Have you ever noticed those historical marker signs scattered throughout the city?
Since 1949, the Kentucky Historical Marker program has provided an avenue for communities throughout Kentucky to acknowledge and commemorate significant local, regional, state, or national sites, events, and personalities. With over 2,400 markers installed, the program has contributed to a better understanding of Kentucky's rich and multifaceted history.
We're thrilled to announce that we're in the process of applying for one of our own to commemorate Louisville's rich brewing history.
As passionate members of the beer community, we believe this marker would be a fitting tribute to the significant contributions that brewing has made to Louisville's cultural and economic heritage. It would also recognize the thriving craft beer scene that exists in the city today.
To catch you up - the history of brewing in Louisville dates all the way back to 1808 when the Elisha Applegate Brewery first opened its doors. Before Prohibition, over fifty breweries operated in the area, including some major players like Frank Fehr's, Schaffer-Meyer, Frank Senn’s, and Falls City. And, of course, we can't forget about the Kentucky Common beer style, a dark cream ale created here in Louisville and recognized as one of only a few indigenous beer styles with origins in the United States.
Unfortunately, brewing in Louisville went dormant for several decades after Prohibition. It wasn't until 1989/1990 when local homebrewer David Pierce was hired to brew a house beer for Charlie's Restaurant (a now-closed Downtown restaurant), that our brewing scene was revived. Since then, nearly thirty brewery taprooms have opened throughout the city with many more on the horizon.
If our application is successful, the marker would be placed where Charlie’s Restaurant stood - at 530 W. Main Street - commemorating not only the pre-Prohibition brewing history of the city and the unique Kentucky Common beer style, but also the resurgence of Louisville brewing that has taken place over the past few decades.
To make this happen, we’ve been collecting letters of support from the community - and we've been blown away by the response so far. We're thrilled to take this next step and can't wait to see this project come to fruition.
- Michael Moeller