NEWS Marriott Hotels kicked off its national Bourbon Battle competition in Lexington on April 14. The competition will head to Portland, Calgary, and Boston before culminating in New York City on National Bourbon Day. The winners of the four local battles will battle it out against each other in NYC. Griffin Gate bartender Ashley Sherrow was the winner of the Lexington Bourbon Battle; she was selected by a panel of judges including Jane Bowie, Matthew Carroll, and Master Distiller David Scheurich. BurgerFi opened its first Kentucky location at the Mall on 141 Rojay Drive. BurgerFi is a contemporary burger chain featuring burgers without any chemicals or additives that are free from steroids, antibiotics, and growth hormones. They also offer handmade onion rings, Vegefi burgers, and craft beer and wine. The new Lexington location will include chairs made entirely from upcycled Coke bottles, tables from compressed recycled wood, and ceiling fans that conserve electricity. Coba Cocina on Richmond Road has closed, effective immediately. Coba gift cards carrying a balance will be accepted at Willie's Locally Known and both Lexington Cheddar's. Crank & Boom Ice Cream is preparing to open a second location at The Summit at Fritz Farm, on the corner of Man O'War and Nicholasville. The new location will serve a menu similar to the flagship store in the Distillery District: it will serve craft ice cream, signature sundaes, and floats. It will also have an espresso bar and a hot chocolate bar. The new Crank & Boom is expected to open March 2017. Lexington Craft Beer Week kicks off May 13 and runs through May 22. It features special events, tappings, and tastings at breweries around Lexington, including Blue Stallion, Country Boy, Ethereal, HopCat, and West Sixth. Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe opened in Lexington in April on 117 Southland Drive. Taziki’s is a 54-restaurant chain. (Fresh Capital Acquisitions, also associated with Taziki’s outlets in TN, bought the former Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville in March.) The West Sixth Greenroom on 109 W. Main Street is expected to open in time for Craft Beer Week. The Greenroom is a “nanobrewery” concept: it will operate on an even smaller scale than West Sixth, which will allow it to experiment with a variety of specialty beers. Plans are that it will only be open late afternoon and late night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. EVENTS Buffalo Trace hosts the 2016 Oaks Day Festival from 9 am – 4:30 pm on May 6. Experience Derby weekend with another Kentucky tradition: bourbon. There will be live festive Bluegrass music, bourbon ice cream made with Buffalo Trace, and more. 21c Museum Hotel hosts Down the Rabbit Hole: an Original Makers Club Derby Party on Friday, May 6 at 8 pm. There will be an open bar, live artful entertainment, drinks by Woodford Reserve, hors d’oeuvres by Lockbox, and more. Derby Eve Lexington Party on May 6 from 8 pm – 2 am is at the Pepper Distillery Warehouse “Rickhouse” (1170 Manchester Street) in the Distillery District. A Lexington post-Derby Tradition, the annual Brunch & Bibelots is at the Headley-Whitney Museum from 11 am – 2 pm on Sunday, May 8. It’s the Headley-Whitney Museum’s largest annual fundraiser. The brunch occurs on the Sunday following Derby Saturday each year. To request a mailed invitation, call 859-255-6653. Country Boy Brewing’s 3rd annual Beer Cheese Contest is on Sunday, May 15 from 1 pm – 5 pm. Taste 40+ beer cheese recipes from local cooks. The contest will be held in the warehouse, across the street from the taproom, as part of Lexington Craft Beer Week. Nick Ryan’s hosts Burgers, Bourbon & Brew at 5 pm on Monday, May 16. Features Town Branch Old Fashion cocktails and Kentucky Ale’s barrel aged seasonal: Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale. HopCat hosts Against the Grain Beer Dinner on Monday, May 16 at 7 pm. “Since flying is expensive let HopCat bring a little bit of Jamaica to you. Against the Grain and HopCat are teaming up to bring Lexington a not so traditional Jamaican beer dinner.” On Tuesday, May 17, HopCat hosts the fourth annual release of the West Sixth and Country Boy Collaboration: Country Western. The Country Western IV Release and Tap Takeover is at HopCat starting at 5 pm. Winchell’s hosts a West Sixth Beer Dinner at 6 pm on Tuesday, May 17. Four-course dinner featuring five different West Sixth beers including craft beer brewed exclusively for this event. Chefs Abe and Graham will prepare food specifically to match the West Sixth brews. Lucky’s Market hosts Bacon. Beer. Living the Dream on May 18. The event pairs some of Lucky’s favorite craft beers with smoked and cut in-house bacon. You will also get the scoop on cooking with beer: there will be brats made with Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale and a tasting of Kentucky Ale’s newest releases. The annual County Club Beer Dinner is at Country Boy at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 18. County Club specializes in smoked meats and house-made sauces that pair up with Country Boy’s craft brew selection. Beerworks hosts Lexington Craft Beer Week Flight Night at 5 pm on Thursday, May 19. Country Boy and West Sixth Tap Takeover at Pies & Pints at 5 pm on Thursday, May 19. Four casks, including a fresh batch of Country Western IV, will be tapped on the bar top. Additionally, there will be four beers (a combination of core and specialty) on tap from each brewery. BBQ & Brew with Kentucky Ale at Triangle Park at 6 pm on Thursday, May 19. Live music by The Fountains, Double H BBQ and beer specials for a cause. Lexington Humane Society will be there walking around puppies and dogs that can be adopted. A portion of the proceeds go back to Lexington Humane Society. The 2016 Taste of the Bluegrass is at Keeneland on Friday, May 20 starting at 7 pm. Central Kentucky food, beverages, live music, and a silent auction all in one place. The 2015 Taste of the Bluegrass generated almost $150,000 for God’s Pantry Food Bank. Craft Brews and Food Fest at the Lexington Convention Center on May 21. 50 breweries and 175 beers will showcase their craft brews. There will also be an expanded food section, including Clawdaddy’s, Noodles & Co., JDI, and Travinia Italian Kitchen. All breweries will once again be competing in the Commonwealth Cup: a competition headed by an international panel of expert judges that awards the best craft brew of the year. And one for the future: it has been announced that Lexington Restaurant Week will be back in town July 21 - 30. Local chefs will once again cook up a prix-fixe, multi-course dinner for the entire week. This year, one dollar of every special meal will go to LexArts. To submit a Lexington, Kentucky food, wine, or spirits news item for consideration in Ace’s Best Bites, email email@example.com. To submit a Lexington Food, Wine, or Spirits Event to be considered for the Ace calendar, please go to the Ace online calendar, and click “Submit” (upper right on the Menu bar). For restaurant advertising, call Ace Advertising at 859.225.4889 x229. This article also appears on page 10 of the May 2016 printed issue of Ace. Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, and entertainment, delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning.