Beer Cheese prizes top $3K

Published 12:15 pm Saturday, April 15, 2017

Professional beer cheese makers can compete for over $3,000 in prizes at the ninth annual Beer Cheese Festival presented by Shop Local Kentucky in downtown Winchester.

Competitors have two chances to win: one winner will be chosen by a panel of judges and the other will be crowned People’s Choice Winner by hungry beer cheese fans who come to the festival to taste test each competitor’s products.

“The festival, which celebrates Clark County’s renown as the birthplace of beer cheese, offers a chance for beer cheese makers to connect directly with 5,000 beer cheese lovers on Saturday, June 10,” said Main Street Winchester director Rachel Alexander, who helps organize the festival. “For competitors, it is the perfect opportunity to win new fans of their brand and to increase their name recognition. There are a lot of benefits to participating in the festival. We do a lot of advertising for the competitors leading up to the event including TV/radio commercials.  Most participants report a bounce in sales afterward, whether they win or not.”

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“We have competed in the festival every year since the very beginning,” said Jenny Bailey, owner of River Rat Beer Cheese, “and each year we see a bump in our sales after the competition.”  She added, “we also sell about a hundred pounds of product each year at the festival — directly to the consumer. It’s a really fun way to meet fans of our beer cheese and make new ones. We love it!”

“For us, this is a fundraiser that allows us to provide great programming and improvements to downtown throughout the year,” said Alexander, “But we want to make sure our visitors and our competitors go home happy. Whether they take home the trophy or not, they are all winners.”

To become a contender, visit  for more information. The deadline to receive the full competition benefits package is April 21, but the festival will continue to take competitors through the first week of June.