The 6th Annual Jeffersontown Summer Craft Beer Fest is coming this Saturday, July 17. The fest returns after last’s year’s pandemic-mandated layoff.

Sponsored by the legal firm of Middleton Reutlinger, the festival will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Gaslight Pavilion and 3rd Turn Brewing (10434 Watterson Trail, Jeffersontown, Kentucky), with an expanded festival footprint and two stages for live music.

The pathway toward J-town’s rebooted beer fest is festooned with bullet points:

  • 3rd Turn Brewing will headline the Kentucky Corner hosted by Cox’s Smokers Outlets & Sprits Shoppes and Evergreen Liquors, featuring a dozen or more Kentucky breweries.
  • 85+ craft beers will be featured, including national (New Belgium) and regional (Braxton) breweries; local favorites (Against the Grain); and newcomers like Atrium Brewing Company.
  • RecBar502 will offer classic arcade and pinball games; Oliver Winery (Bloomington IN) will run an old-fashioned ring toss game for a chance to win a VIP tour; and radio personalities from Alpha Media will broadcast live on site.
  • Expected food trucks and snack vendors are to include Fresh Out the Box, Six Forks Burger Company, Cafe502 and Froggy’s Popcorn.
  • Organizers are HB Productions (of Tailspin Ale Fest fame), the City of Jeffersontown and the Jeffersontown Chamber of Commerce.
  • Tickets are $40.00 per person in advance (at selected locations of Cox’s Smoker’s Outlets & Spirits Shoppes, and Evergreen Liquors); $45,00 in advance on-line; and $50.00 on the day of the show (if any tickets remain).

As noted previously in this digital space, as well as being the subject of my print column in the current edition of Food & Dining Magazine, Louisville Ale Trail is an independent marketing venture founded in early 2020 by Louisvillians Michael Moeller, David Satterly and John Ronayne, who are beer-hobbyists-turned-beervangelists.

They’re the source of the Louisville Ale Trail Passport, Louisville Beer Appreciation Day and Louisville Beer Week, and speaking of the latter, October 22 through 29 are the dates for Louisville Beer Week 2021, when the beer and brewing community will welcome you back to the future in the form of the “Pouring” Twenties.

There is another evolving project at Louisville Ale Trail that is near and dear to this columnist’s heart: props for Kentucky Common, our indigenous beer style. This is delightful; after all, I’ve been advocating Kentucky Commonism for quite some time as one tasty aspect of session-strength beers.

Hip Hops: Kentucky Common should be the beer from here, right?

“We want to get Kentucky to name an official state beer,” Moeller told me during our interview earlier this year, “and for the state beer to be Kentucky Common.”

Last week Moeller and the lads at Louisville Ale Trail got this state beer idea rolling.

My reaction to the news?

Look, I’ll never, ever — even for a millisecond — begrudge the cultural and economic dominance of bourbon in the context of Kentucky. “Bourbonism” is fitting and proper in every conceivable sense. At the same time, Kentucky Common has a compelling story entirely its own, and as beer styles go, Common deserves to be better known.

I predict that even though Andy Beshear has a lot on his plate, he’ll see the possibilities and approve this motion.

Roger Baylor is an entrepreneur, educator, and innovator with more than 35 years of hands-on experience and expertise as a beer seller, restaurateur, and commentator. As the co-founder of New Albany’s Sportstime Pizza/Rich O’s Public House (which later became New Albanian Brewing Company) in the 1990s and early 2000s, Baylor played a seminal role in Louisville’s craft beer renaissance. Currently he is the beer director at Pints&union in New Albany. Baylor’s “Hip Hops” columns on beer-related subjects have been a fixture in F&D since 2005, and he was named the magazine’s digital editor in 2019.