For this week’s cocktail, we are going a little simple. Not all cocktails are fancy mixed drinks, with liquors that are hard to fine. Sometimes, you just want to kick back and relax with an ice cold beer! It just so happens that it’s International Beer Day! Yes, you read that correctly, International Beer Day. It is celebrated on the first Friday of August every year and it has three purposes.
1. To gather with friends and enjoy the taste of beer.
2. To celebrate those responsible for brewing and serving beer.
3. To unite the world under the banner of beer, by celebrating the beers of all nations together on a single day.
It was started in Santa Cruz, California in 2007 and has quickly grown into a international day for beer. Not that any of us really needed an excuse to drink beer, but on this day, take the extra time to thank your local brew-master and tip your beer wench a little extra! They do a great job bringing you your cold libations year round, so think of it more as a day to appreciate them and all the hard work they do for you!
Wikipedia (my go to source for really everything) says that, “participants are encouraged to give one another the ‘gift of beer’ by buying each other drinks, and to express gratitude to brewers, bartenders, and other beer technicians. In the international spirit of the holiday, it is also suggested that participants step out of their domestic/locally brewed comfort zone and sample a beer from another culture.” Well, I want to encourage you to change it up a little. Go local. Try a beer from a local brewery that you wouldn’t normally try, or even switch it up more and go to a whole new brewery that you haven’t been to before. I know that it’s “International” Beer Day, but we need to continue to support our local vendors whenever we can. Besides, a lot of the time, their flavors are inspired by the brew master’s travels, so you can get your international fix that way! We are very blessed here in Lexington, and have several local breweries to choose from. If you are not as lucky, do a quick Google search and I bet you can find one closer than you think.
For my local beer, I chose a brewery that I haven’t tried yet. I have heard Country Boy Brewery mentioned in many different circles, but have never been there. I decided that this would be the time to try it! And I have not been disappointed! They have several different beers to choose from, and they range from blonde ales to heavier nitro stouts and everything in between. They even have a bourbon barrel aged beer, called “PaPaw’s Red”. With fun names like “Shotgun Wedding”, “Stampin Ground”, and “Half Way Home”, just to name a few, how was I ever going to choose what I would have to celebrate International Beer Day. “Cougar Bait” caught my eye, and it’s an American Blonde Ale, just like me. Obviously it was meant to be!
The “Cougar Bait” did not fail to impress. She’s a lighter beer, but with a crisp, nice finish. It’s perfect for an August afternoon, sitting on the patio. You can drink several and not feel weighed down, like you would from a heavier beer. It also pairs well with heavier fare that we associate with this time of the year, like hamburgers and brats!
The greatest thing about Country Boy Brewery is that they don’t serve food. I know what you’re thinking, how is this a plus? Well, it means that there is a different, local food truck frequenting their patio every night. Not many restaurants can boast that they change their menu daily! Lexington has some amazing food trucks, and to be able to pair their local cuisine with Country Boy’s unique take on beer equals a winner every time! If you aren’t in the mood for the food truck of the night, they encourage you to have food delivered, or bring your own!
If you’re in the Lexington, Kentucky area, get out to Country Boy Brewery this weekend and enjoy a “Cougar Bait” or one of the many other locally brewed beers they have on tap. If you’re a little further away, go out and find your closest local brewery (they are popping up everywhere!) and enjoy something new! Don’t forget to say “Hi” to your local brew master and tip your beer wench in appreciation for International Beer Day!