Country Boy Brewing, 436 Chair Ave., is celebrating its 3rd anniversary in business with a weekend of special events. Beginning on Friday, the craft brewery will have classic Country Boy beers on 24 taps, with a ticketed beer dinner (only 50 tickets available) from Fork in the Road from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Dinner tickets are $50, cash only, for sale in the taproom. The four-course sit-down dinner is in the warehouse "where you will get a behind-the-scenes tour of our barrel aging process and other goodies," according to Country Boy's facebook page.
If it sells out, you don't have to go away hungry: Ello's Tacos will be serving from 5 to 10 p.m.
To celebrate, Country Boy is releasing a bottled small-batch barrelled Black Gold Porter every day beginning at noon: On Friday, It's an Orange Rum Truffle. On Saturday, it's Mexican Chocolate; on Sunday, it's Espresso. Each is available one day only with sales limited to two bottles per customer.
■ I wanted to keep this to myself: Good Foods Co-op is having a free chocolate sampling event Feb. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. Live music and generous samples of at least a dozen kinds of chocolate, including fruit & potato chips for dipping in the chocolate fountain, chicken or potatoes mole served over red rice, dark chocolate almond milk and organic vanilla ice cream served with local bourbon chocolatier sauce.
■ Mardi Gras isn't until next month but put this on your calender: Bourbon and the Bayou, Feb. 6, at The Red Mile Round Barn, benefitting CASA of Lexington, which advocates for abused and neglected children in Fayette County.
This "Fat Friday" event has live music by The Sensations, food by Bluegrass Bayou Catering, bourbon tastings, silent and live auctions and Mardi Gras entertainment. Menu includes chicken and sausage gumbo, jambalaya, catfish, shrimp and fontina cheese grits, southern green beans, king cake, bread pudding with a Kentucky bourbon sauce and more.
Tickets are $100 each. Tables for 10 available. Call (859) 246-4313 or go to Firstgiving.com/LexingtonCASA/BourbonBayou.
■ Lexington Humane Society's 8th annual Tails & Ales beer-tasting fundraiser will be Feb. 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa. Featured beers include Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, West Sixth Brewing, Magners Irish Cider and Woodchuck Draft Cider. There will also be snacks and live music by Kenny Owens. Dress is business casual. Personal pets are not permitted at this event.
Tickets are $55 per person; must be 21. Tables (tickets and seating for 8) are also available for reservation for $800. Quantity is limited. Go to Lexingtonhumanesociety.org to order.
■ Two new releases from Beam Suntory: Jim Beam Bonded, 100-proof, 4-year-old bourbon that signifies it was produced in a singled distillery season at a single distillery, will go on sale in February for a recommended price of $22.99 for 750ml.
Beam is also "refreshing" its rye brand as Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style Rye at 90 proof. "We've heard loud and clear from bartenders and whiskey fans that they are looking for a bolder Rye that stands up better in cocktails," said Fred Noe, Jim Beam's seventh-generation master distiller. "We listened to this feedback, and know that the time is right to make history by taking a classic product that's loved around the world and making it even better."
Available nationally in January with a suggested retail price of $22.99 for 750mL.
■ In February, Woodford Reserve is releasing to select markets a Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, with a 53 percent rye mashbill, giving spicy notes of black pepper as well as clove, mint, apple and pear. The rye is the third permanent line extension to join the portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. Recommended price of $37.99 for 750ml; 45.2 percent alcohol by volume.
■ Wild Turkey's visitor center in Lawrenceburg recently won a major architecture honor. Designed by Kentucky-based DeLeon and Primmer Architecture Workshop, the bourbon cathedral won the 2015 American Institute for Architecture Honor Award. This is the latest in a long string of honors bestowed to brand owner Campari America and DeLeon and Primmer. The visitor center has also earned the 2014 Kentucky AIA Honor Award, the 2014 Hospitality Design Award from Hospitality Design magazine, and the 2014 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum. Moreover, the building was selected to represent the "best in American architecture" by ARCHITECT magazine.
■ The Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville features rare bourbons and Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley at the latest "Legends Series" on Feb. 5, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Hosted by the museum's "bourbon authority" and whiskey author Fred Minnick, the Legends Series is an ongoing series that celebrates bourbon, its culture, the people, and of course, the liquid gold inside the bottle. Minnick will interview Wheatley and lead the audience in a tasting that includes extremely hard-to-find Eagle Rare 17 and George T. Stagg, Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, and E.H. Taylor Jr.
Attendees will also be able to purchase a bottle of Buffalo Trace, E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel bourbon with an opportunity to have it signed and personalized by Wheatley.
Tickets are $50 per person and $45 for museum members. Go to Derbymuseum.org or call (502) 992-5903.
Other Legends Series events will include: Bill Samuels, chairman emeritus for Makers Mark, June 4; and Mike Veach, renowned bourbon historian and author, Aug. 6.