Came here for Saint Sours Day Sunday, a well organized event with a shocking selection of sours. The outdoor space was great, and the amazing weather din’t hurt. The choir loft is terrific, downstairs is cozy, although space is a bit tight. Food was amazing. Staff were all very friendly and engaging, quick and efficient. Definitely have to come back to check out their normal beer line up. Prices are high for the area, but still cheaper than anything we’ve got in Washington DC! A must-visit while in Louisville.
theisti (889) Kansas | September 19, 2013| Updated September 8, 2014
Visited on a Wednesday evening. As others have stated, Holy Grale is located in a former church, and it makes great use of the space with a bar area, the choir loft, and a great outdoor beer garden. The beer selection is great, when I visited the 5 of the 6 taps in the choir loft were Three Floyds. Service was attentive, though not terribly friendly. I had the Scotch egg appetizer, and it was tasty enough. Neat design, great beer selections, certainly a top place I have visited in Louisville. This place had hosted Zwanze Day 2013 the previous weekend, which speaks to the quality.
88 = ★★★★ (best in area, a must for locals and visitors)
I only use the total score, not the component parts.
Holy Grale is in what apparently was a church. The decor takes full advantage of that, making this a very spiritual beer experience. Service was on the slow side, but very knowledgeable and personable. The beer selection is prime. A few Belgian and American rarities among a well thought out balance of desirables. The prices, like many places in Louisville are pretty good. Most of the stuff is about $6 to $7 a pour, but most of the stuff are imports that I rarely ever see on tap and easily run in the $8+ range when I do stumble across them. There are more bargain priced local microbrews for the connoiseur on a budget. Upstairs in the choir loft is a small draft selection featuring even more rare stuff, DFH 2010 World Wide Stout for instance, and it was only $5 for a pour. Not bad. The bottle selection is small, but well thought out and includes stuff from Cantillon so gets my approval. Everything is served in appropriate glassware. I ate the pickle plate which was a variety of artisan pickled foods served with whole grain mustard and sriracha: really tasty stuff. I loved this place!
I visited at 11pm on a Friday night expecting to endure carnage to order a beer, but instead found the place to be nearly empty. Weird, but welcomed. Much smaller venue than I anticipated. I doubt you could fit more than 50 people in the downstairs area. The draft list was very interesting. Roughly 20 beers with a strong focus on stuff from Europe. Amager, Alvinne, Beer Here, De La Senne etc on tap. Basically nothing local. The bottle list had some nice stuff like vintage Orval, but certainly wasn’t earth-shattering by any means. Prices were reasonable given the quality. The service was strange. Very transaction-focussed and impersonal. I was sitting at the bar for a couple of hours and was pretty much ignored by the staff. It wasn’t busy, so I’m not sure what was going on. Overall, the continental selection is pretty unique for the region. Worth a visit.
The coolest atmosphere I’ve been to, especially outside which reminds me of a Euro beer garden. Stained glass windows, herbs, hops. The inside was nice as well but the ac was broke and it was hot as balls. The service was very nice and helpful, knew a ton about beer and gave good suggestions for other places in the city. The food was really good and came quick, fun small bites but I wouldn’t come for a full dinner if you’re starving. The draft selection was pretty good, but not mind blowing. Nothing from Kentucky or crushable, lots of international ticks. The bottle list was pretty good and very inexpensive. I really enjoyed this place, one of the top bars in the US.
phaleslu (581) Cincinnati, Ohio | September 16, 2013| Updated March 11, 2014
I came down for Zwanze Day 2013 at Holy Grale, my first one ever. The place is an old, small church building on Bardstown Road. The inside is an awesome renovation with a nice bar and some high tables. There’s a ’choir loft’ upstairs, accessible through inside or outside stairs. There’s a bier garten out back with Euro-style long tables, a patio bar, and vines surrounding it to wrap up the vibe. The place was well-staffed for the event. The tap list was excellent, and the food was very good. I need to visit on a normal day to get a better idea of how it usually is here but I’m definitely coming back. Update: Came back on a low-key afternoon. The food is awesome. Nothing to contradict from before, just reiterating how nice and high-quality this place is. Best place in Louisville.
Visited both the day before, and the day of Zwanze 2016. Some street parking is available, but the parking lot right beside it is not. I guess the noodle place next door is very stingy with their parking lot, so don’t park there. It’s best to park in the residential area very close by. There are two floors to the place. Upstairs is called the Choir Loft, where they have about 25 more seats and another set of taps. On a normal day, the loft opens at 6 PM, where the rest of the bar opens at 4 PM. The taps the day before Zwanze were stellar. A draft lambik from Boon, a bunch of rarer Belgian beers, plenty of awesome Kentucky and other craft beer available. They offer 5 ounce pours of everything, too. Proper glassware goes without saying. The staff all know their stuff about beer, too. Service was a bit slow at times, but for the most part, I was able to walk up to the bar and have beer in hand within a couple minutes. This place is world class, and should be visited if ever in the vicinity. Both of my visits here were excellent.
weihenweizen (448) Charleston Area, West Virginia | September 18, 2015| Updated September 20, 2015
Parking is limited on the street. Smaller u-shaped bar and small beer garden out back. Selection is good. Average value.
shrubber85 (365) Greenville, Indiana | January 1, 2015| Updated September 20, 2015
Very interesting location - in old church. Incredible tap list that is constantly changing with a nice bottle list (many that are unavailable elsewhere in Louisville). They keep their list updated so you don’t have to guess what they have going in. Eclectic food selection - tasty. A great place. And have to give a place that has CBS AND Fou’Foune on tap at the same time a perfect selection rating.