2011 Highlands Beer Festival

Nothing breaks up the holiday grind better than a great beer (or lots of ‘em) and there’s no better place to imbibe on December 3rd than at the Highlands Beer Festival at Mid City Mall. This is the third year for ValuMarket’s overwhelmingly popular indoor beer festival and this year’s event is shaping up to be the best yet.

The Highlands Beer Festival was conceived in 2009 by John Bizzell, General Manager of the ValuMarket at Mid City Mall, and Clay Carpenter of Bryant Distributing Company, a Kentucky wholesale import and craft beer distributor. John and Clay had just returned from a beer tour of Belgium when they began talks of hosting a beer festival at the store. The plan was put into motion in October and two months later Louisville had an impressive collection of beers to sample and an opportunity to meet many of the local and regional brewers and brewery owners.

The first two years of the Highlands Beer Festival featured a wide variety of beers from around the world. Last year’s festival featured 600 craft and imported beers, but this year they are scaling back a bit.

“This year we’re putting less emphasize on imports and more on craft,” John Bizzell stated in a recent interview.

The availability of quality craft beer continues to grow and with it comes an increased pride in American-owned breweries. This year’s festival will feature added attention to the local brewers at the Bluegrass Brewing Company, Cumberland Brewery, New Albanian Brewing Company, and the newly established Against the Grain Brewery. Regional favorites such as Schlafly, Bell’s, and Upland will be represented along with Falls City Beer.

New to this year’s line up is the Thirsty Dog Brewery (Ohio), Pyramid Brewing Company (Oregon), Southern Tier (New York), and more. John estimates having around 300 beers to sample this year with more high-end and harder-to-find beers. Many of the imported beers that appeared the first two years will be replaced by limited-release and special seasonal craft brews.

BoomBozz Taphouse will be selling pizza by the slice and ValuMarket’s own Winchester Beer Cheese Festival contending Beer Cheese will be available for sampling and purchase.

Admission to the Third Annual Highlands Beer Festival is only $5 and $1 for beer sample tickets. The first 500 guests will receive a pint glass with the Highlands Beer Festival logo. All proceeds from admission will be donated to the Academy at Saint Andrew’s. Since opening in 2010, The Academy at Saint Andrew’s has filled a gaping educational hole in the continuum of care for children with developmental disabilities such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD and other communication and intellectual disabilities.

The Third Annual Highlands Beer Festival will take place at ValuMarket in the Highlands from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2011, at the Mid City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Road, Louisville, Kentucky.

For more information on the Academy at Saint Andrew’s, please visit www.theacademy-standrews.org

  1. […] to LouisvilleBeer.com for the scoop on this year’s Highland Beer Festival that is coming up on Saturday December 3, 2011. Admission to the Third Annual Highlands Beer […]

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  2. what size pour for a $1? Just wondering…

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    • John Bizzell said “a healthy 2 ounce pour” served in a 4-5 ounce tasting cup. I think one could expect to get their moneys worth. 😉

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  3. Mark Vonderschmitt December 3, 2011, 2:53 pm

    I’ve gone the last two years and you definitely get your money’s worth.

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