Louisville’s first brewer owned brewery, Against the Grain, is set to open a retail store, Against the Grain Bottle & Gift Shop, on Friday, November 23. The store will be located in the same building as Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse on 401 East Main Street and will feature a variety of ATG cans, bottles, specialty beers exclusive to the store, and operate keg sales to the public. They will also sell branded merchandise and a lineup of beers from like-minded breweries, not limiting their shop to only ATG brews. The grand opening, which coincides with Black Friday will feature a slew of events over the weekend — More information about the opening event can be found here.
To get a better handle on Against the Grain’s latest endeavor, I reached out to marketing & media maven Katie Molck for a quick Q&A. Read on as we discuss the new ATG Bottle & Gift Shop, what the brewery has planned for the future and more…
Never Nervous: What was the driving factor behind deciding to open a retail store?
Katie Molck: The official media response to this would be: “We are ready to offer another quality, craft beer experience to our customer base and the Louisville community.” But the honest answer is we finally had the time and resources to turn a storage space in the back of our building into a retail store. We currently don’t have much of a merch or beer display in our Smokehouse restaurant and with as many different packaged beers and merchandise we have to offer it was time to give these items a home of their own.
“We finally had the time and resources to turn a storage space in the back of our building into a retail store… it was time to give these items a home of their own.”
NN: Where exactly will it be located? In the same building as the ATG brewery?
KM: Yep, the retail store is located in the same building as the brewery and smokehouse just in a different section. It’s West of our patio or 100 feet from our primary entrance!
NN: How big of a variety of merchandise will be available? And will it only be ATG related?
KM: All the merchandise will be Against the Grain branded, but we will carry a selection of beers from other craft breweries like Stillwater (Brooklyn, NY), Marz (Chicago, IL), Crooked Stave (Denver, CO) and our favorite pilsner, Miller High Life.
NN: How many regions does ATG distribute to now? And correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t ATG available internationally?
KM: We’re in 41 states across the U.S. and up to 22 different countries around the world i.e. Europe, South America, Japan, and Australia! Now, this may sound like we’re producing a shit ton of beer to send everywhere, but I prefer to say we’re a mile wide and an inch deep. We produce 9,000 barrels a year.
“We’re in 41 states across the U.S. and up to 22 different countries around the world i.e. Europe, South America, Japan, and Australia!”
NN: Does ATG have any special plans to celebrate the holiday season over the next couple of months?
KM: Yes! We have our annual Mele Kalikimaka Hawaiian Holiday party coming up on December 15th. We really put the “rum” in rum pa pump um in this one. We do special tiki cocktails and food. We’ll also be randalling our wild beer aged on palo santo wood through rum soaked pineapple. Ethel Loveless and Beatrix B. Naughty, will also be doing a photo opt in the retail store for the event, as well as a burlesque performance.
NN: Aside from everything you’ve mentioned so far, what else is new with ATG?
KM: Well, we’re opening a brewery in Ishigaki Japan! So, if you’re ever on the island of stop by.
NN: If you had to pick, what is your personal favorite ATG beer on tap RIGHT NOW?
KM: Oh, good question. If I had to pick just one it would be Coughybier. It’s on our Smoke tap right now and it god damn delicious! It’s a a smoked coffee lager that we did in collaboration with our friend Sebastian Sauer from Freigeist (Germany).
NN: Adding to that, what do you consider to be your favorite ATG brew that has been canned and distributed?
KM: Oh, boy! Well, I’ve been with AtG for the past three-years and my favorite has always been The Brown Note. It’s malty and chocolatey. I don’t drink it all the time, but it’s certainly my favorite. Plus, the shit stained underwear on the can is a great conversation piece.
“My favorite has always been The Brown Note. It’s malty and chocolatey… Plus, the shit stained underwear on the can is a great conversation piece.”
NN: Maybe I’m over reaching my bounds here, but when will Never Nervous have the chance to team up with ATG for a special beer? I loved the brew y’all cooked up with Guestroom!
KM: Well, I can’t promise anything any time soon, but nothing is impossible around here. I’m thinking if it happens we could call it Never Nervous’s Liquid Courage.
NN: Lastly, if ATG were going to serenade all of the beer as it brews with one song on a loop, what song would you choose?
KM: Probably “Love Shack” by the B52’s. The official AtG karaoke team came in first place at our recent competition at Kaiju and “Love Shack” was our encore song we performed as a group. It’s special to us.