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Winchester Beer Cheese Festival makes grand return

Published 10:17 am Monday, June 13, 2022

By Winchester Sun

By Matt Cizek

[email protected]

By the time 10 a.m. rolled around on Saturday morning in Winchester, Main Street was already beginning to be filled with fanfare. 

Before long, hundreds if not thousands of spectators  filled the streets.

For the first time since 2019, Beer Cheese Festival took place in town – making its long-anticipated return. 

As expected, dozens of food vendors were ready to participate in the competition – including returnees like Bootlegger Beer Cheese and Hall’s Beer Cheese, along with newcomers like Cajun Chef Chris and more.

“This is the premier event of the summer where lots of brands are out here,” said Kit Crase, Owner of Hall’s Beer & Cheese. “We’re proud to be one of them.” 

While traditional beer cheese was on the menu among the vendors, other flavors such as tacos, pizza, barbecue, smoked meats, and more could be found throughout the lines. 

Yet, that’s not all. 

Vendors offering drinks such as Ale-8, who also served as a sponsor for the event, were present, along with those providing sweet treats, ice cream, and more.

A bevy of non-food and drink vendors were present as well, offering conveniences such as pottery, jewelry, t-shirts, soaps, and much, much, more. 

The event was graced by many first-time visitors, along with veterans, and individuals coming back for the first time in a while. 

At day’s end, Michele Richards and Cindie Rogers’ non-alcoholic beer cheese took home first place in the Amateur contest, with Tanya Willoughby taking home 2nd place and Jason Neely taking home 3rd place. 

In the Professional contest, Hall’s Beer Cheese won first place, Bootlegger Beer Cheese finished in second place, and Smokin’ Joe’s Beer Cheese won third. 

The People’s Choice Award was won by Blue Isle Beer Cheese of Blue Isle Home-Style Restaurant and Bar.

Annual Beer Cheese Festival draws thousands to downtown Winchester

Held since 2009, the festival draws the best beer cheese vendors from across the state, all wanting to take home bragging rights.

June 11, 2022  Justin Walker

WINCHESTER, Ky (WTVQ)- A popular tradition returned to Winchester this weekend as the 12th annual Beer Cheese Festival kicked off Saturday morning in downtown.

Held since 2009, the festival draws the best beer cheese vendors from across the state, all wanting to take home bragging rights.

Thousands of people come annually to sample beer cheese recipes and vote for their favorites.

In addition to the beer cheese, there’s also live music, arts and crafts, and shopping.

“It’s awesome, I honestly did not expect it to be this big,” said Louisville resident Tyler Fitch. “It’s really cool and really unique. There’s so many people and obviously a lot of people passionate about beer cheese.

“So far, it’s been incredible,” said Lawren Brinley, who is from Alabama. “Right here, it has my vote. It’s the Kentucky Beer Cheese from Nicholasville, all hands down, absolutely.”

Money raised from the event goes back into downtown Winchester.

The 11 best things to do in and around Lexington this weekend

BY MATT WICKSTROM CONTRIBUTING WRITERJUNE 08, 2022 6:00 AM

BEER CHEESE FESTIVAL IN WINCHESTER Winchester’s 12th annual Beer Cheese Festival will once again celebrate everything about the tasty local treat on the town’s Main Street on June 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Activities include live music, a beer garden, an amateur beer cheese making competition, vendor’s and lots and lots of beer cheese sampling. Tickets are $10 to taste cheeses and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Main St, Winchester. BeerCheeseFestival.com.

Read more at: https://www.kentucky.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article262078462.html#storylink=cpy

Beer Cheese Week showcases local flavor

BY Matt Cizek

[email protected]

While many businesses were understandably hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic the ordeal did produce an unexpected event that organizers hope to be a yearly tradition.

For the third straight year, Winchester restaurants are participating in Beer Cheese Week from Monday, May 23 through Sunday, May 29.

“This started during COVID when no one could go into the restaurant,” said Winchester-Clark County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Banks. “[We thought] ‘How could we support our members?’ What better way than to [have customers] call in and order and we can bring it out to your car?”

Fourteen restaurants from across town that are members of the Chamber of Commerce created their own authentic beer cheese dish, meant to delight the taste buds of customers. They are Bell on Wheels, Corner Cupboard, DJ’s Steakhouse, Engine House Pizza Pub, Full Circle Market, Gaunce’s Deli & Cafe, La Trattoria, Loma’s at the Opera House, Pilot View Market, Reggie’s Bar & Grill, Smokin’ Howard’s Sports Bar and Grill, South Main Grocery and Grill, Wildcat Willy’s Distillery and Grill, and Woody’s Sports Bar and Grill.

The application of beer cheese differs at different establishments.

At Smokin Howard’s Sports Bar and Grill along Main Street, you can find it with pulled pork and waffle fries.

“We melt the beer cheese and swirl it on top of the pulled pork, then put barbecue sauce on it,” said manager Molly Carter. “This is Winchester and everybody loves beer cheese.”

Meanwhile, Wildcat Willy’s Distillery includes it as part of their patty melt sandwich.

“It comes on sourdough bread, with Mt. Folly Farm beef, grilled onions, [and] a heaping amount of beer cheese, golden brown,” General Manager Stacey Wilhoite said.

Information pertaining to the hours of each individual restaurant can be found on the home page of the Winchester Chamber of Commerce’s website. From there, you will have a simpler time planning accordingly to make sure you get to enjoy each client’s offering.

“Each dish costs $9.99,” Banks said.

After downloading the correct QR code, customers are able to cast a vote regarding which dish and – by extension – restaurant they feel has offered the most top-notch beer cheese-themed dish.

Each vote is valuable, as every individual is only allowed to do so once.

The winning restaurant earns bragging rights throughout Winchester.

“New people [come in] to try our burgers, and we get a lot of compliments,” said South Main Grocery and Grill owner Heather James, whose beer cheese burger finished in third place last year.

However, the rewards don’t stop there.

A voter of the winning restaurant will be chosen via raffle and their name announced on the Winchester Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page on Tuesday, May 31.

The result will be a pair of free tickets to the 12th Annual Beer Cheese Festival on June 11, along with a $50 gift card to the restaurant that finishes at the top.

As word of mouth and experience help make Beer Cheese Week more familiar, additional individuals can be expected to partake.

“I’m sure there’s going to be more,” Banks said. “With everyone understanding what it is this year, it should go full blast.”

Ale-8-One has a new summer soda flavor. We had people try it. Here’s what they said.

BY LEAH HUNTER

UPDATED MAY 23, 2022 11:42 AM

Kentucky-based soft drink company Ale-8-One announced recently the arrival of a limited-edition flavor. The new Blackberry Ale-8-One will officially be on sale beginning Memorial Day weekend, according to a news release. The latest flavor from the Winchester-based company that began in 1926 and has a cult-like followingcomes after Orange Cream was also sold as a limited release in 2021 and then put into full production, joining another fruity flavor, Cherry.

“It is (a) crisp, refreshing blend (of) our secret Ale-8-One recipe with a flavor of fresh, ripened blackberries that will remind you of summer blackberry picking in the Bluegrass,” Sheila Frye, a market development specialist for Ale-8-One, said.

But how does the new Blackberry Ale-8-One taste? We took a case to the streets of Lexington, and those who reviewed it had an overall positive reaction to the new flavor. “It’s very good,” said one person. “The blackberry is not too overpowering, like, sometimes you can get a blackberry that has, like, that medicine taste afterwards.” One taster likened the flavor to a less fizzy Clearly Canadian sparkling water beverage. “It’s got a nice viscosity to it,” he said after trying it. “I could tell it was blackberry without even looking at it so that’s cool. Yeah, it’s good.”

WHERE TO BUY BLACKBERRY ALE-8-ONE

The Blackberry Ale-8-One is available in four-packs for $2.99 in Lexington and $3.29 in areas outside the Lexington market, Frye said. The blackberry-flavored beverage will be available for purchase until supplies run out, Frye said. Stores that will sell the drink include Kroger, Walmart and Meijer in Louisville, Cincinnati, Pikeville, Bowling Green and most parts of western Kentucky.

Read more at: https://www.kentucky.com/article261526002.html#storylink=cpy

Kentucky soda Ale-8 has another new flavor coming out: Blackberry

Updated: 10:41 AM EDT May 18, 2022

Alex Suckow

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —

The Kentucky soda with a cult following is unveiling a new, limited-edition flavor.

Ale-8-One will soon release a Blackberry flavor.

“The brand’s newest flavor blends the fresh summer taste of blackberries with the Ale-8-One signature formula,” a brand representative said.

The new flavor will officially launch Memorial Day weekend, but there are several sampling events leading up until then.

One is at Louisville Cream at 1 p.m. on May 21. On May 25, there will be an event at Sauerbeck Family Drive-In in LaGrange at 8 p.m.

Ale-8 is nearly 100 years old. In that time, only two other flavors have been introduced: Orange Cream and Cherry. They also have sugar-free versions and caffeine-free, as well.

Click here to read the entire article and see how the soda is made here:

https://www.wlky.com/article/kentucky-soda-ale-8-has-another-new-flavor-coming-out-blackberry/40034858#

‘Legacy Nights’ looks to bring family-friendly fun to the summer

Published 4:42 pm Monday, May 9, 2022

By Warren Taylor

Legacy Grove Park will host its first annual “Legacy Nights” event this Tuesday, starting at 5:30 p.m.

“It is a free live music, local food truck event that we are hosting at the park,” said Deborah Jackson, executive director of Legacy Greenspace, the non-profit that operates the park.

“Legacy Nights” will be held once a month until October, and the idea is to give Winchester families something to do during the fall and summer months.

“We know that Winchester supports live music and supports its food trucks, so we wanted to do all of that–and this is super important to us–that it is family-friendly and free for the community,” Jackson said.

While kids play on the playground and enjoy led activities by the Clark County 4-H Extension, their parents will be able to enjoy the music and beverages from Abettor Brewing and Harkness Edwards Vineyards.
“Every family member will be able to enjoy something at the park,” Jackson said.

The headlining act will be Rifletown.

“We are really excited to have them. They bring a good crowd with them,” Jackson said.

The Wallace Sisters will open the festivities.

“They are three sisters … They are from Lexington and are an acapella group,” Jackson said. “I found them when they were part of The Lexington Music Awards.”

A trio of food trucks will handle the victual portion of the evening: Bell on Wheels, El Caminocito, and Desserts by Rebecca.

Since the park is run by a non-profit, its events and programs are financed by donor dollars.

“All the support we have gotten at the park and the support we’ve gotten for ‘Legacy Nights’ all comes from our community. So, we understand how important our community is to the success of everything at the park,” Jackson said.

The “Legacy Nights” series is funded entirely through sponsorships from companies such as Ale-8, Clark County Farm Bureau, Palmer Engineering, Thoroughbred Diesel, The Williams Agency, and Winchester Farm Diary.

Jackson said that the non-profit is grateful for all the businesses and organizations that stepped up to help.

“We were able to get some really good music that way,” she said.

Future featured acts will include Eric Bolander on June 14, Night Flyer on Aug. 9, and Rags to Riches on Sept. 13.

Kentucky Beer Cheese

By Liv Dansky

The story of this famous regional dish goes back to the 1930s, when Chef Joe Allman originally developed his recipe for Kentucky Beer Cheese as a complimentary snack, supposedly to increase his customers’ appetite for beer. Since then, Kentucky Beer Cheese has become a signature dish of the state, with devoted fans across the country—and for good reason. It doesn’t get much better than beer and cheese, folks.

Similar to classic Southern pimiento cheese, this Kentucky Beer Cheese comes together in the food processor and has a thick, spreadable consistency. Our take on this sensational dip has depth of flavor from extra-sharp Cheddar, Worcestershire sauce, and stout beer. Cream cheese gives the spread a nice tang, helping to cut through the richness of all the other components. The cayenne adds just a hint of heat, which works well with the creamy beer cheese.

A fantastic addition to any party spread, this Kentucky Beer Cheese is sure to be the talk of the town. Though Kentucky Beer Cheese is traditionally served with sliced veggies, we also recommend using pretzels or crackers for dipping.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (from 1 [8-ounce] package), softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup chopped white onion (from 1 [5 ounce] onion)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup stout beer, at room temperature (such as Guinness)
  • Serving options: pretzel sticks, celery sticks, cucumber spears

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1 Process Cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and butter in a food processor until combined, 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds Add onion, Worcestershire, Dijon, and cayenne; process until combined, about 30 seconds. While food processor is running, slowly pour in beer, and process until mixture is completely smooth and beer is fully absorbed, about 45 seconds.
  • Step 2 Serve immediately with pretzels, celery, and cucumber. Alternatively, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving, about 15 minutes.    

Birchfield To Speak On Historic Preservation

Published 4:23 pm Saturday, April 9, 2022

By Winchester Sun

Dr. James Birchfield presents Porter Clay: Cabinetmaker at Bluegrass Heritage Museum on April 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Birchfield is the former Curator of Rare Books at the University of Kentucky. For many years he acquired historical books, letters, documents, maps, photographs, paintings, prints, and other historical materials pertaining chiefly to Kentucky.

Topic of Birchfield’s speech is Porter Clay, brother of famous Kentucky politician Henry Clay.

Porter Clay was among Kentucky’s earliest and finest cabinetmakers, according to Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Henry Clay is said to have declared of his brother, “He was the greatest man I ever knew.” And, in an 1844 speech to the cabinetmakers of Columbia, South Carolina, Clay made a point of asserting that his brother was “once a very excellent Cabinet Maker,” according to the Journal.

Birchfield is a former editor of The Kentucky Review and served as president of the U.K. Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and chairman of the University of Kentucky Art Museum board. He has written on such topics as Countess Mona Bismarck, Best-Dressed Woman of the World and the only Kentuckian to be painted by Salvador Dali; T. S. Noble of Lexington, artist and first director of the Cincinnati Art Academy; Matthew Kennedy, architect of the second Kentucky capitol; and published Clay Lancaster’s Kentucky: Architectural Photographs of a Preservation Pioneer.

Birchfield is especially interested in historic preservation and has served on the boards of the Blue Grass Trust, Henry Clay’s Ashland, and as president of Clay Lancaster’s Warwick Foundation. He has lectured on private presses of the Bluegrass, the Battle of the Thames in the War of 1812, Henry Clay and the Decorative Arts, and the artist and printer Victor Hammer.

The Bourbon Flight’s top ten best bourbon cocktails

April 5, 2022

By The Bourbon Flight

What makes a good bourbon cocktail? For us, it must have the best ingredients, preferably locally sourced and a strong flavor profile. Consistency is the goal of any cocktail and don’t forget the garnish.

Here is our top ten list ranked from 1 to 10:

  1. Old Fashioned: (No surprise here) With just bourbon, bitters, and simple syrup, it’s a deceptively easy cocktail to make, though some details are non-negotiable in the making of this cocktail.
  2. Manhattan: You only need three main ingredients to make this classic bourbon Manhattan. A bourbon cocktail in its simplest form.
  3. Hot Toddy: A cocktail to heal all your body’s needs. Grandma will be proud
  4. Paper Plane: This cocktail is bittersweet and tangy, hitting a balance between bourbon and amaro.
  5. Kentucky Mule: A classic Moscow Mule cocktail with a Kentucky twist. It is quick and easy that is perfect to make for a crowd.
  6. Kentucky Grandee Cocktail: A born and bred Kentucky cocktail. Ale-8-One mixed with bourbon and a couple of other ingredients. A Kentucky masterpiece.
  7. Mint Julep: Off to the Derby, racegoers have been enjoying this cocktail for nearly a century.
  8. Kentucky Raspberry Smash: Kentuckians love their raspberries and bourbon.  This refreshing cocktail combines both loves into one. Great for a summer evening or spring day.
  9. Kentucky Plum: A holiday cocktail that can be shared on Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The champagne gives the cocktail a celebration feel, while the bourbon brings it back home to Kentucky.
  10. Bourbon Highball: Mix your favorite bourbon with a carbonated beverage and serve. Sometimes the easiest recipes are the best.

We know that we may have missed some favorites, but don’t worry, we will have plenty more top ten’s coming out soon.

Click here for more Bourbon Flight news.

Ale-8 Marks State Title with Specialty Labels

Published 7:46 am Friday, April 1, 2022

By Miles Layton

Ale-8-One Bottling company has paid tribute to George Rogers Clark’s state champion boys’ basketball team by producing special labels to commemorate the tourney.

When you buy an Ale-8 at the Kroger grocery store in Winchester, go up to the counter and show the clerk your receipt, then pick up a specialty label to attach to the bottle. No other location has these awesome labels.

Bottle features the school’s colors — red, white and black — and the year the Cards conquered — 2022.

“Marketing team was excited that GRC won, so we suggested that the bottling company create a specialty label,” Kevin Price, chief marketing officer. “I said ‘let’s get this done’ so we turned this around in a few days to celebrate the Cards’ win.”

Founded and bottled in Winchester since 1926, “Ale-8” is the only soft drink invented in Kentucky still in existence, according to the company’s website. Deemed “Kentucky’s Official Soft Drink,” this ginger and citrus flavored soda was inspired by ginger-based recipes from northern Europe. Ale-8 can be described as a ginger soft drink with a “kick.”

Company gave the team, school administrators and surviving members of the GRC state championship team 1951 bottles with the special labels.

Now that is hometown pride!

Ale-8 honors GRC with state championship bottle

by: Braxton Caudill

Posted: Mar 29, 2022 / 11:44 AM EDT

Updated: Mar 29, 2022 / 11:44 AM EDT

WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) – Ale-8-One is honoring the George Rogers Clark boys basketball team for their first state title since 1951.

The iconic Winchester-based soft drink company is now selling a line of decorative bottle stickers to commemorate the milestone.

Stickers are being sold at customer service counters in Winchester Kroger locations and can be wrapped around separately-sold Ale-8-bottles.