Breaking beer news, folks! Bluegrass Brewing Company (BBC) Production, Louisville’s longest continuously-operating brewery is getting a facelift. Starting May 2015, the Downtown brewery, bottleworks and taproom, not to be confused with the brewpubs that started in St. Matthews, will be known as Goodwood Brewing Company. Phil Dearner, President of BBC, errr, Goodwood tells me they want to showcase what they are most passionate about, beer that touches wood. They also want to highlight another ingredient that makes Kentucky beers unique: limestone water. This water is something the bourbon industry hypes up for it’s flavor profile. Goodwood CEO, Ted Mitzlaff says, “If it’s good for bourbon, it’s great for beer”. No brewery in the region (or the US for that matter) has capitalized on this concept.
For the last several months Mitzlaff, Dearner and head brewer, Joel Halbleib have been working with the local ad agency, Doe Anderson on their new image. Doe Anderson has worked with clients in the spirits industry including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, but this will be their first craft beer client. There was an lengthy naming process, but when Doe Anderson suggested Touchwood, British slang for knock on wood, the guys thought that might be too suggestive, thus Goodwood was born. All of their beers will “touch wood” in the brewing process, either by aging in a barrel, or by the use of various woods in the fermenting tanks.
The fresh packaging represents everything that makes Goodwood beers special: the woodgrain background, the barrel shape of the logo, culminating with the ace-in-the-hole slogan: “Touched by wood, brewed with limestone water”. The packaging has a modern, yet nostalgic feel to it. It will be distinct and eye catching on the shelf. The consistency in all of their packaging is a big contrast to their current lineup. Presently, their everyday “Heritage Collection” has a matching design, while Louisville Lager has a baseball feel to it, and Bourbon Barrel Stout’s 4 pack is dark and, due to it’s “Clay Street Series” notation, matches Bourbon Ale, which has a lighter color scheme. Consumers will recognize Goodwood beers because of their consistent look and feel.
Also, look for big changes at the Clay and Main Taproom (where we record our weekly podcast). The address is 636 East Main Street. The rejuvenation includes enlarging the seating area, adding some windows and reworking the bar. There will also be wine and bourbons sold, for those not yet schooled in craft beer. “It’s not your grandfather’s basement anymore,” Mitzlaff quips.
While there have been a few cuts in the product lines (Dark Star Porter, Amber Ale), some of the old favorites will remain, with updated recipes and a lil’ wood touching. Because Louisville Lager, with its Kentucky malted barley, is already new to the scene, it will not be changing.
Stay tuned right here to LouisvilleBeer.com for the second part of this story with more details on the beers that will be in their everyday lineup. It’s pretty exciting!