The Kentucky Craft Bash 2019 barrel-aged beer list is here, and it’s impressive

The Kentucky Craft Bash happens June 22 at Festival Plaza. | Courtesy of Kentucky Guild of Brewers

The third annual Kentucky Craft Bash isn’t until June 22, but the list of barrel-aged beers that will be rolled out at the all-Kentucky festival may have you counting down the days.

Once again this year, the Kentucky Guild of Brewers-run festival partnered with a distillery to age dozens of beers from breweries around the state in barrels. This year’s partner is New Riff Distillery, located in Newport, which provided barrels to 40 breweries.

Each brewery filled a 55-gallon bourbon barrel that had been dumped only the day before, to ensure they were fresh and would impart plenty of character from the four-year bourbon. The first tastes of these beers, which come in a variety of beer styles, will be at the festival.

3rd Turn Brewing is aging a Double Haze Porter with vanilla beans; Akasha has its Brain Check, an imperial stout, in a New Riff barrel; and Gordon Biersch is aging Maggie in the Tank, a maibock beer.

From Against the Grain, expect a rauchbier called Shenkenstein’s Monster, while Falls City will present a barrel-aged Belgian quad called A Tribe Called Quest, and Mile Wide Beer Co. is aging Super Maris, an English-style barleywine.

(The full list of beers aged in New Riff Barrels is below.)

“Most of these are pretty big beers,” said Derek Selznick, executive director of the guild.

One of the goals of the festival — other than it being the guild’s primary fundraiser — is to give the breweries a chance to engage with beer lovers from around the state, as well as one another.

Unlike many beer festivals, a large percentage of brewers and brewery owners will be on hand at tasting booths to talk about the beers.

Forty Kentucky breweries, including Holsopple Brewing, are aging beers in New Riff Distillery bourbon barrels. | Courtesy of Kentucky Guild of Brewers

In addition, Selznick said, there will be more portable restrooms than ever before, and a new early check-in will ensure people have more time inside the festival, with less time spent waiting to get in.

“We know check-in isn’t much fun,” said Selznick, speaking for the guild member breweries. “We’re trying to do away with all the things we don’t like about beer festivals.”

Selznick said 45 breweries will have a presence at the festival, which is roughly two-thirds of the breweries in the state. A total of 85 beers will be available for tasting, and they are beers that will only be found at the festival or at the brewery’s taproom.

Tickets prices are $45 for general admission and $55 (in advance) or $60 (day of) for VIP tickets, down from $75 last year. The change is that VIP tickets this year won’t come with a T-shirt or swag bag, simply because, Selznick said, they found many of the bags in the garbage and a lot of attendees didn’t pick up their shirts. The guild decided to, instead, simply discount the tickets.

Besides, the focus of the festival is the beer.

“What we want is for people to sip, savor and enjoy,” Selznick said, “and hopefully learn something about the breweries, too.”

The festival takes place noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, at Festival Plaza at Waterfront Park.

New Riff Barrel-Aged Beer List

3rd Turn BrewingDouble Haze Porter w/vanilla beans
3rd Turn Old GardensFrank the Tank Stout
Against the Grain BrewerySchenkenstein’s Monster: rauchbier
Akasha Brewing CompanyBarrel Aged Brain Check
Alexandria Brewing CompanyBourbon Barrel Aged Ceilia’s Grace on Cherries
Apocalypse Brew WorksRye of Saron: double rye
Bircus Brewing CompanyDeep Lagoon: bourbon barrel-aged Scotch ale with coffee
Blue Stallion BrewingWee Heavy
Braxton BrewingCoffee Stout
Country Boy GeorgetownBarreled Wee Heavy
Country Boy LexingtonBarreled Lucius Clay: golden stout
Darkness BrewingRoggenbier
Dry Ground Brewing CompanyYardbird: doppelbock
Ethereal BrewingBellerophon: English barleywine
Goodwood Brewing CompanyBlack Blood of the Earth: imperial stout
Gordon Biersch BreweryMaggie in the Tank: maibock
Gypsy Run BreweryKentucky Roll: hoppy amber
Falls City Brewing CompanyA Tribe Quad Quest: Belgian quad
Flywheel BrewingCzar Barrel Shortcake: imperial stout w/ strawberry
Fusion BrewingLuhman 16″
Henderson Brewing CoBarrelrator
Holsopple BrewingWeizenbock
Hopkinsville Brewing CompanyLightGuards Lemon: lavender wheat ale
Jarfly Brewing CompanyHard Core Corn: imperial cream ale
Lemons Mill BreweryCherry Stout
Lexington Brewing Co.Double Barrel Aged Coffee Stout
Mile Wide Beer CompanySuper Maris: English-style barleywine
Mirror Twin BrewingLeather Weapon Six Blonde Stout
Monnik Beer CoDwayne-Dark and Belgian
My Old Kentucky FoamGeorgetown Brown
Old Louisville BreweryDubbel
Paducah Beer WerksIrish Riff: Irish red
Pivot BrewingKY Sunshine: blood orange cider
Rock House BrewingBourbon Barrel Virgin Queen: imperial red ale
Sig Luscher BreweryBourbon Barrel Sig 66
West Sixth BrewingSlap Happy: barrel-aged brown ale
West Sixth FarmKentucky Bourbon Ball
White Squirrel BreweryScotch Ale
Wooden Cask Brewing CompanyHell Yes: Helles bock
Yancey’s Gastropub and BreweryBourbon Burly Stout: oatmeal stout