This interview was a little different than the handful of others I have conducted. The other craft breweries I have visited were family operated breweries at a single location. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant has 13 locations all over the US with six craft breweries in Taiwan. The first brewery was founded in Palo Alto, CA in 1988 by Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch. Their goal, at the time, was to serve traditional German-style lagers and ales and hot food. They even went so far as to import a special strain of yeast directly from Germany to maintain the authentic German flavor. Every brewery/restaurant has an onsite brewery managed by a local Brewmaster that are held to the highest German standards using only the purest ingredients creating clean German lagers and the finest American craft beers.
The brewery that I was lucky enough to visit is located in downtown Louisville, KY on 4th Street. I met Arnie Youngblood at a craft beer fest a few weeks prior to the interview. He was nice enough to introduce me to Nick Landers, Brewmaster and Yeast Wrangler. Both were great to talk to and I cannot thank them enough for taking the time to sit down with me. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday afternoon than with a cold beer and good people. Watch the video below to hear in their own words how they got started in the craft beer business. Be sure to like, subscribe, and share this newfound information with your friends.
There were nine different craft beers on tap at the time. The lineup ranges from the Golden Export which is a German-Helles style lager with a clean crisp finish to a Czech Pilsner with a bitter bite and a refreshing finish. I tried the Berliner Weisse sour. It was a satisfying wheat beer that wasn’t overwhelming with a subtle tart. They offer a diverse array of styles and flavors including a New England style hazy IPA. Nick made it clear that his biggest challenge is always having a variety of beers for a diverse crowd. They have to be prepared to serve people leaving a country music concert or a teacher’s convention. If you can’t find a beer you like at Gordon Biersch then you don’t like beer and I feel sorry for your tormented and thirsty soul. Click here to learn more about the craft beers they offer: Craft Beer List.
This is not your average craft brewery with some bar food and appetizers that are an afterthought. The restaurant has a full menu with a large selection to choose from. I did not try anything from the menu, but I plan on returning. Besides, there are eight more beers for me to try. As an added bonus, they have an outside seating area that is perfect for people watching. They are located at the north side of 4th Street Live so there are plenty of unique characters coming and going. I can’t think of many better places in Louisville to observe a slice of humanity while enjoying a fine craft beer. The cajun fish tacos or the beer-battered fish & chips sound intriguing. Click here for the full menu: Restaurant Menu.
It was a beer adventure to remember. The goal of the original founders was to provide a monument to beer, where people could come drink freshly brewed beer and have a great meal simultaneously. One visit is enough to convince me that they have achieved that goal, but I would add one thing. The folks at Gordon Biersch are not beer snobs. I called Nick “Yeast Wrangler” Landers a beer snob and he took offense. I thought his beard was going to jump off his face and strangle me like a scarf around my neck, but he kept it in check and explained to me that he is a beer geek. Basically, the way I understand it, is that a beer geek not only knows about drinking craft beer but also puts in every effort to know everything possible about making craft beer. Lesson learned sir; lesson learned. All I can do is take these lessons and hope that someday, I too, will graduate to be a beer geek. I raise a glass to my two favorite beer geeks, Nick “Yeast Wrangler” Landers and Arnie “Assistant Yeast Wrangler” Youngblood.
If you would like more information about Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, please visit their website at: https://www.gordonbierschrestaurants.com/locations/kentucky/louisville/louisville