You might just be going down to Kentucky for the Bourbon trail, but there’s so much more that the area offers. There are some great bars, food and of course the horse tracks. No trip to Kentucky is complete without seeing at least one race and experiencing what Lexington and the surrounding area have to offer.
This fun German Bier Stube has some of the most authentic German food you’ll eat in Central Kentucky and they also have beach volleyball! Yes, if you care to watch some drunk locals compete against each other in volleyball, go to Marikkas. The finals are the first weekend of October. They also have a pretty good deal where you pay $20 and you get 6 different varieties of canned/bottled beer. Some of them might be duds, but the majority of beer they carry is actually quite good.
This hip bar offers some dim lighting, good beer and a wall full of books. Sure it might be a bit too dark to read, but anywhere that has books gives off, to me at least, a relaxing atmosphere. The music isn’t ever too loud so you can have a nice conversation and the food is ok. It is pretty dark in here though, so make sure you watch your step.
You can’t visit Kentucky without going to at least one horse race. If you’re staying in Lexington the closest one would be Keeneland. It might not be as fancy as the Kentucky Derby, but it’s still plenty exciting. You can easily find a program lying around so that you can make your bets. The races are fairly quick and they’ll have your heart pounding. I suggest getting there earlier for better parking spots.
If you can’t fit all of the distilleries on the Bourbon trail in your schedule go to Woodford Reserve. It’s the prettiest. Not only are the grounds gorgeous, the actual buildings are well kept and don’t have that industrial feel that places like Four Roses and Wild Turkey have. It’s much cozier and warmer. Our tour guide was pretty funny as well. When asked what Woodford Reserver was doing during Prohibition, he said “Killing kittens” and proceeded to crack himself up for the next five minutes.
Country Boy Brewing
Kentucky loves bourbon, but they’ve also got a nice microbrew community as well. Country Boy Brewing offers 20+ beers on tap, all home made in the back of their bar. The operation is pretty small. It’s actually quite impressive that they can make all those different types of beer with such limited space. And good beer at that. I’ve mentioned the Jalapeño Porter and Peanut Butter Stout, but they also hinted that they were going to be making a sour beer in the near future.
Another microbrewery, West Sixth is decidedly the opposite of Country Boy Brewing. Rather than offering a much more intimate atmosphere, the bar is more like a traditional sports bar. Just much bigger. It’s basically a large warehouse with a decent sized bar, food trucks outside for the drunk masses and entertainment for kiddies of all ages. My favorite? They have the game where you dunk the guy in the water. That poor man is there all the time apparently.