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Culinary favorites featured in must-eat list

By Whitney Leggett The Winchester Sun

WINCHESTER -- Winchester is the birthplace of beer cheese and Ale-8-One, and both of the Clark County culinary favorites are gaining some national attention.

Most recently, Ale 8 and beer cheese were included on a Food Network photo gallery list of foods to try around the Kentucky.

"Great Bites in the Bluegrass State: What to Eat in Kentucky" features 29 iconic Kentucky foods and the best place to try each.

"From the eastern Appalachian mountains west to the Mississippi River bottoms, Kentuckians stand united around tables loaded with aged country ham, tender spoon bread (please pass the butter), and handmade sorghum syrup," the list's introduction states. "Ready to join the deliciousness? For every day, try beloved soup beans and cornbread and their variations: nationally acclaimed burritos and tacos. Pair with an Ale-8-One, munch a Modjeska for dessert, and share Kentucky's commonwealth."

The beer cheese entry points to Joe Allman, who combined cheese, beer, garlic and cayenne to create the spread in the 1940s. "Joe's cousin, famed restaurateur Johnny Allman, served it as an appetizer at popular destination restaurants on the Kentucky River near Winchester. Today, Hall's on the River in Winchester serves a popular beer-cheese appetizer with saltine crackers and crisp vegetables," the website says.

Ale-8-One's story begins with G.L. Wainscott in 1926. "Wainscott launched Ale-8-One, a new, gingery, caffeinated soft drink. He promoted it as 'A Late One' to spotlight its recent arrival on an active soft drink scene," according to the list. Wainscott's great-great-nephew Fielding Rogers heads the company today, and he still relies on the founder's handwritten notes to stay true to the original recipe.

Other culinary delights from around the Commonwealth featured in the list include the Louisville Brown Hotel's hot brown, bourbon, the mint julep, Boone Tavern's spoon bread, the lemon pie at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Skyline Chili, and, of course, fried chicken.

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