Dining Alfresco in Kentuckiana – Holy Grale
The outside courtyard, “The Gralegarten,” is flanked on one side with a living wall of growing vines that insulate it from the outside world. On another side, stacked rows of plants and herbs climb up the side of the building. A third wall houses backlit stained glass windows poised over a fireplace and other religious icons that have been transformed into beautiful planters.
The Monks Feast, which is basically a charcuterie platter featuring local meats, cheeses, house pickles, and accouterments, is also a great shareable starter. This pairs well with many of the beers, but try the Taras Boulba, which is also on tap.
1034 Bardstown Road | Louisville
In the category of “quirky other worldly experiences” lives Holy Grale, the Bardstown Road pub that in 1905 was a Unitarian church. Here you can taste a heavenly variety of ever-changing beers from all over the world. At the same time dine on Southern-styled, classic European dishes made with seasonal local ingredients. It’s a craft beer bar with a tiny selection of wines and ciders and an ever-changing menu.
If craft beer is your idol, this is the definitive place to worship with a four-page menu of nothing but choices. With 27 craft beers on tap and 80+ bottled beers, including some ciders, Holy Grale offers every beer you’ve ever wanted to try and tons you’ve never heard of. Voted Best Beer Bar in America by Draft Magazine, the staff is knowledgeable and happy to help with suggestions and pairings.
Speaking of choices, try its cone of frietjes, which are hand-cut double fried potatoes that come with a choice of nine sauces. Did you know that the sweetness of the potato is enhanced by the malts in beer? Try the Ola Dubh 12-Year Special Reserve (it’s on tap right now) and see what you think.
Fun fact: Every Wednesday and Thursday through September 27, the Gralegarten hosts “Hot Sünner Nights,” which is a celebration of Cologne, Germany. Sünner, the first brewer of Kölsch, is served in authentic trays and glassware observing the Cologne tradition of bottomless glasses. Check their website for further details.
Extra Tidbit: Four fun spots for outdoor dining.