Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Jay Wilson with Red Mountain Entertainment, the company that's putting together the Top of the Hops beer festival. We met down at the Beer Store on east Market street of all convenient places, and shot the bull over a few drinks. And though the beer was great, the setting humble, and the conversation lively, the news of what to expect from Top of the Hops when it touches down in our city was more than enough to make me a believer.
Top of the Hops is a festival set up to showcase the growing popularity of crafted beers from not only this country, but others from all around the world. There will be a hundred or more breweries in attendance, and more than two hundred beers showcased. The variable being that different breweries will bring different beers dependent upon what's available, and what beers are in season. Now, upon entering the festival each attendee will be given a two ounce sampling mug to try out each of the crafted beers, as well as a beer fest guide that will provide you with a map and a description of each brewery and beer.
I had tons of questions for Jay prior to meeting up with him, but once we started talking they all kind of flew out the window, and the interview became a conversation about life, our own journeys, and love for good beer. Top of the Hops, and the people behind this event really do seem to have a genuine love for great crafted beers, and want to introduce diversity, showcase that, and educate folks on how different beers can be just as invigorating to drink as well as pleasing to the palette as a good wine can be. It's events like these that make me believe that there still are great things left to discover, and people that actually do care about quality, not just quantity, and what can be mass produced for a minimal price to subdue the general public. This is truly an exclusive event, but what I believe to have taken away from the conversation was for this event to open the eyes of many more people to a world that they never knew existed outside of their present one.
The event is on June 19th from 2-6 p.m., and is being held downtown at the Kentucky International Convention Center. Tickets are $39.50 in advance or $45 the day of the show to anyone over 21 or older. For the exclusive benefit of tasting beers that the general public won't have access to, VIP tickets are also available for $75. Tickets are available at http://www.topofthehopsbeerfest.com/ and can be purchased the day of the event.