Royals Hot Chicken hosting Brewed Food Louisville dinner Sunday

Royals Hot Chicken (736 E Market St.) chefs Ryan Rogers and Andrew McCabe will welcome the experimental food lab, Brewed Food, and Denver-based chef and certified Cicerone, Jensen Cummings, on Sunday, June 25, at 6 p.m., for a collaborative beer dinner. According to a news release, the innovative five-course menu will be paired with beers from Goodwood and New Belgium Brewing Company and incorporate brewing ingredients from both breweries.

The dinner is part of a national tour organized by Brewed Food lab. Cummings founded the company to promote craft brewing as a culinary art and core philosophy of cooking. He utilizes beer yeast to create unique food fermentations and incorporates ingredients such as hops, wort and spent grain into dishes. The goal of the Brewed Food tour is to share these techniques with chefs across the country. Cummings will be visiting Seattle, Atlanta, and Cincinnati in addition to Louisville.

The Brewed Food Louisville menu includes:

Reception: Goodwood Walnut Brown Ale served with koji-aged venison tartare; plum-infused wort, chocolate meringue, porcini, Zeus hop; and New Belgium Le Terroir served with sourdough blini; hopped yogurt, malted tender belly bacon, sour mash roe

First course: New Belgium Abbey & Voodoo Ranger IPA served with wort broth ochazuke; torrified wheat, grain soy, nukazuke, shio koji sashimi

Second course: Goodwood Barrel-Aged Saison served with Cara 45 malted barley risotto; fermented corn milk, special bacon, shaved oysters, centennial hops

Third course: New Belgium 2017 La Folie served with pork char sui; lop cheong, barrel-aged hoisin, spontaneous dragon fruit

Fourth course: Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Stout served with s’mores; spent grain cracker, yeasted Simcoe Hopmallow, mushroom powder

Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased by clicking here.

J.K. McKnight Mixes Music with Bourbon; Goodwood Goodness with Joel Halblieb

Rick and Steve return from the road for this episode of the city’s finest restaurant and bar podcast. And while we could go on about our trips to Denver and Indianapolis, our first item of business is getting caught up on the news right here in River City. First, there’s an exciting announcement about efforts to create a new Louisville festival called Bourbon & Beyond. Steve credits Louder Than Life organizer Danny Wimmer for bypassing a passive city committee to get the new festival on the calendar.

We also report on some chef changes. Longtime Corbett’s chef Jeffrey Dailey has moved over to Harvest, now the home of what some say is the most talent in any city kitchen. Then there’s news that Allan Rosenberg is making a move back to pizza with the opening of Butchertown Pizza Hall in the old Hall’s Cafeteria space. Also in Butchertown, the operator of the Holy Mole’ food truck is adopting an 1860s-era building for a new pizza and pasta place to be called Lupo. Finally, we marvel at the marketing expertise of steakhouse proprietor Jeff Ruby, who got his restaurant mentioned in a national CBS basketball broadcast by promising free steak if Northern Kentucky University pulled off the impossible and upset over the University of Kentucky. It didn’t.

Our first guest is Forecastle Festival organizer J.K. McKnight, whose promotion of the Bourbon Lodge at July’s big event captured Steve’s interest. Rick welcomes Goodwood Brewery’s Joel Halblieb, who talks about the success of the two-year-old brand and the often-overlooked Taproom at Main and Clay.

EatDrinkTalk is brought to you each week by our friends at the Eye Care Institute, Harvest Restaurant and Copper & Kings. Thanks for joining us.


J.K. McKnight


Joel Halblieb


Two Years In, Goodwood is Good

Two years ago, the Goodwood Brewery brand was launched when brewmaster Joel Halblieb and his partners exited an agreement to use the name Bluegrass Brewing Company for their brews.

Today, that move is looking pretty good, as the Goodwood Brewery at Main and Clay is now distributing product in 11 states, and its distribution has grown more than 50 percent in the last 10 months. Its remodeled Taproom is home to live music several nights a week.

Joel Halblieb at Goodwood

Joel Halblieb at Goodwood

While celebrating the brand’s distribution into South Carolina this week, Halblieb honored a 12-year tradition with the “Blessing of the Keg” by Father Joseph Fowler and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s party at the Taproom.

Halblieb said that the challenge of growing distribution for a craft beer brand at a time when a new brewery seems to be opening every month isn’t easy.

“It’s getting difficult because the marketplace is crowded with brands, and distributors are being selective,” he said. “In 1999-2000, if you could produce a beer in a package people would buy it, no matter what. Now you’re pitching a distributor and they’re looking at whether your product is going to match their portfolio. So there’s a lot more vetting with distributors and producers. Quality is becoming a huge selling point. It’s tough to put out a product that has good shelf stability as a small brewer. You have to spend more money on quality control and equipment to make sure your beer has greater longevity on the shelf.”

Halblieb said he’s excited about the latest addition to Goodwood’s lineup, a tart beer with a special ingredient that wasn’t easy to obtain. The Hemp Gose is now available on tap and in cans.

“I looked at our entire portfolio and looked for holes in it, for what flavor profile we were missing,” he said. “The easiest target was some type of sour or tart beer. The sours are really difficult to make for a brewery that makes mostly clean beers, so I decided on a tart instead. It has hemp extract. I’ve tasted a lot of hemp beers, most use toasted hemp seed that gives a nutty flavor. I don’t think that’s what people think of when they see hemp on a label as the flavor profile.

“I’ve worked with an extract producer that processes raw hemp into CVD oil, and found they were discarding terpenes.  They isolated the terpenes for me and gave me a concentrated extract. We started working with that and wanted to add a level of complexity, not dominate, the Gose flavor.”

We talked in the Taproom, which has come a long way in a short time.

“When we rebranded we gutted the Tap Room,” he said. “It had the feel of your crazy uncle’s closet, with beer signs from other breweries. We wanted to make our customers feel it was a clean and comfortable atmosphere, not the dirty place around the corner.”

And while there’s still an understated feel here (it’s easy to miss the sign on the corner), it’s easy to foresee a future in which the Taproom, located just north of NuLu, could become a go-to nightspot. Already, the lineup of musical acts has improved, for which Halblieb credits renowned musician Alanna Fugate, who also tends bar here.

“It’s still a small venue that you can really enjoy the music. You can be close and intimate,” he said.

Across the street, workers are busy adding floors to a condo project, while on another corner apartments are in the planning stages. Halblieb said he’d love to see another project come to the other corner, which, for now, is a transmission shop.