucky Craft Beer Festival

The only way to enter the raffle is by attending the festival, so buy your tickets HERE!

Go drink good beer and support two good causes!

Kraft Beer With Kindsey: Kentucky Craft Bash

It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. I want to shed light on this amazing industry and what it means for Kentucky.

Craft beer is booming in Kentucky.

There were only five breweries in Kentucky in 2009. Eleven breweries opened in 2016. Thirteen opened in 2017. And today there are 50 active licenses (some breweries have two) with anywhere from 12-16 breweries opening by the end of 2018.

“It’s really a good time to be in the beer business in Kentucky,” said Derek Selznick, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers.

Not only is it a good time to be in the business in the state, but it’s a great time to be a craft beer lover in the state. Not only are breweries popping up all over the state, but next Saturday is the biggest craft beer festival of the year in the state, the Kentucky Craft Bash.

The Kentucky Guild of Brewers is hosting the 2nd annual Kentucky Craft Bash on Saturday, June 23rd at the Louisville Waterfront Park. Over 30 breweries from across the Commonwealth will be present, turning Louisville into Kentucky’s taproom.

So what’s different from going to the breweries or buying beer at Kroger than going to the Kentucky Craft Bash?

“We kind of sat down and we said, as brewers, what do we want out of this event?” Selznick said. “So we sat down and what we came up with was one of the things we hate as you go to a beer festival and, you know, 75 percent of the beers that are offered to people are stuff that you can find in our fabulous retail partners.”

The Kentucky Guild of Brewers wanted to “blow people sock’s off” with this year’s event. So this year they came up with the idea to have each brewery bring a beer that you can’t get anywhere other than the Kentucky Craft Bash. 

“Well, this year we kind of upped our game even more,” Selznick said. “We said not only do we want to do something that everyone brings a flagship and taproom-only beer, but what we’re gonna do is we are going to partner with the wonderful people at Willett Distillery. So we have 28 of our breweries that all are barrel aging something in an 80th anniversary reserve that’s just for our festival.

“We really want to give people a unique view at Kentucky beers. Give them something that they’re never going to be able to replicate any place else other than this festival.”

One thing that will be similar will be the intimate experience that you have when going to a brewery.

When you got a taproom, it’s a different experience than going to a bar. This year the Kentucky Guild of Brewers condensed the space of the festival to make the festival more intimate.

“Really what we wanted to make sure the absolute star of the show is our beer,” Selznick said. “We really want to give to that experience of being able to sample over a 100 unique styles and talk to the people that are making them and know what is the intention and what’s the passion that goes behind each of those beers.”

But where did this craft beer phenomenon come from?

“Well you know one of the wonderful things that craft beer does it adds to the experience of a place,” Selznick said. 

The Kentucky Guild of Brewers has worked to enhance the craft beer experience by partnering with the department of tourism, Go To Louisville and Visit Lex, among others. Their goal is to promote how breweries help the state and local businesses.

People in the beer industry in Kentucky aren’t afraid of getting bigger. They want current breweries to grow and new ones to open.

The great thing about the breweries in this state is they don’t care if new breweries open right across the street. It’s all about growing the industry as a whole.

“We will fight to the death about whose liquid is the best in the state of Kentucky,” Selznick said. “However, you know, you opening up next door to me is not a competition I fear. I fear bad beer. I don’t fear more breweries because all it’s going to do is enhance that experience going to something, going to something local and really drive to traffic to an area.” 

That’s something you don’t see in other states and other industries.

“I think that’s really one of the keys to our success is that we look at all of each other and we say how can we make each other succeed,” Selznick said. “I think that’s really a unique place to be in.” 

The craft beer community in Kentucky is like nothing else. You can see for yourself on June 23rd in Louisville. Go buy your tickets right now!

To purchase your ticket, click HERE.

Facebook: Kentucky Guild of Brewers

TICKET GIVEAWAY: The first person to message me on Twitter (@kindseybernhard) will win 2 free GA tickets.

Thank you Kentucky Guild of Brewers and your love for KSR readers! You all rock!


Top Chef Films Episode in Rupp Arena with John Calipari

Top Chef Films Episode in Rupp Arena with John Calipari


One of America’s most popular cooking shows made a pitstop at Rupp Arena.

This afternoon Top Chef posted up in the paint to film with Kentucky head basketball coach John Calipari.  According to his daughters, Coach Cal does not have the most diverse pallet. He almost exclusively eats meat, but that did not stop Bravo from making him a judge in the competitive culinary contest.

Top Chef Kentucky, the 16th season of the hit Bravo show, is shooting in Lexington through the end of the week.  The episode from Rupp Arena will air in January of 2019.

University of Kentucky tuition has gone up… again.

Photo: University of Kentucky

Those sending their children to the University of Kentucky will have to open up their checkbook just a tad bit wider this year.

The school is set to announce a 2.5 percent tuition increase for the 2018-19 school year, the smallest jump in the last ten years. The price for undergraduate students will reach just above $12,000 a year, though the total cost of attendance (tuition, housing, books, and food) for in-state undergraduates is expected to be $30,100.

Out-of-state tuition will see a 3.8 percent jump, bringing the cost to roughly $29,000.

It will be officially confirmed by the UK Board of Trustees at a meeting on June 22.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, tuition has jumped 105 percent since 2005 to compensate for $70 million in state funding cuts in the past decade.

On the bright side, UK has announced an end to the $14-per-year mandatory athletic fee with the help of an $800,000 spike UK Athletics has seen in generated ticket revenue.

Now, mandatory student fees for next fall will be only $681.50.

For more on the tuition prices, take a look here.

Jerry Perez | The Drive

Owensboro Unveils Statue of the Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayden

Jerry Perez | The Drive

A year after his tragic death, the city of Owensboro honored the Kentucky Kid.

Hundreds gathered outside of the Owensboro Convention Center yesterday to be the first to see a statue of the late motorcycle racing legend, Nicky Hayden.  The 2006 MotoGP World Champion died last May at the age of 35 after a bicycle accident in Italy.

The statue recreates an iconic image of Hayden after he won the Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.  It took a team of 100 people more than 2,000 hours of labor to construct the statue.

One of the world’s most celebrated motorcycle racers, Hayden was a fan-favorite.  Yesterday’s crowd was filled with fans from all across the Ohio Valley, many of whom traveled hundreds of miles for the occasion.

Comedian gives funny, accurate description of Kentucky

Comedian gives funny, accurate description of Kentucky

Comedian Josh Pray made a trip to Kentucky over the weekend to host the KDL Outlaw Farm Fest in Somerset. The event — which describes itself as live music, mud racing, hog roast, fireworks, bonfires, ATV trails, camping and monster truck rides — was an eye-opening experience for Pray, so he went on his YouTube and Facebook pages to tell his followers five things he learned about the Bluegrass.

One of those things is “that bathroom liquor they call moonshine.” Watch the video to see what else he observed while in Kentucky for a weekend:

Jon Lopez | Nike EYBL

Zion Harmon moving to yet another high school

Jon Lopez | Nike EYBL

Zion Harmon is on the move again.

Kentucky’s only five-star prospect, considered by some to be the best overall talent in the Class of 2021, will suit up for the Marshall County Marshals next year. It will be Harmon’s sophomore season at the high school level, but it will be his third Kentucky high school team in as many years.

As an eighth-grader, Harmon helped carry Bowling Green to the 2017 state title. He transferred to Adair County for his freshman year, where he averaged over 30 points per game, but will leave Columbia, Ky., for Benton, Ky., this fall.

The transfer to Marshall County is newsworthy for two reasons: (1) it raise suspicion as to whether or not he was recruited around the state, and if it’s fair that he is hand-picking his school; and (2) he is moving to an area with a very low percentage of African-Americans in the school and in the community. Marshall County has long been considered behind the times in that regard.

Harmon’s father, Mike Harmon, told Larry Vaught he hopes his son will help make a cultural change.

He also said the plan is to reclassify to the Class of 2020 and they would like to receive an offer from the University of Kentucky.

Read a lot more about Harmon and his move to western Kentucky in Vaught’s story here.

Lexington is getting its own Central Park

Lexington is getting its own Central Park

Plans are in place for Town Branch Park to become the Central Park of Lexington. The 10-acre park will provide green space to downtown Lexington between Main and High, adjacent to Rupp Arena, where many of you park for UK basketball games and concerts. That parking lot is going away this summer and the area will one day be a beautiful and vibrant park spanning all the way out to the Oliver Lewis Bridge.

The project is currently in its fundraising phase, but a video was recently released to show what it will look like once it is completed. To me it looks like a great place to walk a dog, fly a kite, toss a football, or trip over a homeless person.

See it for yourself and then get excited for a Central Park in downtown Lexington (if it ever actually happens):

Comedian Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at horse racing, says he doesn’t care about Triple Crown

Justify trains at Churchill Downs prior to the Kentucky Derby. Photo courtesy of Earl James Photography.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan is famous for jokes about Hot Pockets and Elton John, but his comments today on CBS News Sunday Morning about the horse racing industry have caused quite a stir.

He simplified the sport as a “prom for gamblers” who “dress like characters from Gone With The Wind.” Gaffigan later added the horses always sound like they were named by rich men on their eighth wife such as “Viagra’s Revenge” and “Alimony Be Damned.”

He then teased Kentuckians (with an atrocious southern accent, mind you) about gambling addictions and Mint Juleps.

“You like my hat? I’m living in my sister’s garage because I have a debilitated gambling addiction. Enjoy your Mint Julep, y’all,” said Gaffigan.

Here is the comedian’s complete skit:

Knee-slappers, right there. Honestly, this kind of comedy makes me wonder how in the world TV Land could cancel his show after just two seasons on the air.

At least he has short segments on CBS morning shows to make headlines, now.

Needless to say, the horseracing community is not too happy about the comments.

American Pharoah’s owner Ahmed Zayat has been on a tear on Twitter, going after CBS, host Jane Pauley, and Gaffigan for the “outrageous” and “tainted opinion.”

Those in the local media aren’t too pleased, either.

Good job, good effort, Jim.

The Most Quintessential Kentucky Things Ever

The Most Quintessential Kentucky Things Ever

Today is Kentucky’s 226th birthday, and to celebrate, I came up with a list of 22.6 things that are quintessentially Kentuckian. I’m talking about the stuff that, if you’re raised here, is in your blood, even if you move away. Stuff that people from outside the Commonwealth just don’t understand. Stuff that’s just…Kentucky.

1. Bourbon

Obviously. The pride of the Commonwealth, bourbon is as Kentucky as it gets, right down to the limestone that makes it so unique. As bourbon has boomed over the past ten years, so has Kentucky’s tourism. If you’ve got friends visiting from out of state, odds are you’ll take them to a distillery or along the bourbon trail. Even if you’re not a huge bourbon fan, basic knowledge of the spirit is instilled in you. We do this better than anyone. (Sorry, Brooklyn.)

2. The Kentucky Derby

The other obvious top choice. For two minutes each year, the world turns its eyes to Louisville, and between the horses, the hats, and the B-roll of horse country, our state never looks better. For us ex-pat Kentuckians, there’s no homesick like Derby homesick, especially when “My Old Kentucky Home” starts up.

3. Keeneland

The Derby and Churchill Downs are more well-known, but Keeneland has my heart. Despite the fact that you’re, you know, gambling, trips to Keeneland almost feel religious to me, from the unparalleled beauty of the grounds, the pilgrimage from your parking spot to the gate, and (almost) everyone decked out in their Sunday best. Give me a spot on the rail, a program, and a Keeneland Breeze and I’m at church.

4. Kentucky Basketball

There is no fanbase like the Big Blue Nation. Alabama football is a close second, but Kentucky basketball fans are an unique breed. What other program can boast that its fans camp out for free tickets to a practice? Or support websites like this? I have a job because Kentucky fans love their Cats so much, something I never take for granted.

5. Ale-8-One

Kentucky’s official soft drink has been around for over 90 years and only now are people outside of the state sitting up and taking notice. Ale-8-One has started popping up at hipster foodie spots across the South, but whenever I see one, I’ll always flash back to commercials like this:

Has anyone tried the new Cherry flavor?

6. Hot Browns

Because I’m from Kentucky, I feel like I have to like hot browns, but really, I don’t. Most people will say that’s because I haven’t had a good one, but an open faced turkey sandwich with Mornay sauce all over it? No thanks. Sandwiches are not meant to be eaten with forks and knives. Just give me the bacon, please.

7. Burgoo

Now, this is a Kentucky food I can wholeheartedly support. Spicier than a normal beef stew, it’s the perfect thing to warm you up on a cold, rainy day at Keeneland. Just don’t ever tell me all the different types of meat in it.

8. BBQ Mutton

Don’t worry, Western Kentucky, I didn’t forget you. Owensboro is the Mutton Capital of the World, which is why Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is a must stop. North Carolina has pulled pork with vinegar sauce; Texas has brisket; Memphis has dry rub; Kansas City has burnt ends. Kentucky has mutton. It’s just our thing.

How many of us have a picture like this in our phone?

9. The Castle

If you’re from the Central Kentucky area, odds are you know some some version of the history of the castle on Versailles Road. It’s like the Bluegrass’ demented fairy tale. A man started building it for his wife and then they got divorced. Instead of finishing it, he put it on the market and for decades, it sat vacant. Finally, someone bought it in 2003 and a year later, it caught fire. After a series of owners and renovations, it’s now a successful bed and breakfast, restaurant, and concert venue.

10. Dinosaur World

Even though I’ve never actually been to Dinosaur World, I feel like I have because the 65-foot T-Rex statue marks the midway point between Nashville and Lexington. Like the Castle, it’s always a good photo-op while on the road.