Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. is a downtown hot spot for Kentucky beer, bourbon and more. Here's a glimpse at tours and tastings!
I've been on tour at the Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. four times (so far), and it's one of my favorites.
While it doesn’t have the country vibes and gorgeous views you’ll get in some of the more rural tours (like Maker's Mark or Lux Row), it’s conveniently located in downtown Lexington and has a nice variety of both beer and liquor.
Interested in visiting this brewery and distillery? Read on for a glimpse at the facilities, and then book a tour online!
What Brands Are Connected to Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.?
You'll come across several different brand names on this tour.
Alltech is the parent company, headquartered in nearby Nicholasville. Its main revenue source is actually animal feed. Alltech owns not only Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., but also a distillery in Ireland, a brewery in England, and a new distillery/brewery in Pikeville, Kentucky.
The Lexington Brewing Company was established in the 1890's, ceased operations during Prohibition, and then changed owners throughout the 20th century.
The current owners bought it in 1999 and expanded it to what it is today. It produces Kentucky Ale and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
A few years later, Lexington Brewing added "& Distilling" to its name and built Town Branch Distillery across the street.
This makes Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. the only combined brewery and distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
The brand owner has roots in Ireland, which explains the Irish pub feel in the visitor center. (They also produce Irish whiskey and Irish red beer.)
What Can I Taste on Tour at the Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.?
The tour includes four tokens for you to choose your own tastings, and there are LOTS of options.
So no matter whether you're more interested in beer, whiskey, or even gin, you can customize your sample selection.
Looking for a nearby meal before or after your tasting? For casual eats try The Local Taco, Thai Street Kitchen, Kentucky Native Cafe, Bru Burger Bar, Zim's or Luna. For something fancy, check out Dudley's on Short.
Touring the Brewery
The tour starts in the brewery, where you can see the beer brewing tanks. There was a brief explanation of the process.
My favorite tidbit is that all of the flavorings in their beers come from real food, such as pumpkin purée, instead of artificial flavoring.
We quickly moved onto the first tasting room to try their beers.
We buy their beer frequently. My favorites include the original Bourbon Barrel Ale and Vanilla Cream Ale, as well as the seasonal Bourbon Barrel Peppermint Porter and the new Milk Stout.
Touring the Distillery
Next, we crossed the street to visit Town Branch Distillery.
The brief tour included a look at the mash tanks and some of the barrels stored on site (although the rickhouses are off-site).
For some extracurricular reading on the subject, try the book Bourbon Curious by Fred Minnick.
Town Branch's stills were imported from Scotland when the distillery set up operations about ten years ago.
Next, we were off to the tasting room, which features a gorgeous large copper still.
We used our remaining tokens to try a variety of Town Branch bourbons.
A variety of non-bourbon products were also available for tasting (such as Irish whiskey, gin and moonshine.)
The tour finished with a complimentary tasting of a Bluegrass Sundown cocktail, a warm drink made of dark-roasted coffee bourbon liqueur, hot water and cream. It’s always my favorite part of the tour!
The first time I tried it, I was inspired to go home and recreate my own Kentucky bourbon coffee. You can buy bottles of the Bluegrass Sundown liqueur on site so you can do the same!
Equipped with a good idea of our favorite products, it was time to head to the gift shop!
We love visiting Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co.! I hope you get to enjoy this tour for yourself soon.
While you're in Lexington, don't forget to also check out the James E. Pepper Distillery!