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: 194
Photo of djhowell
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
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 tonafernandez
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Food is great, good space, nice bar, the beer was kind of on the mild side not really what i was expecting, more trending towards non impressive beers, at least on the draft side, i will probably take out a couple of bottles of stuff not available on draft, they do have Alpha King from 3 floyds.
Most beers trend towards a medium light body and substance.

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Photo of Bourbon
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
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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Photo of joe1510
3.51/5  rDev -16%
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 MilwaukeeCrusher
3.72/5  rDev -11%
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 TheBeerAlmanac
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
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 -9.6%
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 Ohiou84
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.25 | food: 4.75

I thought the food was exceptional. Beer selection was a bit lacking. They had a few of their cans for sale. They offered a flight that included six beers without names, just a porter, golden pilsner, IPA, etc. They had three other beers on tap with names, but one of the kegs had kicked.

I like brew pubs that offer beers that I cannot otherwise get, or do that I wouldn't expect see. I would have liked more variety. Or,at least name the beers that are on tap so they can be rated.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This was a pleasant surprise in Louisville. The selection was great ~ there must have been about 10-12 different offerings when I was there. The beer quality ranged quite a bit but nothing was world class. The food was excellent ~ perhaps the best brisket I have ever had.

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Photo of craftbrew502
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
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 Warren2621
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

I have only sat on the patio, never in the pub. Pretty neat place with a location right in downtown louisville attached to the minor league baseball stadium. The food is pretty solid and priced between fair to a little expensive. The beer is nice.. I had an oyster stout during my first visit and some IPA I cant remember.

This isnt the biggest deal to me since i'm pretty easy going, but my waitress splashed my stout all over my sleeve on a white shirt. It wasnt enough of a spill to warrant bringing me another beer, but I didnt like that I still had to pay for it. "Let me ruin your clothes and charge you for it." I even mentioned that it should have been free. It was one of my roommate's friends so I thought she would comply but still charged me the $5 for the beer. I didnt really care, but the right move in that situation was to comp my beer.

Its worth checking out. Nothing mind blowing and I dont make frequent visits despite living 10 minutes away. Their stuff is solid, not extraordinary.

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Photo of Mothergoose03
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.25

(#48 of 49) Our visit here was for lunch and to try the beers. The pub is located in the belly of a baseball stadium (with their own entrance off the front street through the patio), thus the pub area seemed cavernous. We sat at the bar and ordered a sampler flight of 6 beers (9 were available). All of them were brewed very well to style s that we graded them from a B-minus to a B-plus. We liked the BBA Belgian Imperial Stout the best.

The food was also very good so that we gave a B-plus grade based on our two selections. There is also a full bar along with wine also being offered here. The beers were great, and it would be an experience to come here for a beer and to take in a baseball game. Highly recommended.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4/5  rDev -4.3%

This place was pretty quiet but it was Monday. Looks like a rather nice place, waitress was very nice did not eat any food. It is unique to sit at the bar and look at the tanks. The beer on tap was really average though. I was blown away when I had Rico Sauvin on tap somewhere else so I was pretty disappointed in the beer. They are really brewing unique beers there with smoked malts and Brett but the problem is they are really average.

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Photo of Vegasbeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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 LeeEvolved
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.5

I stopped in back in October and loved the overall feel of the place. The location is awesome as it backs up to Lousiville Slugger stadium. I can imagine this place is even cooler during baseball season.

The seating area is wide open and you get a great view of the three-story brewing setup from anywhere in the place. The staff was nice and well versed on the beer and food offerings, but our server was pulling double duty as the bartender and waitress. This really only delayed us when we were trying to settle up and leave.

The food was pretty good overall, but the beer on draft seemed to be so hit or miss. I've found this to be the case with all AtG beers. You never really know which beer, other than Bo&Luke, is going to be a home run.

Overall, it's a cool place that I'd definitely like to try to hit up again when I'm in the area. I just hope the randomness of the beer takes a turn for the better.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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 MikeFromMarsPA
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We passed through Louisville this past Friday around lunch at the end of a week-long brewery tour. We figured we'd catch the downtown location of Bluegrass Brewing, and I saw that this was just 7 blocks away or so, so we figured we'd give it a shot, too. I did not expect much from a brewery located in a minor league ballpark in Kentucky, honestly, so this place blew away my admittedly low expectations.

You'll forget about the ballpark angle pretty quickly. Unlike most brewpubs in well-traveled entertainment districts, these guys are focused on making beer, not money. Each of the six beers they had on that day had bite, character and class.

We only split an appetizer since we were still planning on lunch down the street at Bluegrass, but the app was unique and tasty and huge for the price. The crowd was light and we had the bar area to ourselves, so our server was always right there when we needed her.

Everything here was surprisingly good. We were glad we were able to stretch a single into a double when we went looking for lunch and brews in downtown Louisville. It will be on our list for places to go back to when traveling.

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Photo of GJ40
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

My family and I stopped into Against the Grain while visiting Louisville.

The building is fantastic with authentic wood floors, high, wooden ceilings, two levels of brewing equipment above the bar and an artistic flair mixed into the warehouse foundation. They have TVs, probably to cover the baseball games, but they don’t detract from the overall atmosphere.

They offer six beers that are all brewed on the premises. Based on the website, I expected the beer lineup to be geared to the masses and not craft beer fans. But they manage to pull off both. The menu presentation simplifies the descriptions so a beginner can easily make a decision. But having tried them all, they’re substantial and interesting. They’re much more balanced and mainstream than over the top but they’re flavorful and interesting.

The food is fantastic as well. They have smoked BBQ including pulled pork, brisket and chicken. And they have several options for sauces. Two came with the meal and we added a sauce sampler for $1.50. It was great to try all of the different meats with the different sauces. We also had the smoked wings, hash and salad. If there was any flaw, the meats were a bit dry. But the sauces help mask that and there were no disappointments.

Against the Grain is surprisingly good for a commercial, touristy place in a minor league ballpark. It’s well worth a visit.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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 fleurdelou
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
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 Alexbeeler
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I work here and think this is a great place for beer and food. The lowest score I gave was in service because depending on the server or bartender you will either get great service or hardly any service.

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Photo of KamaZootra
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I suppose you could call me a repeat offender at Against The Grain...absolutely love the cask-conditioned offerings! 35K is my personal fav...(if only they offered it intravenously)! The beer cheese is really good, smoked wings have a great the smoked mushroom burger with fried egg, the crawfish po' boy is fantastic, the pulled pork bbq sandwich is really good, and the double smoked turkey burger is incredible (especially with the Black & Mild Smoked Porter on cask)...

In simpler terms, I have tried almost everything on their menu, and have not been disappointed!


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Photo of C_Adams
4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We stopped here with the family when we in town over the 4th of July after going to the Louisville Slugger Museum. We had tickets to the Bats game and a few hours to kill. They were not very busy when we arrived around 3:00. Very cool atmosphere. They had a chalkboard list of beers on tap on the wall. I really enjoyed the music because it included some Phish & Grateful Dead. We ordered the pub pretzel with cheese, beef jerky, and some fries. Beef jerky was excellent and ended up placing another order. I had two different IPA's. Both were pretty good. The beer was priced pretty good. I am going to be stopping her every time I am in Louisville!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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 mrfrancis
4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A: Occupying the space where Browning's Brewery once was, Against The Grain has a wonderful location at Louisville Slugger Field. The interior is spacious, clean, and well-lit with a great view of the fermenters in the brewhouse. Lots of clever little touches (regional artwork, large televisions, and lots of wood) make this a very comfy spot that fits in nicely with its surroundings.

Q: The quality of each of their offerings is superb, and the place always seems to promise a good experience. Really, everything here is rock solid all around.

S: Service is casual, friendly, and attentive. If you go in on a slow day, be prepared for some spirited conversation with the servers and/or other regulars. Despite its youth, Against the Grain almost has the character of an established neighborhood bar or brewpub.

S: Being predominantly a brewpub, the selection is limited, but extremely thoughtful. I particularly like their efforts to accomodate all tastes. There is always a session beer on-tap, as well as something for both the hopheads and fans of malt-driven ales. If you like dark beers and/or smoked beers, they've got you covered too. Unlike many American brewpubs, Against The Grain always offers a cask ale of some sort, as well as guest taps for national, international, and regional brewers.

F: The food leans heavily toward standard brewpub fare, so expect to see such staples as beer cheese and sandwiches employing smoked meats. The fried crawfish po' boy is a must. Portions are generous and prices are very reasonable.

O: This is an excellent new spot, and I hope it flourishes. It would be nice to have a brewpub in downtown Louisville that is in it for the long haul. If you ever find yourself passing through the area, stop by and kill some time.

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Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse in Louisville, KY
3.74 out of 5 based on 6,442 ratings.
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