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Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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BA SCORE
87
very good

38 Ratings
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Active Beers: 58
Beer Ratings: 2,401
Beer Avg: 3.59
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

3929 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville, Kentucky, 40207-3120
United States
phone: (502) 899-7070

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bbcbrewstmatts

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JustinSparks
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%

JustinSparks, Saturday at 11:16 PM
Photo of MaseFace
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

MaseFace, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of bzach
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

bzach, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of fleurdelou
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

fleurdelou, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of rxthree
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

rxthree, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

kylehay2004, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of cwd
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

cwd, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of tmneyer
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

tmneyer, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of aMillionDreams
2.18/5  rDev -43.1%

I'm a long time fan of BBC but this location in particular has gone down hill of late. All of the beers are flat except the occasional beer that is over-carbonated and the bartender has to pull three pints to get you one proper beer. Specialty beers have been unimaginative. There used to always be a bourbon barrel aged beer and a cask on Thursday, not anymore. I keep checking back, hoping things will change back to the good ole days of BBC, but it's getting worse and worse. With craft brew and microbrew on the rise in Louisville and all around the country, BBC can't keep calling it in.

aMillionDreams, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of mrfrancis
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%

A: BBC on Shelbyville Road has a spacious interior with a large bar, several televisions, an outdoor seating area, and shelves containing decorative glassware line the walls. The back of the building is full of wooden tables and generally appears to be more restaurant-like, save for the view of the fermenters. The place feels cozy and welcoming despite its size, and would be appropriate for all ages.

Q: The quality of offerings is generally rock solid.

S: I've been in here quite a few times recently and the service has always been outstanding. The bartenders are polite, friendly, and knowledgeable and the servers are prompt and courteous. I've never had any complaints with the service here.

S: The liquor selection is quite impressive and they tend to do some solid cocktails. The beer selection is limited to the brewery's own offerings, but they always seem to have virtually every major style represented. One great thing about this location is that the brewers have more freedom to experiment, so they generally have 4 or 5 brewpub exclusives that you can't get anywhere else.

F: The food can be hit or miss, but is generally good, solid American pub fare.

V: Prices for pints are great and their growler prices aren't too shabby either. For the most part food prices are more than reasonable.

O: BBC-East is a great spot in which to spend an afternoon. The beers are usually pretty good and so is the food. It's worth stopping by, especially if you don't mind a place that tends to fill up quickly.

mrfrancis, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%

A-- Went to the tap room first and then to the other location on Main, as the other had food. Mostly brick and wood. Big bar, lots of seating and very trending looking. Very casual but hip feel. Lots of parking in the area, on and off street.

Q-- quality wise was not over impressed really. Have had the bourbon barrel stout and it was average. Had their Black IPA on tap and could only drink half the glass. No hops and very alcoholic. Was warned by others their beer is average.

S-- All bluegrass beers. 9 total taps with 2 seasonals. Had a few of their 750 ML bottles. Not too shabby.

S- Decent service. Never asked for a second beer but water and soda's were refilled well. Nothing outstanding and had better service elsewhere.

F-- Average. Cuban sandwich was cold, salads were good and the mashed potatoes were good. Garlic fries were decent.

V-- On this trip Bluegrass has been the most disappointing so far. Good prices but average beer and average. Venue is very nice thought.

mulder1010, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of Chaney
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%

I'm originally from Kentucky, have been into craft beer for a while, but have never been here before until now. I stopped in here the night before my cousin's wedding. Heck, we didn't even go to the hotel first. We all have our priorities I guess....

Atmosphere: Impeccably clean, cozy, and spacious. In the bar area near the front, there are layered shelves housing decorative BBC glassware. The back area is much more restaurant-like, with tons of tables, and of course the obligatory view of the tanks where all the magic happens.

Quality: The beer ranges from sub-par to pretty good. It's kind of a shame, because the beer themselves taste good overall, but they are consistently thin in the mouthfeel area. The gift shop area near the front sells brewery swag as well as bombers of their latest creations.

Service: The waitress was very polite, seemed genuinely sincere in her support of the brewery, brought out the food and drinks promptly, and even gave me a stack of coasters to take home.

Selection: This brewery makes A LOT of beer, and tends to run the complete gamut on styles. However, I thought it was strange that they did not have an IPA on the menu.

Food: I ordered the shrimp and grits and it was just decent. My wife, on the other hand, ordered the Mushroom Ravioli and it was absolutely fantastic.

Value: $4 for a pint? Hot damn.... I'll take it! The food price was fair also, and was pretty much in line with standard upscale sports bar prices.

Overall, we had a great experience here and were impressed on many levels. If BBC could only tweak some of their beers (mouthfeel!), this place would be truly world class.

Chaney, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%

A - 4.5 The BBC on Shelbyville Rd is a fun place to hang out. There's a nicely sized bar and big deck/patio outside. It's good for people of all ages I'd say.

Q - 4 Everything is good quality-wise. The place is clean and well-kept.

Ser - 4.5 I've always had great service here. The staff is on top of things and friendly.

Sel - 4.5 I'd say the brew selection at this store is greater than at their others. More brews are offered on draft as I'd guess there's more capacity at this location. There's food selection for everybody also.

F - 4 The food is tasty here. It's good quality pub fare and there is plenty to choose from. I've not been disappointed.

V - $$ The prices here are very fair.

KYBrewgrass, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of jneuff
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

I ambled in after a long day on the road and had their barrel aged rye porter and the normal Dark Star porter. The barrel aged beer was delicious. I was also very impressed with the Dark Star, as most 5% abv Porters are iffy for me. The bartender was very friendly and helpful with advice about this bar and other worthwhile establishments in the area. The food was good. I had a nice filling black bean and chicken burrito. They do a cask tasting every Thursday, sadly I was there on a Monday. It is a nice circular bar with good TV's if you want to watch a game. Definitely a worthwhile visit.

jneuff, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of Buschyfor3
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%

Stopped by BBC last Friday with a couple friends for their 3-7 Happy Hour beer specials and a meal to kick off the weekend right.

Inside, the restaurant is quite spacious. When you walk in, the hostess' station is directly ahead; to your right is a cooler with the latest bottled BBC selections available for carry-out; to the left is a nice, square shaped bar with seating on each side - easily seats for 25 patrons. The rest of the seating consists of large, comfortable booths and square tables spaced out across an open floor plan that offers unobstructed views of the brewery through large, vertical windows on the far wall to the right. There is also a large, covered outdoor beer garden, but on a hot sticky evening like it was that night, we opted for the comfort of a/c. The decor was light and casual - some posters and framed pieces on the light, pastel colored walls; nice decorative lamps hanging down over each booth; nice, dark, sealed wood flooring and trim. A couple large projector screen tvs showing sports around the room. Pretty pleasant atmosphere. I hear on the nights they have live bands playing the beer garden, it gets quite lively; otherwise, tonight was relaxed but pleasant as everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, even the dozen or so youngsters who were playing in the kid-pit area that was set aside with a good number of toys and trucks to keep them entertained while their parents socialized. You could make the argument that the indoor seating section provides a family-friendly environment.

As for the food and beer, I was very pleased. I had a huge chicken salad sandwich made with fresh toasted almonds, cranberries, mandarin orange and green onions on texas toast with their homemade potato chips. Drink-wise, 3 dollars happy hour drafts are great! I tried the Raspberry Meade and the Bourbon Barrel Big Brown (a barrel aged version of their Nut Brown, aged in local favorite Knob Creek bourbon barrels). The food was delicious, the portions were a pretty good value for the price - $7.99 for a huge sandwich and a plate full of chips) and the beers were fresh of the tap, delicious and conveniently cheaper!

As for the beer selection, if you're interested in supporting the local scene in Louisville, then you'll do we'll to give BBC a look. However, if you aren't keen on their beers or are looking for another brewery's offerings or macros to pair with your meal, then you'll want to look elsewhere - being a brewpub, they only serve their own beers. But what offerings they did have on tap ran the gamut, from their most popular beers that you can find on the shelves at local bottle shops (i.e. their Altbier, Nut Brown Ale, Darkstar Porter) to a handful of taproom-only beers on offer the night we went.

Service on the night was prompt and friendly. Quick to check on the quality of our meals and if we needed another beer, plus they let us get away with happy hour prices for about 10 minutes after happy hour actually ended. That was nice.

If there is one downside to the BBC experience, however, its that it can be a challenge to get to on the weekends. I would recommend going on a weeknight. On Friday and Saturday nights, this particular block of Shelbyville Road is absolutely hopping and parking will be an issue unless you get there before 5pm - there are a lot of restaurants/bars/clubs in the area, but simple not enough parking spaces.

Regardless, this is for sure a place to go and enjoy good food and local beer. Next visit, I plan to sit outside and catch a breeze with my beer. I can't wait!

Buschyfor3, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of beerhobo22
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

Really nice facility. Dark wood interior, booths and circular bar. Beer garden/outdoor seating is rustic, but plentiful. Brewing facilty is visible through glass and looks well kept. The staff was awesome. Very courteous and had good knowledge of the beers. The food was good; the chili was awesome. The beers were unremarkable, however. The American Pale Ale was flat. I asked the bar tender to replace it and was immediately accomodated. The second beer wasn't flat, but was unremarkable. I didn't think highly of the beers, but later found out that this facility had a different brewer. Another site in Louisville, located at Clay & Main, has much better beer (same brand and name). Spoke to several locals who agreed that the Shelbyville site's beer quality had tapered off and only enjoy beers at the Clay & Main location. Definitely need to improve the beer quality at the Shelbyville site. Overall, food was good, beer, not so much.

beerhobo22, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of Thanby
3.83/5  rDev 0%

Nice dark wood interior, but with low booth walls and a friendly, open environment. Friendly staff and decent service. Full bar with a lot of bourbons (of course) and lots of their own beer on tap. The selection is pretty good, they have a big variety of beers. Overall their beer is pretty good, not ground-breaking but surely worth a try. The menu has lots of regular pub fare, some tasty southern items, and decent burgers. The outdoor seating is right in the middle of the square and there's lots of activity and just a generally pleasant view. Definitely worth a try if you're in the area.

Thanby, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of Cresant
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

This is the longest tenured Brewpub in the city. Dark interior, but not seedy. Friendly staff. Currently non-smoking (yeah, a better chance to smell and enjoy the beer!).

There were 11 beers offered the night I visited recently, all BBC brewed. They do have a full bar which seems to focus on Kentucky Bourbons. They also have a lengthy wine list.

Although the selection was great (IMO) my friend who prefers Smithwick's type beers could not find anything to suit perfectly. The did have a Raspberry Mead, Double Amber, APA, Rye, "Framboozen", Alt, Nut Brown, & Dark Star Porter. Several weeks ago I had a DIPA that was outstanding.

The food was adequate. I had the veggie burger and garlic fries ($9.58). Salads, burgers and create your own pizzas are available. Standard pub food. Quick service on a weekday night.

Bathrooms were clean. You can see the brew kettles behind glass in the dinning room. There is a bar area as well as outdoor seating. Several large flat screen TVs in the indoor dinning room & bar. Plenty of merchandise for sale including "Beer is Food" t-shirts. Growler and 6-packs are available.

I would rate this location of the BBC Brewpub behind both Browning's and Cumberland. It is not bad, just not as good.

Cresant, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of hiikeeba
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

We stopped in at 3 pm and sat in the corner. The bartender was working pretty much by herself and it took a couple of minutes to get to us, but we were still perusing the largest beer list we had seen in a while: 10 or 12, including a raspberry mead.

The regulars were at the bar, and would chat back and forth with each other. Very friendly place, and would like to hang out here more. I had a Summer wheat and an Organic Alt. Both were good, the alt was my favorite.

We sampled the raspberry mead. It was great, but we had to drive, so we decided the sample was enough. A great place, and I hope to get back someday.

hiikeeba, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%

I chose to visit Bluegrass on a Friday evening around 7pm and the place was packed as expected. I had to park at the Enterprise car rental next door. There were actually a couple of empty stools at the bar when I entered though so I was pleased. The atmosphere was very casual and felt kind of like a dressed up cafeteria.

The color scheme is bright with a sunny golden sunflower shade w/ dark wood accents kind of like a bumble bee. The acoustics are somewhat poor and the place seemed loud even though the space was not overly crowded. There are many flatscreens so it is hard not to be distacted. They have a huge long black board over the bathroom enterance with all of the draft offerings listed with their respective abv's and ibu's which is a nice touch and can be helpful when seated at a circular bar.

The service was quick and friendly even though they were busy, I got my food served rather quickly. They are efficient and pleasant and seemed genuinely interested in the satifaction of the customer.

Quality is exceptional with quality beer and food. The beer is well crafted, the menu is complete w/ bison from a local meat supplier and vegetarian entrees are clearly marked.

I enjoyed the selection highly as there were about 11 beers on tap - 2 Belgian styles, 2 German ales, 4 English ales, Bourbon Stout, a Mead and APA w/ a nitro stout and cask offering.They also carried 750s and six packs to go. I enjoyed the visit to BBC and must admit the value is very good for all the great food - I had a spinach and artichoke pizza w/ chicken and variety of ales. I got a growler to go for $9 of Beej's Bitter( the Dubbel Dribbel was $18) and the 8 inch pizza was only $6.99 pretty reasonable. I will definitely return if I am ever in Louisville again.

Slatetank, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of TJustice
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Monday afternoon, no work, no school, decided to visit the local brewpub out in the Saint Matthews area. From the approaching street, the brewer part of the pub could be seen from the road threw a glass store front.

Upon entering at around 3pm, a surprising amount of people were at the bar. My guest and I waited for a moment to see if we were to be directed to our seat. No sign directed me to wait or be seated, so after around two minutes with no one greeting us, I decided to make my way to the back where a few other parties were eating and pick a booth. The booth was situated next to the kitchen, where you could hear the help talking. A very loud, sarcastic sounding voice made a comment about my guest and I seeing ourself to the seats. That made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Also at one point a party of people whom I expect were management had to quite down the kitchen staff because they were being loud, and could be heard clearly throughout the dinning area.

Despite first impressions, a gentleman was quickly with us, and took my drink order. I decided to have the sampler, which included seven brews (APA, Black Star Porter, Alt, Saint Matthews, Heine Brothers, Kolsch, and Nut Brown). My favorite was the Heine Brothers coffee flavored one. But thats a beer review you can read separately. The price for the sampler was $5.99, a good deal in my book to try 7 4oz fresh brews.

Now lets talk atmosphere, which this place lacked non of. The rather dim lighting really gave it an old world feel, very 'pubish' imo, with booths lining the entire dinning area, and 2 bars. I felt very comfortable with the structural atmosphere of the building..

I ordered the Bison Burger, with garlic fries, and was over all impressed with the food. Very filling with right sized portioned, and the plate was moderately priced at $9.99.

Overall, the place was a pretty good way to spend an after noon, and I could see myself revisiting it in the near future to wind down after a hard days work. Seemed as if there were a lot of regulars there for happy hour who I felt gave us a awkward stare on my exit, but nothing I took offensive.

TJustice, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.64/5  rDev -5%

I've drinking Bluegrass brews at Great Taste festival in Madison off and on for years, and have fairly high rankings for their brews, so I was pretty excited to finally get to Kentucky to hit the place in person. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

Just didn't feel like a very friendly place. Maybe it was me or I didn't hang out long enough but felt like the outsider sitting alone with locals staring at me w/o comment, which doesn't often happen in many brewpubs in spite of how often I do this. Also, the service was slow, and though I intended to eat here (lots of veggie items beyond standards might have been good).and hang out, I settled up for my rack of samples and left shortly for Cumberland.

Now a great beer can go along way to forgive atmostphere or attitude. Unfortunately, I only found one beer--the APA that really matched my expectations. The rest were all good--from the Summer Wheat, El Jefe Hefeweizen, Nut Brown Ale, and Dark Star Porter. All good but not excellent. I had read something similar on BA, and found it to be true. Also, at a later pub stop, a local there made a comment the BBC is having "problems". She didn't elaborate but clearly wasn't surprised by my experience.

FightingEntropy, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

Stopped on the way out of town for a brunch and a few more pints to ward off the ill-feelings from the night before. A typical staple for my stops through Louisville, and a quality venue at that. Situated just off of Shelbyville Road, the building is a standard suburban store, not unlike an O'Charlies or an Applebees. Once inside, the place opens up with a Key West vibe, nice open patio, and a slightly raw, earthy feel, just enough to make me feel comfy with flip flops and a bed head. The brews that are offered include about 4 standard, and about 3 rotating and/ or seasonals to sample from. A Vienna Lager, Schwartzbier, and an APA, set the tone for the afternoon; and by the way, all three were terrific. The food is standard for brew pubs who take thier food seriously, but with an extensive array of choices, all quite affordable. The staff is fair with their knowledge and enthusiasm, but won't be able to answer many detailed questions about their brews. When it comes to beer in Kentucky, this is the brightest spot available.

BEERchitect, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +11%

I went to BBC during my recent trip to Louisville KY for the Derby, and it was good as usual. This was my 3rd or 4th trip to BBC, but I've never reviewed the place until now. BBC is a good-sized restaurant, and me and my friends were seated outside in the covered patio area, close to a TV so we could watch the Kentucky Oaks once the race started. I ordered a sampler of their beers, and I received 10 sampler glasses of what they had on tap. Everything I tried was pretty good, but my favorites for the day were the Dark Star Porter and the Summer Wheat (which was better since it was a bit warm outside). I ordered one of their Brick Oven pizzas and the APA Chipotle Queso appetizer, both of which were pretty good. The service was good too, I don't have any complaints at all about the place. I've never had a bad beer or meal there, and I try to stop in whenever I'm in town. I'd recommend for anyone to stop in for a beer or two if they're in Louisville.

bluejacket74, May 09, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%

Made the hour drive from the Lex to the 'ville last week with some friends of mine. We went to the new location on fourth street and grabbed a table outside. I was a little let down with the tap selection. I was expecting more of the BBC beers to be available but on that particular day they had only six of theirs on draught. There were a few 750s of their other stuff in a cooler near the entrance. As far as what I had, everything was pretty good. The APA left a bit to be desired, but the mead was good, the scottish ale was exceptional and Bearded Pat's Barleywine was top notch. The service was great. Our bartender was very attentive and even bought us a round. Overall a nice place to spend the afternoon if you're in Louisville.

bluegrassbrew, Mar 22, 2007
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Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's in Louisville, KY
87 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.