Ale-8 Racing Party

Ale-8 Racing Party: Share the Best of the Bluegrass

At home racing parties are typical in the Bluegrass since most of us would rather watch the race from the comfort of our homes and enjoy the flavors of Kentucky with those closest to us. This year, we are keeping the party small, authentic, and safe. This is how we throw an Ale-8 Racing Party in Kentucky. 

PARTY SMALL

You’re probably thinking about just those people in your household or a small group of 10. That’s a good plan. It’s a manageable number of guests where you can still enjoy yourself and entertain them. People remember the food and the entertainment.

Figure out what you are willing to spend and then you can decide how you want to invest in your guests. 

  • How much per person? 
  • Who’s watching the race with you?
  • Are you having an adult only event or a family affair?  

3-4 hours is a good length of time for socializing, eating, and drinking. If the big race is at 6:30 p.m., having your guests arrive at 4 or 4:30 gives you plenty of time before the main event to have fun, eat and drink.  Most parties wrap up 30 minutes to an hour after the feature race.  

Are they adventurous foodies? Do they have any allergies you should be aware of?  Any vegetarians in the group?  Remember to keep the designated driver in mind if you are serving alcohol. 

You want every guest at your party to feel welcome and accommodated.  If introducing new flavors or cuisine to your guests, we recommend only one or two unique items paired with several familiar offerings.  Find fun ways to showcase or present the authentic offerings to create lasting party WOW factors. This can be done by using specialty glassware or pottery, and also by adding tasting notes or food descriptions on place cards or small chalk boards.  

Are they active outdoorsy types or more passive indoor folks?  

Active Types will need things to do and places to wander while socializing. The bean bag toss game of Cornhole is an outdoor favorite in Kentucky.

DIY hat creations out of everyday items or office supplies is fun, active, and authentic to the party experience.  

Less Active Types might enjoy great conversations starters of trivia or racing tips which can be easily put in stand-up picture frames, placed on small easels or chalk boards around the party setting.  

Food

You want every guest at your party to feel welcome and accommodated.  If introducing new flavors or cuisine to your guests, we recommend only one or two unique items paired with several familiar offerings.  Find fun ways to showcase or present the authentic offerings to create lasting party WOW factors. This can be done by using specialty glassware, pottery, or tasting notes or food descriptions.  

We have chosen recipes that are traditional to the Bluegrass or are party favorites by from local culinary talent.

Beverages

Jubil8

Ale-8 and Bourbon have long been a local pairing, so it’s only natural to have an Ale-8 version of the classic mint julep.

Although juleps are traditional most people find other drinks to enjoy after the initial experience. 

 

Of course, sweet tea, lemonade and Ale-8 varieties on ice are always popular with guests. 

Time Saving Option

Pickup Blackberry Iced Tea in the refrigerated section of Kroger to add a little bluegrass flair. Blackberries are Kentucky’s official fruit.

SNACKS & APPETIZERS

Favorite Recipes to Make and Wow Your Guests:

This savory spiced pecan recipe is from the family collection of Ale-8-One President Ellen McGeeney who makes them for her Ale-8 family on special occassions.  The recipe has been passed down to Ellen from her great-grandmother Ella Waddill Rash.  

Beer Cheese was also invented in our hometown of Winchester and is a great appetizer or snack that can be paired with club crackers, vegetables, pretzels, or corn chips.  If you’re feeling adventurous you can make your own the weekend before the party.  It only improves with time.


Everyone in Winchester has a favorite from the Beer Cheese Trail.

Time Saving Option

Hall's Beer Cheese offers online sales if you don’t want to make your own.

PARTY FAVORITES

Wow your guests with a homemade entrée.

ALE-8-ONE SLOPPY JOES
From the cookbook Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our Favorite Places by Ouita Michel, Sara Gibbs and Genie Graf. 

Discover the extraordinary culinary talents of the Bluegrass from this award-winning chef and owner of restaurants in Midway, Versailles and Lexington. Click here to order your copy of “Just a Few Miles South” 

If you want to order Kentucky Country Ham, here are some local favorites to add to biscuits: 

 

Other tasty options:

Time Saving Option

Pick up from the Kroger Deli Chicken Salad, Croissants, Country Ham, and lunch meat to make your own handhelds or order a party tray and spend your time on your guests.

DESSERTS

Time Saving Option

Order Derby-Pie® chocolate nut pie from Kern’s Kitchen the official dessert and you might consider adding Race Day Bourbon Balls from Ruth Hunt Candy Company. Another task saving option is a Race Day Cookie Box from Midway Bakery.

Favorite Desserts to Make at Home

INVITATIONS

Old School Mailed Invites

Who doesn’t like to get mail and an invitation to a party is event more exciting? Download and send this file to your local printer to add your details for custom invitations. We recommend card stock with a glossy finish, but the choice is yours.  

E-Vites

If social media and e-vites are your preference, download this Facebook Event Header or check out these options from Punchbowl.

Old School Mailed Invites

Who doesn’t like to get mail and an invitation to a party is event more exciting? Download and send this file to your local printer to add your details for custom invitations. We recommend card stock with a glossy finish, but the choice is yours.  

E-Vites

If social media and e-vites are your preference, download this Facebook Event Header or check out these options from Punchbowl.

DECORATIONS

Decorations don’t have to be elaborate, just impactful. If adding a centerpiece to your table, make sure it isn’t so big that your guests can’t see each other when sitting across the table. Here’s a mood board to inspire your own creativity. These photos from our friend JC Phelps lifestyle and food blogger of Unabashedly Southern and JCPEats.

ENTERTAINMENT

Active Types will need things to do and places to wander while socializing. The bean bag too game of Cornhole is an outdoor favorite in Kentucky. We had some custom boards made for our events, but you can find basic Cornhole Boards online or at most sport goods stores. Here are the official rules because we are fans of authenticity.

If you have the space and you don’t mind a little DIY prep, consider adding Horse Shoe Pit.

Make an impression on younger guests with stick horse races. Here’s a no sew option made from an inexpensive mop, ribbon and googly eyes held together by rubber bands and a hot glue.

DIY hat creations out of everyday items or office supplies is fun, active, and authentic to the party experience.

Less Active Types might might enjoy great conversations starters of trivia or racing tips which can be easily put in stand-up picture frames, placed on small easels or chalk boards around the party setting

Here are some fun downloadable options from Etsy:

Bourbon TASTINGS

Bourbon tastings are very popular with an adult crowd providing a connection and a sense of place to the event while leaving a lasting impression on your guests.

Download How to Taste Bourbon, Flavor Notes and Worksheet from our partners at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We recommend serving at least three tasting options.

When you get the opportunity, visit the stops on the KBTTM to get your Kentucky Bourbon right from the horse’s mouth. Your local Kroger Wine and Spirits provides a wide variety of Kentucky Bourbons ready for purchase.

MADE WITH ❤ &   IN LEXINGTON, KY BY ENVY INTERACTIVE

FUN FACT

Ruth Hunt Peck, the founder of Ruth Hunt Candies was a cousin to the Rogers’ family – owners of Ale-8-One