FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Tuesday, West Sixth Brewing unveiled a new direction. The brewery plans to grow beer ingredients, as well as brew beers and ciders, on the new West Sixth Farm.
The 120-acre farm is located just outside of downtown Frankfort on Shadrick Ferry Road.
“This is a major project for us, and one that we’ve been working on for nearly 2 years”, said co-founder Ben Self, “We’re trying to do something different – the first in the state. In Lexington, our production facility is an urban factory. But Kentucky has a rich and amazing agricultural history. Many folks don’t think of it that way – but beer is by nature an agricultural product. At West Sixth Farm we want to pay respect to and honor that tradition by demonstrating and educating folks about that history”.
“At the West Sixth Farm, we’ll create a place for small-scale production of brewing ingredients. But we won’t just have fields of hop trellises and barley, we’ll also grow raspberries and sour cherries and blackberries and squash and sorghum and chili peppers and herbs and pawpaws and all sorts of other products we’re already using to brew many of our specialty batches. We’ll use the land to experiment with new ingredients to learn how these crops can be better grown in Kentucky. And we’ll work with other Kentucky farmers in the hopes that someday, all of our ingredients can be purchased from Kentucky Proud farmers,” said West Sixth co-founder Joe Kuosman.
One item new to the West Sixth portfolio will be the growth of cider apples – to be used at some point in the future for a craft Kentucky cider. “We’re excited to explore the use of some apples not traditionally grown in Kentucky – but ones that will be ideal for our environment and the production of hard cider,” said co-founder and head brewer Robin Sither.
In addition to the production of ingredients for beer and cider, the West Sixth Farm will also highlight the usage of spent grain as feed for livestock and chickens. There will also be several beehives on site. Honey is an ingredient West Sixth has used previously as a locally-produced ingredient.
Finally, the West Sixth Farm will also house a small production facility – for the production of ales and ciders with ingredients grown on site. They’ll host public and private events on the farm, and in the future may also add a small retail facility.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said founder Ben Self. “The folks in Franklin County have been so welcoming, and helped us out so much – we couldn’t have taken this leap without their help and assistance”.
“West Sixth has the reputation for not only excellent beer, but for providing a destination and a gathering spot for the community. We know they will do many creative, dynamic things at the farm that will make it a place where citizens and visitors alike will be excited to be, and we look forward to being their partner in the process. I know it will be something we are proud of,” said Franklin County Judge Executive Huston Wells.
Terri Bradshaw, Executive Director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation added, “We are very familiar with West Sixth Brewing and the positive impact they have on their communities and the quality and creativity of their product. They support the direct work of numerous non-profits, they are environmentally conscious in everything they do and they strive to provide an excellent work environment and a great beer culture for their communities. We are so excited that they are going to be a part of ours. “
West Sixth Brewing worked with Heather Housman from Bluegrass Reality to locate and begin the planning for West Sixth Farm, and Traditional Bank has provided the financing.
West Sixth hopes to have an event in the spring of 2017 to welcome visitors out to the farm. Birch Bragg, who was the co-founder of Beechmont Farm in Bowling Green, has been hired to be the full time farm manager and has already begun the work of transforming the farm.