Kentucky may be known as Bourbon Country, and Louisville may house a fair share of bourbon distilleries, but Louisville has a booming craft brewery scene too. And the best part? Most of them are within walking distance of each other.
From historic local breweries like Falls City Brewing Company to new kids on the block like Gravely Brewing Co., craft brews have found their footing. A new spot seems to open all the time, so I wanted to curate a list of every brewery in town and create a map for you to use on your own brewery tour.
If it were up to me, I would tell you to start at Gravely every time. But if we’re thinking geographically and fairly here, I recommend either starting at Old Louisville Brewery and working your way east and up to 3rd Turn Brewing or vise versa.
The truth is that there’s not a bad beer at any spot. You’re guaranteed for a great selection at every brewery and probably a few beer cheese and pretzels along the way. Enjoy!
Louisville Brewery Tour
Begin your tour in the oldest neighborhood in Louisville at Old Louisville Brewery. Try one of their in-house beers or sample beers from other breweries around the state. Bring in your own food or order delivery from Pizza Donisi down the street. Come during the week for a bingo, trivia, or movie night.
The folks at Against the Grain are known around town for their eccentric beer can designs and names (“Citra Ass Down” for example), but more importantly for their great beer and good eats. Attached to the Louisville Bats baseball stadium, Against the Grain is a must on any beer tour. May I suggest the Bloody Show, a lager with blood orange, and the nachos and Dirty Vegan burger. *chef’s kiss*
The guys at Goodwood throw a nod to bourbon distillers by aging their beer in the same wooden barrels and limestone water used to make bourbon. How’s that for the best of both worlds? Stop by this fixture in the heart of the NuLu neighborhood for their famous Bourbon Barrel Ale or Stout or Louisville Lager.
As much as I go to NuLu, I hadn’t been to Akasha until last week. I’ve been missing out. This gem of a brewery tucked on the corner of E. Market and Campbell St. is cozy, inviting, and pumping out delicious brews. If sours are your thing, Akasha has plenty to satisfy your pallet. Order a burger from Grind Burger Kitchen around the corner and have them walk it over after knocking back a few Sack Lunches.
Falls City has had a rocky history of different ownership and a temporary closure during prohibition, but this historic Louisville brewery is here to stay. Try their classic Falls City Beer or Hipster Repellent IPA inside or outside on the patio. Dogs are welcome too.
With over 40 years of home brewing experience. Apocalypse Brew Works in Butchertown is a must on your tour. Apocalypse doesn’t offer much indoor space, but in the summertime their parking lot is packed with people, dogs, and food trucks.
Can you tell I love this place? The owners perfectly blend music and beer at this brewery in the Highlands. Each beer is is named after a song, band, or music term. I love a good pun. If you like IPAs go for the Channel Orange (possibly my favorite beer of all time). Get a side of guacamole and a quesadilla from the Mayan Street Food truck outside and grab a seat on the outside patio where you can see one of the best views of the city skyline.
Mile Wild Beer Co. has a location unlike any other brewery in town. You’ll find this spot behind old, large grain silos smack dab in the middle of downtown and the Highlands. Grab a beer and in-house made Neapolitan-style pizza before hitting the arcade machines. My recommendation? A $6 Old Forester shot and Brabble beer. One and done.
Located in the newly opened Logan Street Market in Germantown, Wild Hops Brewery is the next venture for local coffee shop owner Mike Safai. Pull up a seat at the bar and grab one of their happy hour specials Tuesday – Friday before perusing the rest of the food market for dinner.
Down a few blocks in the old Schnitzelburg neighborhood is Monnik Beer Co. Monnik serve a fairly extensive list of their own brews with a select few guest brews on tap too. Their food menu is something to brag about as well. Order a German classic like the Sauerbraten or Schnitzel for dinner and fit in with the neighborhood like a local.
Great Flood is the quintessential laidback neighborhood brewery located on Bardstown Rd. in the Upper Highlands. They’ve got events nearly every night and your dog is welcome too! Bring in your own food from one of the nearby restaurants and sip on their solid selection of brew classics like the Find-a-Way IPA and the Toasted Brown Ale.
3rd Turn is holding in down in Jeffersontown just down I-64 from downtown Louisville. Choose from one of their 20 drafts on tap and grab a bite outside on Food Truck Fridays inside this renovated church turned brewery. They’ve also got a second location in Oldham County called 3rd Turn Gardens perfect for your next event or night out during the summer.
Beer has come to hold a special place in my heart, so it’s even more special to drink it in the company of my favorite city. If you time it right and pace yourself accordingly, you could easily hit all these spots in one day. Happy brewery hopping!