BBC begins brewing first beer made with local barley - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BBC begins brewing first beer made with local barley

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bluegrass Brewing Company of Louisville says it is the first brewery in the state to use Kentucky grain in their beer recipes.

The brewery started making its Louisville Lager with barley from Adairville, Kentucky this week. Master brewer Joel Halbleib said swapping to local grain is already proving to be a tasty endeavor.

"It looks good, smells good, and tastes good," said Halbleib. "It's as good a quality as we get from the big suppliers."

Until now, Kentucky beer never came from Kentucky grain because grain isn't a common crop in the bluegrass.

"Kentucky's just not that big in barley farming. Most the barley for brewing comes from Minnesota, Canada, up north."

Halbleib asked the malt company, Riverbend Malt House of North Carolina, to help him find a local barley that once malted would match BBC's flavor profile.

"One of the local home brewers came to me and said, you have the Kentucky Proud logo on your product, but the only local product you really use is the water."

After an extensive search, they found Walnut Grove Farms in Logan County. Halbleib said they were the only barley farm that could meet BBC's huge demand.

"It's a commitment for us, it's a commitment to the malter, and to to the farmer," he said. "They have to keep enough on hand that we can brew the same beer over and over again throughout the year."

BBC hopes it can eventually find local hops as well, and start putting more of Kentucky in Kegs.

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