Press Clippings

Draft Magazine – America’s 100 best beer bars: 2012

January 2012

Pubs, dives, taverns, canteens, watering holes and holes-in-the-wall: Once again, we’ve surveyed the lay of the beer-bar land and found 100 one-off spots where there’s a barstool any beer lover can call home.

HOLY GRALE | Louisville, Ky.

Local bottle-shop owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter shook up Louisville’s sleepy beer scene when they opened Holy Grale last year, and hooked up 20 taps to stuff you’ve always wished you could try (Goose Island Pepe Nero, Three Floyds Broodoo) and pours you’ve never heard of (Alvinne Kerasus). Genius takes on traditional pub grub—think Scotch Kentucky Quail eggs covered in farm-fresh bratwurst—always manage to lure you away from a totally liquid lunch. 1034 Bardstown Rd.,

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Food & Wine: Best Sliders in the U.S.

Best Sliders in the U.S. 

December 2011

Once the territory of greasy diners and fast food chains, “sliders” originally referred to thin mini-burgers in squishy potato buns. While purists can still find this classic version, America’s obsession with haute comfort food has inspired chefs to adopt the term for any shrunken sandwich. Now, buzzy ingredients like pork belly or ahi tuna stand in for ground beef, and condiments might include miso aioli over ketchup or house-made kimchi in place of grilled onions. —Julie Alvin

Louisville, KY 

A gastropub from Louisville Beer Store owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter, Holy Grale pairs indie brews such as Dogfish Head with substantial bar snacks like sliders. Indiana’s third-generation Fiedler Family Farms supplies the beef for mini cheeseburgers topped with local cheddar and house-smoked bacon; short rib sliders feature house-made kimchi on a pretzel bun.

Photo © Jessica Fey Photography 

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Wall Street Journal: Day at the Races

The Wall Street Journal
MAY 7, 2011
Louisville, Ky.

Days at the Races

Think of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, now in its 137th year, as a long-running party that Louisville throws for its out-of-town guests. For the 150,000 or so revelers who annually land (some face-down) upon the city, Louisville is a gracious host who enjoys breaking out big hats and offering up mint juleps while debating whether hometown jockey Calvin Borel will make it his fourth Derby win in five years. But once the last guests have emptied from the Churchill Downs infield, the north-central Kentucky town is just as happy having a quiet evening to itself. Well, not that quiet—one horse race isn’t all Louisville has going for it. A few weeks before Derby, Thunder Over Louisville, North America’s biggest annual fireworks display, marks the city’s unofficial start of spring. After the drab winter, Louisvillians shoot from the starting gate, resuming their rituals of picnicking in the 389-acre, Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cherokee Park, dining al fresco along the nearby Bardstown Road and taking in Louisville Bats Class AAA baseball games at Louisville Slugger Field. Last year, the 1875-founded Churchill Downs added lights to its track, making way for the Friday night social-coaster that is Downs After Dark, a stylish but less formal, exorbitant and crowded affair than the Derby. Located on the Indiana border, Louisville manages to be both genteel South and sensible Midwest. One local house of worship recently attracted press for its bring-your-guns-to-church day, while another nabbed headlines by refusing to sign marriage licenses for straight couples until gay unions were legally accepted too.

Insider’s View of Louisville

Locals are boastful of native sons who made the big time, like Muhammad Ali and the late Hunter S. Thompson. Yet Louisville took decades to commemorate “The Greatest,” five years ago honoring the boxer with the Muhammad Ali Center, an arts-and-social-events hub along its Ohio River banks. Two blocks over, downtown’s hotel scene emerged from the Jazz Age in 2006 when 21c Museum Hotel debuted its forward-thinking concept, nesting 90 lodgings atop the U.S.’s first museum devoted to 21st-century art. Just east of downtown, in NuLu (New Louisville) and Butchertown, boutiques, galleries and cafés are hanging fresh “open” signs. Dinner with speakeasy drinks at 732 Social and brunch at Toast on Market the next day are a winning exacta bet. While food-wise Kentucky is best known for being the home of KFC, Louisville’s cuisine goes beyond 11-herbs-and-spices fare. Recent palate-pleasing openings like Eiderdown and Hammerheads have boosted working-class Germantown to the leaders’ pack. Post-Derby, a breezy spring visit is best: The ponies will be racing…the city, not. As it witnessed in 2009, when Mr. Borel brought the gelding Mine That Bird from dead-last to win the Kentucky Derby, Louisville knows that success doesn’t come at a consistently breakneck pace.

—Zach Everson

The Chef


Co-owner and chef of 610 Magnolia restaurant; “Iron Chef America” winner

Sea Biscuits: Seviche. In a town where steak and potatoes dominate, it’s a refreshing change of pace to feast on chef Anthony Lamas’s Latin-inspired cuisine. The seafood dishes are prepared with sharp, bold flavors. 1538 Bardstown Rd.,

Tanning Bed:The Leatherhead. When you’ve got clients like Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, you can afford to be quirky. But the owners’ works—from guitar straps to handbags—will change the way you look at leather. 1601 Bardstown Rd.,

Artful Lodgings:21c Museum Hotel. This boutique hotel combines the art of luxury with the luxury of modern art. It has a trendy bar and the best men’s bathroom ever.
702 W. Main St.,

Maximum-Minimal: Scout. In the Market Street district, it’s great for cool home furnishings. Minimalist and cutting edge, without being cold. You walk in looking for a mirror and leave with a cool coasters stack. 742 E. Market St.,

Spirits Lifter: Holy Grale. The quest for the perfect beer ends at this Highlands newcomer housed in a former church. Complete with religious objets d’art and a gastro-pub menu, its beers come from around the world. 1034 Bardstown Rd.,


Travel + Leisure July 2011

Chefs’ Favorite U.S. Restaurants

United States of Deliciousness, July 2011

Holy Grale tacos
Photo by Jessica Fey


“After service I like to unwind with a beer, so I’m nuts about a new geeked-out beer bar called Holy Grale (1034 Bardstown Rd., Louisville; 502/459-9939; dinner for two $20). I’m there four nights a week these days—relaxing at the end of the bar, nursing an obscure Belgian beer, and ordering chorizo tacos or a fried Scotch quail egg that’s to die for.” —Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, 610 Magnolia St., Louisville; 502/636-0783.

NYT 36 Hours in Louisville

36 Hours in Louisville, Ky.

March 2011

Christian Hansen for The New York Times

From left At Jack Fry’s, once a haven for bootleggers and bookies; the legendary Churchill Downs; and the Muhammad Ali Center, honoring Louisville’s native son.


LOUISVILLE bolts into the public eye for 120 seconds each May, but there is more to this courtly city on the Ohio River than the Kentucky Derby. The last decade has seen a cultural and civic blooming, with new galleries, restaurants and performance spaces taking their place alongside the city’s already robust roster of seductions. Entire neighborhoods — Butchertown, for instance, and East Market — have been reimagined as engines of cultural and culinary expression. Regardless of the changes, Derby City retains its easy charm — a glass of fine bourbon and good conversation aren’t hard to find. And for the record, it’s pronounced “LOU-uh-vull.”



6 p.m.

More than 45 different watering holes line the roughly two miles of the Bardstown Road-Baxter Avenue corridor, from elegant restaurants to sticky-floored dives. Sandwiched among them are cafes, galleries specializing in regional ceramics and woodwork, and shops selling vintage clothing and jewelry, musical instruments and Louisville-themed curiosities. A welcome addition is the Holy Grale (1034 Bardstown Road; 502-459-9939; Recently opened in a century-old church, this dark, snug tavern with a polished bar running its length, offers a selection of fine beers, including 20 rare drafts like the unpasteurized Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock, a dark beer that is surprisingly light despite its smoky, chocolate flavor. Chorizo tacos ($5) offer a fiery complement.