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Holy Grale

Not Rated.
Holy GraleHoly Grale

31 Reviews
Reviews: 31
Visits: 79
Avg: 4.64
pDev: n/a
Taps: 20
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1034 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, Kentucky, 40204-1318
United States
phone: (502) 459-9939

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: johnking82 on 01-06-2011

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Visits: 79
4.66/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

I had lived in Kentucky for nearly 6 years before we made the trip up to Louisville and this was a must stop.

This is place has a very classic and vintage vibe without feeling old or dated. This place can get a bit cramped on a Friday or Saturday night but there is room upstairs in a well hidden choir loft as well as a nice patio in the back. Selection is solid with something for every beer lover. Standouts available on our visit were Zombie Dust and Wekken sour. Glassware is always appropriate as well. Service was solid for such a chaotic Saturday night. Be warned this is a place being swarmed with hipsters who are found throughout the city frequenting the places most timely in fashion. This place has been cool for a very long time and shows no sign of letting up. Food was solid as we tried the Cheese plate and pretzel with beer cheese. In a city with many options in a growing beer scene, this one stands out as a star.

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Photo of khawthor
4.98/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Absolutely, hands down, the best place anywhere within a 100 mile radius (if not more). Everything about it is awesome. Took .25 off Vibe for anyone who needs to check out a sporting event on TV (as there aren't any) - doesn't deter from the good times in my opinion, but also don't feel comfortable giving 5's across the board for some reason

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Photo of macher0
5/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is the sh!t. I don't give usually give 5s but this place deserves the score.

A super cool environment, created from a renovated old church with loft and spacey patio. A cool draft board hand-drawn with chalk.

Attention to detail is the best way to sum up this place.

The quality and selection of beer is where this place really shines. Let's be honest, three kegs of Fune in 2014 - what more can you say. Well, several other kegs and tons of bottles of Cantillon, KBS for the 4th of July, Zwanze Day, and CBS for New Years.

My only complaint, it gets very busy for big days and lines are common, but that goes with the territory. The staff are great folks and give good recommendations for those that don't know what to go for. I visit regularly and they always are super friendly.

The food - equal quality as the beer. The truly professional chef always has great specials, but the burger and frites are my favorite. Not cheap but worth every penny. Once again, their attention to detail is noticeable.

I selfishly wish this place would remain a secret but that's too late.

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Photo of bcp5296d
4.64/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Quite simply the greatest beer bar I've ever been to. Service lacked a little due to it being around zwanze but this is a VERY special place with the upmost respect for wild ales.

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Photo of Benjamin_Stewart
4.88/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

There is no room for criticism, they are too perfect. I have been going to this place since the week it opened, and they have never disappointed me. I have never had anything less than a great time at the Grale.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.5/5  rDev -3%

A rather small bar area downstairs with an even smaller bar area upstairs. They must do a good business because while it was quieter on Monday Tuesday the place was almost full. I liked that this place was a little quieter, no TVs. Bartenders were very nice and knowledgeable. Their tap list was very nicely mixed you could find something for everyone on it, although the real star of the show was their bottle list. The list had some very nice sours and they had the Bourbon County 12 oz bottles available which is just nice to see on a bottle list. Well thought out draft and bottle list. Place is a tad hipster, but you'll have that in most craft bars.

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Photo of themind
4.5/5  rDev -3%

What a neat place, great atmosphere and some serious hidden gems. If you are in the Louisville area, swing by and have a brew. On the way out grab a bottle of some limited brew surprising you behind the counter. Its a small former church, but packs a big punch. Keep in mind I am a Jersey boy, this place is worth a look.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.85/5  rDev +4.5%

This is, so far, the best beer bar I've ever visited. It's an incredible experience from the beer alone; 20 taps of true craft beer, served by people who know the product and know craft beer. The food is quite stellar and reasonable in price. The architecture and atmosphere really sells this place as the space of the old church is utilised well. The beer garden, which has hop plants growing around it, is a wonderful outdoor space. The help was friendly and the crowd was fun. I plan to hit this up every time I'm in Louisville.

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Photo of tonafernandez
4.75/5  rDev +2.4%

Nice location, small place with really good decoartion and a nice bar area, hamburgers were gone by the time i got there, what i got for food was really good for pub fare, the tap list its pretty good, a bit of everything from Saison's, Mikkeller, 3 Floys, etc.
if you are ever in the area its a pretty great place to try out

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4.98/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Absolutely, definitely, must-try beer cathedral - literally... the building is an old church in the Highlands district of Louisville. The place to go in Louisville to find the best - and usually rarest - tap and bottle offerings the city has to offer.

The atmosphere inside is pleasant - it's relatively dimly lit, but still quite inviting with a long rectangular bar running down 3/4 the length of the interior. There are a row of high-top tables that will seat 2 along the windows on the side of the building, three or four good sized tables that can accommodate parties of 4-5 along the front, and a small bar with a couple of bar stools near the front door. On the weekends, seating may be tight, but that's when you head out back to the biergarten that has nice log-style bench seats and a nice open-air presence. The best times to go are week nights, around 7-8 pm - never had an issue getting a table at that time. Weekends, as I said, are a bit more hectic. Sometimes you'll get lucky and walk in at 9pm on a Friday or Saturday night and catch an empty table or a seat at the bar, but more often than not the place will be to capacity. That being said, it has never felt over-crowded in my experience, although there can sometimes be a small line as there is only one cash register where most customers order their beers and pay/close out their tabs.

Which brings me nicely to my next two points - price and selection. It's a focused beer bar serving a pretty diverse selection of beer on tap, and it typically has at least two or three rare offerings on tap any given night. Could be something from Europe. Could be something from one of the many new local breweries that have sprung up across Louisville. Could be something barrel-aged and completely bonkers. There is always something new to try and always something intriguing on the tap list. If you leave disappointed because you couldn't find something on the tap or bottle list that tickled your fancy, well then quite frankly you probably had no business being there in the first place! Given the selection of beers on offer expect to pay anywhere between $5-$9 for a 12 oz glass of your choosing while the bottle list can run upwards of $15-$20 for select 22oz bombers and 750mL magnums. I think that's reasonable - and in some cases a steal - given the fact that they often have beers on tap that are either A) not currently distributed in Kentucky; or B) limited-release/brewed-once that you won't be able to find in even the best bottle shops in Louisville. Put it this way - I had a 12oz glass of Prairie/Brewfist's Spaghetti Western a couple of weeks back. I paid $8 for it, including the tip. I'm not going to be able to find a bottle of that beer for $8 anywhere in the state of Kentucky, so that's a steal in my book. In any case, price is relative, and I think for the offerings that Holy Grale typically has on tap, it more often than not justifies the price point. The same can be said of the bottle list, which also features a healthy selection of harder-to-find beers that don't have much local distribution, as well as a regularly rotation of vintage bottles.

I can't think of a time I've been to Holy Grale where I didn't have a great experience - and I've been probably close to 30 times to date. The staff is friendly, and quite knowledgeable, and often eager to talk beer styles or give a little extra insight behind some of the more unique offerings on the tap list. They also have a very refined food menu - the focus being more on bistro-style food than "pub grub" - and the few times I have ordered food to pair with my beers I have always been impressed. Two words - samurai sauce. Try it on the frijtes. You will not be disappointed.

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Photo of EdReck
4.88/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Grab some of their food (great vegetarian selections, grilled cheese, and pommes frites with sauce) and sit out on their back patio on a nice summer night on a picnic table and make friends over the awesome rotating selection of beers or go upstairs to the "choir loft."

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Photo of rapayn01
4.16/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

The beer selection is always diverse, but the Holy Grale typically features a large number of European beers and fewer US craft beers that I'd like to see. My personal preference is APA or IPA, so their huge selection of Belgian beers or Czech pilsners is wasted on me. The staff is knowledgeable and they typically provide excellent service. Warning: I almost rated this $$$ instead of $$. It actually seemed pricier when I started to go there, but it seems less expensive now that many competitors on Bardstown Road charge similar prices. There are cheaper places to drink very good beer, but few within easy walking distance of my home. The food is high quality, but they don't feature many vegetables. And it is fairly expensive pub grub.

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Photo of Niniimaa
4.86/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Recommended Louisville beer establishment with excellent selection of less popular (and some popular e.g., Spaten hefewiezen). Really liked their Sunner Kolsch Wednesday's during the summer months with the german food outside. Good-parings food. Most of the servers I remember from Cumberland Brews from up to 10 years back so they are highly experienced. Daniel was super in recommending the European Sour Blend to me. Only about 1/2 hipster filled… :)

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Photo of teledeluxe
4.69/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

This right here might just be the best craft beer bar I've been to. Excellent tap offerings. Food was outstanding. For some reason I honestly expected the staff to be pretty smarmy, but they weren't at all. Friendly and knowledgeable. I don't see myself traveling to Louisville much but you better believe I'll go out of my way to hit this place again. We were actually in town for distillery tours but I had a better time here.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.59/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Cool atmosphere. Old church setup was neat. Sweet drink rail when you first walk inside. Great patio outside.

Quality was great. Great beer, great food.

Service was excellent. Everyone was on their A game despite the fact that it was Zwanze Day 2013.

Selection was one of the best I have ever seen. Again it was Zwanze Day, but I hear that this place usually has a phenominal beer list.

Food was fantastic. Froie Gras & Duck liver pate wrapped in bacon. Holy cow. Nice portions, inside kitchen and outdoor grill.

Overall value was very good. Nicely priced for the quality of beer on tap. Food was very good quality so yes it will not cost the same price as a corn dog or a basket of fries. Prices were very reasonable.

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Photo of Vegasbeer
4.44/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Went to the Grale for Zwanze Day 2013 on September 14th. The old brick building lends itself well to a comfortable and unique place to enjoy some incredible beers. The staff was amazing at the Holy Grale, even though it was extremely busy. The management anticipated this well and had the needed personnel on staff to handle the crowd. The line up of beers was stellar, and the food was also excellent. I highly recommend a visit the this fine establishment anytime you are in Louisville.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.33/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5

The vibe - my God - the vibe! An old church converted to a beer shrine. We were visiting, on vacation from Charlotte, NC, and stopped by on consecutive days. The place simply couldn't be cooler. We had excellent service one day - the next we were pretty much soundly ignored. I'd defer to locals as to which of our experiences was the more accurate. The beers were varied and well chosen. We didn't have any food but we did see plates covered in stuff that looked very good; we were told by the folks next to us that the food was fantastic. Recently voted one of the top 100 beer bars in the United States. Give it a shot - you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of Nolen12
4.81/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I waited quite a long time to visit the Holy Grale. I wish I hadn't waited so long to go ! The beer selection was pretty good as they had a lot of different beers I had never tried and some I had never even heard of. I sat inside but I checked out the outside area that looks like a beer garden where I could hang out all day and drink.
The service was great as the bartenders were knowledgeable of the beers and helped us pick out the kind of beer we were in the mood for. Our bartender suggested we try their burger since we were ready for something to eat and I must say that it is probably the best burger I've ever eaten in my life. No joke! I've ate burgers all over the world and even had Gordon Ramsey's burgers but I must say the burgers at Holy Grale are second to none!

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Photo of anhigdon
4.74/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

One of the best places in Louisville to get some rare beers. Food is significantly above par and would give any non-bar scene a run for their money. While food and drinks are a bit pricey, the selection is incomparable. I'd definitely recommend going

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Photo of KevinmusPrime
4.89/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

The Holy Grale is my go-to watering hole in the Ville. This place is in an old church and the surroundings are cool; an appropriate set up for worshipping the beer gods. The selection is always top notch. I can usually try something that has somehow escaped my voracious appetite for strange and new craft brews. The fare is top of the line pub grub (sliders, frites, etc.) and is fantastic. Frites with a choice of curry ketchup, beer cheese, samurai sauce - enough said. The special events are always superb as they usually get a few special kegs from whatever brewery is being celebrated.

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Photo of TVail
4.36/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Exceptional quality and vibe. Servers are well versed in their products and provide the right recommendations based on your palate. My go-to dining destination in Louisville. Food is superb. Always looking for a place that compares...

Love the variety of high quality, hard to find, beers. Great events, also. Beer garden out back is a huge plus.

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Photo of craftbrew502
3.98/5  rDev -14.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 5

I have mixed feelings about this place. Its a great spot to find really hard to find beers a lot from other countries. They usually have a steady flow of Mikkeller beers which is one of my favortes. The problem with this place is the service. Its horrible the people are work there a not friendly at all. Multiple people I talk to say the same thing. They usually have an attitude no matter what you try to talk to them about and they always seem to rush you even when there not busy. If you can put up with the snobbyness of the staff, its a great place to try beers youve probably never even new existed.

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Photo of weonfire
4.83/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is a fantastic place. Excellent excellent selection. Beer only. Ever-changing beers from all over the world poured from one of their 26 taps or bottle list. 2006 DFM, HaandBryggeriet, Mikkeller, FFF, Rare goose island bourbon counties, just a few off the top of the head.... One of the 16 American bars to earn the right to host Cantillion Zwanze day a few years in a row now. Regularly host tap take overs by DFH, Dark Horse, Founders...The place got its name from the Unitarian Church built in 1905 it took over. The atmosphere is perfect- dark, quiet chatter, narrow hallways, small tables. Food is excellent but a bit small. Quality ingredients sourced from local farms and producers. Do their best to keep everything they can local.
Owners also own the equally fantastic Louisville Beer store.
I live in Louisville. I visit the Holy Grale regularly and would highly recommend it to anyone.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.45/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped by this place on a business trip in November 2012.
Once you walk in (winter) you notice a great wood burning log cabin VT aroma...so inviting.
Its quaint, dark, lively, and warm. Smallish bar wraps around their 20 taps. Just amazing selection. Geuze, flanders (styles), local ish (3floyds), bells, DFH, BFM, Mikkeller, just to name a few + 2 cask. All served in meticulously clean appropriate glassware. The beertenders (beer only here..awesome) are very knowledgeable about what is poured. They live it and love it. Super friendly and love to talk beer. - just dont be an Ass...(do I have to write that?)
The food (vegetarian) was good...pricey but good. But it is locally grown and fresh/local. So its worth it. I had the falafel sliders and they were great, but I was still hungry afterwards.
I parked in the KFC parking lot next door - not sure if thats ok, but I made it out ok.

Overall...this is an amazing amazing amazing place. Do not pass this place up at any cost...go here!

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Photo of scrizo
4.03/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This is a great beer hang out. It is owned by the proprietors from the highly popular Louisville Store.

The variety is always impressive though a little pricey. Good selection of Belgians and American crafts.

Well noted for special events like Dogfish Head, Founder's tap takeovers which feature hard to find, rare beers.

The Choir Loft upstairs is now open which offers a cozier atmosphere than the downstairs area. The place tends to fill up quickly on the weekends. A definite must for the beer fan!

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Holy Grale in Louisville, KY
99 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.