Last week, I mentioned a chat with Schlafly Beer’s (of St. Louis) Mitch Turner.
Mitch used to work for the now defunct Pipkin Brewing Company, which occupied the space at the corner of Main and Clay in downtown Louisville that now houses BBC Beer Company, production brewer of the familiar BBC brands, and a fine venue in which to drink them.
Beyond any doubt, the best beer Pipkin ever brewed during its brief three-or so-year run was Bourbon Barrel Stout.
At the time, probably six years ago, I became enthused over the possibilities afforded by a Kentucky brewery marrying craft beer with bourbon, and suggested that brewers and distiller could be partners in branding and marketing such a product, not just locally, but anywhere that bourbon enjoys prominence.
Consequently, my sense of personal vindication was very high this morning as I read this article in the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Bluegrass Brewing partners with distiller, by Bill Wolfe.
The significant part of this to me is the partnership between BBC Beer Company and McLain & Kyne Distillery, maker of Jefferson’s Reserve. Having the names of both companies on the label of “Bluegrass Brewing Co.'s Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout” is the key to the cross-over between specialty beer and bourbon.
And, as a stunning bonus, we know the final product will be great because our friend David Pierce is the brewmaster running the show.
When we’ve done Bourbondaddy at NABC, my biggest regrets have been the lengthy process required to complete aging of the beer, the space taken by the barrels, and the necessity of maintaining a sane price point for draft sales – all this, and the entire batch would be gone in two weeks.
BBC Beer Company seems perfectly placed to minimize these disadvantages. The brewery has space (18 barrels filled for the first batch, as compared with three at a time at NABC), time and an efficient new bottling line -- and the price point for a premium, bottled beer can be much higher than draft.
I’m very excited, and will report back when I’ve had a chance to taste it.