Louisville has truly become a destination for the craft beer scene. With three great breweries and restaurants serving local beers, it’s no wonder beer lovers flock to the peaceful town. If you haven’t been, here’s what to check out when you visit:
12 Degree Brewing
This Main Street brewery has a lively, fun atmosphere. It’s the spot to hit if you’re looking for something a little different since they only brew Belgian-inspired Artisanal Ales. Choose from options such as Walter’s White, a fresh tasting Belgian white brewed with coriander and orange peel; Foxx Rougge, a Strong Ale with flavors of caramel, fig, raisin, date and plum or Soleil Saison, a lighter tasting Belgian Farmhouse Ale that’s fruity with a spicy aroma. Staying true to the Belgian course, nibble of authentic frites, house-made pretzels or flatbreads. On certain days, you can please your sweet tooth (and beer tooth) with a plate of chocolates with beer suggestions for each.
12 Degree Brewing, 820 Main Street, 720-638-1623
Tucked away near downtown Louisville, you’ll find Gravity, a brewery serving outstanding beer in a low-key, welcoming tap room. If you’re looking for something bold, opt for Tsar Bomba, a big Russian Imperial Stout with flavors of molasses and brown sugar. Jubileum also packs a kick since it’s brewed with pink, black and green peppercorns. At 5.1% ABV and with a rounded bitterness, the Session IPA is a nice option if you’re looking to have a few. Worldwide Vittles is serving traditional bar grub with an elevated twist that goes perfect with beer. German Nachos consist of pretzels topped with brats, cheddar cheese, kraut, pickles, peppers, onions, mustard and horseradish. Pickled jalapenos are stuffed with Cuban pork, cream cheese and Colby jack cheese. The experience is complete with live music, ping pong and pool.
Gravity Brewing, 1150 Pine St., 303-544-0746
Crystal Springs Brewing Co.
Founder Tom Horst describes the atmosphere here as comfortable, welcoming and happy. With 13 distinctive beers on tap and new beers produced once a month, it’s no surprise that it’s a happy place. Butch Pale Ale is described as something between an American Pale Ale and an IPA, and Doc’s American Porter has a robust chocolate, roast flavor. If you’re looking for something a bit out-of-the, try the rum barrel aged porter (DRUM), Stagecoach, a bourbon barreled aged black IPA, or the Solano chili beer that’s brewed with Hatch chili peppers from Weber, Colorado.
Crystal Springs Brewing Co., 657 S. Taylor Ave., 303-665-8888
In addition to the breweries, you’ll also find great beer amongst the eclectic list of restaurants in Louisville. For starters, Lucky Pie Pizza & Tap House (637 Front Street, 303-666-5743) has 21 beers on tap with an emphasis on small local breweries. On the tap list you’ll find a handful of favorites, but they also like to mix it up with seasonal brews and new beers. Besides the taps, they also carry hard to find bottles and bombers. Craft beer is celebrated here with events such as the stout celebration, tap takeovers from certain breweries and most festive, the 12 Beers of Christmas where each day two weeks before Christmas, they debut a new holiday beer. The best part of this spot with a neighborhood joint feel, is they are debunking that dated negative connotation of pizza and beer as a cheap, go-to combo that’s not made well. The food menu is built to pair well with beer, the staff is trained to confidently make beer selections on menu items and chefs often use beer while creating recipes.
Other restaurant options include, Waterloo (809 S. Main Street, 303-993-2094), which has a few Colorado craft beers on draft including Upslope Craft Lager, Avery IPA and Odell’s 90 Shilling. Swing by for the Loo Hour (3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) daily for a $3 Pint O’ The Day. Munch on $3 plates that go well with beer – a brisket slider, chili lime wings or cheese quesadillas. The Zagat rated Empire Lounge and Restaurant (816 Main St., 303-665-2521) is serving Lefthand Milk Stout Nitro and Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale along with nice accompaniments such as Hoisin pork ribs, cheese and meat plates and guacamole and chips.