A Bourbon distillery is sponsoring a beer festival Friday, May 6, Oaks Day, because this year there will be a competition for beers aged in Bourbon barrels – in Four Roses Bourbon barrels, of course. The winning brew will be awarded a trophy made by local artist Wayne Ferguson.

This new competition, which will feature 20 area breweries who have concocted brews just for the special Bourbon aging, will be one of the attractions, along with 100 beers from 28 local and regional craft brewers. 

This Bourbon barrel aged beer competition will be judged by certified BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judges prior to the festival, but attendees will be able to sample the beers and vote in a People’s Choice category.

The festival will take place on the KFC Yum! Center Plaza. Another feature of the party will be the revival of Kentucky Common, a beer style invented in Louisville in the 1800s and the brew of choice for Louisville imbibers for many years. Several breweries will have their versions on hand for tasting.

Those with tastes for wine and whiskey will not be left out. Wine samples will be available t Little Kentucky River, and Four Roses will provide bourbon sampling. There will be live local music all evening, including Quiet Hollers, Jericho Woods, Carly Moffa, the Uncommon Houseflies, Hot Brown Smackdown and Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. Hours at the festival are 5-11 p.m.

Ticket prices start at $15 for general admission. Tiered pricing goes as high as $75 for VIP tickets, with the varying levels including different perks — from a souvenir glass to varying numbers of food and drink tickets. An online order special for $20 includes admission and $20 in food and drink tickets along with a tasting glass and souvenir lanyard.

The VIP package will include access to two VIP areas, 50 drink tickets, indoor and outdoor seating, plus indoor restrooms, with early entry at 4 p.m. Food in the VIP area will be provided by World of Beer, and there also will be tastings of limited-edition and pre-release beers, wine and spirits.

A “Thurby” kick-off party on Thursday, May 5, at BBC Bourbon Barrel Loft, 300 W. Main St., will feature hard-to-find beer, Four Roses bourbon and Little Kentucky River wines, live music and door-prizes.

For tickets, go to http://derbycitybrewfest.com/tickets/.  Note that the Thurby ticket sales end April 30.