Food & Drink

The 17 Best Beer Bars in Louisville

Published On 05/04/2015 Published On 05/04/2015
Courtesy of Jessica Fey
Great Flood Brewing Company
Against The Grain Brewery
River City Drafthouse
New Albanian Brewing Company
Crescent Hill Craft House
The Louisville Beer Store
Courtesy of Flat12 Bierwerks
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1. Nach Bar 969 Charles St, Louisville, KY 40204

On the surface, this Germantown drinkery just your run-of-the-mill, neighborhood bar with a good outdoor area (and it’s dog-friendly!), a great beer selection, and inexpensive drinks. But some would say Nach Bar is the soul of young Louisville’s music-loving, sort-of-hipster, just-wanna-hang-out-somewhere-tonight youth.

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2. Sergio's World Beers 1605 Story Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

When you get to Sergio's in Louisville, you might not be entirely sure you've gotten to Sergio's, with its unassuming sign-less exterior and windows covered with flags from around the world. Once you get inside you might not be entirely sure what's going on, either: the furniture's mismatched, and there are coolers everywhere. But once you start taking in all the tap handles, glassware, and bottle upon bottle (as in roughly 1,200 of them) of amazing beer, you'll feel like you've stepped into the secret basement hideaway of the world's biggest beer geek -- which is kind of true. Brazilian-born owner Sergio Ribenboim has been traveling the globe for decades making connections with brewers and amassing an unparalleled collection. Bring cash. Ask about what's on tap. Prepare to stay a while.

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3. New Albanian Brewing Company 3312 Plaza Dr, New Albany, IN 47150

The granddaddy of the local beer scene, the NABC makes age look good. Go there for endless amounts of great choices (including their own popular creations), and ask for a Bud Light just to watch stunned faces shoot daggers into you.

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4. Holy Grale 1034 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40204

This converted century-old church now works full-service as an artisanal pub specializing in beer and food pairings. The space is equal parts ingenious adaptation and gorgeous design and the menu is always changing, as are the beers. Be sure not to miss the choir loft and the beer garden, and if the Scotch quail eggs are on the menu, order them immediately.

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5. Zanzabar 2100 S Preston St, Louisville, KY 40217

Originally opened in 1938, Zanzabar is one of Germantown’s oldest neighborhood establishments, and has been entertaining its patrons ever since. Home to the city’s only vintage arcade, an intimate live music venue, and a Southern-inspired food and drink menu -- chili-smothered nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, and a few dozen bourbon and whiskey labels -- Zbar is a bustling joint for any occasion. Stop by for a bourbon and have a go at the vintage pinball machines, or spend the night dancing to live music, featured multiple nights per week.

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6. Haymarket Whiskey Bar 331 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202

Haymarket Whiskey Bar has more than 100 bourbons and almost 200 whiskeys, as well as live music four-plus nights a week. If the extensive liquor selection isn't enticing enough, visit for the décor alone: '80s memorabilia, Star Wars posters, old pinball machines, and a gorgeous green glass bar.

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7. Cumberland Brewery 1576 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

Cumberland has thrived for a while as an excellent Highlands neighborhood bar that also produces some solid titles of its own. Parking and seating can be problematic, but it's worth a try, because it features some of the best brews around.

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8. Great Flood Brewing Company 2120 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

Located in the heart of the Highlands, Great Flood churns out some of the tastiest brews in all of the city. Period. There's always a rotating selection of beers, so stop by, pick a favorite, and then do the same thing tomorrow.

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9. Against The Grain Brewery 401 E Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

Damn good beer and damn good barbeque are the hallmarks of downtown Louisville staple Against the Grain, located right at the famous Louisville Slugger field. Since opening their doors, the creative brewing team at Against the Grain have created over 100 unique beers that are so good they've evolved from local brewery to national beer distributor. With a full range of beer types, from light session ales to hop-full IPAs and smoky stouts, Against the Grain has a beer for every drinker. And if you don't drink, then chow down on their house-smoked barbeque, with favorites like brisket and pulled pork sitting alongside vegetarian options, like a signature chickpea sloppy joe, more adventuresome than just another salad.

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10. River City Drafthouse 1574 1/2 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

In the middle of a well-traveled area once the center of Louisville’s counter-culture (hippies, not lunch counter), River City Drafthouse's main attraction is its well-curated selection of craft beers, but try the food, too. You’ll be very satisfied.

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11. Flanagan's Ale House 934 Baxter Ave, Louisville, KY 40204

One of the most traditional, old-school bars around, this Highlands drinkery has been a staple for years. You can try a little of a lot of things here, and if want some ballast, there's a solid menu of bites as well.

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12. Flat12 Bierwerks 130 W Riverside Dr, Jeffersonville, IN 47130

The first spin-off of the Indianapolis brewer has a terrific view. It's located on the water looking at Louisville from the sunny side of the walking bridge. Go here for some unique creations (try the Walkabout) and delicious food options. And get a taste of what the outside world has to offer!