A thirsty and hungry crowd of nearly 400 swarmed Butchertown’s Copper & Kings Distillery Wednesday night for Taste, IdeaFestival‘s nod to Louisville’s most innovative food and beverage makers. With 19 food stations and 16 drink vendors, the evening was a gluttonous one indeed.

Booths were lined up on the grounds and on each level inside the brandy distillery, making for an organized, not-too-cramped food frenzy. Highlights included samples of the brand new Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey; freshly grilled sliders from Stout Burgers and Beers (my favorite eat of the night by far); homemade Combos-like snacks by the folks at Silver Dollar; a sip of Jefferson’s Reserve Manhattan Barrel-Aged Cocktail; a Copper & King un-aged brandy cocktail made with raspberry puree; and creamy, delicious mint chocolate gelato from Spotz Gelato.

The mayor presented the Orange Fork Winners to Susan Hershberg of Wiltshire Pantry, Bruce Ucan of the Mayan Café, and Karyn Moskowitz of New Roots Inc. and Fresh Stop Markets.

One surprise of the night came from the folks at 8UP. I grabbed what I thought was chicken, and it turned out to be an octopus tentacle! Luckily Old 502 Winery was located next door, and I washed the sea creature down with their Bore Dough. Whew!

Below is photographic evidence that I indulged way too much for a Wednesday night.