meet demand for varied tastes
growing for craft beer,
giving rise to new fundraisers
Helen E. McKinney
(November 2012) Roger Baylor knows his beer.
He knows the perfect combination of water, yeast, grain and hops to
brew an appealing batch of craft beer that has made his microbrewery
successful for over a decade.
He said science and an art go hand in hand when crafting good beer.
Without the science, the art suffers and vice versa. I believe
one must know the rules and then break them with impunity.
Baylor began the New Albanian Brewing Co. in 2002 in New Albany, Ind.
By that time, he had already been in business as a pizzeria and public
house for 15 years. We were renowned for our draft and bottled
beer lists, all of which came from elsewhere.
He said that as good as you are at selling other peoples
beers, theres still a glass ceiling: Theyre not your ideas.
To brew your own beers is to have and implement your own vision.
His vision has not dimmed after all this time. He credits his microbrewerys
success to that whole inspiration-perspiration thing, he
said. Baylor has always had good luck in finding good people, retaining
many key players and replacing those who moved on with good new people.
We work a lot, stay true to the ideals and reinvent ourselves
often without compromising what folks already like: 25 years for the
pizzeria, 20 for the public house, 10 for the brewer and almost four
for Bank Street Brewhouse.
Baylor is among a growing number of beer meisters who have tapped the
tastes of beer lovers throughout the region, both in Indiana and Kentucky.
In fact, there are 10 breweries in the Louisville metro area and many
more across the two states. Brew houses and microbrewery restaurants
are drawing crowds and attracting many fans. Statewide associations
also have formed to help grow the industry, both legislatively and educationally
to cultivate even more brewers.
For instance, Baylor sits on the board of directors for the Brewers
of Indiana Guild and is a member of the national Brewers Association.
Both are great sources of information and assistance, he
in the Region
microbrewery is a brewery that produces a limited amount of year
annually. In the United States, the American Brewers Association
defines microbreweries as those that produce less than 15,000
gallons a year. A brewpub brews and sells beer on the premises.
In recent years, the term microbrewery has come to
reflect an alternative attitude and approach to brewery flexibility,
adaptation and experimentation.
The Pub, 719 W. Main St. (812) 274-2794
Louisville Area Breweries
Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. (502) 515-0174
Apocalypse Brew Works, 1612 Mellwood Ave. (502)
BBC Brewpub, 3929 Shelbyville Rd. (502) 899-7070
BBC on Theater Square, 660 S. Fourth St. (502) 568-2224
BBC Brewpub, 330 W. Main St. (502) 562-0007
BBC Main Production Brewery, 636 E. Main St. (502)
Cumberland Brews, 1576 Bardstown Rd. (502) 458-8727
Falls City Beer, 545 Barret Ave.
Regional Kentucky Breweries
Beer Engine, 107 Larrimore Lane, Danville, Ky. (859)
Country Boy Brewing, 436 Chair Ave., Lexington,
Ky. (859) 554-6200
Kentucky Ale, 401 Cross St., Lexington, Ky.
Lore Brewing, 471 Whirlaway Dr., Danville, KY. (859)
West Sixth Brewing Co., 501 W. Sixth St., Lexington,
New Albanian Brewing Co., 3312 Plaza Dr., New Albany,
Ind. (812) 944-2577
New Albanian Bank Street Brewhouse, 415 Bank St.,
New Albany, Ind. (812) 725-9585
Upland Brewing Co., 350 W. 11th St., Bloomington,
Ind. (812) 336-2337
Bloomington Brewing Co., 1795 E. 10th St., Bloomington,
Craft Beer Resources
Even in towns as small as Madison and Bloomington in Indiana,
microbreweries are taking hold. Upland Brewery Co. in Bloomington has
been making and selling its beer since 1998. Just last year, Madison
home brewer Scott Stoner opened The Pub, where he makes several beers
on site in the former Trolley Barn on Main Street.
Madison needed something different. And I had a lot of fun making
beer, Stoner said, whose business also include a sushi restaurant
called Sakka Blue.
Many of the larger breweries not only sell their beers on site at restaurants
but also vend at festivals throughout the region. In fact, Upland and
New Albanian have sold their beers at Madisons RiverRoots Festival,
held on the riverfront each May.
Last year, festival organizers added a new element by holding craft
beer workshop to help educate others on the art of beer making. At the
Halfway to RiverRoots Festival, set for Saturday, Nov. 10,
at the Livery Stable in Madison, several microbrewery will be represented
to help promote their beers as a way of promoting the folk music event,
said Don Clapham, a festival committee member and himself a home brew
Other established organizations and nonprofit entities are taking note
of the craft beer craze. Just this past August the Louisville Zoo sold
out its ninth annual Brew at the Zoo microbrew beer festival
at $40 per person.
The event has proven to be successful at numerous zoos across
the country, and we began hosting Brew at the Zoo in 2003, said
Kyle Shepherd, Media Relations Manager for the zoo. Featured were more
than 30 craft breweries, 40 restaurants, live music, a selection of
local wines for guests to enjoy, interactive animal encounters and two
art activity areas.
Every year the crowd really enjoys Brew at the Zoo, said
Shepherd. Some brewers tap signature pours at various times throughout
the event and those are always a big draw.
This years event drew more than 3,000 attendees and raised nearly
$100,000 to support the mission of the Louisville Zoo, Shepherd said.
Tickets were sold out a record 10 days before the event.
And the Louisville Science Center on Oct. 11 held its inaugural beer
tasting event exBEERiment that focused on home brewing.
This event featured local and eclectic beer tastings and information
about home brewing from microbreweries in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
We found a lot of interest in local home breweries, said
Mark Sieckman, spokesperson for the Kentucky Science Center. We
wanted to dive deeper into the science behind it.
event at the
Center on Oct. 11
drew a large
crowd of craft
About 200 people attended to listen and speak with those
in the craft beer industry, he said. We had a ton of local interest
in it, especially from young professionals.
Sieckman said people are clamoring for something outside of the
norm. Beer is an old concept, but the Kentucky Science Center
is taking a new look at it.
While festivals offer beer makers a chance to introduce their products
to new markets, it is the mass production for restaurants that represent
the bulk of the profits by generating repeat business and a fan base
among beer lovers. For beer makers, it offers a chance for immediate
feedback from beer lovers as they try to find the next beer concoction
to meet the season or the taste buds.
New Albanys Baylor says being in the good beer bar business
for so long before brewing gave me a wide grounding in styles and traditions.
It gave him the opportunity to observe what people liked and how they
Baylor said he invested very little in start up expenses on the original,
small brewery in 2002. By 2009, the business had expanded to include
a second location in the Bank Street Brewhouse. He had also acquired
a brand new brewing system that was roughly four times larger than the
Between that and rehabbing the building and getting up and started,
we have a bit shy of $1 million in Bank Street Brewhouse, he said.
For anyone seeking advice in beginning their own microbrewery, Baylor
said that one of the most important things is the simplest thing: have
good beer. You dont need to make many beers. Just a few
good ones and you can grow from there.
Baylor has always employed a head brewer. The current head brewer is
David Pierce, who has been brewing beer professionally for almost 20
years. Pierce is well-trained, compulsive and relentless in terms
of commitment to consistency and quality, said Baylor.
by Patti Watson
beer brewing hobbyist
Scott Stoner of Hanover, Ind., last
year opened The Pub microbrewery
and restaurant in the former Trolley
Barn on Madison, Ind.s Main Street.
He makes several varieties of beer
there and also operates a sushi
restaurant across the hallway.
Piece is able to brew new recipes, while embracing many
of Baylors older ones. Baylor often consults with the brew team,
therefore playing a major role in the process as well. The artistic
process is a lot like bands writing music, performing, learning and
Adam Watson is president of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers and one of
four owners of Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse. Other owners
include Jerry Gnagy, Sam Cruz and Andrew Ott. The microbrewery restaurant
is located at Slugger Field in downtown Louisville in the same building
that previously housed Brownings Brewery.
Watson said the goal of the guild is to provide a unified voice for
its members. The organization has definitely been very active,
he said. Watson was appointed to the Governors Task Force on the
Study of Kentuckys Alcoholic Beverage Control Laws.
A University of Louisville law school graduate, Watson chose to learn
the beer making business rather than practice law upon graduation. As
a beer-making lawyer, he is well versed in the legal process, which
comes in handy for representing beer makers in the state Legislature.
by Don Ward
the Grain Brewery opened
last year in the former location
of Brownings Brewery at Louisvilles
Slugger Field. The owners,
including Adam Watson,
previously worked across town
at Bluegrass Brewing Co.
He said the guild helps aid in cross promotion of microbreweries
through advertising where all can benefit. Economic capabilities
also exist when being a member of the guild, which he hopes will tap
into educational seminars and share information such as new hop strains
and brewing techniques.
The Brewers of Indiana Guild reports there are 49 breweries in the state
with another 12 on tap. Watson said there are 16 licensed breweries
in the state of Kentucky.
Watson and the other owners of Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse
brewed at other businesses, including the BBC Brewery in Louisville,
before opening their own microbrewery. We were proud of what we
did, said Watson, 29.
Start up costs were expensive for the group. It was very capital-intensive,
said Watson. We needed a great deal of equipment. Between
the brewery and the restaurant, Watson said Against the Grain employs
about 45 people.
Since the microbrewery began in October 2011, it has produced up to
75 varieties of beer. The business has a lot of what Watson termed creative
leeway because it is Louisvilles only brewer-owned pub.
than 3,000 people attended
the ninth annual Brew at the Zoo
microbrew and wine festival at the
Louisville Zoo in August. The fundraiser
benefitted the Friends of the Zoo.
Watson said the business keeps a broad flavor of categories
and rotates the beer in those categories-malt, dark, hop, smoke, session
and whip. Many flavors are seasonal which guarantees something new
and interesting on tap.
Unlike the larger beer companies, microbreweries are flexible in their
ingredients, he said. We dont have to roll out hundreds
of gallons of the same beer. Were versatile in that we respect
the customers needs.
Like Baylor, Watson doesnt view the relationship between
breweries as a competitive one. Most craft beer drinkers dont
drink just one beer; they go around and test others.
Watson likes to attend events that promote the craft beer industry and
gets information out to the public. We try to go around to as
many events as we can. This also gives us an advantage over the big
by Don Ward
Bardstown Road in Louisville has
been serving up microbrew
beer since 2000.
Watson learned his techniques by trial and error. So far
he has been successful even though Im as small as I can
be as far as breweries go.
In his concoctions, Watson has tried to stay as true to homebrewing
as possible and the basics of beer, he said. Ive done a
lot of test batches.
Watson advises anyone getting into the business to do a lot of
research. Its as much a process as the legal and accounting ends
He urges those interested in learning the beer-making trade to pay a
visit to My Old Kentucky Homebrew beer and wine making equipment supply
store at 1437 Story Ave. in Louisville. Store owner Paul Young not only
sells the equipment but promotes education of it through workshops and
classes. In fact, free home brewing classes are held each Wednesday
Watson said he sees a combination of competition and cooperation among
microbreweries in the area. We support each other. If we didnt,
wed die out.
As far as growing his business at the Against the Grain Brewery, Were
not looking at getting large, said Watson.
If youre not enjoying brewing, then you dont need
to be brewing.
Editor Don Ward contributed to this report.
Back to November 2012