The 5 Best Items Made Locally in KY

Published: December 3, 2013

Ten products produced locally in KY by small to medium sized businesses. Judged by popularity, how well the product is known locally, reviews online, etc.

  1. Ale 8 One - soda/soft drink

    This soft drink is made in Winchester, KY and has been bottled there since 1926. First created by G.L. Wainscott in the late 1920s, it has experienced a large amount of growth and popularity and is ubiquitous in central KY, especially in Winchester. The beverage is sold in 12 oz. cans, 20 oz plastic bottles, 12 oz non-returnable glass bottles and returnable glass bottles. There are diet and caffeine free versions available also.


  2. Mingua Brothers beef jerky

    Ronnie Mingua created his receipe for homemade beef jerky and started selling it to farmers in the Bourbon county area. 


  3. Ruth Hunt candies

    Ruth started making homemade candy in her home in Mt. Sterling, KY to serve to members of her bridge club, and now her company is one of the best known for producing quality handmade candies in KY. Some of the over 70 different types of candy produced at the Mt. Sterling facility are cream candy (another KY favorite), bourbon balls, caramels, assorted soft creams, and sugar free chocolates. It was her Blue Monday bar, however, that is the company's most famous product.


  4. Alltech Kentucky Ale - beer

    Alltech is a brewery located in the Town Branch brewey district of downtown Lexington. They describe their Kentucky Ale as a "marriage between two classic beer styles: Irish Red Ale and English Pale Ale". The water used to produce the beer, drawn from local aquifers in the limestone rock underlying the Bluegrass region of KY, give the ale its unique taste.


  5. River Rat beer cheese - spread/dip

    Beer cheese is another food product that is well known in the bluegrass regions of KY. Its traditionally made using a mixture of two obvious ingredients - beer and cheese - along with a variety of spices, etc.; it is then blended to a smooth consistency and used as a dip, usually with carrot and celery sticks, crackers, or pretzels. River Rat beer cheese is produced in Winchester, KY by a restaurant owner named Bob Tabor. Bob ran the Engine House Deli in Winchester for many years and has been making his own beer cheese for decades. 


KY is full of local producers of food and other products that you can't find anywhere else. These talented citizens take pride in using quality local ingredients to create their products and sell them to local citizens.