Adam Watson, one of the owners of Against the Grain Brewery, has seen a steady number of competitors start brewing beer in Louisville since his East Main Street facility opened in 2011. And he welcomes all new brewers to town — with one caveat.
“The only new breweries that I fear are ones that make bad beer,” he said with a laugh.
Just last year, Gravely Brewing Co. and Holsopple Brewing Co. opened their doors in Louisville, a market with more than a dozen breweries already operating. Also in 2017, Great Flood Brewing Co. opened a production facility in Shelby Park to complement its Bardstown road brewhouse. The production facility eventually will be home to a second taphouse for the Louisville brand.
False Idol Independent Brewers is slated to open this summer. On top of that, Bluegrass Brewing Co., Holsopple, Against the Grain, Falls City Brewing Co., Goodwood Brewing Co., Old Louisville Brewery and 3rd Turn Brewery all are working on or recently finished expansion projects.
And it’s looking likely that the new Butchertown soccer stadium — which is slated for completion in early 2020 — will include some type of brewhouse as part of the project.
That’s a lot of beer in a city this size, but it doesn’t bother Watson or most others in the industry.
“We all kind of realize that as the industry grows, so do we all. I think we’ve got quite a lot of growth left in us (in Louisville). And I think the pace we’ve maintained for the past few years is going to continue,” he said.
Beer experts say the growth is both natural and likely to continue, because Louisville — and Kentucky as a whole — is way behind the beer curve.