Good Beer Makes Good Neighbors — that’s the slogan at Old Louisville Brewery (OLB), a former grocery store that has become a craft beer and community hotspot at 625 West Magnolia Avenue.
Brothers Wade and Ken Mattingly opened the microbrewery in July 2016 with a five-barrel system that can be divided into 2 1/2-barrel batches, which means they can brew two beers at the same time for their continually changing menu.
One of the most popular choices on their 12 taps is Wade’s RyePA, which a reviewer for LEO Weekly described as “a flavorful, citrusy beer with hints of spice,” but no matter what OLB brews, perhaps a good corollary to their slogan would be Good Water Makes Good Beer.
“The quality of the water is extremely important,” Wade said, “and since Louisville Water has a good product, it makes our job easier.”
He learned about our water quality even before OLB opened its doors. Wade has extensive experience in the construction industry, and Ken has been a home beer brewer for more than two decades, so they combined their expertise to start developing the OLB concept in 2013. The brothers bought the building on Magnolia the next year, and they had to completely gut and rebuild the structure. When they started installing the brewing equipment, they asked another local microbrewer for advice on treating the water. Wade says they were told that Louisville’s water was great for making beer, and they didn’t need to do much of anything, so the only treatment equipment OLB has installed is a simple charcoal filter that reduces chlorine.
Wade also noted that he’s been pleased with the service he’s received from Louisville Water. Staff members “really went above and beyond to get us hooked up,” he said, and he pointed out that a Louisville Water employee was among his first customers on OLB’s opening night.
The brewery also has joined the “purely local” program, a series of partnerships Louisville Water has formed with local businesses and other organizations that use and serve our water. We offer the businesses an array of Louisville pure tap®-branded items, including water pitchers, signage and pet drinking bowls. At OLB, customers can help themselves to water from a faucet branded with a Louisville pure tap® label.
Louisville Water also supplies branded bio-
compostable cups that OLB uses during special events — and there have been a lot of them, including Bingo Night, Star Wars Trivia Night and Harry Potter Night, which even featured nonalcoholic OLB Butterbeer. Wade says the events have help the brewery build a strong sense of community.
“I’ve always wanted it to be a place where people can unwind, get to know each other and meet new friends,” he said.
OLB is also family friendly. It’s even dog friendly. Canine companions are welcome both on the patio and in the tap room.
Wade noted that kids are big fans of the pure tap-branded faucet. It’s located next to a popcorn machine, and it’s the one tap that they can drink from, but OLB also plans to produce its own craft soft drinks, which, of course, will be made from Louisville water too.