Beers For All Occasions

An Experiment in Social Drinking

The Bambi Bar

We’ve all heard the name. We know the walk. We know the burgers. Now, allow us to introduce you to the bar behind the legend. Located at 2701 Bardstown Road, The Bambi Bar has been in operation since at least 1955, and is family-friendly, hosting a little league team after their games. They serve only beer and wine, have an internet jukebox (which was religiously playing country music), and welcome your kiddos at a reasonable hour. The place is frequented by a tight-knit circle of regulars, and there’s never any trouble. The low ceiling, well-loved bar, and panelled walls make the Bambi Bar welcoming and comfortable, and the regulars are happy to strike up a conversation with you about anything and everything.

When we visited The Bambi Bar we met Wayne, a bass player and the best short-order cook in Louisville. Wayne’s been at the Bambi Bar for 17 years, and he was able to give us all the inside information on the history of the joint. What we now know as a bar used to be an old-fashioned fill station. The new owner has made tons of improvements, including turning the fill station’s old ice house into a kick ass smoking room, complete with heaters in the winter, industrial fans in the summer, tons of seating and a sizeable bar. There’s additional outdoor, picnic table seating on the patio.

So why the Bambi Bar? Wayne was able to tell us that too. Its called The Bambi Bar because the first owner of the bar wallpapered his kid’s bedroom in Bambi wallpaper, and used the excess to paper the front wall of the bar. Wayne says the wallpaper is probably still in the bar, under layers and layers of paint and panelling. Whether or not you’re into little deer, you’re gonna love this bar.

We would be ridiculously remiss if we did not give you the history of the bar hop that’s been keeping Louisville weird for the last 40 years. It all started in the early 70’s, with 5 bored fellas. They would spend Saturday afternoons riding the bus from the Outlook Inn down to the Bambi Bar. That’s right, Bambi Bar used to be the end of the walk, but as more people learned about the hop, and more bars popped up along Bardstown Rd., the owners decided to let someone else clean up the puke. Now, the big Bambi Walk happens in August, every year around the Fair, and of course begins at the Bambi Bar itself. People start their own, impromtu walks all the time, especially in celebration of 21st birthdays. Come on…you know you tried to do the entire walk for your 21st birthday! Its a virtual rite of passage for Louisvillians, and is definitely on par with wearing a big hat to the Derby.

You don’t need to do anything special to start your own Bambi Walk – just get a group of friends together, give yourself plenty of time and use City Scoot to stay safe!

So, in honor of this legendary Louisville bar, these beers are for tradition, and Bambi walkers everywhere.

May 21, 2009 Posted by | Bambi Walk, The Highlands | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

News Flash!

The Beerologists now Twitter!!

Check it out at: twitter.com/Beerologists

Oh! And, I know you guys have been asking about our domain name and we’ve been saying “yea, yea, yea” but we really are on it, and we’ve narrowed it down to just a couple names. Stay tuned for updates there. 

Beerologists on the move!!

March 1, 2009 Posted by | Bambi Walk, Germantown, Old Louisville, The Highlands | Leave a comment

The Hideaway

If we’re talking about hole-in-the-wall bars (and we are), our list would be sorely incomplete if we didn’t mention The Hideaway Saloon. And they don’t call it The Hideaway for nothin’ – technically the bar is located at 1607 Bardstown Rd., but if you are anything like me and rely on landmarks to get around, The Hideaway is between Leatherhead’s and the hair shop across from Book and Music Exchange. Its also nestled back between the buildings, up a flight of stairs and through a door. If you still have location confusion let us know and we’ll try to help. Aside from some slight problems arising from being hidden, apropos to its name, The Hideaway is easily one of the best bars in Louisville being incredibly safe, reasonably clean and offering 160 beers and regularly scheduled live music. Make sure to check out their MySpace at:  www.myspace.com/hideawaysaloon 

At its heart, The Hideaway is your quintessential Hippie bar. The staff is really friendly and always good for a beer recommendation if you’re in the mood for something new. We tried Black Majic Java Stout on Compass’ word and loved it!  Also, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the $2 Mystery Bucket special, which is one of the most original ways we’ve found to get clientele to broaden their alcoholic horizons.On tap they’ve got the old standards, plus Magic Hat #9 and She Devil, some personal Beerologist recommendations!! Sometimes the crowd can get pretty heavy at The Hideaway if they’ve got a favorite band in to play, but the folks are generally great for all kinds of conversation and really friendly. This is not a bar that you need to take people with you in order to have a good time – you can go in, sit at the bar and within moments be talking to a fellow drinker about anything from non-profit work to conspiracy theories. But, if you do bring some buddies along, be sure to check out the Hideaway’s second floor. They’ve got more seating, pool tables, darts, pin ball and one of those new fangled juke boxes that searches the Internet for the song you want to hear. However, be warned for the stairs to the second floor are steep and narrow and not to be undertaken lightly if you’ve over-imbibed. 

The Hideaway is very close to the Baxter Ave. bars (like The Taproom!), Cumberland Brews, Cafe 360, Ray’s Monkey House, Za’s and The Backdoor. Additionally, they have their own kitchen which produces some of the best bar food in the city. Its also the half way mark on the infamous Bambi Walk. Anecdotally, one of your adorable Beerologists attempted to complete the Bambi Walk for her 21st birthday and only made it to The Hideaway and yes, she did throw up on the walk home. Furthermore The Hideaway was the first bar the Beerologists attended together and where we smoked our first hand rolled cigarettes. We were 19. Nowadays they card religiously, so don’t go gettin’ any ideas young’un! 

In closing, allow us to say that these beers are great for hanging out, but may just be better for getting laid. The Hideaway is a far cry from a meat market, but they’ve got some great deals of the Hippie variety, if you’re shopping around. Just promise us you’ll use protection! 

 

Current Music: Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al

January 10, 2009 Posted by | Bambi Walk, The Highlands | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Highland’s Taproom

Let the social experimentation begin! Do you feel like a guinea pig yet? Well you should. Except maybe without the mad, sticky-outy hair. 

 

The Highlands Taproom is located on Bardstown Road, right across from Mid-City Mall,  in the heart of the Highlands. They’re open ’til 4 am, 7 days a week and have a huge beer pong tournament every Tuesday. Check out their website at http://www.HighlandsTaproom.com for band schedules, etc. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Highlands (shame on you!), the Taproom is a great place to start familiarizing yourself with the area. The neighborhood is one of the safest and most solid in Louisville, with a lovely mix of businesses and private houses and while parking can sometimes be a challenge, most everything is close enough together that you only need to park once and can walk for the rest of the evening. A word to the wise, park in the National City parking lot after they close, rather than in Mid-City Mall’s parking lot because they will tow, randomly and without proper warning. If you have to park on the street, I prefer parking a street off of Bardstown Rd., because traffic is so heavy at night. 

From top to bottom, the Taproom is all we know and love in a neighborhood bar. They have a nightly beer special, which changes on Saturdays and live,local music every night. They swear by their mugs never to host a cover band and they have Karaoke on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For the competitive of nature, they have pool tables (Free on Tuesdays!!) and foosball in the back. They also have huge beer pong tournaments on Tuesdays, oh Gaming One. If you’re feeling particularly anti-social or want to watch the ball game (this is UK territory, people) there’s a big screen television upstairs, complete with cable access. 

The really special thing about the Taproom is their beer club. Its not the typical, drink a bunch of $5 beers you don’t like to get a negligible discount on the two beers you actually drink club. You pay $20, one time, for a giant (22 oz) beer mug and you get a spot on the wall to hang that mug on for life! They have no “annual dues”, and your first beer is free. After that first beer, you pay $3.75 for your beers on tap from then on. That’s every draft beer, every day. Not bad, huh? And they wouldn’t be able to call it “The Taproom” if they didn’t have a pretty great selection of beers on draught:  13 hand crafted, small batch beers including Magic Hat, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Kirin Ichiban, Nitro Porter, Old Style, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, BBC Nut Brown, Widmer Hefe, and then some run of the mill brews like Blue Moon, Rolling Rock and Amber Bock. In bottles, they have your very typical Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Miller Highlife, Coors Lite, Corona, Heineken, Amstel Lite, Woodchuck Cider, Red Stripe, Stella Artois and (randomly) Sharp’s non-alcoholic.  Beers are a pretty typical 2-5 bucks, with $2 Miller Highlifes every day and a $1.50 shot special, which is whatever they choose at the beginning of the night. 

Now, they also have a daily beer special. The schedule is:

Sunday – $2.50 wells, $2.00 domestic bottles

Monday – $3 Jager, $2 Bud/Bud Lite, $2.50 Early Times

Tuesday – $2 Old Style Draughts

Wednesday – $3 Jager, $4 Jager Bombs

Thursday – $1.50 Highlifes and Coors Lites

Friday – $3 Jager, $4 Jager Bombs, $2.50 Killians Draughts

Saturday – Vary Weekly, but there’s always something cheap!

In the summer I’ve been known to begin and end my evening at the Taproom. The patio outside is great, with lots of tables and plenty of people-watching opportunities. Not much help in January, but its great in July. If you’re one of those many people who gets hungry as they get drunk though, you’ll have to go down the street to get eats, as they don’t have a menu at the Taproom. Not really a problem, considering you’re next door to Kashmir (the best Indian food in the world!) and just steps from Skyline Chili, City Cafe, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Just Fresh, Subway and so on. The Back Door, and lots of the bars on Irish row also serve food and are incredibly near by. 

As far as atmosphere goes, the decor is pretty typical except for the large (and growing!) collection of beer mugs hanging on the walls and the bar is as clean as can be expected. I will say though, that its always smelled a little funny in there since the wretched smoking ban passed. Its a safe place for a couple girls to go together, without protection. The worst that will happen to you is that some of the regulars will probably hit on you at some point.  And we all know you can handle that. 

Allow me to say, when this bar gets crowded, the lay out is not conducive to easy travel. There’s a very narrow space between the wall and the bar, so it gets tough to order sometimes, also. However, there are all sorts of people in attendance at the Taproom from all ages, stages and backgrounds. A word of wisdom though, seeing as how I got kicked out when I was underage, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that its not an easy place to score an illegal beer. Occasionally, one can even find a Camel Fairy at the Taproom for free cigarettes! 

All in all, I’d say these beers are for hanging out. The Taproom and I go way back and I can honestly say, this is the bar I attend when I want company and conversation. The friends you bring with you are recruited, not for salvation but rather for company and you’re pretty well assured to make a new friend. Nothing in the world to keep you from going and getting a Magic Hat #9, but be prepared to see someone you know! 

 

Current Music: Peter, Bjorn and John – Young Folks

December 31, 2008 Posted by | Bambi Walk, The Highlands | , , , , | Leave a comment