Rise of the super bars: Will HopCat affect the craft-beer scene?

HopCat logoThe popularity of craft beer is a trend that continues to skyrocket. At the end of 2015, Kentucky ranked only 38th in the U.S. in number of breweries, but the economic impact of craft beer in the state was $495 million, good for 27th nationwide, according to the Brewers Association.

Louisville has more than a dozen breweries, with more set to open. We also have World of Beer with 50 taps and some 500 bottles, two Craft House locations focusing on regional craft beer, and the well-established Sergio’s World Beers, which carries in the neighborhood of 1,500 bottled and draft beers at any given time.

Craft beer is big business, and big business brings big competition.

Enter HopCat, the growing, Michigan-based chain set to open its latest location, at 1064 Bardstown Road  in The Highlands, this Saturday. The restaurant-bar will pour from 132 different taps, with a focus on American craft beer and a few ciders and imports. It advertises itself as having “the state’s largest selection of craft beers on tap.”

But lest anyone worry that Louisville’s breweries might be muscled out by this out-of-state super bar, HopCat is quick to show its good faith as a neighbor wherever it lands, it seems.

To that end, the small, but growing, chain will allot many of its taps to local beers. It will feature a “Local 20” that will be offered to visitors who might be new to craft beer, or who aren’t sure what they want to try. Those beers will be on tap permanently, and they will be the first products offered up as samples.

Chris Knape, vice president of marketing and communications for BarFly Ventures, which is HopCat’s parent company, said it won’t stop at 20 local taps, however, as seasonal and special brews will be added whenever available. The bar and restaurant — which is well known for its Crack Fries, as well as its beer selection — even has an on-site, two-and-a-half barrel brewing system it will use, in part, to do collaboration brews with local breweries.

What’s more, bartenders at HopCat locations are taught to encourage people to visit the places where the beers are brewed. Many of them, such as Great Flood, Akasha, Apocalypse, Cumberland and (soon enough) Mile Wide, will be just down the street.

“We want people to go out and experience those breweries,” Knape said. “That’s the cool thing about HopCat, for those people trying to get an overview of the scene. We want to be a hub. We also want to be the best customer for all those breweries.”

John King is executive director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers and has spent time exploring HopCat’s business model, as well as its Lexington location. He believes HopCat will be a positive addition to the craft beer scene here because of this local focus.

“HopCat is very local-centric,” King said. “A good portion of their taps will be Kentucky-made beer. That’s great, because brewers are getting taps in more places. It’s good, especially in The Highlands, to have one large place to get Kentucky-made beer.”

Meanwhile, HopCat will offer Kentucky brewery tap takeovers and beer dinners to further promote the breweries. They will work with brewers to select appropriate glassware for serving their beer, and they will make sure glasses are rinsed before serving. HopCat staff — the bar and restaurant said it would create roughly 200 jobs — also is well trained in beer styles, brands and other details that craft beer enthusiasts might throw at them.

“We take a lot of care,” Knape said. “We treat beer like a really good wine-bar would treat wine. We want it to be approachable, but want to respect the brewers that made it.”

Leah Dienes, co-owner and head brewer at Apocalypse Brew Works, said HopCat is not just committed to local breweries. “They are very committed to quality. And they are very committed to their servers having extensive beer knowledge,” she said.

If there is a concern, King said, it might be the difficulty of managing so many lines, making sure they stay clean and that the beer is fresh. If someone orders a local beer, and it has off flavors, it could sour that person on that brewery and its products. That’s where the commitment to quality becomes crucial, and Knape said HopCat has a beer manager, Chase Myers, whose full-time job essentially is to make sure the beer stays fresh and the lines stay clean.

HopCat has King convinced, assuming the area can handle the influx of people.

“I think it will do well,” King said. “This is not HopCat’s first rodeo; they know what they’re doing. I think HopCat is going to be awesome.”

This post was originally published by LEO Weekly.

Louisville Brewfest 2015 features mayoral brew, new Louisville breweries

BrewFest 2015 posterIn 2009, when the inaugural Louisville Brewfest took place in the basement of the Clifton Center, the organizers at Louisville Independent Business Alliance were a little taken aback at the response.

“We bought 1,000 mugs,” says LIBA director Jennifer Rubenstein. “We figured, ‘We can keep (leftovers) for next year.’ We ran through all those mugs and had to go out and get more cups. We were shocked.”

To say the place was packed that first year is an understatement, but that led to the festival being an annual event held at Slugger Field, which has a bit more wiggle room. Of course, these days, it gets pretty packed at the baseball stadium as well. That’s why there will be a few new wrinkles this year, such as having attendees line up at brewery booths along the outside walls rather than in the concourse where lines can block foot traffic.

“Every year we look more toward traffic control,” Rubenstein says.

In addition, the rotating taps have been split into two areas instead of one to help avoid congestion. That also means more beers can be featured, which is a good thing, too. Because, hey, it’s all about the beer.

This year, Brewfest attendees can enjoy a pair of special beers, one of which was brewed by Goodwood Brewing with a little help from Mayor Greg Fischer. It’s an Irish stout to celebrate his Irish roots, which he dubbed “5-0-Brew.” The other is an Oktoberfest-style beer brewed at Apocalypse Brew Works with some help from local musician Ben Sollee. “Kaytoberfest” is named after his cello.

The latter, in fact, will be available after Brewfest at Apocalypse and a few Brewfest sponsors’ establishments for a couple of weeks, thanks to a larger production run.

The Brewseum, a look back at Louisville’s brewing history with artifacts and other educational features, returns this year. Another feature of every Louisville Brewfest is the ongoing addition of new breweries.

“There are new breweries opening all the time,” Rubenstein says. “It’s been fun to watch the craft beer scene grow and to be supportive of that. I remember Against the Grain, their first year at Brewfest, was selling sodas because they didn’t have any beer ready.”

Akasha Brewing is one of the new breweries that will be on hand this year. Co-owner Rick Stidham says the plan is to offer samples of the brewery’s American pale ale, gose and saison-style beers. Stidham and his partners have been working hard to get the brewery’s taproom, located at 909 E. Market St., open this year. Brewfest will be a coming-out party of sorts.

“The logistics of juggling brewing, packaging and distribution schedules, and festivals and events and opening the taproom and more, are anxiety-inducing,” Stidham says, “but we’re determined to have fun with it all.”

Stidham says he plans to open the brewery and taproom by later this fall. Also, Rubenstein says to look for Monnik Beer Co. (formerly Beer Engine) to have a booth with samples of its products. Co-owner Brian Holton says Brewfest-goers will get a taste of Monnik’s IPA, ginger saison and Hauck’s American Pils.

In all, 19 local and regional breweries will be on hand, including Against the Grain, Apocalypse Brew Works, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Cumberland Brewery, Falls City Beer, Goodwood Brewing Company, New Albanian Brewing Company and Sterling Beer. Pre-parties will be held by primary sponsor BoomBozz Pizza & Taphouse at all locations, including Joella’s Hot Chicken and Manny & Merle’s, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, featuring $2 Goodwood pints and chances to win ticket packages to Brewfest.

The 2015 Brewfest takes place Friday, Sept. 25, from 4-10 p.m. General admission is $5, with $1 pours. VIP tickets are $45.

There is also an after party planned starting at 10 p.m. at Haymarket Whiskey Bar, located at 331 E. Market St.

“That,” Rubenstein says, “is when I get to relax.”

Roger A. Baylor will take a leave of absence from NABC to run for mayor of New Albany

Let's see if this guy can kill some fascists. (Photo by Cassie Bays.)

Let’s see if this guy can kill some fascists. (Photo by Cassie Bays.)

Well, that crazy sumbitch is really going to do it. Roger Baylor, our favorite curmudgeon and beer lover, is going to take a leave of absence to run for freaking mayor. What a concept: a politician who actually says what he thinks. This ought to be interesting.

Here’s Baylor’s announcement:

Two months ago, I utilized the bully pulpit afforded me by my weekly blog column to announce that in 2015, I’d be running for mayor of New Albany as an independent: ON THE AVENUES: To the third floor — but first, we throw the rascals out.

My rationale isn’t overly complicated. I’m running for mayor because a city in transition like New Albany desperately needs progressive ideas like those espoused by people like me, from all walks of life, who routinely have been marginalized or ignored by the same old game, played the same old way, by the same old, tired political suspects.

It’s a big undertaking for any candidate. One must complete various forms and gather the necessary signatures, and then organize a whole campaign from scratch. All along, it has been my intention to begin the campaign in earnest come March 2 … and we’re right on schedule.

Consequently, the first of many transitions on along the path to come begins today. Effective immediately, I’m taking a leave of absence from the New Albanian Brewing Company (NABC), so as to devote my full attention to the campaign for mayor.

Of course, I’ll honor all previous commitments, but from this point the day-to-day is in the capable hands of my business partners, Kate Lewison and Amy Baylor, and our fine staff.

As many readers may already know, I own 33% of NABC’s two incorporations. When the November election is over and I’ve been elected to the office of mayor, I’ll act immediately to sell my shares to my two business partners, according to the terms of our buy-sell agreement.

Which is to say, I’m all in. I’m very serious about running for mayor — and winning. Let the fun begin.

Questions? Just ask.

502-468-9710 (mobile)

roger@newalbanian.com

Against the Grain’s new brewing operation now being ‘put to the test’

Agaisnt the Grain 1In the cavernous, 25,000-square-foot Against the Grain brewing operation in Portland sits a lonely 12-pack of Miller High Life.

The facility, which was announced in July and recently saw its brewing operation built out, brewed its first batch this week — a batch of Brown Note — and cranks up in earnest today with a double brew that will truly test the new equipment’s efficiency.

But break time at Against the Grain means cracking open a couple of cans of High Life, which offers a peek into the quirky humor and irony that comes out in AtG’s beer names and recipes. The 12-pack of beer now is the center of attention at the brewery.

“It’s the champagne of beers,” says co-owner Jerry Gnagy, mimicking the national brand’s long-time slogan. “It’s the official beer of the brewers at Against the Grain.”

Hey, the way Gnagy looks at it, any Against the Grain beer not consumed by the brewing team is extra profit that can be spent on more High Life. And around and around we go.

But in spite of the undertones of goofiness — Against the Grain has made beers with names like Attila the Hen and Bonfyre of the Daiquiris — this is one serious brewery. Since opening in 2011, it has quickly ascended into not just regional or national but international renown, cranking out a number of signature brews and becoming a Louisville destination brewery at its prime location at Slugger Field.

Over these Miller High Lifes, Gnagy, fellow owner Adam Watson and brewer Peter Fingerson talk about the big brew coming on Wednesday, Feb. 4. It’s a double batch of the Against the Grain’s signature IPA, Citra Ass Down, which will be one of the first two beers canned when the new canning operation goes online, likely in March.

So far, they’ve used the system once, for a batch of the Brown Note. But the 30-barrel Sprinkman brew system, which is built for efficiency, can crank out two batches a day when used correctly. But the equipment arrived on Jan. 29, so the crew is still learning how to use all the bells and whistles.

Against the Grain 2“We’re learning all the little subtleties that can bring the whole thing to a halt,” Watson says with a smile.

While giving a visitor a tour on Tuesday, Fingerson notes that what would be a roughly nine-hour brew at the brewery at Slugger Field is more like a four-and-a-half-hour brew on the new system. The mash tun features a set of automatic, rotating rakes to stir the mash evenly and precisely, whereas usually a brewer would have to stir it manually with a paddle.

And a whirlpool vessel allows the brewers to free up the kettle to start another boil, further trimming time and maximizing efficiency. Perhaps even more impressive, the system is electronically controlled. Heck, as long as the boiler is on, any of the brewers can wake up in the morning and start the equipment remotely using a cell phone.

That could come in handy, as Fingerson says the goal is to more or less brew around the clock; Gnagy says his hope is to brew 6,000 barrels this year, at least half of which will go into 16-ounce cans for four-pack retail sales. Gnagy says the old system at the Slugger Field brewery, which will continue to brew, put out about 1,600 barrels per year, with another 360 or so barrels contracted with a brewery in Maryland.

“We’ll be able to brew four times as much beer in the same amount of time,” Gnagy says.

The brewery also features a German-made Argelith tile foor. A tap room is in the offing for later in the year, and there is room for expansion — plenty of room. The space, located at 1800 Northwestern Pkwy., is truly humongous.

Canned products will be the long-term focus of the brewery, with a Belgian table beer called Sho’Nuff to be the second beer canned. Which future Against the Grain products get canned will depend largely on which beers are selling. Gnagy says consumers can realistically expect to see product on liquor-store shelves as early as April.

Of course, first the new brewing system and the Against the Grain team has to pass that first big test of brewing two batches of Against the Grain in a day.

“We’ll see what happens (Wednesday) when we put it to the test,” Fingerson says.

This post was originally published by Insider Louisville.

West Sixth Brewing to can first in new West Sixth Seasonal Series: Belgian Blonde

final_can_mockMore good news from West Sixth! Can that stuff, guys. And here’s a press release with all the details:

West Sixth Brewing announced today the start of a new series of seasonal canned beers that will be released in limited quantities throughout 2015.

The first beer in the series will be the Belgian Blonde.  This beer will be available around March 1st for 3 months, or until supplies run out.  2 other seasonals are planned for later in the year.

This beer, known in the taproom as the Bryan Ave Belgian Blonde, is light in color, but deep in flavor and aroma with hints of spiciness that come from the Belgian-style yeast that is used when brewing the beer. It finishes moderately dry with just enough hop bitterness to balance out any remaining sweetness.

“We’ve got several hop-forward beers in our lineup, as well as several that are malt-forward, so it will be fun to have a beer that really focuses on the yeast – which is sometimes the most under appreciated ingredient in any beer”, said head brewer Robin Sither.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this beer on a larger scale than just in our taproom” said founder Brady Barlow. “It’s been consistently a top seller sinceit’s a beer anyone can enjoy – from a true craft beer aficionado to someone just starting to appreciate a full flavored beer.”

The label, which is different from many of the other West Sixth offerings, features an orange and yellow Kentucky farm scene.  “Since this Seasonal release is West Sixth’s take on the classic Belgian Blonde style – our can design is meant to reflect the warm tones of Spring with rolling hills and the promise of good stuff growing up from that rich Kentucky soil.” said designer Brian Turner, of Cricket Press, who designed the new can.

The beer will be available throughout West Sixth’s distribution area in kegs and cans beginning in March.

Lock Stock and Smoking Barrels to Return in 2015 with National Brands

Sam Cruz of Against the Grain, with some barrels.

Sam Cruz of Against the Grain, with some barrels.

The inaugural Lock Stock & Smoking Barrels didn’t seem to be as well attended as many had hoped, so I was worried it might be a one and done. Scratch that one. It’s coming back and promising to be bigger and better. Here’s the press release that came out this a.m.:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2015) – – – The Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. will host the second annual “Lock, Stock & Smoking Barrels” festival on behalf of the Beargrass Creek Alliance Friday, Oct. 30. The festival of barrel-aged beer, cider, brandy, coffee and smoking hot food and music will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the American brandy company’s Butchertown distillery, located at 1121 E. Washington St. For updates on the event and notification when tickets become available, sign up for the Copper & Kings mailing list at copperandkings.com/connect.

Copper & Kings owners Joe and Lesley Heron asked five renowned out of town craft brewers to join 11 local and regional breweries from Kentucky and Indiana to age one-of-a-kind craft beers in Copper & Kings American brandy barrels to serve at the event. The breweries will be aging their unique beers for nine months for maximum brandy finish and polish.

Sierra Nevada (Chico, Cali.), Three Floyds (Munster, Ind.), Oskar Blues (Brevard, N.C.), Dogfish Head (Milton, Del.) and Crispin Cider (Colfax, Cali.) will join esteemed regional brewers including Against the Grain, Apocalypse Brew Works, Akasha Brewing Co., Alltech Lexington Brewing Co., Beer Engine, Bluegrass Brewing Co., Country Boy, Falls City, Flat 12 Bierwerks, New Albanian and West Sixth Brewing.

“The Independent Republic of Butchertown, bounded by the waters of the mighty Ohio and beautiful Beargrass Creek, is an entirely appropriate place to support the water sustainability initiatives of the Beargrass Creek Alliance,” said owner Joe Heron. “We will announce more details closer to the date, but wanted the general public to look forward to a unique Kentucky festival that celebrates exceptional craft and a caring community.”

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Beargrass Creek Alliance and promote their rain barrel storm water mitigation initiatives.

 

Great Flood Announces Inaugural “Flood Week” Celebration

Great Flood grainOur pals over at Great Flood Brewing have a lot going on these days. Between collaborations and mug clubs, not to mention the addition of Monday and Tuesday hours starting in February, it’s a wonder those guys even get a chance to sleep. Well, here comes another one: “Flood Week.” Below is the press release. See you at the brewery.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Great Flood Brewing Company, located in the Upper Highlands, will host their first annual “Flood Week” January 21st – 24th to commemorate the anniversary of the Great Flood of 1937.  Many citizens of downtown Louisville crossed the famous impromptu “barrel-bridge” to find refuge in the Highlands until the waters receded. In fact, one of the primary supply posts for displaced Louisvillians was located at the same intersection that the brewery now calls home, where they now provide their own form of refuge to thirsty beer drinkers.

“FLOOD WEEK” EVENTS

Wednesday, January 21 from 6-10pm The public is invited to share their family’s stories with author/historian Rick Bell as he leads an open-mic session for sharing stories about the Great Flood of 1937. UofL Library Archives will be unveiling never-before-seen images from the flood and will have prints for sale. Signed copies of Rick’s book The Great Flood of 1937: Rising Waters, Roaring Spirits will also be available for purchase.

 Thursday, January 22 from 7:30 – 10pm Gus Bus Trivia will be featuring questions about the history of Louisville and the Great Flood of 1937. Participants will receive Cafe Lou Lou gift cards for first and second place.

 Friday, January 23, 8pm – Midnight, join AJ Clements and Will Husband of the duo “It Takes Two” that will be performing a free, all-ages show dressed in 1930’s garb.  Party-goers are encouraged to dress the part as well.

Saturday, January 24 8pm-Midnight: Anniversary of Black Sunday, start of the Great Flood

Local jazz/swing group Swing 39 will turn the bar into a dance floor with their time appropriate tunes accompanied by authentic swing dancers. The public is encouraged to dress 30’s style and join in on the fun. The night will also feature the launch of Great Flood Brewing Company’s Flood Liars Club.  Club members will be able to fill their Louisville Stoneware designed FLC Mugs for the first time. 

Great Flood Brewing Co. is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 4pm – 12amSaturday 2pm – 12am, andSunday 2pm – 10pm.  Beginning February 1, they will be expanding their hours to seven days per week to meet growing customer demand.

Blue Stallion to Donate 10 percent of Sales to Non-Profits on ‘Mission Mondays’

louisville beer - blue stallion logo lexington

I actually posted this cool news on the 502 Brews Facebook page recently, but here’s the full press release from Blue Stallion:

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, October 22, 2014 – Blue Stallion Brewing Company will start donating 10% of sales on Mondays to area non-profits this November. The program, dubbed “Mission Mondays”, will feature a host of organizations whose missions benefit the Lexington community.
 
Every Monday, Blue Stallion plans to work with a local non-profit to host a fundraiser event showcasing the organization and its mission. 10% of all taproom sales for the day will go to the organization. 
 
The brewery hosted fundraisers in the past for local charities, but has not done it on a recurring basis. The owners thought it was a good time to make something official and give back to the community in a consistent way. 
 
“We have a deep love for Lexington. All the owners either grew up here or decided to stay here after realizing what a great place it is. The Mission Mondays program allows us to give back to the community that’s given us so much,” said co-owner Xavier Donnelly.
 
The plan is to focus each month on organizations with similar or overlapping goals. The first month, November, will focus on food pantries and community housing.
 
Co-owner Kore Donnelly said, “We have a taproom well-suited to hosting events like these. With our ample space non-profits can host their own fundraiser and awareness event and earn funds from sales at the bar at the same time.”
 
More information on what organizations will have Monday events is available on Blue Stallion Brewing’s website.
 

Sterling releases 1863 Session IPA

sterling IPA handleA few years ago, Sterling was a strong, pseudo-local brand here in Louisville, going head to head with the “big three” of Falls City, Fehr’s and Oertel’s in the fight for space in our grandparents’ refrigerators and livers. Sterling was a product of the Evansville Brewing Company, which had ties to Louisville by way of an Oertel’s connection; John F. Oertel would purchase his brewery from the widow of a man named Charles Hartzmetz, whose brother, Charles, moved to Evansville to open Evansville Brewing Company.

But I’m not here to tell you that.

The Sterling Brand, all these years later, is owned locally these days, and they debuted a pilsner beer a couple of years back that now comes in a super-cool, wide-mouth can. It isn’t bad, even if at times the price points have been a little steep.

The other day I was watching football with my pal the Bar Belle at Diorio’s in the Highlands and noticed Sterling was on special for $3 a pint. And then I noticed that it was not the pilsner, but something called 1863 Session IPA. My first thought was, “I didn’t know there was such a thing as a session IPA in 1863.” Later, however, I looked it up and realized that Sterling was established in 1863.

Anyway, I ordered one. It was served very cold, and it was clearly highly carbonated. In fact, had I not watched her pour it, I would have sworn it came from the Miller Lite tap right next door. I tried the nose and found nothing there. Heck, it even smelled like a light beer. And then I tasted it, and what I found was that it is very much in the neigborhood of beers like Founder’s All Day IPA. Very light in body, which caters to the Corporate Light drinkers, but with a nice, sharp hop bite at the very back of the palate.

I can’t sit here and tell you it’s a great beer or even that I’ll order another one. But I do think it will serve a purpose, or at least it can. It wasn’t bad, just nothing terribly special. But for $3, at least you’re helping a local business owner (even if the beer is actually brewed up north). And hey, the green tap handle is pretty cool looking too.

Louisville Brewfest returns Friday, Oct. 17, with plenty of beverages and an expanded ‘brewseum’

LIBA Brewfest poster 2014 top only copyIt’s fall, the leaves are turning various shades of red, yellow and orange, people are drinking glasses of pumpkin-flavored beer, and that means it’s time again for the Louisville Brewfest. This year, there will be roughly 50 local and regional beers for the tasting, along with nearly 30 wines and a couple of bourbons. It happens this Friday, Oct. 17, at Slugger Field.

And unlike many beer festivals, it’s not a $40 or $50 investment up front — $5 gets you in the door along with a souvenir cup for tastings. From there, you pay $1 apiece for tasting tickets, meaning you don’t have to feel obligated to taste every single beer to get your money’s worth. That makes for more control over the money you spend and a more pleasant Saturday morning. (Believe me, a beer festival hangover is not a pretty thing.)

Of course, you can always get a full 12-ounce pour if you find something you like for a mere four tickets. Ditto on wine and bourbon, although the prices and pour sizes vary accordingly.

There’s plenty to like about the 2014 version of the festival. You’ll get to taste some interesting local brews like Against the Grain’s Rico Sauvin and Alt Ore Boi, along with some staples such as New Albanian Brewing Company’s Hoosier Daddy, Great Flood Brewing’s Brown Ale and BBC Taproom’s new Louisville Lager.

A couple of the aforementioned pumpkin beers will be available for tasting, if you like that sort of thing (pumpkin flavoring seems to take over beer every October): Cumberland Brews will have its Roasted Pumpkin Ale and Bluegrass Brewing Company will offer its Country Pumpkin.

On the regional front, Rivertown Brewing Company of Cincinnati will have its Roebling and Lil’ Sipa IPA, while Bloomington’s Upland Brewing Company will feature its Champagne Velvet and Wheat beers. Also, you’ll get to try the pilsner from Danville-based Beer Engine, which plans to open its long-awaited brewery and restaurant in Germantown in early 2015.

VIP tickets sold out, and the Louisville Independent Business Alliance crew, which organizes Brewfest, expects a good crowd.

We’ve been thrilled with the response so far and expect a great turnout for the event,” says Jennifer Rubenstein, director of LIBA. “It’s heartening to know there are so many people in the area that care about their local, independent businesses — and great local beer, of course.

Also, My Old Kentucky Homebrew returns with a bigger, better version of its “brewseum,” which will be located on the Overlook Deck. The brewseum is a trip back in time for a look at Louisville’s brewing history throughout the past 150 years and then some.

Oertels CaseAmong the artifacts are a Schaefer-Meyer Brewing Company case from the 1890s, an original “Fehr Bear” advertising statue and a Fehr’s-sponsored painting that hung in the Fontaine Ferry beer garden, circa 1880-1900. There are also Prohibition-era documents and bottles, plus plenty of memorabilia from Falls City, Oertel’s and other Louisville breweries of the past. There’s also a map pinpointing the locations of all past Louisville breweries.

“It’s going to be out of this world,” says Paul Young, owner of My Old Kentucky Homebrew and curator of the brewseum. “We have twice as much stuff this year. It really does look like a museum exhibit” when fully set up.

There is no additional charge to visit the brewseum; Slugger Field will charge $5 for parking in its lot, but there’s plenty of street parking around the stadium. Designated driver admission is free, and water is free (bring your own bottle).

Also, there will be an official Louisville Brewfest after-party just a few blocks away at Haymarket Whiskey Bar. You’ll get free admission with your Brewfest wristban; SqueezeBot will perform and special drinks from Brewfest partner Heaven Hill will be available at the bar.