21 February 2014

The Brewgrass State

To round off this week's posts on the Alltech Brews and Food 2014 event, we turn to the beers from Alltech's home country of the USA. In fact, the emphasis was on the company's home state of Kentucky and they'd brought along some Kentucky beers to put on a rotating tap.

Venerable Louisville brand Falls City is still finding its feet under new ownership and much of its beer is produced out of state. As far as I can tell, however, the Black IPA they were pouring in Dublin came from the pilot plant in Louisville itself. It's a lovely example of the hoppy-porter sub-genre, with a gorgeous contrast of bitter treacle and liquorice on one side and then light flowery hopping on the other. Sinner and saint in one glass.

Against the Grain, also in Louisville, produces a dizzying array of beers, most with silly names. I don't know which of the many was pouring (Rico Sauvin? Citra Ass Down?), only that it was a light and enjoyable pale ale with fresh and simple mandarin vibe. I'd be up for trying more from this operation, even if titles like "Noble Flops" and "Munichaulay Dunkulkin" are cringeworthy.

Lastly, a beer from Alltech's own brewery in Lexington. To give it its full and legally mandated name, Kentucky Kölsch Style is 4.3% ABV and definitely has the look of Cologne's signature beer: a perfectly limpid pale yellow. The flavour doesn't quiiite hang together: there's a decent crispness but the aley fruit is a smidge overdone and, like most kölsches, it's too fizzy. A pleasant change from mainstream lager is about the height of its charms.

And that's it for Alltech Brews and Food 2014, with the usual thanks to Maeve, Tracey, Aisling and the team for putting on a hell of a show and providing the opportunity to get up close and personal with quite a few beers I'd never get to meet otherwise.

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