With all due credit to Sara "Bar Belle" Havens (her complete LEO story is reprinted below), here's the other side of my writing assignment for Food and Dining Magazine's next quarterly issue, May/June/July, which is to be released just prior to the Kentucky Derby.
My job? Inform the magazine's readers, many of whom will be visitors from out of town, about the nature and whereabouts of Louisville's craft breweries. Included are bits of recent history, as in this brief preview.
The Kentucky Derby has taken place right here in Louisville every year since 1875. From 1979 through 1992, there was no locally brewed beer to celebrate the Run for the Roses, but when Sea Hero captured the race in 1993, a few hardy and pioneering microbrew fans could be found drinking Silo Red Rock Ale. Later that fall, Bluegrass Brewing Company was founded, and there Louisville’s present-day craft beer story really begins.
Amid the usual fanfare surrounding Derby "tradition", let's put it this way. Subway's new Italian Collection is more authentically local in a Naples sense of genuine than anything Churchill Downs manages with its exaltation of AB-Inbev's "classic" Belgian lager (lager just isn't a classic Belgian style, is it?) as the beneficiary of soulless sponsorship dollars, all of which happily reinforces my usual bilious point: It should have been AB-Inbev's Goose Island, not AB-Inbev's Stella. At least Goose Island was once legit craft before its big-buck absorption, and Chicago's considerably far closer as a source than Leuven.
Stella named Derby’s official beer
Stella Artois has been named the “official beer sponsor” of Churchill Downs, Oaks and Derby. According to the press release, “Churchill Downs Racetrack today announced a multi-year partnership, naming the world’s best-selling Belgian beer Stella Artois as ‘The Official Beer Sponsor of Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby.’ While attending this year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, fans will be able to experience classic Belgian lager Stella Artois and its iconic Chalice, which will feature the Kentucky Derby 138 logo. Continuing its affiliation with Churchill Downs, Stella Artois also will serve as the presenting sponsor of “Opening Night” and four “Downs After Dark” nighttime events in 2012.”
I’m not a big fan of Stella, but I suppose it’s better than PBR or something. I will stick to the Mint Juleps.