Local Brews Flow Tonight at ‘Mellwood’

Uncle Sam proclaims, “I want you to drink local brew.” At least that is, according to the Louisville Independent Business Alliance, whose third annual showcase of local and regional beer, ‘Louisville Brewfest’, is set to to please the palettes of hop-heads and local-vores alike tonight (Friday, July 1st) at the Mellwood Art Center.

According LIBA’s Jennifer Rubenstein, Brewfest will take place in Mellwood’s event room 3 and adjacent courtyard, with participants set to encounter the likes of Bluegrass Brewing Co, Cumberland Brews, Falls City, the New Albanian Brewing Co, Upland Brewing Co and Kentucky Ale. Of those breweries, Louisville’s Cumberland Brews and Bloomington’s Upland Brewing mark new additions to this year’s event. Taking place from 4-10pm, admission to Brewfest is free but beer drinkers will be obliged to purchase a $2 souvenir cup. From there, you’re just $1 per sample or $3 per pint away from local beer heaven.

Also making appearances this evening will be representatives of two future Louisville brewers, the first of which, ‘Against the Grain‘, is a new brewpub and smokehouse which will be soon take the place of Browning’s Brewery at Slugger Field. (full news of the Browning’s buy-out via LouisvilleKY.com’s Rick Redding here) The BBC alums behind Against the Grain won’t have any beer to share as of yet but they’re ready to spread the good word and build hype for their new endeavor, now set for a hopeful debut before the end of baseball season. (Louisville.com’s Jason Lyvers has more on ATG here) The brainchild of veteran home-brewer Jeremy Rathfon, LouBrew (more info on LouBrew’s facebook page), is envisioned as a nano-brewery and brewpub based in Germantown and providing a true artisanal experience to its patrons. ‘Nano’, as in smaller than ‘micro’, represents Rathfon’s one barrel system, which will allow LouBrew to rotate its hand-crafted brews on a highly flexible basis.

In addition to its beer selections, Louisville Brewfest 2011 will feature the products Lover’s Leap Vineyard and Horseshoe Bend Winery, as well as food from BBC, Comfy Cow, Diorio’s Pizza and others. Originally held at the Clifton Center in 2009, Louisville Brewfest has since relocated to the Mellwood Art Center and intentionally positioned itself on the weekend before July 4th in order to coincide with ‘Independence Week’, a national celebration of local and independent businesses. The creators of the ‘Keep Louisville Weird’ campaign, Louisville Independent Business Alliance is one of 70 such organizations across the country, and serves as a directory, network and collective voice for local business entities.

Love beer? Love Louisville? You might just know where to go tonight. Interested parties can find additional information via LIBA’s website.