Kentucky is well known for its horses and bourbon and as a result, there are so many companies offering tours around the state. But fairly new to the Bluegrass scene is Kentucky-made beer with over 61 breweries now in the state. That may not sound like a lot to some but only 11 breweries existed in 2011. That's 450% growth! So, it only makes sense that a company would come along and pave the way. Introducing, Lexington on Tap Tour Brewery Tours.
Lex on Tap is a group of four unique individuals who joined forces for their love of craft beer. They poured their passion into the development of Lex on Tap, a tour company that chauffeurs you to several breweries in and around the Lexington area, all in the course of approximately 4 hours. Tam and I got the opportunity to tour with the fellas recently, and let me tell you, it was a blast! Here are our top 5 reasons we believe you and your loved ones should take this tour.
1. It's Educational - Now, that may sound like a boring reason, but it's definitely not. Brewmasters are not your average dude you funneled beer bongs with back in the day. In fact, just the opposite. Several of the top brewers, are brilliant scientists. The art of making a tasty cold one is not as simple as throwing together a few ingredients. Much like bourbon, there is a complexity and pure genius that goes into perfecting the taste. We witnessed this first hand at Fusion Brewing, where beermaker Chris Paumi (image on left) taught us the process of making craft beer and let's just say, if I had to take a chemistry quiz on it, I would flunk. However, I got the gist of it and my appreciation for the industry grew leaps and bounds. I am beer-wildered. Oh, and for the record, Chris may be the smartest man on the face of the planet.
2. It's Eye Opening - I am the person who rarely drinks a beer but when I do, I always select the brand with the fewest calories. Taste is secondary. Craft beers, Ales and IPA's are all just words to me. Add the word "light" to it, and I am sold. So, I had no idea how many different types of beers existed nor did I know how different they could taste. If was fun to travel to the various locations and sample the differences. I found myself selecting beers based on curiosity not caloric intake. Example, one of my favorite brews at Rock House Brewing tasted exactly like an Almond Joy. So yummy! But if that's not your thing, there is everything from fruit, peanut butter and bourbon infused selections. It's a great way to try new flavors without wasting bottles or money. And how about the names? Check out these labels from Fusion below. The bartender is a real cutie too!
3. It's Scenic - It's a great way to check out numerous bar venues in a short amount of time. Breweries have a unique vibe whether sporting a life size pool table like Rock House Brewing or hosting roller derby practice at West Six Brewery. (Btw, you got to try their fish sandwich!) Each site adds their own spice to Lexington. It's like the sitcom Cheers... times 10.
4. It's Behind the Scenes - There are many cool peeps behind the products and brands of Kentucky brew and on this tour, you might just get lucky enough to meet them. I live 5 minutes from Country Boy in Georgetown and have always been a fan. Founders Jeff Beagle and the boys are like royalty in our neck of the woods and I got to meet Jeff at the Lexington location while on the tour. "Between the Two Fermenters" (they like to call it), Jeff sipped a beer and chit chatted with Tam and I - just like we were old buddies. We even got proof! See us below? It was so cool to meet the legend behind my fav brewski, Cougar Bait. If you have a favorite, make sure to tell Lex on Tap and they might be able to hook you up!
5. It's Unexpected - If you do nothing more than ride around in the beer bus with Staus and John, owners of Lex on Tap, it would totally be worth your while. These guys are genuine, down-home buds that would make visiting the desert fun. However, we got the pleasure to share the bus with several people we hadn't met before and by the end of the night, we were fast friends. In fact, we even ran into Hey Kentucky comrade Perrin Johnson (see above pic), who "hopped" on the bus with us for a few of the stops. We love that guy! It's so awesome to get out of your circle of sameness and experience new things with new people.
We'd like to thank Lex on Tap for an amazing time! I'm not kidding when I say it's one of our favorite experiences to date. In addition to their standard beer tours, they also offer custom and private tours perfect for the bachelor or bachelorette party, as well as food excursions and just about anything else you can think of. Prices are reasonable and it's a great idea for a birthday or surprise party. Check them out at lexontapbrewerytours.com and tell them the Ky Taste Buds sent you! Better yet, invite us along. We are always ready for another "beer run" with Lex on Tap!