Beer Engine

Liked Their Beers
3.92 w/ 30 ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

107 Larrimore Ln
Danville, Kentucky, 40422-1674
United States

(859) 209-4211 | map

Open since March 2011, Beer Engine is "Danville's Oldest Brewery". A nano brewery equipped with a 40 gallon system, four flagship brands and eight guest taps - all on rotation. Head brewer: Brian Holton.

Open Thursday - Sunday: 4:00pm 'til 12:00am.

Added by BEERchitect on 04-16-2011

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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of crbnfbr
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of West_Chester_Ale_Tester
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Photo of cwd
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Alpar
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of KYGunner
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.75

If you can find it, Apple maps took me about a block away, this is a great little place. I enjoyed the ambience with the art, decor, architecture and cozziness, though I'd hate to be there if there's a crowd. The prices were very cheap, $3 pints 4-7pm, and not too much more at other hours. They had four of their own beers, which were average, and 8 guest taps that had some good quality brews. Beertender was very nice and accommodating. If I lived nearby I'd visit a couple times a week.

 490 characters

Photo of IMFletcher
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

My wife and I had been keeping an eye out for Beer Engine to release its barreled sour ale, so this week was our chance to make the drive down.

(Note: unless dealing with outbound rush-hour traffic from Lexington, the route down using Nicholasville Rd/US 27 is quite pleasant now that it's 4 lanes most of the way)

The establishment is quite small, but very nice and cozy. We have been in other small locales that have tried to cram even more seating into a small space with unpleasant results. The beer selection is good, 4 Beer Engine brews and 8 guest taps, with an additional beer (Dragon's Milk) on cask. Their offerings during 4-7 happy hour are all $3, an outstanding deal for a craft brew and very reasonable growler prices for the items available to take home.

Our only gripe is a sizable one, and that is having a bartender that does not know his own product. We asked a question of the barreled sour (what's it barreled in?) and not only did he not know, he didn't know enough to get us a complete answer. At the very minimum, I feel that a bartender in a craft brewery's taproom should know about the beers being produced on site.

However, the barreled sour ale is good enough that we will likely return the next time it's advertised as being on tap, since there does not seem to be any other outlet to obtain it.

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Photo of PassMeAZima
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of woosterbill
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Reviewed based on three visits over two months.

A: Small, cozy, and an interesting blend of traditional (e.g. molded copper ceiling, solid wood bar and stools) and eclectic (e.g. local art on walls, recycled slates used for sampler trays). The crowd has varied from very small and welcoming to very large and loud, even on a single night. It's a very small space, so when a group of a couple dozen Centre kids comes in together it fills up in a hurry.

Q: The taplist isn't terribly extensive, but does rotate fully and regularly (only 1 carry-overs between my visits a month apart, and that was the house flagship APA). Solid mix of ABVs, styles, and local/regional/national/imports. Nothing extremely rare or limited the times I went, but lots of beers I'd never tried before, and the 4oz sampler option for all beers, not just house brews, was a terrific way to test the waters. Unfortunately, I have to downgrade them a bit here because most of their house beers just weren't very good. I loved their Barrel Aged Sour, and enjoyed Brett Saison, but found all their American-style beers to be distinctly flawed - under-hopped and under-attenuated, with the distinct essence of mediocre homebrew. I hope they get things dialed in a bit better on the fermentation side of things, but still recommend going for the Belgians and the guest taps.

S: Friendly and attentive, but not at all knowledgable about beer in general or even the house beers in particular. Questions like "what's the hop bill for the house Pale Ale?" were met with complete befuddlement. They seemed genuinely interested and eager to learn more, though, so I hope that in time the knowledge level of the bartenders will increase markedly.

F: They have charcuterie and tapas-style small plates, which sounded great, but I didn't order any. Free pretzels on the bar, which was nice.

V: Coming from CT, this place seemed absolutely dirt cheap. Even compared to other places in town, though, it was still a great value - all beers $4-5.50, including Belgian imports and high-abv craft specialties (more expensive beers come in 13oz pours), with a daily $3 happy hour on house beers. 4oz samplers are available for all beers, and range from $1 to $2 depending on strength and style.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this brewpub, and look forward to becoming a regular there. Between here, Bluegrass Pizza and Pub, and Jane Barleycorn's, Danville is an impressive craft beer destination relative to its size, and I'm very excited to be moving there.


Edit/Update: Having lived in Danville for the past 6 months, Beer Engine has become my most frequent haunt. The house beers are still inconsistent, but there have been occasional gems (Never Be Gold and their IPL come to mind). The guest taps remain excellent in terms of variety and value, and the general vibe of the place is always friendly and fun. Every time I go I seem to wind up making a new friend. The knowledgeability of the staff has improved markedly, as the most frequent bartender has also taken on the role of assistant brewer. If you're there when Morgan is behind the bar, he'll be able to tell you everything you want to know about the house beers. No matter who's working, though, the service is always incredibly friendly and efficient. One additional bonus that I didn't mention in my original review is that you can get half-priced half pours of anything on the menu, which is a terrific way to enjoy some of the high-abv offerings or simply try a larger variety without going the full flight route.

All in all, while the house beers are still less consistent than I would like, I could hardly be happier with my local pub. Cheers!

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Photo of mabmab67
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Nordbier
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TravisApplegate
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of planet_rob
4.3/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

For a small town such as Danville, KY, Beer Engine is a unique find! I know of no other place within many miles of Danville that offer what has become for me, required beer. Spending most of my life drinking what I now can't help but regard as tasteless, terrible beers, the Beer Engine has opened my eyes to a whole new world of craft (excellent) beers I never knew existed. My first experience was a beer my son brought home to me, telling me that I MUST try this beer. It was Three Floyds Moloko, and from that point on, I was hooked; changed; enlightened!

Beer Engine offers 4 of their own brews, with a rolling selection of 8 craft beers, the list of which is ever changing. It's a craft beer lover's paradise. A noob to craft beer, such as me, gets an education in great beer by patronizing Beer Engine. My palate is ever expanding.

The interior is warm and inviting, with smooth golden colors, peaceful barkeeps and a general camaraderie among patrons. Plenty of light munchies are free (nuts and pretzels) and the atmosphere lends itself to both intimate conversations and jovial chatter. It's as if one leaves the "bud" world and enters a place that always seemed missing in the past, but is here now!

The location is between roads, between 2nd and 3rd streets, and the picture listed on their website is a bit misleading (due to Google Street View). But this place is worth seeking out. I am so impressed that this place exists, especially in my little home-town of Danville, KY. Danville only recently went wet, being dry since waaay back (went dry during prohibition, and stayed that way!)

Beer Engine is absolutely worth driving to if you live in a small town in Central Kentucky. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of barczar
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

After hearing all the hype and following their updates on Facebook, I stopped by Beer Engine on the way home from a trip to Herrington Lake. I had a bit of trouble locating the place. The entrance is actually in a parking lot, a little ways from Larrimore, and it's marked only by a painted logo on the wall of the warehouse. It was mid-evening on a Sunday, and there were 5-10 people in the bar area at the time.

On tap were his nanobrewed stout, nut brown, and APA, as well as Breckenridge 471 IPA, Belhaven Wee Heavy, and several other reputable craft beer offerings. I opted for a sampler of his in-house beers, as well as a pint of the Wee Heavy. I found his beers to be very well crafted (so much so that I couldn't resist grabbing a growler of the nut brown to take home). And it was nice to revisit a good Scotch ale, as well.

I lucked out and found Brian, the owner, working behind the bar while I patronized the establishment, so I got a chance to ask a few questions about his beer and his business in general. The interior of the brewpub was crafted from remnants of various buildings, one of which was a bowling alley (noted by the narrow strips of wood with the small arrow-shaped brown markings). It gives the interior a somewhat familiar, intimate vibe. As I watched him pour my growler, I noticed that his resourcefulness extended even further when he attached a rubber tube to the tap spigot and placed it into the growler to fill the bottle. Cuts down on beer waste due to foamover. This resourcefulness makes sense, considering the fact that Beer Engine is not his day job. He also works a full-time position!

I definitely recommend a stop at Beer Engine whenever you're up for a short road trip in central KY. You won't be able to resist the souvenirs, though. I had to have a shirt. Oh, and the chalkboard advertised a bottle opener (think it was $18). I had to see what such a pricey bottle opener looked like. Only makes sense the Beer ENGINE would have a wrench for a bottle opener! Nice.

I can't wait to revisit Beer Engine. My only advice to Brian would be quit your day job!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Since allowing alcohol to be sold in their town in 2010, Danville has embraced the beer culture in a very sophisticated and responsible manner. The Beer Engine is no different. As "Danville's oldest brewery" (open since March 2011), they offer an ecclectic array of beers, from the four that they brew in-house to their 8 guest taps, their taproom is THE place to be on Thursday-Sunday nights in Danville.

Tucked away at the end of Larrimore Lane, the building is very convenient to Broadway, Lexington Ave., and Third Street but is somewhat of a tough find because of its alley-like feel. But that just adds to the artistic and rustic warehouse nature that you find inside. Ample parking is available, so that's never a problem.

Entering the 'L' shaped room, the space is brightly lit with simple goldenrod colors. The bar is located at the angle and is easy to spot about 20 feel just inside the door. With about a dozen tables with chairs, the place can get packed with the 40 or so patrons who came out for beers on this Friday night. A window toward the back of the bar shows a glimpse into the brewery where a prominant 40-gallon set up eagerly awaits its next brew day. The stainless steel taps have a bright and shiny look and anchor the large slate board that houses their beer menu for the evening.

The Beer Engine currently brews what I would consider four flagship beers: Freedom Ranger Pale Ale, King George Nut Brown Ale, Bone Dry Stout, and Rani of Coochnaheen IPA. At the time of my visit, the Bone Dry had been replaced by a test batch of Virtue Porter. The guest beers included Smithwicks Irish Ale, Three Floyds Rabid Rabbit, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Stone Ruination IPA, Unibroue Maudite, and Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale. All of the guest taps rotate so new beers on subseqent visits can be expected. Also the beers that are brewed on premise seems to be fluid and can vary depending on brewing conditions and personal preference of the brewer.

Samples are available for $1 while 16oz. pints run about $4. The expection was the World Wide Stout for obvious reasons. Samples are presented on a small slate tile and numbered according to the menu for easy following and made for a charming presentation.

While no food is available, bowls of peanuts and pretzles are provided for each table, free of charge. Walking out without a souvineer pint glass or t-shirt is nearly impossible.

Althoguh the taproom was quite busy, head brewer and owner, Brian took some time to discuss some of the more technical aspects of the beers and brewery after recongnizing that my interest in his establishment and products are perhaps greater than the average customer. In fact the staff of about four were all friendly, engaging, and eager to keep the store free of clutter, abandoned glasses, and overall tidyness.

If you live in Danville, this should quickly become your regular watering hole. If you visit Danville, the Beer Engine demands top spots on your itenerary. And as a destination spot for the evening, the visit delivered a rewarding night out even living a half hour away!

Cheers Brian! Beer Advocate wishes you much success!

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Beer Engine in Danville, KY
Brewery rating: 66.7% out of 100 with 30 ratings
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