Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Kentucky Common beer to stand out at BrewFest."

This one's been on the docket for a while. It takes place tomorrow.

At LouisvilleBeer: "Derby City BrewFest: An 'Uncommon' Beer Festival on Derby Eve."

To summarize, tracking down facts about the historical presence in Louisville of a style referred to as "common" (or reflecting the German still being spoken locally then, "Komon") poses many challenges, but it existed, and appears to have varied widely. The term itself might have more to do with price point than anything else, in the form of a "session" or "table" beer, inexpensive, and suitable for daily consumption at a time when cultural mores would have embraced such a brew as a thirst quencher, as opposed to soda, water or iced tea.

Whether sourness was an intrinsic property of Kentucky Common remains the great debatable. It may have been a by-product of handling, as Leah Dienes of Apocalypse Brewery suggests in the article below. The idea the common might have been loosely connected with sour mash (see: bourbon) in some fashion may or may not be supported by available evidence, although it makes sense even if only in an isolated or accidental way, and undoubtedly bolsters the storytelling possibilities.

In Louisville, the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, and the day before is the Oaks, a racing day generally claimed by locals as their own. Churchill Downs is a money-making conglomerate, which for several years has forged an alliance with the Stella Artois, making carbonated Belgian dishwater the "official" beer of the Kentucky Derby. Naturally, if you're interested in what's really brewing locally, Derby City BrewFest is a required destination tomorrow night. Here's another preview.

Kentucky Common beer to stand out at BrewFest, by Bailey Loosemore (Courier-Journal)

Also, don't forget to reject Stella Artois as faux Derby beer.

A few other seasonal Derby links:

The classic: Director’s Cut: ‘The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,’ by Hunter S. Thompson.

The outrage: Tradition, Americana, Churchill Downs and Stella Artois.

On horse pimps: "The Kentucky Derby Really Is Decadent and Depraved."

Just be patient: Derby Festival begins, bad beer flows, and so we learn to wait.

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