Scene from last year's Tailspin Ale Fest

Behold the best beer fest: Tailspin Ale Fest celebrates 10 years

Scene from last year's Tailspin Ale Fest
The Silent Disco is the place to be, if you’re not waiting in line to pee. | Courtesy of Tailspin Ale Fest

The fact that Tailspin Ale Fest is celebrating 10 years next week makes me feel like a proud parent, because I’ve damn near attended each and every one! It’s hands down one of the best beer fests I’ve ever gone to, and I wouldn’t miss this year’s event for anything — anything outside of the normal list of bad things that happen to people, that is.

I remember at one the early ones we had to endure freezing rain and sloshing through frigid puddles while standing in a long line to pee. And I remember at another one enjoying the incredibly odd warm weather we were rewarded one weekend in February — also while standing in a long line to pee.

The good news is the organizers of Tailspin listen to feedback each year, and they actually fix things and improve upon the event year after year. There are more bathrooms than ever before, more beer options, more food trucks and more ways to dance the afternoon away. The introduction of the silent disco a few years back was a score, and while I’ve never participated myself, it’s fun to watch others dance like nobody’s watching — even though everybody is.

Tailspin logo

This year, organizers are promising participation of more than 75 local, regional and national breweries with more than 250 beers available to sample. There will be at least 10 local food trucks, live music by Tony & the Tan Lines, Drake’s Silent Disco, Cox’s Cigar Bar, and a few other surprises.

Plus, there will be a “Women in Beer Bar” featuring craft beers brewed by women from around the country and here in Kentucky. I love that!

And perhaps the best news is that all proceeds go to Dare to Care Food Bank and the HOP Foundation. In fact, Tailspin has raised more than $90,000 for the organizations in the past nine years.

As always, the beer-soaked Tailspin takes place at the Bowman Field on Saturday, March 4, from 3-7 p.m. While VIP tickets are sold out, general admission passes are still available for $55. And if you’d like to hop on one of the nine shuttles located all around the city and one in New Albany, check out the website for more details.

See you there!

A man at last year's Tailspin Ale Fest

Louisville’s best beer fest, Tailspin Ale Fest, returns Oct. 30!

A man at last year's Tailspin Ale Fest
Who’s ready for the 8th annual Tailspin? | Courtesy of Tailspin Ale Fest

The last time I attended Louisville’s best beer fest, also known as the Tailspin Ale Fest, I was unaware that a global pandemic was on the horizon and shit was about to hit the fan. It was February of 2020, and I still had a job, I didn’t own a single face mask, and I had a fondness for the word Corona — it goes well with a lime.

Had I known everything that was to come after, I would have cherished my time at the festival more. But honestly, I had a frickin’ blast sucking down samples left and right, and I don’t know how I could have had more fun.

Good news is, while Tailspin got postponed in February 2021, organizers are bringing it back for a Halloween-themed party on Saturday, Oct. 30. It’ll once again be held at Bowman Field, but this time at the Central American hangar closest to Taylorsville Road, which is outside. And it’ll run from 3-7 p.m. as usual.

Tickets are still available, and guests are encouraged to dress in costume for the 8th annual Tailspin. So what all is planned? I’m glad you asked.

First of all, there will be more than 250 samples of craft beer from near and far, along with cider and wine. Need more? Check out this list of amenities:

  • Shuttle stop options and a dedicated shuttle entrance
  • Cox’s Cigar Pavilion
  • Bourbon Barrel Beer Bar
  • Cider/Sour Bar
  • Drake’s Silent Disco
  • Live music from 100% Poly
  • Tarot Card Readers and other festive Halloween fun
  • Kentucky Heritage Section – Brews brewed in the bluegrass
  • Food Trucks

If you’ve never been, trust me on this, it’s worth every penny of admission. And if you have been, then what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets already!

VIP tickets are $80 and include early admission at 2 p.m., a free food voucher, a souvenir taster glass, and a Bell’s Brewery VIP Tailspin souvenir. And general admission tickets are $50 and include a souvenir taster glass. If you have a DD who doesn’t plan on drinking, tickets for them are $15. You must purchase your tickets online before the event, as no tickets will be sold at the gate.

Shuttle rides to and from Tailspin are an additional $15, and locations include Against the Grain downtown, Cox’s Spirits on Ruckreigel Pkwy., Drake’s Paddock Shops, Drake’s St. Matthews, Drake’s Hurstbourne, Evergreen Middletown, Highlands Tap Room, New Albanian, Union 15 near Iroquois Park, and Nachbar.