Strengthening its connection to the local homebrewing community, Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company awarded first prize in its third Annual Kentucky Brew-Off competition to Kentucky Cream Ale, a “hybrid” beer. The “hybrid,” fermented as an ale but lagered during a portion of the brewing process was formulated and brewed by Lexington resident Kenneth Klein.
A tasting panel of eight judges sampled 11 entries of various beer styles to choose this year’s annual homebrew contest winner.
“My hat’s off to Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Company for supporting Brewers of Central Kentucky and homebrewers in general,” said Klein. “This was my third try at this competition. Years ago I first thought it was ironic that a brewery advocated home brewing since homebrewers make their own beer rather than buy it, but I was informed that they figured when we do buy beer we buy the good stuff like this local brewery makes.”
“This year’s Brew-Off was incredibly competitive,” said Ken Lee, Brewmaster for Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company. “The skill and originality displayed by our local homebrewers made picking this year’s winning entry an exacting task, albeit a fun one, too.”
The winning beer’s recipe will be scaled up to a commercial-sized batch to be brewed by Alltech in July for entry in the Great American Beer Festival’s Pro-Am Competition, which is held every fall in Denver, Colorado. Alltech will fly Mr. Klein and a guest to Denver to experience the national competition. A limited amount of Kentucky Cream Ale—a light, sweet, bubbly brew—will be commercially available beginning in early August, on draft in select Kentucky bars and restaurants.
The Kentucky Brew-Off competition is held every year at Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, to kick off American Craft Beer Week and to select its Pro-Am Competition entry. Homebrewers provide all equipment and materials except water and yeast, which is provided by Alltech. Most entrants are members of the local homebrewing club, though the event is beginning to attract other brewers from throughout the region.
The 2009 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) will be held September 24 to 26 and is hosted by the Brewers Association in Denver, Colorado. The GABF brings visitors from around the world to sample more than 1,800 different American beers. Over 100 beer judges from the United States and abroad participate in the evaluations of one or more beer styles, ultimately judging 2,300 beers entered by more than 450 domestic breweries. Gold, silver and bronze medals in 75 beer-style categories are awarded.
This is the third year for the GABF Pro-Am Competition. In the 2007 Pro-Am Competition, Alltech and Paris, Kentucky homebrewer Bill Caldwell received the silver medal for Kentucky Hefeweizen