Louisville planning to grow its craft beer industry - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville planning to grow its craft beer industry

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Move over bourbon: there's a new drink in town.

The city of Louisville announced Monday that it is directing time and resources to accelerate the growth of its craft beer industry.

Industry leaders say craft beer is not only contributing to the well-known "foodie" culture in Louisville, but drawing tourists and customers from across the country. In fact, Against the Grain Brewery in downtown Louisville can hardly keep up with the demand, which is why they are expanding production at a new property in the Portland neighborhood.

"That production brewery will feed our fairly extensive distribution network of 38 states," said Sam Cruz with Against the Grain. "So we're going to be able to spread Kentucky beer across the US fairly rapidly."

Now, the city is getting behind the industry boom, and hoping to help it grow. A new report released today contains recommendations for furthering the growth of the craft beer industry in Louisville. The report was composed by a group of local industry leaders appointed by Mayor Greg Fischer.

The recommendations include developing a craft beer trail, much like the current bourbon trail; changing alcohol laws to make it easier to open and operate a brewery; creating an international event that will highlight beer aged in bourbon barrels; educating and reconnecting people with Louisville's brewing heritage; and breaking down walls to make it easier for craft beers to be sold at large events and venues.

According to industry leaders, the success of Louisville's craft beer scene is directly correlated to the bourbon industry. Brewers are able to use bourbon barrels in beer making and create a unique flavor consumers can't find anywhere else.

"We have indigenousnous product that no one else has in the world and that's bourbon barrels," said Cruz. "The combination of success that bourbon has right now, and the success that we're having as an industry has allowed us to jump forward nationally and internationally."

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