PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - Award-winning brewery Paducah Beer Werks, owned by Murray State University alumnus Todd Blume, will host a Murray State alumni event on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Blume graduated from Murray State University in 2013 with a degree in integrated studies.
A Graves County native with a love of home brewing, Blume spent time with brewers in Colorado and North Carolina, sparking his interest of opening his own brewery in western Kentucky.
"Breweries give you a sense of the local community and provide such a unique culture," Blume said. "In my travels to Colorado and North Carolina, I thought to myself, 'You know what? I love brewing beer and checking out breweries; it's time I begin my own.' So I wanted to bring my passion back with me to Paducah, because western Kentucky didn't have one at that point."
On the journey of finding a venue for his brewery, Blume located the perfect spot nestled on the corner of North 4th and Monroe Streets in Paducah: the old Greyhound Bus terminal. From 1966 to 2010, Greyhound had occupied the building until the city no longer found use for it.
"When I found it, the building was about to be boarded up and wasn't being used. But I felt like it was the perfect spot for a brewery," Blume said. "It doesn't matter if something is old, you can always reuse it for something great again. The place has an industrial design that really lends itself to the brewery atmosphere."
The major renovation of the building took place in 2014, bringing Blume's brewery vision to life. Transforming the old baggage and waiting areas of the bus terminal into a brewery on one side and a brewpub on the other, Beer Werks opened its doors to the public in March 2015.
Since its opening, Beer Werks has won national beer competitions and earned recognition for its signature ales. The brewery also features a top-notch menu with local bands and live comedy performances.
"After the first three months we were open, Beer Werks was invited to the Alltech Commonwealth Cup in 2015. We were the new kids on the block, so I really wanted some quality feedback on our beer," Blume said. "What better way to get that [than] from judges who critique beer competitively? But then to my surprise, we actually earned the silver medal for our Irish Red."
Since the Commonwealth Cup, Beer Werks was named one of the "Top 33 New Breweries in the Nation" by Beer Advocate Magazine. The brewery was invited to the Dublin Beer Cup in 2016 and earned the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Fest for its traditional English Pale Ale. Beer Werks was the third-youngest brewery in competition history and the only brewery in Kentucky to earn a medal at the Great American Beer Fest.
Murray State alumni in the local area can attend the Murray State Alumni Association event at Paducah Beer Werks on September 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free to attend and light appetizers will be provided. A cash bar will also be available.
Alumni interested in attending can RSVP by calling the Murray State Alumni Relations office at 1-800-758-8510 or emailing email@example.com.