We Recommend Great Beer Bars in Kentucky, Alaska, and Wisconsin

Here are the three beer bars that we explored in Issue 9 (October/November 2015) of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®.

Feb 20, 2016 - 6 min read

We Recommend Great Beer Bars in Kentucky, Alaska, and Wisconsin Primary Image

The “Love Handles” department in _Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® _is devoted to great beer bars. Here are the three beer bars that we explored in Issue 9 (October/November 2015).

Holy Grale (Louisville, Kentucky)

This beer bar housed in a renovated church serves up divine brews.

WHAT IT IS: Located in Louisville’s bustling Highlands neighborhood in a former Unitarian Church, Holy Grale (pictured at top) is a destination beer bar that’s reverent about serving great brews. Owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter, who also own the Louisville Beer Store, have created several distinct areas within the unique space, each decorated in a church-inspired theme that also recalls a traditional Belgian pub. The main bar serves an ever-changing selection from its twenty taps, while seven more taps upstairs, in a hushed space dubbed the Choir Loft, are reserved for the rarest-of-the-rare. An intimate beer garden out back feels like an urban oasis and is a great place to sip beer under the night sky.

WHY IT’S GREAT: Bourbon is ubiquitous in Kentucky, but not at Holy Grale. You also won’t find wine, cocktails, or anything else that distracts from the beer-focused theme. The selection is generally split among seasonal and one-off offerings from breweries such as Three Floyds, Founders, and Evil Twin and imports from the likes of Cantillon, Boon, and Brasserie de la Senne. The food menu features upscale Southern comfort food with a twist. Each dish is designed to pair with a specific beer style, which the cicerone-certified servers are happy to suggest. —Tom Wilmes


Hours: 4 p.m.–1 a.m. Monday–Thursday, 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Friday, 1 p.m.–2 a.m. Saturday, 1 p.m.–midnight Sunday
Address: 1034 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse (Anchorage, Alaska)

Snag whales at this last-frontier classic.

WHAT IT IS: Named after Alaskans’ nickname for the hunchback (humpback) pink salmon, Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse and its picture-perfect sign were going to be a success with camera-toting tourists regardless of the beer they served. Luckily for the Anchorage-ites and visitors alike, the owners’ passion for good beer (and food) has ensured that it’s a local’s favorite and a must-stop for any beer-loving tourist.

WHY IT’S GREAT: While Anchorage has a population that is only a little more than 300,000, the state draws almost two million visitors annually. Between the two, the thirst for great beer is high, and Humpy’s fifty-four taps and a small—but respectable—bottle list present the best options for quenching it. The draft list is strong on Alaskan beers, and the beer buyers’ discriminating palates do a stellar job of zeroing in on the cream of the crop. Be sure to check out local favorites King Street Brewing and Glacier Brewhouse. The real draw, though, is finding rare gems such as Midnight Sun’s Sloth Belgian Imperial Stout or Anchorage Brewing Company one-offs gracing the beer-menu pages. The high-end pub-style fare focuses on local seafood (particularly Alaskan king crab), and part-owner Billy Opinsky has been known to pour vintage Cantillon and other whales from the stupid-deep cellar at their occasional beer dinners. —Patrick Dawson


Hours: 11 a.m.–2 a.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m. –2:30 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. –2:30 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sunday
Address: 610 W. 6th Ave., Anchorage, AK

Über Tap Room and Cheese Bar (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Pair your favorite Wisconsin cheese with Wisconsin craft beer at this unique taproom.

WHAT IT IS: Über is a Wisconsin experience with an artisan cheese shop and a craft-beer taproom in one friendly establishment. It’s just cheesy enough with an oversized cow to greet you and cheese wedges available to garnish your pint. But with thirty-six taps, serious cheese plates, and local Usinger sausages, Über provides beer lovers with a new standard for flavor pairings.

WHY IT’S GREAT: Select Wisconsin cheese is paired expertly with Wisconsin craft beer. Try the Old German Favorites plate with Smoked Brick, Butterkase, Saint Rocco Brie, and Limburger paired with 3 Sheeps’ Cashmere Hammer, a stout on nitro brewed with chocolate rye malts and finishing like silk. Or opt for Beer Line, a barleywine-style ale from Lakefront. It’s fruity and malty, with caramel and toffee packing a punch at a boozy 12 percent ABV, and a grand choice to stand up to the stinky cheese. Sproose from Black Husky Brewing also tempted me, and it proved to be an impressive experiment heavy on spruce but quite unique and enjoyable. Go for lunch because the kitchen closes early (7 p.m. or 8 p.m.) or stop in for $5 Beer Flight Thursdays or $3 Tap Fridays—serious values for excellent beer and flavor pairings you won’t soon forget. —Sara Dumford

Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sunday–Wednesday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday & Saturday
Address: 1048 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee, WI

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