Friday, July 21, 2006

BBC among the restaurant forum threads.

Many readers know that I'm a habitue of the Louisville Restaurants Forum, and given that one of the most frequently asked questions I receive throughout the year is, "what's the deal with the different BBC's?," I'm delighted to provide Pat Hagan's answer. It was posted on the forum earlier today.


My name is Pat Hagan and I am one of the owners of the BBC on Shelbyville Rd. I believe I can help answer some questions and respond to some of the comments on this site. The topics and threads are varied so I will try not to ramble all over creation.

Trudy is correct in that Dave is no longer the brewer at the BBC on Shelbyville Rd. Dave is the brewer and director of brewing operations at the
BBC on Main St. Jerry Gnagy is the brewer on Shelbyville Rd. Both Jerry and Dave are great brewers and both have won numerous medals at various events including the Great American Beer Festival, which is the largest microbrew competition in the U.S. Jerry is a great fit for our operation and has been with us for three years now.

Currently all of the BBC's are owned by different entities, yet we all work together for the common goal of making and selling great BBC Beer. The BBC at 3929 Shelbyville Rd is the original BBC and Dave was the original brewer. The BBC on 4th St., BBC on Main St. and the BBC's in the Louisville and Cincinnati airports are all licensed BBC operators. All of the beers are brewed at either the Shelbyville Rd. location or at the Main St. location.

Dave created some great beers while working at Shelbyville Rd. and all of our core beers are made using the same recipes at both locations (Alt, American Pale Ale, Dark Star Porter and Nut Brown Ale). We do use a different yeast here on Shelbyville Rd. Dave uses an American yeast strain that is noted for not imparting any yeast characteristics to the beer. On Shelbyville Rd. we have used a London yeast strain for these core beers for well over two years now.

The London yeast does impart a slight difference in the taste of the beer. It is used by a number of Pubs in Great Britain and we wanted to bring a little of that British feel and taste here to the BBC. We have had very few people comment on this and in all reallity, 90%of beer consumers would not be able to differentiate between the beer made at either location in a blind taste test. We make a lot of specialty beers here on Shelbyville Rd. so we also use Belgian yeast, German Lager yeast and the same American Ale yeast that the Main St. BBC uses.

Jerry stays very busy during working hours but he still tries to take some time to talk to patrons on different beer topics. We have established a "Meet The Brewer" on the first Wednesday of the month and it usually runs from 4pm until 9pm or 10pm. We have a special beer for the occasion and Jerry will be around the bar area to talk to patrons and answer questions.

As far as the food goes we have always tried our best here. We have a great chef now in JJ Kingery. He is a Sullivan grad, worked at Coast Brewing Co. in Biloxi Mississippi, Napa River Grill, Bravo Italian Kitchen and opened The Pub on 4th St. The food has never been better nor has the kitchen ever run smoother. JJ will be putting his touches on a new menu by September. I appreciate the good review and I am sorry that Robin was caught in the crossfire because of the mysteries of the BBC.

If anyone has any further questions they can contact me at or Jerry Gnagy at

Thanks for your patronage and keep drinking BBC Beer no matter where it is brewed, or where in the U.S. you are drinking it.


On the topic of BBC's yeast, Shelbyville Road brewer Gnagy had this to say earlier in the week on the forum:

When I first started at BBC, three years ago, the house strain of ale yeast was British Ale, about 6 month later we changed to London Ale, which we have been using ever since. We like the London ale for its aggressive attenuation and good floccuation, although it is different from a California Ale yeast which BBC main st uses, in all practical puposes the differences are negligible.

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