logo_w6farm-01We're excited to announce a big new project here at West Sixth: the West Sixth Farm.

When we started West Sixth, after an extensive search, we found what we now call the Bread Box in downtown Lexington. While we originally thought we were just buying a building to hold West Sixth, it turns out the space has had an incredible impact on our brewery. It has been a naturally-progressing, authentic mix-use urban project -- with for-profits, nonprofits, and community organizations all working together to make something really unique and special.

When we thought about what was next for West Sixth we considered many different alternatives. But the idea that we kept coming back to --  the one that got us the most excited -- was the West Sixth Farm.

And after looking for nearly 2 years, we've finally found it.

The West Sixth Farm is 120 rolling acres in Franklin County located just 8 minutes from downtown Frankfort, and 35 minutes from Lexington.  We're excited to use this farm for a variety of things -- to grow ingredients for our beers, host events, create estate ales, and invite people to experience the farm extension of our urban brewery.

We know you all are curious about how and where we source our ingredients to make the beer that you love because you ask about them at every tour! We hope to use theWest Sixth Farm to both grow some of those ingredients but also introduce you all to what a hop plant is, and the sorts of fruit and spices that can make amazing beers.

While we are not naive enough to believe that we can source a majority of our ingredients now from Kentucky, we do know that our state has an excellent environment and soil for growing lots of different things. So 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 sugar beets 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 (did you taste our pro-am-contest-winning Ginger Braggot that just went off our tap list?).  And we’ll teach other Kentucky farmers what we learn in the hopes that someday, all of our ingredients can be purchased from Kentucky Proud farmers.

We’ll plant an apple orchard -- only we won’t grow apples for eating, we’ll grow apples that are designed to be used to make hard ciders, a product that is quickly exploding in the state.

Our brewing byproduct -- spent grain -- is already being processed into feed by a cattle farmer not too far up the road from the West Sixth Farm. But at the Farm we’ll have some animals - cattle, chickens -- that are fed a mix including our spent grain. We’ll use these animals to supply West Sixth farm-to-table meat and eggs for beer dinners across the state.

We’ll build a (very) small scale production facility -- so folks who aren’t able to visit our large facility in Lexington can learn how beers are made, and taste estate brews made from ingredients on site.

We can't wait to show you what we have in store.  This isn't a quick project -- we expect it will take years to develop the sort of place we're trying to make -- but we hope to have a few events there over the next year to show you the beginnings of it.

If you want to follow along on our progress, click here to follow the West Sixth Farm's Facebook page.

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Introducing the West Sixth Farm from Kelly Hieronymus on Vimeo.