Race Day ale USA: With anticipation mounting for the spring meet at Keeneland in April and the Kentucky Derby in May, an American brewery has teamed up with a retired racehorse charity to launch a new beer for racedays.

The new brew at the starting gate by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company (ALBDC) is fittingly named Kentucky® Race Day Session IPA. 

This brew packs all the flavor of a traditional IPA, but with less alcohol at 4.5 percent ABV. Described as “Aromatic, light-bodied and refreshing, the brew is dry hopped with Hallertau hops from a traditional German hop-growing region sacred to many brewers, as well as Cascade and Calypso hops from America’s Yakima Valley.

“It’s a delightfully fruity, spicy and citrusy brew that can stand the test of a long day at the races.”

Brewed for a cause

 “We were in the midst of finalising our planning for the spring package release of Race Day when we heard about the fire at Old Friends thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Kentucky,” said Jonathan Lang, marketing manager for ALBDC.

Founded in 2003 by Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, Old Friends is a non-profit organisation that now cares for more than 150 former racehorses, including Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm (pictured) and War Emblem and Breeder’s Cup Champions Alphabet Soup and Amazombie. In late January, a devastating fire destroyed one of the farm’s barns. The near-tragedy (no horses or humans were hurt) sparked an outpouring of support.

 “We immediately began to think of ways we could help support the rebuilding of the barn and, more importantly, raise awareness about Old Friends’ mission,” said Lang. “With a very successful Breeders Cup in 2015 and the first Triple Crown winner in American Pharoah since 1978, interest in the thoroughbred racing industry is at an all-time high, but we should also remember the past champions that still deserve our admiration and care.”

“We’ve worked with Michael for several years now through various fundraising events and limited edition bottle releases to benefit Old Friends,” said Matt Cordle, territory sales manager for ALBDC.  “With our Race Day launch, we’ve decided to continue this tradition by donating a portion of proceeds from 1st April through 8th May to Old Friends to help with the rebuilding process. We’re also very fortunate that our friends at Kentucky Eagle, who distribute our portfolio of beers and spirits throughout central Kentucky, agreed to partner with us on this effort.”

“When Jonathan and Matt approached me with this idea, I was just overwhelmed,” said Old Friends’ Blowen. “How could I resist a campaign that combined my two favourite things, horses and beer? In all seriousness, we are incredibly grateful for the amazing community support we have received since the fire. We’ve had a long and wonderful relationship with Alltech and we are happy to be continuing that tradition with Kentucky Race Day.”

Blowen noted that all of the donations received will go to rebuilding a new, fire-safe barn to replace the one destroyed and also to updating and fire-proofing an existing second barn on the property.

Kentucky Race Day Session IPA is available now on draft, and look for six-pack bottles beginning 28th March in retail outlets. From 1st April through 8th May, a portion of the proceeds from Kentucky Race Day Session IPA will help benefit Old Friends.

Follow the Kentucky Ale Facebook page or the @KentuckyAle on Twitter for updates as well as special events surrounding the release.

For more information about Old Friends, visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Karen Sargeant

Karen Sargeant

Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.

She absolutely loves her job (how many people can say that?!) and is truly grateful to all supporters of and contributors to Eclipse Magazine.

If you are reading this she would like to say THANK YOU! (And please spread the word about Eclipse...!!)
Karen Sargeant