Enjoy a beer flight in Louisville.

Enjoy a beer flight in Louisville. Photo © Paul Joseph, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Map of Louisville, Kentucky


Louisville’s contemporary craft beer scene dates back to the early 1990s, long before the country went mad for microbrews, but it’s grown substantially in the past decade. Fans of local brews will want to check out the following microbreweries, some of which focus exclusively on beer while others have a restaurant element as well. True aficionados will want to be in Louisville in September for the nine-day Louisville Craft Beer Week, which features beer dinners, beer pairings, beer walks, brewery parties, and more at locations all around town.

Against the Grain

Located in the old train station at Louisville Slugger Field, Against the Grain (401 E. Main St., 502/515-0174, 11pm-midnight Mon.-Wed., 11am-2am Thurs.-Sat., noon-9pm Sun.) brews beers in six broad categories—session, hop, whim, malt, dark, and smoke)—with the particular beers on tap constantly rotating. The 15-copper-barrel brewhouse is also a smokehouse restaurant.

Apocalypse Brew Works

Opened in 2012, Apocalypse Brew Works (1612 Mellwood Ave., 502/589-4843, 5pm-11pm Fri.-Sat.) is a homebrew operation that focuses on smallbatch beers. Their beers run the gamut from stouts, porters, and IPAs to fruit and specialty beers. On their 10 taps, you might find Creamation, Atomic Amber, Apollo IPA, or Smokin Pyres Porter.

Bluegrass Brewing Company

The oldest of Louisville’s microbreweries and the largest microbrewery in Kentucky, Bluegrass Brewing Company (known locally as BBC) has been keeping Louisville in beer since 1993. They have three restaurant locations (3929 Shelbyville Rd., 502/899-7051, 11am-midnight Mon.-Thurs., 11am-1am Fri.-Sat., noon-10pm Sun.; 660 S. 4th St., 502/568-2224, 11am-midnight Mon.-Thurs., 11am-1am Fri.-Sat.; 300 W. Main St., 502/562- 0007, 11am-midnight Mon.-Thurs., 11am-1am Fri.-Sat., 1pm-10pm Sun.) where you can try their American Pale Ale, Dark Star Porter, German Alt Beer, Nut Brown Ale, or Raspberry Mead, as well as rotating specials. Additionally, their production brewery (636 E. Main St., 502/584-2739, 4pm-10pm Tues.-Fri.), which hosts a taproom and a museum of objects representing brewing history in Louisville, is also open to the public.

Cumberland Brewery

An integral part of the Bardstown Road scene, Cumberland Brewery (1576 Bardstown Rd., 502/458-8727, 4pm-2am Mon.-Thurs., noon-2am Fri.-Sat., 1pm-2am Sun.) keeps their regulars happy with their selection of cream ales, pale ales, porters, wheat ales, bocks, meades, and saisons, as well as their tasty menu of bar favorites.

Falls City Brewery

First opened in 1905, but then closed in 1978, Falls City Brewery (545 E. Barrett Ave., 4pm-8pm Thurs.-Fri., 2pm-8pm Sat.) was revived in 2010 as a craft brewery. Their first new beer after coming back onto the scene was an English pale ale. At the brewery and taproom, you can sample the goods or grab a growler to go.

New Albanian Brewing Company

Technically not in Louisville, but instead across the bridge in Indiana, New Albanian Brewing Company has a hearty Louisville fan base. Since opening in 2002, New Albanian has brewed more than 30 beers, including Hoptimus, an imperial IPA; Black & Blue Grass, an ale spiced with lemongrass, black pepper, and agave; and Bob’s Old 15B, a brown porter. The brews can be tried at their pub and pizzeria (3312 Plaza Dr., New Albany, IN, 812/944-2577, 11am-midnight Mon.-Sat.), from which you have a view of the R&D brewery, or at the Bank Street Brewhouse (415 Bank St., New Albany, IN, 812/725-9585, 11am-10pm Tues.-Thurs., 11am-11pm Fri.-Sat., 10am-9pm Sun.), a bistro-style restaurant where the production brewery is located.

Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Kentucky.