A Hipster, Still in Kentucky

You know who loves Louisville? Batman. He probably loves beer, too.

Decided to stick around for the second half of my Kentucky Adventure (here is the first half)? You must be a glutton for punishment. When we last left our hero, he was a few hundred miles from home in what seemed to be a craft beer wasteland. In one weekend, I set to prove myself wrong.

Lets go on an adventure!

My first stop of this little trip I had planned was Apocalypse Brew Works, located not even a 10 minute drive from my hotel. The street was empty. The patio area was empty. Gates locked. You getting the idea? They weren't open. Womp Womp. I looked at my watch, it was only 12:30pm, I was about 4.5 hours early! Time to go to the next brewery on the list! About a 15-20 minute drive from where I was, New Albanian Brewing stood, waiting for my arrival.

New Albanian

Each character int he mural, is part of a label of their beers. How cool?!

New Albanian Brewing (technically located in Indiana). Oh man, I fell in love immediately. Cozy little place, very modern looking, lots of bright colors, primary colors, sharp features. Modern and clean. There were about a dozen tables, and a bar in the immediate area I was in when I arrived. If I'm not mistaken, there is another seating area on the other sides of the tanks located directly in the center. I took the first table in front of me, and sat my ass down. Slack jawed, and stupid eyed, I looked around and was just so happy to be there. Only about 45 seconds had passed since my arrival, and I already loved this place. All the beers on tap were displayed above me, each one on its own panel, and beautifully illustrated. I couldn't make my mind up for the life of me, so did the smart thing, and got me a flight. And ordered some food. They had a menu to rival their beer choices. I silently fist pumped in my head.

I had a picture of my flight, but my old stupid phone decided it was corrupted, and I had to delete it. The flight is served in this foot and a half, arched wooden thing. It was kind of elegant, and most importantly, holding my beers. I was so excited. I didn't know what I was getting, because I asked the waitress to "surprise" me, and she seemed all too happy to do just that.

Pulled BBQ pork, with goat cheese.

I have found I am rarely disappointed when
I give the instructions of "just surprise me."
I seriously enjoyed every beer I had. The real standouts were the Conesmoker (a smoked IPA, how different does that sound?), Elector (an imperial red), and the Tafel (A Belgian table beer. I didn't even know that existed). There were still a few I didn't get to try, but again, I enjoyed each beer in that flight.

I was tempted to grab a growler of something, but realized traveling with a growler would be more trouble than I felt like dealing with. I could have bought it, filled it and just left the empty growler when I left, but felt that was a huge waste. So, quick goat thinking, looked over at the bar, and saw they sold Bombers. SCORE! I picked up a bottle of their Back and Blue Grass (style name) And Elector. I haven't drank them yet, but plan to soon! I spent some time chatting with the woman at the bar (an owner I believe), paid my tab, bid a fond farewell, and drove off to the next place.

If you find yourself in New Albany, Indiana, go here. The decor is modern and sharp looking, the food is great, and the beers were some of the best I had in the area. And it wouldn't be right If I didn't mention how AWESOME the label art is.

This was inside the Men's Room

Against the Grain

I drank too much beer, and died.

Alright, the next place! The next place being Against the Grain. Downtown Louisville's own brewery, nestled inside the famous Louisville Slugger Stadium. I had no idea where I was going, so I ended up parking a good 10 blocks way. Ugh. Well, at least I could walk off all the beer I had consumed. Just to make room for more...Walking inside, this place is AMAZING. Huge open ceilings. Everything is brick and wood. There weren't too many people in there, so I grabbed a seat at he relatively empty bar, and ordered me another flight. You'll have to bear with me, as I actually didn't take any pictures. The names are damn hilarious, and the beers were equally as tasty.

Slippery When Tett
Sofa King Wheat Arted
Boom Gose the Dynamite!
Brown Note
Polish Joak

Of all the beers, Polish Joak and Boom Gose the Dynamite were both very well done. Joak is a smoked beer, almost a Pilsner in nature. Crisp, sharp, almost tart. And there is smoke and you're all "WTF?" I love when breweries don't just have your standard IPA on tap, and make an effort to offer something a bit different. Having this, a brown, and a gose on the list show good faith.

I chatted with Sam J. Cruz, el Presidente for a few moments, and told him I'm from Baltimore, and his face lit up. He told me to get in touch, and stay tuned for important and exciting news regarding Baltimore. So now I'm waiting! If it means an AtG brewery coming to Baltimore, I will be stupid excited. I picked up a (really comfortable) t-shirt, finished off the last of my flight, and got the hell out.

The atmosphere was awesome. I really wish I had gotten more pictures. It was relaxed and mellow. the brew tanks were easily visible on the second floor above the bar, through a huge set of windows. All of the exposed brick and wood give it such a rustic feel. And being inside a baseball stadium is admittedly pretty awesome. I bet it is THE place to be when a game is going on.

Against the Grain is ALSO a smokehouse. Unfortunately though, I had already eaten prior, and beer was fighting for every inch of open space inside my belly. But if it's anything like their beer, I bet it is damn good.

Apocalypse Brew Works

Picture this, if you will...It's 5:30 pm. The same patio area, of the same empty brewery from earlier, except this time PACKED with people. I have found the Apocalypse. The place was packed. seriously. I was able to squirm my way to the bar, and found an empty spot at the 4 seat bar. The inside was tiny. Ever been to Relic in Plainville, Ct? You know how it was before Mark moved into the larger portion? Like that. Just a little bigger. Nano Brewery FTMFW! To my left was the tiny area where they had some awesome stuff brewing. The woman who poured my beers was such a wonderful, warm, and kind lady. I feel awful, as I can not remember hers or the gentlemen (who was one of the brewers) that I spoke with, name. I didn't sample ALL the beers, but I sampled a good amount.

They pour more like a bar, full size drinks. You basically pay for a pint. Except in their case, you're getting a red solo cup.I asked if I just get half pours, so she was nice to count two pours of different beers as one beer.I enjoyed, every single damn beer I had. Seriously. From what I learned, Apocalypse Brew Works is a collection of home brewers, who decided to bring about the end of the world. And with the quality of the beers, I hope they don't succeed, because I want to drink this beer all the time.

They had an incredible list for such a small joint. Check it out:

1, 2, 3...10. 10 different beers on tap!

Of the 10, I tried 5 different beers.

Watermelon Crack
Big Bad Barleywine
Fallout Dust
O'Danny Pivo

I strayed out of my comfort zone, ordering both a Barleywine (definitely English style, and DEFINITELY a beer I would drink more of) and a Gluten free (O'Danny Pivo).I enjoyed every beer I tasted, I enjoyed the coziness of it all, and I enjoyed the company. I am actually anxious to get back to Apocalypse Brew Works, as I just about fell in love with every inch of the tiny place, and every drop of beer I had.

Another new t-shirt in hand, and a sticker, I closed the chapter on this awesome beerventure.

So, I guess I'm willing to admit that Kentucky wasn't quite the craft beer wasteland that I thought it was. In fact, there is actually some remarkable beer to be had in Louisville (and Kentucky in general. And next to Louisville). I'd love to make the trip down to Lexington, because I know there is still more beer to be had. Alas, maybe one of these days. And if you find yourself stuck in Kentucky do what I tell you and go to one (or all) of these breweries. In one DAY you can hit all these breweries, but to really enjoy each thing each brewery has to offer, I would keep it to an entire weekend. There is a beer for everyone, at each one of these breweries, and they are all good!

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