Travel + Leisure named Louisville the No. 7 Best City for Beer Lovers.
Travel + Leisure named Louisville the No. 7 Best City for Beer Lovers.

Just yesterday we caught the mayor toasting Louisville’s thriving beer scene as he announced the creation of a city-wide beer trail called Lou’s Brews. We’ve known for years our beer is superb, and as more and more breweries pop up — there are 14 on the map — it’s no surprise folks outside the 502 would start to take notice.

Earlier this month, Travel + Leisure ranked Louisville at No. 7 on its list of America’s 20 Best Cities for Beer Lovers, beating out the likes of Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Denver, Austin and Nashville. The article mentions our brewing history, which dates back to the late 1800s and includes the invention of the original Kentucky Common style. It also name-drops Bluegrass Brewing Co. and GoodWood, and says we have “solid rankings for live music and quirky locals.”

Louisville's beer scene is on the move.
Louisville’s beer scene is on the move.

Not sure what that means, but we’ll take it.

So what cities didn’t we out-hop? Rounding out the top six are Providence, R.I., Houston, Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Kansas City and Portland (No. 1). founder John Wurth says he isn’t surprised to find Louisville on the list, and he’s glad the rest of the country is finally taking notice of our beer scene.

“It’s come a long way in a short amount of time, and what I love seeing is the growth has not slowed down,” he tells Insider.

He also believes one of the reasons behind our success is that the men and women operating the various breweries around town are a close-knit group — they’re friends more than enemies.

“They don’t see themselves as competitors as much as teammates driving people to drink better beer,” says Wurth.

We’ll drink to that.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."