How a homebrewer went from writing about beer to opening a brewery of his own

How a homebrewer went from writing about beer to opening a brewery of his own


Kentucky’s Beloved Ale-8 Soda Has Been Around Over 90 Years—But You Probably Have Never Heard Of It

A gingery, citrusy Prohibition-era concoction that makes a darn good bourbon mixer.
Kentucky Ale-8 Soda

It’s not often that you find yourself running into a glass bottle of Coke anymore. In Kentucky, certainly not—because you’ll run into Ale-8.

After being in Kentucky for, I don’t know, three hours, I came across my first one inside a cooler fridge at Wallace Station Deli, one of Kentucky chef Ouita Michel’s restaurants. I asked the cashier, “What’s that?’ while pointing to the green longneck bottle with the old-school logo. She looked at me like I’d just fallen off the turnip truck. “That’s Ale-8.” I said I’d take it.

Ale-8-One—called Ale-8 for short—is a gingery, citrusy little number that tastes like a crisper, more mellowed (read: less spicy) take on ginger beer, and it’s the only Kentucky-invented soft drink still being produced. The first batches were bottled in 1926, making it over 90 years old.

It’s one of those phenomena that once you’ve seen one, you start seeing them everywhere. My first was at a tucked-away restaurant on the side of a quiet country road near Midway, Kentucky. Later that night, I was at a rooftop bar in downtown Lexington, and there it was—this time in a swirling machine mixing up frozen bourbon slushies with Maker’s Mark and Ale-8 at Belle’s Cocktail House. Similarly, a cocktail made with Maker’s and Ale-8 is known as a “Kentucky Gentleman.”

While most stay true to the classic, Ale-8-One Bottling Company also offers Diet Ale-8, Caffeine-Free Ale-8, and a specialty Cherry Ale-8 (can you say perfect for ice cream float?). You can find it throughout Kentucky, as well as in all 600-plus Cracker Barrel restaurants. It’s also carried in select locations throughout the Southeast, including Fresh Market and Kroger.

If you can get your hands on them before they’re gone, that is. This Prohibition-era soft drink knows how to be sneaky.


A gingery, citrusy Prohibition-era concoction that makes a darn good bourbon mixer.

Beer + cheese. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Kentucky concoction

, Louisville Courier JournalPublished 6:25 a.m. ET Sept. 3, 2019 

Beer. Cheese. Objectively two of the most beloved food items in the world. Both span centuries, continents and cultures.

But beer cheese? It’s a Kentucky thing.

Nearly every brewery and brewpub menu around Louisville has an iteration of the mouth-watering appetizer: most traditionally a combination of cheddar cheese, beer, cayenne pepper, paprika and some garlic.

Kentuckians feel strongly about their beer cheese — its serving temperature, whether it’s accompanied by a soft pretzel or chips, the best cheese to use and the beer you should never use.

And they should, since Winchester, Kentucky likes to take credit for inventing the modern pub-food concoction. It’s all about that good ol’ Bluegrass State pride!

Beer cheese is rarely seen outside of central Kentucky, or if it is, it’s usually a bastardized version, not what’s found in Winchester, Lexington or here in Louisville. And it’s so popular that the exact beer cheese recipe is kept a secret at nearly every local establishment.

We know you love it. So we’ve put together the ultimate Louisville beer cheese guide so you can get your fix on all things beer + cheese.

Temperature debate: cold vs. hot

Temperature is by far one of the most controversial issues surrounding beer cheese locally: Is it best served hot or cold?

Many Kentuckians have a strong opinion about the temperature of their beer cheese but one thing is for certain — beer cheese is definitely not the same as nachos or the processed cheese served with pretzels at high school football games. And the version of beer cheese invented in Winchester, Kentucky is served cold.

To read the full article click here.

Kentucky resort parks serve up authentic, regional eats along the state’s culinary trail

JUL 26, 2019 | 8:23 AM

As the server set my main luncheon course before me, I had to resist the urge to wrinkle my nose in distaste. After all, I thought of goetta the same way I thought of haggis, Rocky Mountain oysters and eel pie — all food items I would gladly pass on.

I had tried goetta once before and didn’t like it. However, since I was here specifically for the purpose of eating it, I bravely picked up my fork and cut off a piece. Expecting the worst, I found instead that it was quite delicious — nothing like the tasteless blob of meat I had tried before. I kept cutting off pieces until, to my surprise, the goetta was gone.

To those who may not be familiar with goetta, it’s a meat and grain sausage, composed mainly of meat, pork, peppers, onions, pin oats and spices, and cooked for several hours. It’s a common dish in Cincinnati, thanks to the city’s German heritage, and by extension, across the Ohio River in northern Kentucky as well.

So, you might ask what is a German dish that many in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have never heard of — let alone eaten — doing on the menu at a Kentucky State Resort Park?

To continue reading this article click the link below:—SQ75nz4V64tFRJo_DIEXqs

Southern Hospitality Magazine-Traveler

Southern Hospitality Magazine-Traveler

June 4, 2019

#TravelTuesday Today is #NationalCheeseDay, and in the South there are plenty of places where you can sample local and regional cheeses.

From Belle Chevre ( in Elkmont, Alabama, to Udderly Cool Creamery( in Roopville, Georgia, to Orrman’s Cheese Shop( inside 7th Street Public Market ( in Charlotte, North Carolina
and points in between, it’s easy to make every day a national cheese day.

And did you know about the NC Cheese Trail? Learn more at

Little Rock, Arkansas, is home to the annual World Cheese Dip Championship (this year’s date is Oct. 5;

Winchester, Kentucky, is the birthplace of Beer Cheese and home of the Beer Cheese Trail ( The destination also holds a Beer Cheese Festival(, scheduled for June 8 this year.

American Cheese Society is holding its annual Festival of Cheese and Cheese Sale in Richmond, Virginia, on Sat., Aug. 3. For more information, including ticket costs and purchasing, visit

Visit North Alabama Sweet Home Alabama Carrollton Area Convention & Visitors BureauExplore GeorgiaCharlotte’s got a lotVisit North CarolinaLittle Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas State TourismWinchester-Clark County Tourism
Kentucky TourismVisit Richmond VAVirginia is for Lovers


Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail Now Open for Second Year

Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet

Kentucky Department of Tourism

Contact: Angela Blank
502-892-4001/[email protected]

Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail Now Open for Second Year

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2019) – For the second straight year, guests can sample some tasty regional fare at nine Kentucky State Parks on the 2019 Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail.

This highly successful trail is part of the Better in the Bluegrass culinary tourism initiative that showcases one-of-a-kind restaurants and chefs specializing in local ingredients and distinctive cuisine. Better in the Bluegrass was highlighted by the last season of Top Chef that took place in Kentucky.

“We are extremely excited to continue the culinary trail for a second year,” Don Parkinson, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet said. “This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for visitors and locals to have a unique culinary experience at one of our state park restaurants while enjoying the great outdoors and scenic beauty all our parks have to offer.”

“The Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail is a fun way for our guests to experience local dishes all across Kentucky,” Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland said. “Our partnership with the Kentucky Department of Tourism helps guide tourists to our parks and other culinary destinations in every region.”

A Kentucky State Park restaurant in each of the nine tourism regions offers one of these signature meals. Pick up a culinary passport at any state park where guests can receive stamps after trying the featured meals at all nine parks along this culinary trail to receive a gift. Meals will be served May 19 through Oct. 31, 2019 and local producers will be utilized for portions of each regional meal.

State Parks Featured:

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, Dawson Springs

Bluegrass Blues & Barbecue Region

Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough

Bourbon, Horses & History Region

Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Slade

Bluegrass, Horses, Bourbon & Boone Region

Barren River Lake State Resort Park, Lucas

Caves, Lakes & Corvettes Region

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg

Kentucky Appalachians Region

Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Pineville

Daniel Boone Country Region

Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, Carlisle

Northern Kentucky River Region

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown

Southern Shorelines Region

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville

Western Waterlands Region

To learn more about each region’s cultural heritage, signatures dishes, recipes, and the Kentucky State Parks Culinary Trail, please visit

To plan your next vacation or getaway, visit For information about Kentucky State Parks, visit


Abettor Brewery plans grand opening this week!

The Winchester Sun

By Lashana Harney

After a successful soft opening this past weekend, Abettor Brewing Company is officially opening this week.

Abettor, located at 301 W. Lexington Ave., offers local beers, ranging from $4 to $6, such as Blond Ale, Abettor IPA, Pale8, Raspberry Wheat and Rocco’s Coffee Stout. The beers are made with local hops, Owner Tyler Montgomery said.

Abettor also offers wine and soft drinks.

Questionable Activities Trivia will kick off the grand opening week at 7 p.m. Thursday for the start of weekly Thursday trivia nights.

Day one of Abettor’s official grand opening begins at 11 a.m. Friday. The El Jaibo taco truck will be on site at 5 p.m., and Singer-songwriter Eric Bolander will perform from 8 to 10 p.m.

Day two begins at 11 a.m. Saturday and the taco truck will again be on site at 5 p.m. Musician Aaron Boyd will perform from 8 to 10 p.m.

“It should be a fun time,” Montgomery said.

Later this month, Abettor will host performances by The Ox-Eyed Daisies, Jason Howard and Mason McCord.

For more information and updates about Abettor, go to

To see the full article click here!


This Beautiful Hike In Kentucky Has A Mouthwatering Restaurant Right Along The Trail

This Beautiful Hike In Kentucky Has A Mouthwatering Restaurant Right Along The Trail

Kentucky is great for doing many things, but two of the best are hiking and eating. Our state has countless trails to experience and just as many delicious restaurants to try, and there is one spot in the Bluegrass where you can do both, and practically at the same time. Halls on the River is a well known restaurant in Winchester, which also happens to be home to the trailhead for the John Holder Trail. This beautiful hike is perfect for exploring anytime of year and you can even fuel back up at the mouthwatering restaurant right along the trail.

To read the full article please click here!