Plus, a J-Town barbecue spot is closing.
 
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85º | 40% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 7:06 a.m. | Sunset 8:19 p.m.
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Sip back and relax
A billboard advertises Fehr's XL Beer, with a clock above.
This billboard was located at the intersection of Barret Avenue and Broadway, where “It’s always Fehr weather.” | Photo courtesy Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville
Louisville has a long + well-documented history with bourbon — it is the birthplace of bourbonism, after all — but it’s not the only thing that’s filled Louisvillian’s glasses through the years.

Crack open a cold one as we take a look back at Louisville’s “big three” breweries from the 20th century.

Fehr’s

When prohibition began in 1920, Louisville’s favorite beer was Fehr’s XL — aka extra lager. Fehr’s began brewing in the Phoenix Hill neighborhood in 1872 and hit its peak over 70 years later in 1949. By 1964, though, it had reached the bottom of the glass and shut down. The final 7,000 gallons of the beer were poured down the drain so the dying brewery could avoid a large tax bill.

The Fehr’s name was revived in 2019, and you can sip the same historic brew that was once Louisville’s favorite at Akasha Brewing in NuLu.

A grocery store display featuring Oertel's 92 beer, with boxes stacked decoratively.

This Oertel’s 92 display was located at a Kroger grocery at the intersection of 31st Street and Broadway.

|

Photo courtesy Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville

Oertel’s

Originally known as the Butchertown Brewery, Oertel’s can trace its roots to 1865 at the intersection of Story Avenue and Webster Street — that’s where the Whirling Tiger is today. The brewery’s signature swig, a pale lager called Oertel’s 92, offered a “full measure of pure pleasure” until 1967 when Oertel’s brewed its last keg.

Back in 2014, Apocalypse Brew Works brought the Oertel’s name back to the Derby City market with Oertel’s 1912, a dark cream ale.

Falls City

This brewery was the first beverage maker to introduce a flat top, stay tab can — which is the way all canned beverages are sold today. Falls City was the last of Louisville’s “big three” to survive, remaining profitable all the way until 1977.

Today, the Falls City brand has been revived with 18 different brews, including a version of the Kentucky Common, a beer that’s long been associated with the Bluegrass — or should we say Brew-grass — state.
 
Asked
 
Which of the “big three” Louisville breweries was the last remaining?

A. Fehr’s
B. Oertel’s
C. Falls City
 
 
Events
 
Monday, April 15
  • Funday Mondays | Monday, April 15 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Louisville Zoo, 1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville | $7.25 | The weather is expected to be gorgeous today, so take advantage with discounted admission to the zoo.
Wednesday, April 17
  • WE Day at Waterfront Park | Wednesday, April 17 | 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Great Lawn, 231 E. Witherspoon St., Louisville | Free | Registration is required for this walk meant to inspire + empower young people to change the world through service.
  • HIIT & Hops by Wel at Humana | Wednesday, April 17 | 6-8 p.m. | Noble Funk Brewing Company, 922 S. 2nd St., Louisville | Free | Join this downtown Louisville gym for a dynamic workout, followed by local brews.
Thursday, April 18
  • Eat. Drink. Germantown. | Thursday, April 18 | 6-10 p.m. | Germantown Gables, 986 Swan St., Louisville | $45 | Sample food, beer, wine, and cocktails from 10+ Germantown neighborhood spots, plus vote in the inaugural “The Germantown” cocktail contest.
Friday, April 19
  • Black Water Revival | Friday, April 19 | 8 p.m. | Mercury Ballroom, 611 S. 4th St., Louisville | $25-$40 | “Listen to the Music” from this Doobie Brothers tribute band.
Saturday, April 20
  • Spirits, Squatches, and Stories Around the Campfire | Saturday, April 20 | 7 p.m.-2 a.m. | Fort Duffield Park & Historic Site, US 31W/Dixie Hwy. at Salt River Rd., West Point | $50 | Enjoy a cookout before gathering around the campfire for ghastly stories from this Civil War-era fort.
Wednesday, May 22
  • LeadingBetter™ Summit | Wednesday, May 22 | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. | Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, 501 W Main St., Louisville | $495 | Calling all professionals and entrepreneurs: Don’t miss your opportunity to attend the region’s largest communication + collaboration event.*
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Louisville City FC
 
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Pets
 
Grab tickets for Pups at the Pitch
a gif featuring images of dogs and their owners
Fans entering the stadium with their dog will receive a collapsible water bowl, courtesy of Feeders Pet Supply. | Photos courtesy of LouCity: GIF created by LOUtoday
Calling all pet parents: You’re invited to bring your furry friend with you to Lynn Family Stadium on Saturday, April 27, as Louisville City FC hosts the Hartford Athletic. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Over the last two seasons, 200+ dogs have enjoyed Pups at the Pitch games — and LouCity is hoping for an even larger turnout this season. Proceeds from every ticket for Pups at the Pitch will support the Kentucky Humane Society.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to view the stadium’s rules + sign the dog-friendly waiver.
 
News Notes
 
Civic
  • The Louisville Metro Government is in the market for abandoned + boarded-up houses. The Landbank Authority is putting $750,000 toward the purchase of 25-30 abandoned houses in the city with the goal of reselling the homes to someone who may rehabilitate them. (WDRB)
Closing
  • FDKY BBQ will shut down later this month after 10 years in business. Owners of the J-Town barbecue joint said that economic pressures made it too difficult to continue. The last day to get your hands on the award-winning pulled pork sandwich will be Saturday, April 27.
Derby
  • Kentuckian Wynona Judd will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” ahead of this year’s Kentucky Derby + Martha Stewart will be this year’s “Rider’s Up” announcer, calling on the jockeys to mount their horses before the race. We’re wondering if she’ll have any tips for the garland of roses. (WHAS11)
History
  • This month in 1925 — that’s 99 years ago — a classic novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald was released. Fun fact: One of the novel’s main characters, Daisy Buchanan, was a Louisvillian. Many of the story’s scenes were based on real-life Louisville locations, like The Seelbach Hotel.
Gallery
  • This year’s Great Steamboat Race is just over two weeks away, set for Wednesday, May 1. Ahead of the race, The Courier Journal took a look back at historic photos of the Belle of Louisville, which hasn’t lost the race since 2019.
Sports
  • Louisville Cardinals insider Ty Spalding has the scoop on what’s happening with Louisville athletics. Get game coverage, analysis, insights, interviews and more from local experts of theCards with Locked On’s daily podcasts.
    Shop
    • On a budget (or feeling the pain of inflation)? See these budget-friendly meals + recipes (think: feeding the fam for $15 and inexpensive heat and eat options).*
     
    TEGNA
     
    Try This
     
    🪴 Dig this
    LOUtoday_garden
    Composting everyday items like fruits, vegetables, bread, and coffee grounds can help your garden grow. | Photo by LOUtoday
    Spring is in full bloom, LOU, and if you’re like us you’re shouting about shrubs and settling on succulents for your garden. Today, we’ve got the dirt on on an important gardening skill: composting.

    What is composting?

    Composting is the process of decomposing organic matter — like leaves, food scraps, and yard trimmings. You reap what you sow: The result is a dark, nutrient-heavy material, like soil, that you can use to enrich your lawn or garden.

    How do you get started?

    Find a dry and shady spot in your backyard to build your compost pile. Be patient — composting can take several months.

    If you don’t want a pile of decomposing waste in your backyard, try a compost bin. For beginners, this bin is easy to clean and is perfect for collecting scraps on your counter.

    Ready to dig in for more? You can register for a free class hosted by the Louisville Metro Government, on Thursday, April 25 or attend a class hosted by the Louisville Free Public Library on Wednesday, April 17.
     
    The Buy
     
    Seaav workout gear. Try out these trendy pieces from a brand who donates 1% of profits towards the We The Reef Foundation.
     
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    The Wrap
     
    Jeff-Milby-headshot-LOU Today’s edition by:
    Jeff
    From the editor
    While it’s fun looking back at Louisville’s brewing history, I don’t think I’d trade it for our current craft beer scene. We’ve got a ton of local spots to find a good glass of suds.
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