3rd Turn Brewing will open an adjacent bourbon-themed bar in Jeffersontown. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

3rd Turn Brewing in Jeffersontown has acquired a building next door and converted it into a bourbon-themed bar that will exist as an offshoot of the brewery.

The open date has not yet been determined, nor does the space have an official name, but the buildout is nearly complete. The bar, filled with reclaimed wood largely taken from old bourbon barrels, features a pair of custom murals and custom barrel-stave creations, the latter of which were made by brewery co-owner Ben Shinkle.

One of those creations adorns a wall near the bar in the roughly 2,000-square-foot space; it is a two-dimensional cast of a tree that Shinkle said is from the remains of about 50 barrels. A smaller version adorns another wall.

One of two tree silhouettes made with bourbon barrel staves | Photo by Kevin Gibson

“This is the kind of stuff I think I see in my sleep,” Shinkle tells Insider. “I thought it was a cool idea, and I thought, ‘I wonder if I can make this work?’ ”

The bar, located at 10410 Watterson Trail, will stock about 60 bourbons, many of them having been curated over the past few years by the 3rd Turn ownership team.

The goal is to be added to the Urban Bourbon Trail, so expect popular Kentucky bourbon brands, plus some harder-to-find selections such as an array of Pappy Van Winkle bourbons. The bar will feature a cocktail program that is currently being developed.

In addition, the bar includes 12 taps — one is a nitro tap — that will pour exclusively barrel-aged beers, many of which are bourbon barrel selections 3rd Turn has collected, such as HammerHeart Brewing Company’s Imperial Longship, a barrel-aged imperial Scotch ale, and Founders Backwoods Bastard, a barrel-aged ale.

In the basement, 3rd Turn has several house-brewed beers aging in barrels. Those beers, when ready to serve, will be featured as part of the beer program.

Shinkle, who essentially built out the new space by hand, says the bar will be connected to the brewery by a “massive” deck that will stretch across the back of the two properties. He estimates that deck will be somewhere around 2,500 to 3,000 square feet.

Shinkle estimates the new bar will employ two to three new people, although current 3rd Turn employees will have first shot at the slots.

The custom murals, one of which is complete, are works by Sam Minrath, the daughter of brewery co-owner Brian Minrath. One depicts a farm scene, while the other, which is in progress, will depict the interior of a rick house.

The bar, which doesn’t yet have an official name, will be an extension of the brewery. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Another unique feature of the bar is the presence of partial trees on some walls, giving the illusion the trees have grown into the building. Actually, those tree remnants were acquired from a sawmill. Shinkle says leftover pieces like that usually are burned, but he thought they would make good accents for the bar.

The wood theme doesn’t end there. A standing bar at the front of the space is made from two huge slabs of cherry wood and walnut, while a handmade coffee table was built using various pieces of cast-off wood, including ash, oak, walnut and cherry. The top of the main bar was made from bourbon barrel staves. Seating will be available along the perimeter as well as in a small lounge area.

Music will be provided by a turntable system. Shinkle says customers can feel free to bring in their records to play, or visitors can choose selections from a house collection. So far, the only record in the collection is the soundtrack to “Shaft,” Shinkle says.

“That’s a good one to start with,” he adds.

The bar features seating along one wall, a small lounge with a coffee table and a standing bar. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

It is also worth noting that there are four dancing hippos on one wall just outside the women’s bathroom. That mural was left over from when the space was a dance studio, and the owners decided to leave it up.

“I got outvoted on that one,” Shinkle says with a grin. (Originally, the building served as the offices for The Jeffersonian, a local weekly newspaper. That publication later merged with another to become The Voice-Tribune.)

Asked for an estimated open date, and Shinkle answers the question with another question: “Who knows? It’s taken a lot longer than we planned. We’re making sure we do it right.”

He says the brewery has a space in the works that will provide food to the brewery and new bar, although that remains in the planning stage.

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson covers everything from food to music to beer to bourbon. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono (pissed her off a little, too). Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “Unique Eats & Eateries of Louisville,” among several others. He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies. Check out his website at kevingibsonwriter.com or feel free to call him names on Twitter: @kgramone.


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