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April 18, 2012

Bar Belle: Gimme Fallout Shelter

Say hello to Apocalypse Brew Works

Hipster cities like Asheville and Portland should be shakin’ in their Birkenstocks. Louisville is upping the ante with the recent openings of locabourbonvore places like Rye and Decca, and now we add another microbrewery to our belt notch. Give a warm welcome to Apocalypse Brew Works and its bar, the Fallout Shelter (1612 Mellwood Ave., apocalypsebrewworks.com). I caught up with co-owner and brew goddess Leah Dienes.

Bar Belle: Tell me about the concept of Apocalypse Brew Works.
Leah Dienes: Well, Dec. 21, 2012, is fast approaching, so we figured we needed to get this brewery put together! We’re all homebrewers and thought this would be a good way to make enough beer for us to share with others and pay for this hobby that has become an obsession.

BB: What’s your background in brewing?
LD: I’ve been a homebrewer for about 15 years and am the current president of the LAGERS (Louisville Area Grain and Extract Research Society) Homebrew Club. I’ve been fortunate to win awards in competitions, regionally and nationally, for beer in a variety of styles.

BB: Who are the other members of your team?
LD: Bill Krauth and Paul Grignon. Between the three of us, we have about 40 years of brewing experience!

BB: How did you settle on the location in Butchertown?
LD: Butchertown has a long brewing history. It’s also on the FAT Friday Trolley Hop, close to the expressways, and we’re sharing the space with Krauth Heating and Air, who owns the property, so the rent will be reasonable.

BB: How many taps will you have?
LD: Right now we’re going to start with 10 and expand from there.

BB: How many beers will you be making?
LD: As many different styles as we want to make and folks want to drink. Being a bit smaller, we’ll have some flexibility in our style selection.

BB: When can people hunker down in the Fallout Shelter?
LD: We’re hoping to be open around Derby. We’ll call it “Hunker Down Hour” for our happy hour, giving you full credit, of course.
BB: I’ll just settle for a free beer.

BB: I saw that you are using solar power to make the beer? That makes my inner science geek giddy.
LD: It’s a pilot project of Krauth Heating and Air to use the sun to heat all of our brewing water. Even the pumps used to move that water are powered by solar panels, so it’s totally off the grid. We’ve gotten hot water even when the roof system was half covered in snow!
BB: It’s kinda like “green” beer, but not in a disgusting St. Patty’s-pleasing-frat-boys kind of way.

BB: What are some of your favorite bars?
LD: Of course, all of the local microbreweries, Flanagan’s and BW3’s (wing fix!).

BB: If you had to drink a domestic beer, which would it be?
LD: Bud Light. It’s a hard beer to produce consistently, plus I can drink a lot of it.

BB: Didn’t you once make a green chili beer? I remember trying it at a local beer fest. Will there be that kind of experimental beer-making going on?
LD: Yes, and I’ll be making that beer again. I’m always experimenting with different ingredients and infusions. My dad was an organic chemist with a lot of patents, and the inventor in him passed to me.

BB: If you need someone to cut the opening ribbon or do an inaugural keg stand, I am available!
LD: Ooh, celebrity guest keg stand ... that would work!

Drunk Texts of the Week
• Your gummy juice tastes like bourbon and peaches
• What is this shit? A couples only skate?
• I’m in the middle of a grease 2 sandwich … yuck!
• I guess yr pretty busy gettin teabagged by Norsemen

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.