There are currently four locations where Bluegrass Brewing Company can call home. The first, and probably my favorite due to its space and atmosphere, is the taproom on Clay and Main. It was one of the first “bars” I visited when I moved down to Louisville. The second is their 4th Street location where I have taken many a out-of-towners and slogged back a few beers before listening to the music legend known as John Prine. Their third location is in the heart of St. Matthews, I run by it a lot and one time OD’d on their garlic fries. The last is their newest location on 3rd and Main, across from the new arena (if you haven’t checked it out…you should, their bar is amazing.).
Needless to say, BBC is the signature Louisville microbrew. They hold stock in this city and can be found in a majority of bars, even those establishments where Budweiser is consumed more often than water. BBC (and hopefully NABC) will be the beer of choice at my wedding reception in April at Riverbend Winery. Although I have a feeling I will be doing more talking than drinking Bourbon Barrel Stouts. To me, their signature beer is the Bourbon Barrel Stout. Kentucky is bourbon country for god’s sake. My friend at Kelvin Cooperage (unless they changed) actually provides them with the bourbon barrels, so for me, drinking the beer is supporting him and also BBC at the same time.
A running couple friend of ours gave us a call and suggested we meet for drinks. I was downstairs working on my beer cellar and figured, ahh what the hell, I needed a break. I suggested St. Matthews (it’s convenient for us both) and had my fingers crossed they would choose BBC. Another local blogger (www.justdrinkbeer.com) had told me they had a good selection the night prior. Ashley and I went up early and grabbed a beer and waited for a table to open up. I chose the Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy and she chose what I wanted (which is usually typical), Pat’s Barleywine.
The Bourbon Barrel Wee Heavy is a scotch ale which has been aged in, you guess it, bourbon barrels. I’ve made a beer somewhat similar, my Kelvins Kilt Ale. Since it had a higher ABV, it was poured in a shorter glass. I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t my favorite beer on the night, but I thought it was good. On the other hand, Pat’s Barleywine was fantastic. Exactly like a b should be, but with a little more hops upfront than normal. Most barleywines have a very strong malt-presence at first and then the hops tag along quite nicely at the end. This barleywine was hops, malt, then hops. Very well-balanced.
Sidenote: Let it be known, although BBC is known for it’s beer, I’ve never had anything their food-wise that hasn’t been good. I have an obsession with their pretzel buns.
For our next selection, I chose the Sam N’ Adams Bustin Lager and Ashley chose the One Two Tree ( I think that’s what it was called, I didn’t write anything down and tried to use memory, a skill which hasn’t been that productive when drinking). One Two Tree was an ESB, very hoppy if I recall from the small sip I was allowed.. Our server recommended it and Ashley was pretty pleased with her selection. I chose the Bustin Lager because it was a beer I haven’t tried yet and it also clocked in at 80 IBUs, oh, and the name was pretty clever. Bustin Lager was an Imperial Red Ale which had a pretty good nose on it and an even better taste. Just the right about of hops fit into the tulip glass. Of the night, it was my favorite beer overall.
My last selection was my usual go-to beer at BBC, their Dark Star Porter. A perennial favorite of mine partly because it reminds me of Dark Star Orchestra, an amazing Grateful Dead band.
Before we left, I perused the cooler and looked over a few bombers that I needed to add to my selection, but saved them for another day. Overall, we left with a full stomach and pretty pleased with our drink selection for a casual Saturday evening. As always, BBC always gets this guys nod of approval.