Per Matt
Kentucky might be world renowned for its Bourbon Trail, but if you ask the locals employed within its craft-beer scene, a second, fast-growing trend tends to get closely associated with the state’s boozy roots: The winter warmer. This beer, as well as its associated event, is characterized by its big malty flavor and solid body (and often being bourbon-barrel aged), making this high-ABV beverage a fan favorite seasonal whenever the temperatures drop outside, keeping people warm on the inside.

Fear thee not, fellow beverage aficionado! Tailspin Ale Fest is fast approaching!

Taking place on March 2nd at the historic Bowman Field (2700 Gast Boulevard, Louisville, KY, 40205), Louisville’s winter warmer is one of the biggest local social events celebrating the end of winter. Featuring more than 50 breweries from all over the U.S. pouring more than 250 brews with a dedicated section from the bluegrass state, you’re bound to find a new favorite at this highly anticipated event.

VIP Admission begins at 2PM, while General Admission begins at 3:00 and the festivities end at 7PM. This event takes place outdoors (make sure to dress for the weather) and will absolutely sell out. All tickets must be purchased in advance, as there are no gate sales.

The 2024 Tailspin Ale Fest will take place 100 percent outside of the hangar, offering guests a great perspective of the location, along with its classic airplanes. Pints for Parkinson’s and TKO Parkinson’s Foundation are this year’s sponsored community organizations, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales. Catching up with Trevor Cravens, co-founder of Tailspin Ale Fest and HB Productions LLC (along with Tisha Gainey), choosing these sponsored groups was an easy one.

“Our friend, who works in the brewing industry, has Parkinson’s and so we love to support anything he does for these organizations. We’ve also become good friends with the people behind these organizations and love what they do. The choice was actually really easy and hopefully one that will last for a long time.”

Returning to the event this year are the Bourbon Barrel Beer Bar (my personal favorite), the Cider & Sour Bar (another great one!), Cox’s Cigar Lounge, Drake’s Silent Disco and headlining the event with live music is Tony and the Tan Lines. There will also be Piss Poor Karaoke, taking place by the bathrooms, naturally!

So, what’s new for this year’s Tailspin? Well, in what could possibly a very first for a beer fest, Ohio Valley Wrestling (from the Netflix series, Wrestlers) is setting up a ring, offering a high-flying full performance for attendees. Untitled Art, from Wisconsin, joins Tailspin for the very first time and now available for purchase are private and premium restrooms, as well as port-o-lets. There will also be a chance for attendees to win their very own Golden Toilet, a dedicated port-o-let and lounge for you and five of your friends.

And for the brown liquor fans out there, Green River Bourbon will be on site, sampling the distillery’s products and selling bottles, including the exclusive Tailspin Single Barrel Pick. This bourbon will only be available at Evergreen Liquors Nulu on Feb 29th and at Tailspin. Only 180 bottles were produced, and all bottle sales will benefit Pints for Parkinsons and TKO.

Grass lots will be available for parking in front of the airfield, although designated drivers and rideshare possibilities are strongly recommended. There is also a shuttle available, picking up people from the AC Marriot in Nulu, as well as 11 other locations around Louisville. Its full list of pick-up locations will soon be listed on the event’s website.

Tailspin’s finalized list of breweries will be posted by February 16th, along with a beer list, but leading up to the main event, there will be 18 to 20 Tailspin pre-parties taking place throughout Kentucky, where sponsored beers will be featured, along with ticket giveaways and brewer interactions. Get all of the pre-festivity’s details on the event’s Facebook page.

2024 marks Tailspin’s 11th anniversary for hosting Louisville’s winter warmer. When asked what Cravens may have learned after organizing this event for more than an entire decade that he may not have realized from its start, the answer is simple: “The details are really important. Guests appreciate them.”

If you’d like to get more details about the Tailspin Ale Fest, please visit the event’s official website. VIP tickets have already sold out, so grab your general admission tickets while they’re still available. I had so much fun two years ago attending this beer fest, I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at Bowman Field for the big event on March 2nd and having even more fun this year!