Finding an establishment with a good beer list is becoming more and more of a priority for diners and beer enthusiasts in Louisville and across the U.S. The craft beer movement has caught fire, and creating a beer list that changes with the seasons has turned into an art form. Restaurants compete for specialty barrels of limited availability craft beer. Some local establishments will even save one of those coveted barrels and keep it tucked away until the rest of the city goes dry of that particular brand in order to create a frenzy! We have a lot of beer lovers in Louisville, and our restaurants do a great job of keeping their beer lists up to date with new, exciting beers. Here are some of the local spots where you will find the most comprehensive beer list.
Louisville Beer Store | NuLu
Um, the name says it all. Sure you can get cheese and crackers, and some other tasty snacks here, but you’re really in for a treat when it comes to the protocol of the Louisville Beer Store. It is exactly what it sounds like: a store. You walk in and there are bottled beers from wall to wall. There are coolers in the rear of the store with individually priced single bottles of all sizes. You can carry these out, or add a $1 bar fee for you to enjoy it on premises. They also have eight different rotating draft beers, offering flights and interesting pairings, like the recent beer pairing with certain Girl Scout Cookies. When it’s warm out, you have to grab a spot on their patio! Louisville Beer Store and Holy Grale are owned by the same people.
Lou Lou Food + Drink | St Matthews
I don’t think that this is much of a secret. Even back when this popular Louisville restaurant was on Frankfort Ave, The Lou was very serious about the beers that they offered. Currently, after an ownership change and a fresh look, Cafe Lou Lou still seeks out those quality barrels and bottles from all American beer companies. The beer list has a couple of mainstays, and quite a few rotating handles with some fantastic options from IPAs to Stouts. You don’t really have to know much about beer to order one. The staff knows the beer and they are very helpful in guiding your selection based on what you like and the food you order. I would also recommend attending one of Lous Lou’s beer or wine dinners. A special menu takes the stage and each dish is paired with a particular brewery’s (or winery) offerings, and it never disappoints! They also have great pizza and sandwiches.
Holy Grale | Highlands
Seeing as to how the “theme” of the Holy Grale’s entire operation is centered around beer, it’s safe to say that you will be able to find something you like here. If you go two days in a row, there is good chance that the beer you drank yesterday has been switched out for something else. Holy Grale is constantly rotating their selection and it can really get interesting this way since you basically have to try something new every once in a while. From time to time there are beers on this list that are considered some of the rarest in the world. Don’t worry if you only drink one or two different brands, you will definitely be finding something new here that you will enjoy. Just tell them what you like and they will have a recommendation. Holy Grale has a great patio, too!
Outlook Inn | Highlands
Beer lovers work here, and even though they are most well-known for their delicious bloody mary, the Outlook takes pride in keeping up with regional and national craft beers on tap, in bottles, and in cans. No food to be had at the Outlook Inn, but the convenient location on Baxter Ave puts you right in the mix of delicious eateries in the Highlands. In my opinion, this is also the best place to watch the annual St Patrick’s Parade!
Sergio’s World Beers | Butchertown
What a special place Sergio’s is. Home of the $99 aluminum bottle of Bud Light (which is empty), this place is very unsuspecting. You’ll pass right by it if you’re not careful. Here’s an old shotgun house lined with beer coolers full of pops that you won’t find anywhere else… in the heart of Butchertown. This guy basically travels around and finds all sorts of interesting and rare brews to bring back to Louisville. There are more than 1000 different beers in this place, so finding something that you like shouldn’t be a problem. There are also 30-ish drafts here. So here’s what I do: I grab a draft and walk around the store shopping for my dream 6-pack. Your 6-pack can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on what you buy so choose wisely!
Mellow Mushroom | St Matthews
No, it’s not local, but you can’t deny Mellow Mushroom when it comes to what they do. Their pizzas and their beers are a force to be reckoned with, and the atmosphere is great. They have so many beers on draft that it’s easy to overlook their special bottle board sometimes. When it comes to selection and variety of beers, Mellow Mushroom is right up around the top. Plus, every time I walk into the St Matthews location they are playing good tunes over the house speakers.
Flanagan’s Ale House | Highlands
In the past, Flanagan’s only served beer. They have since expanded their space and their beverage selection as well. Flanagan’s Ale House has always focused on beer, and they still do, with regular special pint nights and keg tapping events. They also have a cooler full of all shapes and sizes of specialty bottles. Flanagan’s loves to support our community, and in general they support a number of charities and local causes. You can usually find these special events on their website.
Louisville is full of establishments that enjoy a good beer. The above spots are part of the best beer lists in Louisville, however this does NOT include local breweries, as they will have their own dedicated post.
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