Louisville Craft Beer Week is one of those events that is really dozens of events in one. There’s something going on daily that revolves around beer, so it comes down to a question of which ones you can make in a 10-day span — Sept. 12-21 — without completely destroying your liver.Basically, breweries, bars, liquor stores and restaurants around town will be celebrating the majestic wonder that is beer, primarily of the local and regional variety. What’s not to love?According to John Wurth, founder of Craft Beer Week’s sponsor LouisvilleBeer.com, there is plenty from which to choose. The final list of events was posted last week on the website, and I asked Wurth for a few possible favorites. The Bo & Luke release at Against the Grain is a given, as that is now an ongoing love fest for the barrel-aged, imperial stout that has taken Louisville beer nerds by storm.
But Wurth admits that another one he will be attending is happening Sept. 14.
“I would say the beer cheese event at BBC Taproom is going to be ‘off the chain,’ as the kids say,” he says. “I also think if you don’t get a chance to try West Sixth’s Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter sometime this week, you’re doing LCBW wrong.”
He also put in a good word for Dragon King’s Daughter, which has an interesting event on tap as well. With that said, let’s boil it down to a day-by-day, best-of list that is as unofficial as it is subjective. Let’s just say this has been created to whet your appetite. Then again, let’s face it — if your appetite for beer needs any prompting, then Louisville Craft Beer Week may not be for you.
Bo & Luke Official Release Party at Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse (Saturday, Sept. 13, 5 p.m.): Named for your favorite Duke boys from the seminal TV show, this one, in Louisville at least, may be more popular than Jesus. Only a few hundred of the coveted variant four-packs will be available, and 100 already were pre-sold. Get there early and cross your fingers. But hey, worst case, you walk away with a bomber of the original. Plenty more going on this day as well, so check the schedule.
BBC Taproom and Valu Market Amateur Beer Cheese Competition (Sunday, Sept. 14, 1 p.m.): That’s right, bring your best homemade beer cheese and you might be crowned Beer Cheese Champion of Louisville at this fun event. You can still enter right up to Sept. 12. Meanwhile, a mile or so away, there’s the aforementioned Dragon King’s Daughter event, called Beer Bomb! A Japanese fusion restaurant may seem like a strange place for a craft beer event, but DKD always keeps an intriguing selection on draft and in bottles. Coffee stout will be all the rage at the restaurant’s Highlands location, with tappings of Prairie’s Bomb! and Evil Twin’s Biscotti Break Donut and Prairie Hop, and many others. There will be beer-infused food specials as well.
Brew on Premise Open House at My Old Kentucky Home Brew (Monday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m.): This isn’t a drinking event, but rather a brewing event — hey, give your liver a rest for a day. Or check out the open house and then head to the New Albanian Brewing’s tap takeover at the Irish Rover — whatever floats your boat. Anyway, Paul Young and his staff will be showing off the new home brewer’s paradise he’s assembled. You got the recipes? He’s got the ingredients and equipment to bring those beers to life.
West Sixth Pay it Forward Cocoa Porter $2 Tap Tuesday at Tony Boombozz Westport Village (Tuesday, Sept. 16, all day starting at 11 a.m.): We’re listing this one on the advice of Mr. Wurth, but boy, this Tuesday is chock full: From a BBC Beer and Underpants Run at BBC Taproom to a Beer Engine Tap Takeover at Against the Grain, this will be a tough day for which to plan. Hire a taxi service.
A, A&W: One Letter Off or One Letter Better at Bearno’s Highlands (Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m.): This is like three tap takeovers in one as Apocalypse Brew Works, Against the Grain and West Sixth gang up on Bearno’s (thanks, Beckmann!) with special beers and beer cheese. But there are seven other great events on this day, too — Brigid Kaelin and Steve Cooley are playing just down the street at Great Flood, and Gus Bus Trivia invades the BBC Taproom with beer trivia. Check the schedule.
Wild ’n’ Sour in America at Against the Grain (Thursday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m.): The Against the Grain boys are at it again with a tasting of some of America’s finest “wild and sour beers,” paired with hors d’ouevres. Tickets are available now. BBC St. Matthews will be tapping some mead that night as well for its Mead and You and a Dog Named Brew event. (You gotta love these names.)
Yappy Hour fundraiser for the Kentucky Humane Society at Apocalypse Brew Works (Friday, Sept. 19, 5 p.m.): These Yappy Hour events are always popular, and it’s for the animals. What better reason to drink a pint or two (or three) with your furry friend? Apocalypse will be serving some special collaboration beers, and part of the proceeds benefit the Kentucky Humane Society. But this day is chock full of great events, from the release of Kelvin’s Kilt, a barrel-aged Scotch ale collaboration beer at Great Flood, to West Sixth Firkin Friday at Mellow Mushroom St. Matthews where you can get a mouthful of Creamsicle IPA. Again, let the schedule and your liver be your guide.
Three-way tie (Saturday, Sept. 20): OK, there are three main events on this, the penultimate day of Louisville Craft Beer Week. One is Kegerators for a Cure, a kegerator auction designed to raise money to “kick cancer’s ass” (also known as raising money for cancer charities) culminating at Against the Grain starting at 6 p.m. There’s also Lock, Stock & Smoking Barrels at Copper & Kings, which Insider Louisville reported on last week. And don’t forget the Seven Sense Festival, a new to-do in Schnitzelburg that will feature local beer, food, music and vendors. Good luck planning your schedule on this day.
LouisvilleBeer.com Official Recovery Brunch and Podcast at Against the Grain (Sunday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.): Only one event remains as LCBW finally winds down. It is described thusly: “Fried Chickin ’n’ Grits, John King the night after, Scott Lykins with a vodka and OJ, and of course, beer! … What else could you want on a Sunday recovery brunch? Viva our livers!” Yeah, they’re a self-indulgent bunch over at LouisvilleBeer.com, but you get the point.
By the way, my recommendation for Sept. 22 is called “hair of the dog.” Enjoy, and please drink responsibly.
This post was originally published by Insider Louisville.