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Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest: Great Food, Craft Beer and Thousands of Friends

Also known as the “Horse Capital of the World”, Lexington, Kentucky, is a charming, activity-filled destination that is perfect for your next vacation. The area where Lexington now stands was first settled by Anglo Americans back in 1775. In fact, Daniel Boone was one of the first Anglo Americans to explore the area. The town of Lexington was established in 1778, and by the early 1800’s the city became a hub for transcontinental travel and commerce.


During the middle of the 19th Century, Lexington’s population grew to nearly 10,000 people. This influx, combined with the various cultures introduced to the area, helped the city gain the nickname “Athens of the West”. The city continued to grow into the twentieth century and by the time the Great Depression occurred, Lexington’s population had grown to over 45,000 people. Post WWII, the city became a center for manufacturing and people continued to flock for work opportunities and the beautiful natural surroundings. Currently, the city has more than 300,000 residents and is commonly considered one of the best places to live in the state.


Regardless of your reason for visiting, Lexington has something for everyone. If you're even a remote fan of equestrian activities, this is the place for you. You’ll find over 450 different horse farms, various training facilities, associated museums, and so much more. The area is also home to a series of historic sites and landmarks, which are a perfect way to get a hands-on history lesson. The culture here is vibrant with various galleries, museums, shows and exhibitions readily accessible throughout the city. The culinary scene is already sizable, and still growing. You’ll find everything from fine dining to bar food. A great time to visit the city is during one of the big community events like the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest.  


This festival is entering only its third year, but it has already established itself as one of the top attractions in the city. This 21+ event is held at the beautiful Lexington Center, right in downtown. The celebration will feature over 50 breweries and over 175 different beers to sample and enjoy. Food options at the festival have expanded this year and they’ll have enough options to satisfy any appetite. Live music will be played throughout the event, helping to enhance the already fun and lively atmosphere. got the opportnity to interview Pete Weiss, Representative for the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest, to talk about the event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.

PW: This is our third year, and it has been growing all three years! We anticipate that around 5,000 folks will attend our festival over the course of the day. When it breaks down to demographics, I would say that the young professionals comprise the majority of our crowd, but we get a good mix of craft beer lovers who range in age from 21 to 81.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

PW: This is the largest Beer Festival in Lexington. Of course, we are going to invite the national guys, but we are really proud of bringing in the local vendors as well. All of our food vendors are from Lexington, and we are hosting the Craft Distillers Trail again this year.  These are hyper local companies that have the ability to share their products with a global audience. That global audience is in Lexington for the Alltech ONE Ideas Conference that brings in 3,000 folks from all over the world.


RAL: Walk me through what people will find during a typical day at the festival.

PW: The doors open at 12 noon. Upon checking in, you will receive 20 tasting tickets, a program, and a souvenir glass. There will be timed tappings every 15 minutes beginning at 1:00 pm for each of the 52 breweries, so each of them can feature a specialty beer. There is also a great lineup of local bands that will begin at 1:00 pm as well. Eleven local food vendors will be onsite all day long to feed the masses!   


Local Lexington restaurants will be on hand to prepare food for the entire event. We have everything from BBQ to Lobster Rolls to cupcakes and popcorn. There will be something for every taste.


This is a casual environment. We encourage everyone to dress comfortably and come ready to mingle with brewers as well as Lexington’s biggest craft beer lovers. However, you must be 21 or older to enter.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

PW: One of our food vendors is actually a bed and breakfast, the Chateau Annette. This is a high end bed and breakfast that is new to our area. There are also plenty of hotels within walking distance of the festival if you do not have a designated driver. Always remember to sample responsibly.  


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

PW: Craft beer is booming across the country. Most of these breweries are small businesses with just a few people on staff. Our goal with this event is to showcase what craft beer can be, and how small business can create a better quality product because of the passion for the industry.  


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

PW: It sure does, other than the 5,000 people that will be downtown Lexington that night, this is the kickoff event for the Alltech ONE Ideas Conference.  We will host 3,000 people from outside of Lexington for that entire week.  This will bring nightly business to restaurants, bars, and hotels in Lexington.  


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

PW: This is a great way to spend a weekend in Lexington. We are known for bourbon, and race horses, but maybe not beer. This is a weekend where the beer can blow you away! An ideal weekend in my mind is to take the Bourbon Trail tours on Friday, the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest on Saturday, and the beautiful horse farm tours on Sunday.

For more information about the Alltech Craft Brews and Food Fest, please visit their website.