Visiting Louisville for Derby? Looking for locally brewed beer? My aim is to familiarize guests with Louisville’s assortment of five top-quality breweries. I’m listing them alphabetically, not in order of preference. Call each for pertinent details.
Bluegrass Brewing Co. (BBC) 3929 Shelbyville Road, 899-7070
Louisville’s longest-tenured brewpub (1993) remains an immensely popular St. Matthews hangout, with good food, frequent musical performances, sports on multiple TVs and plenty of creative offerings from brewer Jerry Gnagy. My beer pick: Jerry’s quirky seasonals and specialties.
BBC Taproom 636 E. Main St., 584-2739
The independent downtown brewer of BBC beers for off-premise distribution also boasts a breweriana museum and taproom where the beer is as fresh as it gets. There’s no kitchen, so bring your own food or have it delivered. My beer pick: American Pale Ale (APA), brewmaster David Pierce’s classic.
Browning’s Brewery 401 E. Main St., 515-0174
Even temperance fanatics cannot fail to be impressed by the grandeur of the ballpark brewery’s three-story brewhouse, which towers over the bar. Fortunately, brewer Brian Reymiller provides a solid roster of brews. My beer pick: Browning’s Pilsner is Louisville’s best micro lager.
Cumberland Brews 1576 Bardstown Road, 458-8728
Intimate, eclectic and with a great location on Bardstown Road in the epicenter of the Highlands, Cumberland Brews has an impossibly tiny brewery manned by local veteran Matt Gould and a consistently excellent kitchen. My beer pick: Nitro Porter, with smooth coffee and chocolate notes.
New Albanian Brewing Company 3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany, 812-949-2804
My own business, and one of five truly outstanding and distinctive breweries in the Louisville Metro area. My beer pick: Hoptimus, a massive Imperial India Pale Ale.
Roger Baylor is co-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Co. in New Albany. He writes about beer for Food & Dining magazine. Visit www.potablecurmudgeon.com for more beer.