Lexington Beercation: Part 2
A few weeks ago, I spent a beer filled weekend in the Bluegrass country with some wonderful friends. With seven breweries and several craft beer bars, Lexington is a great beer drinking town. So let’s pick up where I left off last week with part 2 of my Lexington beercation.
Lexington Beercation Day 2
We tried to wake up early. It didn’t happen. When I do weekend trips I try and pack as much as possible into two days but sometimes on the weekend you gotta go with the flow and ignore your 8am alarm. My friend Celia lived just outside of Lexington so we finally dragged ourselves out of bed and packed up for our girls night at the 21c Lexington and headed into town.
Lexington Farmers Market
249 W Main St
First, we met their friend Josh who runs the Lexington Farmers Market and he showed us around the market. I had no idea Lexington had a thriving year round outdoor market. We perused the stalls for a little while working up even more of an appetite. I did meet a fellow that grows his own shiitake mushrooms and he was frying them up on site at the market (genius). We had a couple of those to tide us until brunch.
841 Lane Allen Rd
Celia and Toby lived in Germany for several years so when I hang with them to drink beer, I have to get prepared with a big breakfast. We popped into the Lexington Diner for some brunch while we waited for Josh to finish with work. It’s right next door to the market, casual, and really fast. They’re famous for their burgers and locally sourcing just about everything on their menu. The menu is full of made-from-scratch comfort food. I ordered a giant bowl of veggie hash, Toby a monster burger (with a side of broccoli for balance), and Celia had biscuits and gravy. Nothing fancy, but hearty and delicious.
Gratz Park Historic District
Bounded by West Third and West Second streets. on the north and south, and by the buildings that line Mill and Market streets. on the west and east.
After brunch we dropped our bags with the front desk at 21c and decided to do a little exploring in the downtown area and stumbled upon the Gratz Park Historic District. I came to Lexington for the beer, but thankfully my friends happily indulge my inner architecture nerd. Home to stately nineteenth century homes, Gratz Park Historic District is a quiet neighborhood hiding in plain sight in downtown Lexington. It comprises Gratz Park and many 19th Century townhouses built for Lexington’s wealthy, and part of Transylvania Seminary. It's great place for a stroll, especially with fall colors in bloom.
The Beer Trappe
811 Euclid Ave
With Josh, our unofficial tour guide, finished at the market he was ready to take us around to some of his favorite places. Our first stop was The Beer Trappe in Chevy Chase. Named one of the top beer bars, The Beer Trappe is also Lexington's first craft beer store. Two birds one stone. They had an impressive draft list with Nightmare on Brett (baltic porter aged in whiskey barrels) from Crooked Stave (Denver) beer grabbing my attention. Not a local beer, but Crooked Stave is pretty scare outside of Colorado so I went for it. Dark, rich, and a little funky. They have over 500 different bottles available so obviously I spent some time scanning the wall o' beer. Be sure to check out their event calendar for Beer School, tap takeovers and more.
Wine + Market
486 W 2nd St
After a couple of barrel aged beers, we decided we needed another snack.We picked up some beer cheese earlier at the farmers market but forgot the bread. Enter, Wine + Market in downtown Lexington. This little market serves up fresh baked bread, sandwiches, and has a huge selection of picnic supplies, wine, and beer. Walking into Wine+Market, I felt like I was on set in a Nancy Meyers movie, white and bright with pretty pops of color here and there. It is gorgeous. We scoped out every inch of the market from the wine room to the cheese counter. They even had a craft beer nook with an excellent selection from Lexington and beyond. Oddly enough I picked up some Marz Community Brewing cans from Chicago. Their beer is also hard to find outside of Chicago so I had to snag some cans of Jungle Boogie (pale wheat with rooibos tea).
1400 Delaware Ave
We deviated from beer for a few to check out Pivot Brewing, the new cidery in town. Unfortunately, when we got there, they were sold out of their own ciders but they had several others from Country Boy and Rhinegheist on tap. Cider is typically too sweet for me but I was pleased to see plenty of styles with varying sweetness. We got a couple of flights to accompany our beer cheese and baguette. My fav was the dry-hopped cider from Rhinegeist; it wasn’t sweet but had a juicy hint of apple. Pivot plans on brewing beer in their space eventually, so it looks like I'll have to make another visit down the road.
Mirror Twin Brewing
725 National Ave
Another newbie on the scene, Mirror Twin Brewing was packed that Saturday night. The name and concept of Mirror Twin originated from head brewer Derek Defranco, who has an actual mirror twin. The brewery takes some of their flagship beers and twins them by changing just one ingredient. Try the twins side by side in 8oz glasses for the price of one and see if you can tell the difference. They have a big beer hall-style space with twinkle lights throughout and I'm thinking a nice patio when the weather cooperates. That night Mirror Twin partnered with their favorite local food truck, the Rolling Oven which specializes in wood fired pies. We weren't quite hungry enough for pizza at the time but I tried the twin brown ales.
West Sixth Green Room
109 W Main St
After a few appetizers and a little SEC football at Drake's we decided on a night cap near our hotel. Just a few doors down from the 21c is West Sixth's new tap room and nano-brewery called the Green Room. They have a curated tap list of West Sixth beers and offer some small batch experimental beers made on site. They had just opened during our visit so they didn’t have any small batch beers ready at the time so a return visit will be necessary! We pretty much had the place to ourselves and caught the tail end of the UGA vs Kentucky game while sipping on their barrel aged brown to finish off the night.
There are a few more spots I didn’t make it to this trip but there’s always next time. Have you been brewery hopping in Lexington?