I’m a sucker for Louisville breweries. When my wife and I started searching for a place to live a few years back, Louisville quickly made it to the top of our list. I’m not going to say that the breweries are the reason we moved here, but the blossoming craft beer scene in Kentucky certainly didn’t hurt. What I like most about it is that the breweries don’t just have their own identity, but one that’s specific to something special about Louisville. Old Louisville Brewery, which opened a little over a month ago, definitely follows this tune. And while they certainly had their struggles to get opened, it was well worth the wait, as they’re off to a fantastic start with a unique and growing selection of brews.
Old Louisville is known largely for its historic architecture, and Old Louisville Brewery has done an awesome job of preserving the historic charm of its building. From the exposed brick to the hand-crafted bar and furniture, owners Wade and Ken Mattingly have clearly gone out of their way to create a space that’s not only charming and beautiful, but one that speaks to what makes the neighborhood special. They also welcome dogs, which this guy was pretty stoked about:
While they don’t have any food options available, they have a revolving list of local food trucks, not to mention a wealth of nearby delivery options. With this, they’ve done a great job of embracing not only the neighborhood, but the local restaurant scene, too. And, if you’re unfamiliar with Louisville, the food here is pretty fantastic. My recommendation? Have a sandwich brought in from Slice. They’re relatively new to the Old Louisville neighborhood, but their ownership is far from inexperienced, having come from Li’l Cheezers, a Louisville staple.
I ordered a flight of the four house beers: a rye IPA, a stout, a brown ale, and a summer pale. The rye IPA — aptly titled Wade’s RyePA — is a great take on the style. It’s bold but approachable, and it’s easy to get to the bottom of. It’s much more than hops, too, making it a great option for not only hop fanatics, but the casual beer drinker as well.
The stout impressed, too. With a milky, chocolate flavor, this one has a small bite at the end that makes it both a smooth and enjoyable treat. While it’s a smoother, creamier option, it isn’t too overbearing for the heat, meaning you can enjoy a few as summer finishes up. The brown ale was a little disappointing. I’ve heard reports that something went wrong with the brewing process on this one, which might explain the off flavor, but it wasn’t a favorite of mine. It was a light option, and there were hints of a nice, toasty flavor, so I’m confident that they’ll get it worked out as they keep growing their repertoire of beers.
The last beer I had was the summer pale, which was another great option. The day I came in was just after a rain, so the summer humidity was thick, and this was exactly what I was looking for out of a drink. It comes out bright and clear, with some moderate hoppy flavors that are crisp and refreshing.
Overall, Wade and Ken over at Old Louisville Brewery are off to a fantastic start. They’ve quickly established themselves as not only a neighbor staple, but as a fingerprint on the ever-growing Louisville brewery scene. If you’re interested in learning more, check out their interview with Michael Moeller on the Building Breweries podcast. There, they speak at length about their opening process, some of the unique beers they have on the docket, and more.
What breweries have you been checking out lately? Let me know in the comments section below!