Tailspin Ale Fest 2017


The rain wasn’t feeling cooperative, but it was only a minor distraction as Tailspin Ale Fest brought another huge throng and showed every last one of them a darn good time.

With more than 250 beers available for sampling, plus live music, vintage airplanes, food trucks, and more, there was plenty to like. For the first time this year, the Kentucky breweries were moved outside the hangar at Louisville Executive Aviation and concentrated under a single tent. It was a Kentucky beer extravaganza, featuring old friends and a few new faces, such as Lyndon’s own Holsopple Brewing and Mash Cult Brewing from Florence.

One of the key sponsors this year was Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, Ga., which occupied a tent near the front of the proceedings. I couldn’t get enough of the brewery’s Side Project series in the form of a habanero porter, which perfectly blended coffee roast and malt sweetness with the citrusy heat of the peppers. Almost too good for words, especially if you’re a pepper head like me.

One aspect I noted about this year’s festival was that, while it was crowded, moving the Kentucky breweries to a tent just outside the hangar helped alleviate some of the congestion. There were more attendees this year, but it seemed that the lines were shorter. Usually, by 5 p.m. at Tailspin, the lines get prohibitive – that was not necessarily the case this year.

All in all, hats off to Tailspin founders and organizers Tisha Gainey and Trevor Cravens for another top-notch event. I’m already looking forward to next year.