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.
Thinking about was would be next at 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.
It's located on 120 rolling acres in Franklin County, 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 the West Sixth Farm to grow some of those ingredients but also introduce you to a hop plant, 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 don’t just have a field of hop trellises, we’re also growing raspberries and blackberries with plans for barley, squash, sorghum and sugar beets, chili peppers and herbs, 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 teach other Kentucky farmers what we learn in the hopes that someday, all of our ingredients can be purchased from Kentucky Proud farmers.
We’ve planted an apple orchard -- only they aren't apples for eating, but those 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 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 have a (very) small scale production facility -- so folks who aren’t able to visit our large one in Lexington can learn how beers are made, and taste estate brews made from ingredients on site.
Come on out and see this place! It isn't a quick project and we expect it will take years to develop our biggest dreams out there.