Wednesday, October 18, 2017

THE BEER BEAT: Louisville Craft Beer Week VIII begins today ... in Jeffersonville.

For a dram of perspective, let's glance back at the inception of the celebration in September, 2010.

Louisville Craft Beer Week begins -- here is an overview of the celebration.

We’re happy to announce the first annual Louisville Craft Beer Week. For nine consecutive hop- and malt-packed days, Louisville Craft Beer Week is everywhere, with themed craft beer festivals, craft beer tastings, craft beer dinners, craft beer samplings, and even a motorized craft beer pub crawl.

Louisville Craft Beer Week is all of us: Breweries and wholesalers, package retailers and pubs, bars and restaurants, homebrewers and serial growler fillers.

Most importantly, Louisville Craft Beer Week is you: Craft beer lovers living, working and playing right here in our region. Your patronage and enthusiasm makes it happen for all of us, and we thank you.

Louisville Craft Beer Week is modeled on similar celebrations in places like Philadelphia and Cleveland, but whatever the locale, the intent remains the same: Showcasing the incredible variety, dynamism and expanding market presence of craft brewing in America.

Allowing for my usual stream of consciousness, there are many memorable anecdotes told by Jim Bouton in his classic baseball tell-all book Ball Four, and one of my favorites is about the superstar Mickey Mantle.

It was the mid-1960s, and the Yankee dynasty was beginning to fade. The aging slugger Mantle arrived at the ballpark massively hungover and was given the day off by the team's sympathetic manager, but late in the game, with the Yanks behind, Mantle was needed to pinch-hit.

Half-blind with pain and the effects of the previous evening's dissipation, "The Mick" lofted a majestic game-winning home run.

He slowly circled the bases and returned to the dugout to greet his cheering teammates, saying to no one in particular: "You have no idea how hard that really was."

I always think about Mantle's words when remembering Year One of LCBW. We're lucky to have pulled it off. As the eighth edition debuts tonight, allow me to thank all those who've kept the event alive -- and believe it or not, I plan on being at Parlour in Jeffersonville this evening.

Louisville Craft Beer Week lives, by Kevin Gibson (Louisville Eccentric Observer - LEO)

As September turned to October, I heard rumblings from people that Louisville Craft Beer Week was no more. That’s understandable, given the farewell of LIBA’s formerly annual BrewFest, but the truth is, LCBW simply got moved. This year, it’s Oct. 19-29 (which is way longer than a “week,” but whatever), and there’s plenty going on.

The “week”-long event formerly was organized by, but LEO took over this year.

“We want to help make Louisville one of the country’s top craft beer cities,” editor Aaron Yarmuth said in a fancy press release, “and a successful Craft Beer Week is key to gaining that recognition.”

You heard it here first, folks, and I promise Mr. Editor-Man didn’t force me at gunpoint to write about it. Hey, it’s a whole week (and then some) about beer — so, what’s not to love? The festivities will be similar to years past, with various breweries, bars, restaurants and retail outlets holding beer-centric events and activities. Beer, beer, beer.

Now, I will say this: In my mind, every week is craft beer week in Louisville, because everywhere you look there’s a tap takeover or a beer release going on. Falls City just released new cans, and Gravely Brewing just announced Sunday brunch, so it’s not like there’s nothing happening around town. But for 11 days, good beer will be viewed in even sharper focus than normal.

Here are a few events worth checking out:

Wednesday, Oct. 18: Louisville Craft Beer Week kickoff party at Parlour Pizza in Jeffersonville. OK, so that makes it 12 days instead of 11, so it’s almost two craft beer weeks for the price of one. Insane. 6 p.m.

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