West Sixth Brewing is going to the country. The Lexington brewery has bought a 120-acre farm in Franklin County, just outside of Frankfort, to grow ingredients for its beers.
The West Sixth Farm plans to grow hops and barley for beer but also berries, sour cherries and apples for cider, co-owner Ben Self said.
“We plan on doing some estate ciders,” Self said.
The farm on Shadrick Ferry Road also will have honeybees and will grow sorghum, chili peppers, squash, paw paws, herbs and ginger, he said.
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The brewery plans to have a public launch next spring and plans to host tours and events. The farm will have a small brewery to demonstrate how beer and cider are made.
“The idea is to show people beer is by nature an agriculture product,” Self said. That idea sometimes gets lost in an urban environment, such as Lexington, where it becomes about the manufacturing, he said.
“And we hope to get more farmers in the state to grow these ingredients,” he said.
Birch Bragg, co-founder of Beechmont Farm in Bowling Green, has been hired as full-time manager for West Sixth Farm.
The farm also will have cattle and chickens, which will eat the spent brewers grains.
West Sixth had been looking for a place for a farm for about two years and plans eventually to invest about $1 million in the project, Self said.
“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,” West Sixth co-founder and head brewer Robin Sither said.
Franklin County Judge-Executive Huston Wells said in a news release that the county is excited to have West Sixth come in.
“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,” Wells said.