Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Against The Grain Brewery & SmokehouseAgainst The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

401 E Main St
Louisville, Kentucky, 40202-1110
United States

(502) 515-0174 | map

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Added by brian44556 on 09-25-2011

View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 197
Photo of joe1510
3.51/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Located in the Louisville Slugger Stadium downtown Against the Grain has a cool space that's anything but little. You enter next to the large outdoor seating area, all covered in case of rain. The interior space is large with high ceilings and a lot of brick. A huge chalkboard tells of the days offerings. Tanks can be seen through a long window directly above the bar. Although the space is large it still seems intimate and cozy. Nicely decorated.

Service was friendly and prompt although I did have to ask for a couple of items. Against the Grain labels themselves a smokehouse so the menu is loaded with delicious smoked meats. The pulled pork sandwich, though a little pricey, is smokey, savory, and moist with a good helping of char and pickled onions to boot. Good stuff.

The beer was actually my least favorite aspect of Against the Grain. I don't know if this is normal but the day I stopped in for lunch they seemed to be serving all beers in plastic cups. Strike one. Strike two was that my beer was so cloudy and sediment filled that it was as close to chewing a beer as you could get. As it was served I was told it was that way because the keg was just recently moved. With that said the beer was mediocre at best and my only drink of the visit because of said issues.

I would give Against the Grain another try if in the immediate area but I wouldn't go out of my way to stop through again.

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Photo of djhowell
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The location itself is fantastic; attached to Slugger Field, they have a big outdoor patio and the indoor seating has great views of the brewing equipment. However my experiences at Against The Grain can be summed up in one word: inconsistent. The service we had varied from attentive to non-existent and several of their beers are just too gimmicky. The food and the atmosphere have brought me back but the service has kept me away on more than one occasion.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Fantastic bar & brewery in downtown Louisville. The vibe is wonderful, the brewery can be seen through glass behind - and up above - the bar. Big fan of the massive mural painted on the wall - illustrating the process of all grain brewing. Very knowledgeable and helpful staff. Don't think twice, check them out. If you're in the area also hit the Louisville Beer Store and Holy Grale. You're welcome.

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Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Stopped here to do a quick flight. Beers were hit and miss, some great some only ok. Facility was nice and service was good. Didn't try the food. Might stop back here again because I've heard good things about this place as I might have not been there on a good day or I was in a hurry because of an incoming blizzard.

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Photo of bilhelm
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I walked in early in the evening on a Saturday night with my wife and we sat right down. The atmosphere is funky and laid back and the staff was welcoming and genuinely interested in our experience there. We left having tried 7 excellent beers, an appetizer and two very good entrees. London Balling is the beer for which one would pray when ordering a barrel aged barleywine. The overall level of creativity and the execution of their beer left me fired up about our growing craft community in Louisville and appreciative of their efforts. If you are passing through on I-64, this is an outstanding excursion along the way. If you live in the area and haven't been, tarry no longer.

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Photo of CocktailJunky
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

I visited ATG for the Bo and Luke release on 01/06/2014. Walking into this place you can tell this is a place you wanna be,very clean. The people that work here are amazing and let me tell you about the Pork Fat Belly on a stick ( WOW ) We had a couple samples of the beers and was very impressed with them all. I will tell you if you can get a Bo and Luke do it and don't let go this is one for the cellar.

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Photo of Braden
5/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place was great and the people were friendly and the food was great. Spoke with one of the brewers cool guy talked for about 20 minutes. Bartender was super nice. The beers we tried were great especially the 70k. I loved the food had ribs and pork risotto. They were both great.

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Photo of fleurdelou
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Against the Grain has been one of my favorite Breweries/ restaurants. granted, I have not been to a ton. This one I have, however, had the pleasure of visiting on many occasions. The feel is overall very spunky casual. It is nestled inside of a baseball stadium. There could be more seating, but the small stature adds to the local feel. The décor is awesome. Many reflections of their bottle art found throughout the place. Wicked cool view of the vats over the bar. One of my favorite parts about the place is their chalkboard. They always have a beer list up on this giant chalk board in the center of the restaurant. It displays the style, flavor, rating, and ABV of each beer listed. The best part, however, are the hand drawn art pieces associated with each brew, not to mention their ever cleaver names. The atmosphere is great, but the food....the food is something to be experienced. I had a personal favorite in their bangers and mash dish. Sausage, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes topped off with bier mustard (that is to die for). I have tried a few of their other dishes and never been disappointed. I will have you know they emphasize quality over quantity here, so don't expect outrageous portion sizes. I walk by everyday on my way home from work and wish I could bottle the aroma of brew and smoke that oozes out of this place and take it home with me. The staff is very knowledgeable. I have never run into a server/ bartender who didn't really know their stuff. Everyone there seems to really appreciate their product and allow others the ease of knowing what they will appreciate in it as well by answering questions with detail and excitement. Lastly, but certainly not least....the beers. I have never been disappointed by a brew here. I have my favorites of course, but they are all fantastic. Very flavorful creative brews given to us by Against the Grain. They are reasonably priced (somewhat pricy for specialty items), but you aren't going to waste your dollars here. Highly recommend to anyone who is visiting Louisville, KY and looking for a great local brew. Don't take my word for it...go out and give them a try for yourself.

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Photo of TheBiercast
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

One of my absolute favorite places to grab a beer and a mandatory stop when I drive through louisville. The atmosphere and ascetics of the brewery are second to none in my opinion. The placement and visibility of their fermentors and brewing equipment which are located on two floors above the bar behind a glass wall are perfect for every customer to see the brewing process in action while they take down one of their delicious beers.


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Photo of tsauce2
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere was great. Brewery/restaurant is located in the structure of the baseball for Louisville's minor league team, the Louisville Bats. Simple layout, good job of decorating, great patio. Live music outside on a Saturday night.

Quality was top notch. Everything was professionally made/done.

Service was a bit slow, but it was at night after the Bo & Luke release, so I can sympathize. Staff was very friendly even though they had been getting slammed all day.

Selection was great. Brewery makes a varied assortment of styles of beer. Menu had many choices that did not include just the normal bar food stuff.

Food was banging. Had the homemade chorizo hash. Very tasty and really hit the spot after a long day of drinking.

Value overall was great. Beers and food were priced very well.

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Photo of Vegasbeer
4/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Went to Against the Grain in Louisville with friends for the Bo and Luke Release on September 14th. I really enjoyed this place. Atmosphere is great, lots of energy in this place without being over bearing. A two story windowed tower brewing fermenters and mash kettles overlooks the bar. Very cool to see the brewers going in there to do their thing. Found that they had a great selection of delicious beers, and the food was very tasty as well. Service was a little on the weak side, but it was also incredibly busy that day. Overall a great place, and I look forward to visiting again on my next trip back to Louisville.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.5

Located inside Louisville Slugger Field stadium, the seating area isn't all that big, but the ceilings are huge so it looks much bigger. There's a good sized patio for outside enjoyment as well.

Staff is friendly and they seem to love working there, lots of camaraderie. The food is awesome! Get the tacos, you won't be sorry. Love the hummus and the pulled pork sandwich, too. I haven't had a bad thing from their menu. It's a tad more expensive than you'd expect, but well worth it.

They make a lot of different beer, feels like they're pumping out a new one every damn day. Because of this experimental mindset, you'll find a lot of mediocre stuff, but a lot of good stuff as well, and every once in awhile, you'll strike gold. Obviously, Bo & Luke has been their main attraction lately, but many will argue 70k is even better. They have 5 or 6 offerings on tap at any given time and it's a great place to always find something unique or different. You won't find any other brewery's beers here, at least not from the times I've been. So go to try something different, or go to get something you've been waiting for them to release, but also definitely go for the food.

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Photo of niall
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I try to stop here every time I visit Louisville, and my experiences have been mostly positive. It's hard to judge a brewpub by its selections, but ATG's self-conscious anti-style beer descriptors cover a lot of bases, and I like that they always have a smoked beer (a must for a BBQ town) on tap.

The space looks like your typical, cavernous brewpub, but there are so many details - the cool portraits (the Col Sanders one rocks) and that beautiful brewing area behind the class come to mind - that make it memorable.

The food and beers have always been quite good, though they're rarely truly outstanding. One exception is the smoked, then grilled chicken wings - those are the best, easily the best I've ever eaten. Hell, the wings alone are worth the nudge to "4" for the food. They also have some talented bartenders; the Manhattan w/ a smoked cherry is a delicious treat before a meal. Anything they call a "whim" on their food and beer menus is worth checking out.

For me, it's nearly a must-visit in Lulzville. I can't imagine visiting the city without stopping to share some wings, beer cheese and a few pints at least once.

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Photo of Pamalama
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

I was pleasantly surprised to find this diamond in the rough while walking around Louisville for the first time. Nice, mellow, brewpub with delicious food and even more delicious beers. (I wasn't there on a game day so it might not always be that mellow.) A refreshing change from the typical brews elsewhere. They had some exceptional entrees, including house-smoked pork belly with Kentucky sorghum and house-smoked red pepper hummus served with delicious, chewy pita. It was wonderful to see that anything could be made vegetarian, which didn't cut off most of my menu options like in most other restaurants. It was very affordable, especially for a traveler on a budget. I had the sampler and was pleased with all the beers I tried. I still talk about it months later, and will absolutely return next time I visit.

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Photo of mynie
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Against the Grain is Kentucky’s buzziest brewery. I’ve had a few of their beers in Indy and they’ve ranged for solid to very good. And—take notes, kids—they have the good sense to directly distribute their kegs. Meaning they are generating hype in Indy and Cincy and even Chicago, which is very good for their brand.

Their set up was adorable. Way new brewery-y, with lots of exposed ductwork and warm track lighting, but it makes sense seeing how the brewery is physically is a part of a fucking AAA ballpark. I drove past the place 3 times before I realized the “BREWERY” written on one of the park’s enclaves wasn’t some Captain Morgan’s Cove-type bullshit. So, even without attending a game, I guess it’s safe to assume that the Louisville Bats have maybe the best beer selection of any baseball team in the states? That’s not fair.

The place is long, wide, and nicely ventilated. 5 15-barrel tanks sit well illuminated above the dining area, and bearded men paced about them intently. The crowd was southern mixed race-—meaning the black people came in diverse forms, but the white people were all fuzzy and car-shaped. The TVs showed sports and the music was innocuous.

I can’t gauge the south. The little aesthestic tics that signal coolness up north here can be meaningless. My first time in Louisville I came across a heavily tattooed youngster with gauged earlobes. He knew where the weed was, of course, but he also very deeply hated gay people and damn, he said, if we wanted to get out of this economic mess we was gonna have to stop spending so goddamn much on foreign aid. You know how much that takes outta his tax dollars? Too goddamn much. Then he said some slurs.

Anyhow, this place had some legit vegetarian options. Overall it was friendly, but I can’t tell if it was for-real friendly or that weird, perfunctory southern friendliness that’s actually just a thin patina they pull down to mask their pressing hatred of outsiders. It also looked like it could get real busy real quick, but it might be in the kind of area and appeal to the kind of people where it ain’t likely to get too awful busy at any given point.

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Photo of anhigdon
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Been a local and visit here frequently. One of the best things about this place is you never know which of their beers will be on tap! They do have a handful of different guest beers tapped as well.

Food is okay. Nothing to write home about, but a great place to grab a beer and appetizer. That being said, they have a fair selection on their menu. Their playfulness with their beers also shows with their food. They have a second chalkboard (first for beer of course) with their rotating sauces for BBQ and other meats.

Staff is always very friendly and knowledgeable about their beers. On more than one occasion I've talked to the brewers while filling up growlers just because they seem to enjoy connecting with their customers.

This is located on the corner of the local minor league Bats stadium. With an outside entrance, they hold regular hours without the need for there to be a game going on. They typically draw a decent afternoon/after work crowd, but I've never had a problem getting a seat. For those interested, they also have outside seating available.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend dropping by. If you're a local and haven't been yet, you're missing out. And if you're just passing through, it's definitely worth at least a couple pours of whatever you're in the mood for!

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Photo of ShanaRae
4.91/5  rDev +18.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

I absolutely had a wonderful time here, the flight beers were impressive. I am not a stout fan but I loved theirs. Everything had unique flavor. I will go back. The service was impeccable. The server was super friendly. The music was punk rock and we loved it. The food was absolutely delightful. There was even an outside patio to sit on.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3

A - Wonderful looking place. Art all over the walls. I was there on a Monday night so there wasnt much of a crowd. I can imagine it being a fun place!

Q - Decent beers. I had 3 of the 8 they had on tap. One of the was one of the best beers I have ever had. Another was one of the worst. Wish I could have tried them all!

S - I cant say enough about the service. Very friendly staff that went out of their way to make me feel welcomed

S - Hey they had 8 beers on tap and said they keep them rotating. The last one I tried was 13.0 ABV, so I couldnt handle anymore!

F - I had the special which happened to be ribs. They were pretty good. They were very tender and had a nice flavor. A little greasy and fatty, but I was happy

V- I spent 40 bucks including the tip and had the special and 3 craft beers. I feel that was fairly priced

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Photo of KevinmusPrime
4.5/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Cool set up. Very spacious, lots of room at the bar. AtG does a lot of different styles well. Their barleywine, London Balling, is superb. Very tasty fare. I am excited to see the beers that come out of this place. Highly recommend a visit if you are in the Ville.

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Photo of scruz
5/5  rDev +21.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Beercentric brewpub. Food is a smokehouse fare, with a twist. Very good. Beers are world class and service is good. Its located downtown near most other beer destinations in Lville. Definitely a must see for any visitors looking to get a breath of KYs thriving beer culture.

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Photo of klyph76
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Expansive main dining area with very high ceilings. Awesome local art work for decor. Delicious bbq and in-house brew. Located in downtown Louisville right next to the Louisville Sugger's stadium. Highly recommended for foodies and beer lovers alike.

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Photo of craftbrew502
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.75 | food: 3

Not a very wide selection of beer, the atmosphere is really nice, the food is descent but not great. Not my favorite spot in the ville, but cool place to go every now and then. Their house brews are pretty basic nothing really stands out to me, watery porters and week IPAs

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Lots of genuine character at AtG. I like the vibe, the design, and pretty much everything about the place. Selection and quality was on the mark, with an interesting variety of different kinds of beers. I took a growler of Shart Pants with me. Food was pretty good. The brisket was nice and the corn on the cob was a good touch. The green beans were cooked to oblivion though, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad. When I am in Louisville again, I would definitely come back. I imagine that AtG will continue to put out a lot of interesting brews for some time.

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Photo of JDizzle
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been to this place about 4 times now and it had never disapointed.

They always have ureal draft selections, most of their own, but also guest taps from around the world. I have had Mikeller 1000 IBU, Three Floyds BooGoop, etc.. on tap plus most of their high gravity beers. The service is great!! Will, the bartender, is always willing to give you nice samples of anything you want and shoot the shit about beer.

The atmosphere is great with the high ceilings and the brew tanks viewable in a nice window above.

The food is really good as well. I am a vegetarian, and their mushroom burger is epic, but they also have a ton of meat entrees that would be very nice if I ate meat. They have a ton of sauces that are homeade as well that are killer! The hot sauce is brutal.

By far the best all-a-round brewery in the Ville.

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Photo of Bourbon
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

First, the service was excellent. Among the best I've ever had.

Second, The atmosphere tickles me. Having been to Browning's (the previous brewpub at this location), I expected the high ceilings and visible brew equipment. What changed was the diagram of the brew equipment in Street Art-style, the huge portraits of the (assumed) proprietors in their mohawked and hoodied glory and every listing on the On-Tap board is its' own piece of art. The place is brash and arrogant. I like it!

Third, the food was good to excellent. The low score I gave reflects the lack of options and the menu that manages to not make anything enticing.

And now, the beer: meh. I had a Triple IPA that i would describe as "meek" and "inoffensive." There was an Irish Dry Stout that was comparable to Kaliber in flavor. I was so disappointed! I gave as high a score as i did for the ambition of having every tap rotating, but I think they need to knuckle down and just make good beer. It almost feels like they can't be bothered with such a thing.

I'll go back in a few weeks. My fingers are crossed.

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Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse in Louisville, KY
3.74 out of 5 based on 6,515 ratings.
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