Louisville Beer Tour Taps

Additional dates for “Brew in the Lou” Louisville beer tour now open

After a popular first outing last month, Mint Julep Tour has added dates for the “Brew in the Lou” Louisville beer tour. Half-day brewery tour and tasting experiences are planned August through November 2017.

Louisville Beer Tour Sample FlightLouisville Beer Tour Stops

Go behind the scenes of Louisville’s growing beer scene on this fun and educational Louisville beer tour. Brewery destinations vary by date (see the schedule) but may include the following top spots.

 

Beer Tasting and Sensory Experiences

Each stop will include a guided tour of the brewer’s beer-making facility and a tasting flight. Hands-on sensory experiences like aromatic hops sampling and tactile grain lessons enhance the tour. Your enthusiastic brew guru be your leader to each stop filling in facts and history along the way. 

Take a Tour

Brew in the Lou Louisville beer tours depart from the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville select Thursday, Friday and Sundays. For scheduled dates and brewery destinations, shop online or call 502-583-1433. The cost is $79 per person, which includes three brewery tours with tasting flights, comfortable transportation, insight from a ‘brew guru,’ pretzel necklace and bottled water. Guests may bring additional alcoholic beverages on the bus in a cooler no larger than 12×12. Please drink responsibly. 

 

 

Louisville Sightseeing Tour Skyline View

New Louisville sightseeing tours start Aug. 18

Whether you’re a hometown tourist or experiencing Louisville for the first time, there’s so much to learn and so many places to see in Louisville. Guests on our new Louisville sightseeing tours will explore the Derby City’s history and future. Each half-day, four-hour urban adventure travels past more than 50 local sites and tourist attractions including one featured bonus stop! 

 

Louisville Sightseeing Tour Route

Louisville Skyline Photo from Louisville Sightseeing TourFirst you’ll start in downtown Louisville at the Galt House Hotel in one of Mint Julep Tours’ comfortable vehicles. An expert tour leader will guide your experience as you ride across the bridge to Southern Indiana for the best Louisville skyline view. After a quick photo stop, you’ll drive past Falls of the Ohio State Park learning its place in Louisville’s early settlement. Back over the bridge in Kentucky, your Louisville sightseeing tour travels down Museum Row where you’ll see a massive gold David statue outside award-winning hotel 21c and the world’s largest baseball bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory.

Riding through downtown Louisville, your tour leader will point out landmarks of famous Kentuckians like Muhammad Ali. Old Louisville’s stunning historic homes and beautiful St. James Court are up next with another stop to capture photos. As you go through University of Louisville’s campus, you’ll learn fun facts about its history and plans for the future. Driving past legendary race track Churchill Downs, you’ll hear about famous race horses and stories of the greatest two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby. 

Winding around various neighborhoods of Louisville, look out for colorful new murals and faded hand-painted signs of yesterday. Finally, through hip neighborhoods like the Highlands, NuLu and Butchertown, you’ll view how Louisville is changing and expanding before returning back to the Galt House Hotel.

Featured Stops

Every Louisville sightseeing tour includes one featured stop.

Bourbon Chocolate Truffles from Art EatablesOn Thursday and Friday tours, you’ll visit Art Eatables. This fabulous locally-owned chocolate shop specializes in using bourbon to make sweets. Guests will find out the many ways whiskey can be utilized while cooking with a tasting and sensory experience. Samples may include bourbon-chocolate ganache, bourbon-infused caramel or moonshine truffles. 

On Sunday tours, you’ll visit the Kentucky Derby Museum. You’ll have time to wander through exhibits and watch a 360-degree Kentucky Derby video. Your visit also includes a walking tour of Churchill Downs race track for even more great historic insight. 

Discover Derby City

Ready to learn about Louisville tourism? Book a sightseeing tour online or call 502-583-1433 today. Upcoming tours are available August through November on select Thursday, Friday and Sunday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Pair your Louisville sightseeing tour with a beer tour for a fantastic full-day of fun. 

Tours depart from the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville at 9:30 a.m. Guests should arrive 15 prior to departure time. The cost is $59 per person and includes guided transportation and one featured stop.

 
Food Tour Group Dinner

Mint Julep Tours Launches Southern Supper Series of Spirited Food Tours

Biscuit at Louisville Food Tours

We love sharing the best of Kentucky with our guests. For the adventurous foodie, Mint Julep Tours has planned three unique progressive dinners this summer to Louisville’s best restaurants. Over our 9 years in the tourism business, we’ve made a ton of great connections with top chefs and we’re ready to share that with you!

Throughout the Southern Supper Series, guests will taste the best of the Derby City as they hop from plate to plate around town. Each of the food tours includes three stops for a themed dish expertly-crafted and paired with a cocktail. What’s the theme? Our favorite Southern foods! The first three events will revolve around fried chicken, biscuits and pickles – oh my!

Supporting locally-owned Louisville restaurants is an important part of our food tours. We hand-picked a variety of fantastic spots for each exclusive experience to ensure you can taste and see something new.

Chicken Fried – July 26

You’ll visit Silver Dollar, RYE on Market and River House for each chef’s take on real Kentucky fried chicken. 

Butter My Biscuit – Aug. 23

You’ll taste the best sweet and savory biscuits in the city from top chefs at Le Moo, Village Anchor and Picnic.

Gettin’ Pickled – Sept. 20

You’ll explore the best end-of-summer pickles (way more than just cucumbers) from chefs at Proof on Main, Eiderdown and Varanese.

Want to book your spot on the next Urban Adventure? Book tickets for the Southern Supper Series online or call us at 502-583-1433. Or plan custom food tours for your own private group by contacting us today.

Louisville Beer Tour Sample Flight

New Louisville Beer Tour “Brew in the Lou” Planned for July 2

NOTE: This event has passed. Brewery tours are available through any Mint Julep Tours customized experience. Call 502-583-1433 or Contact Us today for more information.

The craft beer movement is alive and well in Louisville. 

Brewmasters are making beer that’s innovative, interesting, and sometimes a little off-the-wall right here in our hometown. Our specialty is bringing the best of the Bluegrass to you, so we at Mint Julep Tours put together a brand new beer tour called Brew in the Lou to three of Louisville’s best breweries.

Here’s a little about each one:

Against the Grain

Against the Grain Beer ProductionThis brewer-owned and operated brewery started serving unique and interesting beer in 2011. Since then, Against the Grain has gained national appeal for highly-sought-after releases like their annual Bo & Luke bourbon barrel-aged stout and distinctively designed canned offerings. Their beers run the gamut from classic to a bit crazy with 6+ drafts available daily in their downtown taproom. Mint Julep Tours’ Brew in the Lou beer tour will take you to their rarely-seen production facility in Louisville’s west end where ATG’s mad scientists make the magic happen.

Great Flood

New kids on the block Great Flood Brewing opened their Louisville taproom in 2014 and have quickly made a name for themselves in the local beer scene. What started as a trio of home brewers has grown to a dynamic beer business. In pursuit of the perfect pint, the team at Great Flood crafts scratch-made beers on draft at their Highlands taproom. Brew in the Lou guests will go behind-the-scenes with the brews to see their hands-on process and taste its rewards.

Falls City

Falls City BreweryOne of the most recognizable names in Louisville beer is Falls City. Originally opened in the early 1900s, Falls City Brewing Co. was recently revived for the modern drinker. They offer their take on old Falls City recipes as well as forward-thinking IPAs and beyond. Brew in the Lou will take you to their taproom and brewery to see how they merge the old and the new.

Brew in the Lou is July 2, 2017 at 1 p.m. Want to join us on an urban beer adventure? Book your ticket for the beer bus online or call us at 502-583-1433 today. Interested in a private tour customized to your beer tastes? Contact us to book a custom experience.

Exploring Nelson County’s abandoned T.W. Samuels Distillery

Exploring Nelson County’s abandoned T.W. Samuels Distillery

T.W. Samuels Distillery

At the end of the 19th century, Kentucky’s Nelson County was the undisputed bourbon capital of the world. No other region even came close. By 1896, roughly 26 distilleries spread throughout the county were actively distilling, aging, bottling and distributing whiskey for national consumption. But over the decades, Prohibition, consolidation of companies, changing liquor tastes and the rise of the highway would take a toll. Some 120 years later, there are just four bourbon companies headquartered in that same county today. And one of those is actually distilling in downtown Louisville, two counties away.

What’s been left behind is a number of abandoned but stunning factories that serve as dusty monuments to distilleries forged in another era. Each in a varying degree of decay and each with a long history connected to a once-beloved bourbon brand such as Old Tub and Old Charter. And, if you know just where to look, many are remarkably easy to find. Local residents will tell you that the crown jewel of these crumbling remains can be found roughly halfway between Clermont and Bardstown in the center of a tiny little community named Deatsville. Just beyond the eastern edge of the massive 14,000 acre Bernheim Forest and less than a ¼ mile north of the bustling Kentucky State Route 245 sits the T.W. Samuels Distillery and Warehouses.

T.W. Samuels WarehousesThe first thing most people notice when they approach the property is the massive collection of aging warehouses that flank the distillery. The afternoon sun reflects off the metal exterior of these old rickhouses showcasing a unique shape and design that’s been long abandoned in lieu of modern warehouses that allow for larger storage. Despite its dilapidated condition, the buildings that make up the privately-owned distillery complex are surprisingly well preserved for a location that hasn’t produced bourbon in several decades. The complex has new locks, boarded windows covering original panes and several rusted signs that clearly indicate the original function of each building. Some areas look like somebody might have just visited yesterday while others look like they haven’t been so much as dusted in years. While quiet now, these grounds were part of a long history of several once-beloved brands – all of which have been forgotten, discontinued or relegated to the back of the shelf with limited availability. However, in the dust of all the whiskey ghosts, one global brand today can trace their origin to the T.W. Samuels Distillery: Maker’s Mark.

Advertising for T.W. Samuels WhiskyThe namesake of the distillery, Taylor William Samuels established a distillery in 1844 just down the road from the buildings you can view today. The Samuels family had already been making whiskey in America for three generations, but T.W. and his son decided to make the leap from family pastime to commercial business. Success soon followed. By the 1860’s, the company warehouses held over 14,000 barrels of aging bourbon – considered to be a massive stockpile at the time. A prominent businessman, T.W. wore several hats including “High Sheriff” of Nelson County. It was during his tenure as Sheriff in 1865 that he persuaded the last remnants of confederate soldiers in the area to surrender. The father/son duo operated the distillery for over fifty years and eventually upgraded the facility by moving it down the road to the current location. Their most popular brands were the top selling Old Deatsville and T. W. Samuels bottles which carried the memorable slogan “There’s a barrel of satisfaction in every bottle.”

In 1909, the distillery and six warehouses were destroyed by fire with a reported loss that included 9,000 barrels of whiskey. Just four years later, The Star Distillery Co. from Ohio purchased a majority of the company in what would be the first of several ownership moves. During the dark days of Prohibition between 1920 and 1933, most of the buildings were razed for salvage; many of the buildings left behind today date to the “Post Repeal” period of around 1933.

T.W. Samuels Distillery and WarehousesThe Samuels name would later be intrinsically linked with another bourbon brand when T.W.’s great grandson, Bill Samuels Sr. would give up the family business in 1943 only to start his own bourbon brand ten years later in Loretto. Using a recipe that includes wheat instead of rye and bottles dipped in red wax, Maker’s Mark would soon eventually become one of the most recognized liquor brands in the country. Today, the Chief Operating Officer at Maker’s Mark Distillery is still a Samuels (Rob) and the great, great grandson of T.W. Meanwhile, The T.W. Samuels distillery plodded through the back half of the 20th century crafting low-end whiskey and even bottling spring water as recently as the early 1970’s. In more recent years, the T.W. Samuels line of bourbon has been sold under the Heaven Hill label with sporadic releases.

Sign at T.W. Samuels Distillery and Samuels SpringsToday, the distillery sits idle but nine of the warehouses have been rehabilitated and are being used by two major bourbon brands to house thousands of barrels of sleeping whiskey. Occasionally, a barrel truck off-loading fresh barrels (and branded with a familiar logo) will make an appearance. Otherwise, all is quiet in the shuttered space. And the only train traffic that the once busy rail line which faithfully served the distillery carries today is My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. However, the T.W. Samuels Distillery could one day undergo a massive transformation to restore the facility to former glory like the one currently occurring roughly 70 miles away in Woodford County at the Old Taylor Distillery. For now, the sign out front says “The Olde T.W. Samuels Distillery & Samuels Springs” but it probably could say “Watch this space.”

Written by Phil Kollin – Mint Julep Tours Driver & Guide

Mint Julep Tours can create the perfect itinerary for your bourbon adventure. While the T.W. Samuels distillery remains closed at all times to all visitors, Mint Julep Tours can arrange a drive-by past the distillery (or other abandoned Nelson County distilleries) on any custom tour. Call 502-583-1433 or visit us online today to begin planning your trip and to receive more information on custom experiences.