Craft beer festival to kick off fourth year

In an effort to beat the heat, the annual Kentucky Craft Beer Festival will change venues for its fourth annual event Saturday. Formerly held at the Cunningham Garden at the Brown-Pusey House, the event will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. at a newly remodeled indoor venue at 100 Haycraft St. in downtown Elizabethtown.

Event organizer Kenny Rambo said he hopes the change in venue further enhances the festival atmosphere Saturday for gathering craft beer enthusiasts.

“We jumped at the opportunity to kind of offset the weather concerns but also to give our audience a chance to really be among the first to see another exciting thing that’s going on in downtown Elizabethtown,” he said.

There will be 30 breweries and cideries set up at the event, an amount Rambo said is the festival’s highest to date. Attendees are given 15 sample pours per ticket.

Some new breweries and cideries to the festival include Fusion Brewing and Wise Bird Cider Company from Lexington, Taft’s Brewing Company from Cincinnati and CANarchy, a collective encompassing craft breweries from around the country.

Other participating breweries include West Sixth Brewing from Lexington, Mile Wide Beer Company from Louisville, Lemon Mill Brewery from Harrodsburg and Rhinegeist Brewery from Cincinnati.

This year’s presenting brewery is Eliza­beth­town’s Flywheel Brewing.

“It’s just awesome and appropriate that they would be in the mix as our local taproom,” Rambo said.

Food vendors also will be set up at the event, including Adams Family Foods, Kat’s Mobile Kitchen, The Sweet Shoppe and Taco Cat. A raffle for a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon also will take place, with all proceeds benefiting CASA of the Heartland.

The Homebrewers of Hardin County will be set up at the event to present a live homebrewing demonstration. Club members also will take part in a homebrewing competition in which samples of homemade oatmeal stout will be judged.

Presenting sponsors include Liquor Barn, the Elizabethtown Tourism and Convention Bureau and BoomBozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse.

Event proceeds will benefit Give 270, a local nonprofit that benefits Uni­ted Way of Central Ken­tucky programs.Ram­­­­bo said close to $8,000 was contributed to United Way of Central Kentucky’s Way to Work program from last year’s festival.

Rambo said in addition to benefiting Give 270, the festival is designed to make Eliza­beth­town a hot spot for craft beer enthusiasts from around the region.

“Our goal with the festival is always to grow it in a way that features additional breweries from around the state and beyond and really to draw more guests into the community so that it’s not only a local festival but has a regional draw,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to do that in years past and we just want to do that in a bigger way this year.”

General admission tickets are $35 and include a souvenir sampling glass and a paid tasting card. VIP tickets are $45 and include one hour early access, a souvenir sampling glass, a T-shirt and a paid tasting card. Designated driver tickets, which include admission to the festival, are $10.

To purchase tickets or volunteer for the festival, go to kentuckycraftbeerfestival.com.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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