From Bad Shepherd’s second anniversary to upcoming cider, brew and bourbon fests ahead
As we’re starting to have a midwinter thaw, we’re also heating up with a whole lot of brew news from craft beer to some area festivals and some really neat events.
Here’s a look at some of the brew news from the region.
Kentucky Bourbon and Spirits Winterfair
The East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville is hosting its first annual Bourbon and Spirits Winterfair. Tickets are on sale now for the event that will take place inside the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.
VIP tickets are $50 in advance or $55 at the door, and they include 12 tasting tickets, early entry, a souvenir glass, a T-shirt, and a cigar cutter. General admission tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door and include eight tasting tickets.
Go online at https://www.bourbonandspiritswinterfair.com/ for more info.
Happy anniversary to Bad Shepherd Brews
This week kicked off a month-long celebration of two years of the Charleston-based Bad Shepherd Beer Co., which is located at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews at the Brewery in downtown Charleston.
Run by West Virginia native and head brewer Ross Williams, with a hand from assistant brewer Jacob Dempsey, Bad Shepherd also provides an impressive slate of brews to its sister restaurants in Huntington — Black Sheep, Bahnhof and Honey Bones.
Impressively, Williams has just added a 12th line so that they have a dozen different Bad Shepherd brews on tap in Charleston and at Huntington’s Bahnhof, which has 33 taps.
Williams is going to be rolling out some new barrel-aged craft beers each week in February to celebrate the anniversary.
In Huntington, Honey Bones has their new The Cottage Quad (an 11 percent Belgian Quad) on tap, while Bahnhof has the Cottage Parlor Stove, an 11.1 percent Belgian Strong Dark Ale on tap.
Also this week, at both Huntington and Charleston Black Sheep locations, you can buy a fresh batch and limited release of Cloud Machine (the hazy and juicy IPA) in four-pack pint cans.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/CRWBrews/ to give Bad Shepherd a follow on Facebook to keep up with news from the brewery.
Stonewall sigNATURE Craft Beer debut and dinner
Stonewall Resort has some exciting brew news happening as the resort’s culinary team and Parkersburg Brewing Company have come together to host a four-course beer pairing dinner and the debut of the resort’s sigNATURE Craft Beer lineup on Saturday, Feb. 23.
This intimate event begins with a surprise “welcome beer” from Parkersburg Brewing in a souvenir Stonewall snifter glass at 6 p.m., followed by a plated dinner at 6:30 p.m., in which guests will be the first to try the new brews. Resort executive chef Nevil Barr and Parkersburg brew master Dan Curtis will be on
hand to guide guests through each course and pairing.
To view details on any of the events, visit: https://www.stone-wallresort.com/wanderlust/
Cider Fest tickets about gone
Only a few tickets remain for the first Wild and Wonderful Winter Cider Festival that will feature 45 different ciders from around the world as well as five different local brews.
While Huntington’s Better Beer Coalition is best known for its super-sized summertime Rails & Ales — West Virginia’s largest craft beer festival — in the wintertime they turn their attention and taps to a specific niche in the craft brewing industry. Last winter, the first Wild and Wonderful Winter Beer Festival put a spotlight on sour beers. This year, the BBC is making room in the inn for beer’s popular fruit-pressed cousin, hard ciders, as they present the first Wild and Wonderful Winter Cider Festival.
The festival will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Black Sheep Harley-David-son, 408 4th St. in Huntington. It will feature samples of more than 30 ciders and a handful of craft beers from several local breweries. Local food favorites Backyard Pizza and Southside Sliders will be vending.
With limited space, only 300 tickets will be sold and a few still remain. All tickets are $50 and are general admission, with only one session offered. Go online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wild-wonderful-winter-cider-festival-tickets to purchase.
For folks who aren’t gung-ho about ciders, a selection of local and regional breweries, including Huntington’s own brewery, The Peddler, also will be present with beers.
Go online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wild-wonder-ful-winter-cider-festival-tickets to get tickets.
Pints For A Purpose
Black Sheep Burrito and Brews in Charleston and Bad Shepherd Beer Co. have teamed up for a new give-back program, Pints For A Purpose. Each month, a featured nonprofit organization will receive $1 per pint sold of Bad Shepherd’s Noble Cause beer. February’s featured nonprofit is the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative.
Go online at https://www.facebook.com/Blacksheep-charleston/ to find out more about this and other events at Black Sheep in Charleston.
Ole Smoky racks up more than 4 million visitors
Wow, a tip of that good old “mountain dew” to the folks down in Tennessee. According to on-premise traffic counters, Ole Smoky’s three East Tennessee distilleries welcomed 4.1 million visitors in 2018. The Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler in Gatlinburg welcomed over 2 million visitors; Gatlinburg’s Ole Smoky Whiskey Barrelhouse welcomed over 900,000; and the company’s Pigeon Forge distillery, The Barn, welcomed 1.1 million.
By comparison, Ole Smoky entertains more than twice as many guests as all of Scotland’s distilleries combined. According to publicly available data, Scotland’s 74 whiskey distilleries saw 1.9 million attendees in 2017. Ole Smoky’s 4.1 million visitors is also more than three times the 1.2 million people who visit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail’s 10 distilleries each year.
Named the largest craft distiller in the U.S. by the IWSR, Ole Smoky Moonshine is also the No. 1 selling moonshine brand in the world and Nielsen indicates that Ole Smoky’s market share is over twice that of its nearest competitor.
Ole Smoky is the leading distiller of premium moonshine in the world and the first federally licensed distillery in the history of East Tennessee. Founded in 2010, Ole Smoky’s roots can be traced to the Smoky Mountains’ earliest settlers, families who produced moonshine with enduring pride and Appalachian spirit. In 2009, Tennessee laws changed, and suddenly, it was legal to make, distill and sell the infamous and illicit moonshine the region had become known for — and Ole Smoky was born, with products crafted from a century-old recipe. In 2016, Ole Smoky debuted its line of premium whiskeys, many of which have been launched nationally.
Today, Ole Smoky retails globally and offers more than 25 creative moonshine flavors and 17 inventive whiskey flavors, plus whiskey-and moonshine-flavored food items, including barbecue sauces, hot sauces and dips.
For more information, visit http://www.olesmoky.com or follow Ole Smoky on social media @olesmoky.