- By Jarrod Mills Staff Writer
- Feb 2, 2021
If you skipped the first-ever Signature Spirit Shuffle Pub Crawl held in downtown Corbin Saturday, you missed out on a good time. As usual, Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel knocked it out of the park with planning and organizing another home run event. So too did downtown’s restauranteurs and their staffs.
The event kicked-off at Si Señor. Kriebel was already there when the small group of four I “crawled” with got to the restaurant. In order to help limit the number of folks in each destination along the crawl, Kriebel split event-goers into groups and provided a list of restaurants in different orders to each group to ensure we all didn’t end up at the same place at the same time.
As my small group ventured from stop to stop, we decided to rank each signature drink we tried. Every participating restaurant was tasked with creating a signature drink using at least one common ingredient, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, which also sponsored the event.
Although our rankings varied slightly, we came to a consensus that our top two belonged to The Wrigley, which offered a drink they called “Ale-8-Fizz” that features Buffalo Trace and Ale-8-One, with Whitley County apple butter garnished with local apples.
While I would recommend the drink at any time of the year, I feel like the “Ale-8-Fizz” would be the perfect fall drink for when you get tired of pumpkin-spiced everything and need something stronger with a kick.
Our other favorite belonged to the Caboose Sports Tavern with their “Redhound Limeade,” made with the signature bourbon, strawberries, a hint of lime, simple syrup, and topped with a splash of ginger beer.
In my opinion, the “Redhound Limeade” is one of those drinks in which you have to be real careful. The fruitiness of the drink effectively masks the bourbon and one could easily forget it’s an alcoholic beverage. I could see how somebody might want more than one of these, and before you know it, you might wake up not feeling so great the next morning.
While the drinks were great everywhere we went, the best part of the event for me was getting out and being with a small group of friends and just enjoying the moment. For one night, it began to feel like things were back to some semblance of “normal,” although we did adhere to social-distancing guidelines as much as possible and wore masks when walking around.
It was refreshing to see Corbin’s restaurants alive again after months of fear on whether or not they would survive bouts of shutdowns and capacity limits. Kentucky’s restaurants are still at a 50 percent capacity limit, but even at half capacity, it almost felt like it used to before the pandemic.
While walking around downtown Corbin, thankful that rain decided to hold off, I couldn’t help but to think about how far this area has come. If you would have told me 10 or so years ago that the city of Corbin would host a pub crawl, I would have laughed in your face and then apologized.
It’s hard to believe that for the majority of my life, it was illegal to serve alcohol in this area. When I eventually made it Cumberlands for college, the amount of people from outside this area who were confused as to what a “dry county” or “dry city” was, was significant. The jokes about prohibition and this area constantly being behind the times would quickly surface following my explanation.
But over the last decade or so, this area, specifically Corbin, has made great strides to “modernize” itself a little more each year. And whether you drink or not, you have to admit ending the “local prohibition” has helped breathe life into the revitalization of Corbin’s downtown that has been wonderful for this area.
I’m excited to see how the next decade or so shapes our region. It’s hard to really say what the future may look like. Like I said, 10 years ago, I would have never thought Corbin would be home to a bar, much less a bar crawl.
I hope we keep this momentum in continuing to take strides in modernizing this area, bringing in more businesses, and having even options for those living in and visiting our home.
Cheers, here’s to the next 10 years of progress and all the fun it brings.
Jarrod Mills is a staff writer at the Times-Tribune. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.