Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Cure for What Ales You

“Tailspin Ale Fest is even bigger and better than ever in our second year,” says Tisha Gainey, co-founder of the popular festival.

Last year’s Tailspin, a celebration of craft beer, attracted attendees from Louisville and beyond – as far as Florida, New York and Alaska. Gainey and co-founder Trevor Cravens have expanded, adding more to the popular mix of beer, food and music. Last year’s attempt at Bowman Field was actually too successful.

This year’s opening night, a VIP-only evening called “The Barrel Roll,” will take place Friday with The Pimps of Joytime, a soul and funk band from Brooklyn, NY. The founders saw the band perform at both the Forecastle Festival and Zanzabar, so “We were so happy when we were able to book them,” says Gainey. “It just made sense. Even if you don’t dance, they are so fun, you’ll wiggle a little.”

Barrel Roll is a night of all things from a barrel, she says. “Barrel-aged beers, bourbons, spirits and wine … We went beyond extremely limited barrel-aged beers and are showcasing some of the spirits or barrels in which these beers are aged.” Flat 12 Bierwerks will present their Pinko Russian Imperial Stout, aged in Willett bourbon barrels, “at a table with Willett bourbon that you can sample or have in a featured cocktail,” Gainey says. Copper & Kings will be pouring their brandy, while the Lexington brewery West 6th shares their Transy Brandy, a Belgian-style tripel aged in Copper & Kings barrels.

Food options are coming from the Ole Group (El Taco Luchador, Cena, etc.), who will offer bacon-wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates, empanadas, Korean BBQ wings and other deliriously delicious bar-appropriate items. On Saturday, the founders plan to increase the number of food trucks on-site from last year to give patrons more options and more chances to secure food before it all sells out.

Saturday is the big day, of course, and so the fest will be bigger in many ways on that day. “Where to start?” asks Gainey. “Last year, we had around 45 breweries and over 150 beers. We are up to 56 breweries now!” Mayor Greg Fischer will appear to bless the fest on Saturday.

Back in November, the LAGERS Homebrew Club held a competition to brew the first Official Tailspin Ale at Apocalypse Brew Works, whose owner Leah Dienes is a longstanding member and success story. That product, the Spit Fire Ale, will be available from title sponsor Liquor Barn, which is also donating money to the Dare to Care Food Bank on behalf of Tailspin. A raffle will also benefit the Bank.

More American music will be pumped out by the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys and the Solid Rock’it Boosters on Saturday. A Kentucky Heritage Section will feature brewers statewide. Gainey notes that they are also working with Uber, and ends on a more sober note.

“Please note that we want people to drink responsibly … Guests will be able to leave their vehicles until noon the following day.”

c. 2015 The Voice-Tribune

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