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[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Craft beer, bourbon and delicious local cuisine – what more could one want? The best local food and drink the Bluegrass has to offer will be under one roof at the first-ever “Savor Kentucky” tasting event Friday, Nov. 1 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 2 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will take place in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park as part of the Kentucky Gathering, built around the world-class equestrian competition of the Alltech National Horse Show Oct. 29-Nov. 3.
While admission and food sampling is free, a $10 ticket at the door is required for beer and bourbon tasting, and will include a commemorative 5-ounce pilsner glass as well as sampling tokens. For convenient transport, free trolleys will run hourly to the Arena from downtown, and on-site free parking just steps from the Arena will also be available.
Savor Kentucky will highlight Kentucky’s rapidly growing craft beer scene, its notable locale as the birthplace of bourbon, and its increasing variety of local, high-quality cuisine. Participants can delight in a plethora of beer and bourbon samples from nine Kentucky breweries and seven Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries, as well as 25 other bourbons from across the state. The event will feature food and drink pairing suggestions with delectable fare from five Kentucky food vendors. Attendees interested in becoming discerning beer and spirits tasters can participate in hourly open Sensory Sessions both days with Master Brewers and Distillers from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company. Craft beer enthusiasts can also interact with all participating brewers on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. when the brains behind the brews will be available at their event booths in the Savor Kentucky area to talk shop.
Participating craft brewers will each showcase two of their brewery’s best craft beers at their booths, as well as one of their specialty brews at the tasting bar. Participating Kentucky breweries include Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse, Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., Apocalypse Brew Works, Bluegrass Brewing Company Brewpubs, Bluegrass Brewing Company Production Brewery, Blue Stallion Brewing Co., Country Boy Brewing, Cumberland Brewery and Falls City Beer. These breweries will feature a variety of craft brews, from Country Boy’s Shotgun Wedding, an English northern brown ale aged on whole vanilla beans, to Against the Grain’s Kentucky Ryed Chiquen, an amber ale brewed with rye malt and aged in rye whiskey barrels.
The world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries, including Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Town Branch, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve, will be in attendance to offer bourbon samples. For the enthusiastic bourbon connoisseur, the extensive bourbon bar will also gleam with the bottles of more than 25 other Kentucky bourbons available for sampling.
All of these delicious libations can be paired with the mouthwatering creations of five Kentucky food vendors, including Bourbon Barrel Foods, Critchfield, Enoteca’s Wine + Market, Red State Barbecue and Wallace Station. Pairing recommendations will be posted so attendees can enjoy optimal food and drink combinations. Food samples will include Kentucky classics such as country ham, beer cheese, and jam cakes, as well as modern twists on old favorites such as beer cheese grits, Lyons Farm® beef, pickled okra and mint julep brownies.
“Savor Kentucky will celebrate the depth of talent of our Commonwealth’s local food artisans, distillers and craft brewers,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “Anyone who knows me knows I am passionate about brewing and distilling, as well as celebrating local entrepreneurs, so I’m excited to showcase the best of Kentucky’s food and drink before a national audience.”
Savor Kentucky will also feature live music from local artists, including Central Kentucky country music artist Dillon Carmichael. Steps away from the Savor Kentucky area, meals from Irish-themed restaurant Pearse’s Place will be available for purchase, including the Irish staple, fish and chips.
The Alltech National Horse Show will boast compelling, high-purse events Friday and Saturday evening after the Savor Kentucky area closes, so attendees can stay to watch world-class equestrians compete. Events such as the $50,000 LIFEFORCE Elite™ Puissance, the high jump competition in which horses leap up to 7 feet, often draw a nail-biting crowd. A full schedule of events is available at www.alltechnationalhorseshow.com
The free shuttle service to the Alltech Arena from the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion downtown will run on Friday, Nov.1 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets for the beer and bourbon sampling portion of Savor Kentucky are available at the door of the Alltech Arena for only $10. Other free entertainment includes family-friendly fun in the children’s play area just outside the Arena with bouncy castles, pony rides, face painting, interactive educational exhibits, and more.
For those already hungry, the Kentucky Gathering’s Dine Lexington! Restaurant Week from Oct. 25-Nov. 3 around town in Lexington is another great way to enjoy delicious local cuisine. More than 30 locally-owned restaurants will be featuring special $25 fixed price menus during the special week. Along with specialty meals at an affordable price, restaurant week patrons can also receive half-price admission to the Alltech National Horse Show Oct. 29-Nov.3 with a receipt from a participating restaurant. The list of more than 30 participating restaurants and their specialty menus is available here.
To stay up to date on the latest developments regarding Savor Kentucky and the weeklong Kentucky Gathering festival that celebrates Kentucky’s magnificent horses, unmatched hospitality and rich culture, visit www.kentuckygathering.com