Louisville wants to be the next beer city....

Discussion in 'South' started by uvachief, Oct 13, 2014.


What city is evolving as the next beer mecca city?

  1. Louisville, KY

    17 vote(s)
  2. Richmond, VA

    6 vote(s)
  3. Columbus, OH

    9 vote(s)
  4. Triad Area, NC

    7 vote(s)
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  1. uvachief

    uvachief Zealot (561) Nov 8, 2013 Virginia


    We're always talking about bourbon in this city, but let's not forget about our beer scene.

    Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had that message on Monday as he held a news conference at Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse downtown. At the news conference, the mayor announced a new report from the city's local brewery work group. The report, which you can find here, contained five key recommendations for growing the city's local brewing community. Here's the plan in a nutshell:

    • Create a citywide beer map or trail to encourage visitors. The trail could be paired with a citywide bike trail.
    • Push for changes to state alcoholic beverage control laws and local building regulations to make it easier for brewers to open for business and to host special events and tastings.
    • Include more locally made beer at city-sponsored events and city-owned venues. The city's Resurfaced events on Main Street are an example of this, Fischer said.
    • Create a bourbon-barrel beer festival that could draw international attention.
    • Reconnect the city with its brewing heritage. That plan includes beer gardens at special events and reviving Kentucky-style beer, known as Kentucky Common.
    Representatives from several distilleries — including Against The Grain, Apocalypse Brew Works, Beer Engine LLC, Bluegrass Brewing Co., New Albanian Brewing Co. and Falls City Brewing — were on the panel that developed the plan. Against the Grain co-owner Sam Cruz told me that the group met every few weeks during the summer. City leaders helped the brewers develop the format for the discussions, and from that the recommendations were developed, he said.

    Fischer said the food and beverage industry is an economic area where Louisville can be one of the best cities in the world. He already had commissioned a report on expanding the bourbon and food industry in Louisville. But he said there is more to the segment than just bourbon makers and restaurants. After all, craft beer industry grew sales by 18 percent last year, he said, even as beer sales as a whole were declining.

    "Like bourbon, the craft beer industry is hopping," he said, calling the industry vital to improving the city's culinary segment.

    Last March, I wrote this report on the brewing industry. According to a news release from the city, the Louisville area is home to at least nine breweries. Many of them, as well as some regional breweries, will be represented at Louisville Brewfest, which is scheduled for Friday at Louisville Slugger Field.

    "The growth of the brewing industry in the Louisville area coincides with the locavore food movement we are seeing now,” John King, executive director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, said in the release. “Our growth as an industry is a direct result of our determination to put Louisville on the map as a top beer destination in the United States."

    Article by David A. Mann, Reporter, Business First.
  2. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,938) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Louisville has not impressed me as a beer city.

    (limited experience, admittedly)
  3. Jake_Ramrod

    Jake_Ramrod Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2013 Kentucky

    Lexington > Louisville imo

    BUT, we're all on the same team here.
    IMFletcher, McUbermensch and denver10 like this.
  4. wjrainer

    wjrainer Initiate (127) Feb 21, 2014 North Carolina

    Interesting. I have family in Louisville now and I have really enjoyed exploring the beer scene up there. AtG, Louisville beer store and Holy Grale are all great places (Sergio's is too, but it is a little...different). Unfortunately, I haven't been really overwhelmed with the other breweries in the area. I also just moved out of Winston-Salem and I'm intrigued that the Triad made the list. I liked the beer scene there, but the only interesting brewery there is Foothills. There are a few other decent ones for sure, but I wouldn't have pegged it as a finalist for the future beer mecca. In either case, I would love for them both to continue to create and bring in great beer. Cheers!
  5. threedaggers

    threedaggers Crusader (746) Dec 2, 2013 Kentucky

    ATG is good and we have a large pile of medicore breweries, speadheaded by BBC. Holy Grale is world-class however, and we have tons of great beer bars around the city. We do need to step up our brewery quality though.
  6. uvachief

    uvachief Zealot (561) Nov 8, 2013 Virginia

    Sergio's World Beers is supposed to be pretty good. I have a business trip coming up there in the not so distant future so I will have some first hand experience. Beer will never get out of the shadow of bourbon in that town though.
  7. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    Sergio's is a good place. Bring cash and don't plan on any entertainment (ballgames etc). The food isn't bad but not really noteworthy either.
  8. cmgray03

    cmgray03 Initiate (174) Dec 28, 2012 Colorado

    Sergio's is unique and worth a visit, but Holy Grale is the can't miss spot in Louisville.
    IMFletcher likes this.
  9. Enochase04

    Enochase04 Disciple (365) Feb 12, 2014 Ohio

    ATG is subpar imo....their beers aren't that good and they seem gimmicky.....Sergios is fantastic and holy grale is pretty awesome as well
  10. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,938) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

  11. macher0

    macher0 Defender (601) Dec 24, 2012 Kentucky

    ATG has such great potential only if they could do better at supporting their local base. They should have stuff only available at the brewery - like so many other successful breweries do - mainly Bo and Luke and variants. I should be able to get Bo and Luke at the brewery more than twice a year and not need to stand in line for hours to get variants. If it was more exclusive, people would make it a destination.
  12. Volntitan

    Volntitan Initiate (0) May 18, 2008 Tennessee

    I'm heading up to visit the inlaws the first weekend of November, is AGT a place I should stop or just go to Holy Grail and hang. And where is Nashville on the poll? :wink:
  13. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    Yes. ATG is a must stop.

    They don't brew bo & Luke year round. It does make it to tap periodically throughout the year just not on any certain schedule.

    But they do many other interesting barrel aged beers. It's not a given that they will have one on tap at all times. It is a given that they will have something tasty and unique on tap.
  14. Volntitan

    Volntitan Initiate (0) May 18, 2008 Tennessee

    Another question...want to watch college ball game this Saturday evening while in Louisville...does Holy Grail have TVs?
  15. weeble8604

    weeble8604 Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2013 Kentucky

  16. Volntitan

    Volntitan Initiate (0) May 18, 2008 Tennessee

    OK...then any suggestions where they would have a good beer selection and where I would be able to watch SEC Network that night?
  17. jaimoe

    jaimoe Initiate (0) May 15, 2010 Ohio

    One, why would you want to watch the $EC, Satan's Evil Conference? Second, I like the Ville a lot, lots of cool places to eat and drink and a decent music scene. Beer destination, however, it is not.
  18. Volntitan

    Volntitan Initiate (0) May 18, 2008 Tennessee

    1) Because it is the conference where the team I root for plays in...and it happens to be, right now, the best conference in football. 2) I'm going to be in Louisville for the night visiting in-laws. Being from Nashville, we have plenty of cool places to eat and a very good music scene, and while I'm sure Louisville's is fine as well, I would rather watch the game while also having some decent beer.
  19. erichall

    erichall Initiate (0) Nov 13, 2008 Kentucky

    ATG has a few big tvs and they are happy to turn them to your favorite game. If it's this Saturday, shouldn't have any conflicts with local teams. Louisville plays thurs, UK plays at 4 with UT at 7:30.

    Any of the BBCs have lots of tvs and decent beer.

    Mellow mushroom in St Matthews is a good spot for beer and sports.
  20. Alpar

    Alpar Disciple (344) Apr 13, 2009 Wisconsin

    Just moved here and we get distro of some Great IPAs and DIPAs but I've yet to be impressed by a local hoppy beer. I do love that I can score top notch sours anytime I want. This might sound crazy but I prefer Kentucky's beer scene to Minneapolis' scene. Love me some Kentucky!
    khargro2 and scotti561 like this.
  21. scotti561

    scotti561 Initiate (99) Feb 2, 2013 Florida

    That's good to hear. I am moving up there in a month or so from South Florida. I am looking forward to exploring a new beer scene!
  22. fredmugs

    fredmugs Meyvn (1,484) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana

    So you want to get it more often, wait in line less, and have it more exclusive?????
  23. macher0

    macher0 Defender (601) Dec 24, 2012 Kentucky

    ^^^ I want B&L and variations to be more available at the brewery. But I'm being super selfish cause I live in Louisville and go to ATG fairly regularly. Many successful breweries - Wicked Weed/Westport - have bad ass stuff that is exclusive to the brewery, thus people go to the brewery as a destination.
    BoomKentucky likes this.
  24. scruz

    scruz Devotee (419) Aug 8, 2006 Kentucky

    duly noted.... its easier to address these kind of requests if they are brought to our attention via email or in person (you live here right). we're building another brewery that will take pressure off of our little brewery. when that happens, the pub offerings will be at the pub only, the larger brewery will make distro beers, and your barrel aged desires will increase. not to mention we can expand upon our wild and sour beer programs. it takes time though, we're working on it. regardless, thanks for the feedback here.
    harperman69, IMFletcher and WPZY like this.
  25. adrian1990

    adrian1990 Initiate (0) May 6, 2011 Kentucky

    Question 1 , why do you choose to distribute Bo & Luke when you could just sell it all through the brewery? I missed it in the fall and would not feel as bummed if you had just sold it at the brewery and I still missed, it as opposed to all the liquor stores that got it and did whatever with it. In other words, I trust you more than some random liquor store owner.

    Q2, why does it seem like there is way more Rye Chick and so much less Bo & Luke? They are similar beers right? Both smoked, High ABV, barrel aged?

    Lastly, keep up the good work. I'd be way more bummed with not getting any B&L if you didn't have so many other good beers (including barrel aged stuff) to distract me.
  26. StephenPM

    StephenPM Initiate (35) Nov 8, 2014 Kentucky

    Wow, not exactly a resounding thumbs up for the town's brewing scene, but I'll take the opposite point of view. Yes, Against The Grain is definitely the most distributed of the Louisville brewers (I'll agree that much they do is gimmicky, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they do it well), but we have a number of local brewers well worth visiting. Apocalypse Brew Works is a real stand out that deserves far greater attention than it receives (catch a concert at the oh-so-intimate Zanzabar and you'll be able to enjoy their exclusive Baby Jesus); the Bluegrass Brewing Company distributes fairly bland regulars, but keeps far better brews on tap at its original Shelbyville Road spot; Cumberland Brews was bringing drinkable beer to folks long before "craft beer" became an "in" term; Great Flood is still new, but trying hard and doing some interesting brews; and Falls City, while it distributes pretty unremarkable bottled beers shows promise with its recent merging with 502 winery. Take a short hop across the bridge into Southern Indiana and you'll find the outstanding New Albanian brewery that has arguably the finest brews in the area.

    Too often beer "geeks" seem to forget that it's not necessarily about the most outstanding beer, but about the friends and family you enjoy when you're there.

    In the same way, I'll agree Holy Grale is a gem, but it's best (and most overlooked attribute)? The food. Some of the best in town.
    tykechandler likes this.
  27. JiminKY

    JiminKY Initiate (143) Feb 8, 2005 Kentucky

    I guess whether it's a "destination" spot for beer would depend on where you are from. As someone who regularly travels the southeast and middle Atlantic regions, I w
  28. JiminKY

    JiminKY Initiate (143) Feb 8, 2005 Kentucky

    Fuck posting from a cell phone
    antzman likes this.
  29. Johns721

    Johns721 Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2013 Indiana

    ATG - Meh to good, depending on when you go. The beers on tap are VERY hit or miss. Food is good, especially the pork belly on a stick.

    BBC - Meh to Good. They seem afraid to do much in the way of "edgy", so their beers are always hovering right around average, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, just boring. Good food.

    Apocalypse - Mostly Meh. They seem to hate brewing anything with good mouthfeel, so most of their stuff seems watery. Ruins it for me.

    Cumberland Brews - go for the jerk wings and get them to go.

    Falls City - average at best.

    Great Flood - trying very hard, and mostly succeeding. They get my vote for "best in town" at the moment. Much potential there.

    New Albanian - runner up for best local brews (probably #1 in terms of overall consistency, but I prefer Great flood lately). Solid guest tap list as well.

    I'm holding out hope that Akasha and/or Donum Dei will bring a better brew to the area than what is currently available. I got used to the NW Indiana / Chicago beer scene while traveling up there, so being a regular at places like 18th Street Brewing, Devil's Trumpet, Shoreline, One Trick Pony, and 3 Floyds kinda ruined the local scene for me.

    Personally, nothing in Louisville compares to Country Boy in Lexington. West Sixth is also better than most of the places here in town as well.
  30. gspeicher

    gspeicher Initiate (0) Jul 22, 2013 Kentucky

    West Sixth is the best overall brewery in Kentucky, if you ask me. I wish they would can Heller Heaven.
  31. BoomKentucky

    BoomKentucky Initiate (181) Mar 22, 2013 Kentucky

    I am from Louisville and I will agree Lexington is better. I love ATG (70k is my fav) and the first year Apocalypse opening it was some of the beer I every had but it has fallen off. With Country Boy and Blue Stallion I really Like Lexington better. I love West Sixth Amber ale but they didn't brew too many beers the few times ive been there
    VABA likes this.
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