This is the fifth weekly installment highlighting the craft beer scene of Florida State's opponent. This segment will feature a brewery from the area and a beer from another brewery in the area, with a focus on best representing the craft beer scene of the Noles weekly opponent. We also try to include options that are readily available to those who may not be traveling to the games and want to pick something up from their local package store. Without further delay we present to you craft beer in Louisville.
Craft beer in Kentucky is almost non-existent and finding beer that is widely distributed is nearly impossible. The Bluegrass state ranks 41st amongst all states in total amount of breweries and that number doesn't seem to be growing. In 2011 before the craft beer boom there were 11 breweries throughout the entire state, as of 2014 that number has only climbed to 18.
I was able to get my hands on one Kentucky brewery that distributes and chances are you have probably seen it as well in your local bottle shop. I picked up a Rye Barrel IPA and a Old Fashion Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company out of Lexington and it was rough going. Both of these beers were pretty bad, I couldn't get through a 12 ounce bottle and the Old Fashion I almost spit out. Don't be discouraged, yes beer in Kentucky is generally bad but you know what isn't? Bourbon, and you know what is sometimes aged in bourbon? Beer, delicious beer and that's what we are here for.
I dipped into the cellar this week and popped open a 2013 Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels:
Brown in color, Big Sound has huge notes of dark sweet toffee with underlying mild notes of coffee in the aroma. The flavor starts with a slight note of cherry and then opens into a goliath of malt character with notes of dark sweet toffee, coffee and mild notes of toasted bread in the finish.
The chances that you have this same exact beer in your cellar are probably pretty slim but the chances that you can run to your local liquor store or bottle shop and grab something that has been barrel aged is probably pretty good. If barrel aged isn't your think no worries, I am sure you can find a bottle of bourbon and take a shot every time Bobo Wilson stones a 8 yard pass into the turf.
If you happen to be in Louisville enjoy because it is a great city. The brewery that consistently is the most highly rated is Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse located in the heart of downtown. Not only can you order a wide variety of beer styles you can pair it with brisket or some awful fake meat called Seitan.
If you're unable to get your hands on any of the above mentioned beers, that's okay, we would love to know what kind of beer you will be enjoying this weekend as Florida State takes care of business against the Louisville.