The YES List – Decadent Dudes Derby [#YesDoesDerby]

Sour Mash Tours is the only walking bourbon tasting experience in The Ville. It’s safe to say their team gets around town & they know the best places to eat, drink & be merry at Derby time!

We asked them to put together their top list of stops for an epic dudes weekend in Louisville during Derby Season…or any time of year! This list is also girl’s weekend friendly, because, why not? After all, the terrific trio that makes up the Sour Mash Tours team does include two men & a lady.

Enjoy getting to know Louisville through the eyes of these experts & be sure to follow them on the socials @sourmashtours & book an experience with them on!

From Left: Dillon, Danielle & Andy of Sour Mash Tours

1 21C Museum Hotel | Proof on Main

Whether you’re staying in one of their boutique hotel rooms, admiring the art in their contemporary museum, or having dinner and drinks at Proof restaurant, 21c is a must-do in Louisville. Lounge in the moody bar area and enjoy a bourbon flight or a craft cocktail, or make reservations in the hip dining room — get the bison burger and thank us later.

Image Courtesy of 21C Hotels

700 W. Main St.

2 Feast BBQ

Looking for a quick bite that will fill you up before you pick the ponies? Feast should be your spot. The best barbecue in town and a fantastic bourbon selection to boot. Try the tater tots covered in pulled pork, coleslaw, and homemade barbecue sauce, and while you’re at it grab one of the rotating bourbon slushees always on tap! Choose from the classic Ale-8-One or one of Duncan’s unique concoctions!

Image Courtesy of Sour Mash Tours

909 E. Market St.

3 Flying Axes

Axes and beer. Need we say more? Trust us when we say that throwing axes at wooden targets is one of the best decisions you can make while you’re in Derby City! Trained coaches guide you in one-on-one battles against your friends in the heart of NuLu. They offer a great selection of local beers, but we’d recommend leaving the bourbon for after you throw!

Image Courtesy of Sour Mash Tours

146 N. Clay St.

4 Holy Grale

I know what you’re thinking — no bourbon? But hear me out. If you’re looking for a high quality beer experience and the best beer garden in town, Holy Grale is your spot. They have everything from local taps to the best Belgian and other international beers the world has to offer. On a nice night you can’t beat sitting in the beer garden at Octoberfest tables enjoying a pint or even liter! Prost!

Image Courtesy of Holy Grale

1034 Bardstown Rd.

5 Le Moo

It’s Derby. You’re here to have a good time and celebrate with friends. Treat yourself with a giant steak. Le Moo is a local eccentric take on the classic steakhouse with a huge bourbon list that includes a wide selection of rare products. If you hit it big at the track, spring for the 10-oz Miyazaki Japan Grade A-5 Wagyu. Too far? Get a big steak with a bone in it and a nice glass of whiskey. You deserve it!

Image Courtesy of Le Moo

2300 Lexington Rd.

6 Patrick's Liquors Bar

Hit Patrick’s Liquors Bar on Frankfort Avenue on a Friday or Saturday night for cheap, stiff drinks, pool, and most importantly, the most fun karaoke in town. The tunes start around 10 or 11PM. Bar snacks are available like chips and popcorn, but you can also get food delivered. Or, hit Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot next door before 11PM for some great local BBQ (and a quick game of putt-putt)!

Image Courtesy of Patrick's

3202 Frankfort Ave.

7 Red Hog Restaurant & Butcher Shop

If you’re looking for a great local restaurant AND an awesome butcher shop, Red Hog is the answer. Stop in and eat the aptly-named Best Damn Cuban on their patio, order one of their craft cocktails, or stop in the butcher stop and cook out at home with some dry-aged fillets. While you’re there, grab some house-made beer cheese and pepper jelly for good measure.

Image Courtesy of Red Hog

2622 Frankfort Ave.

8 Rye

This is one of the best spots in the NuLu neighborhood for dinner and cocktails. Stop in for happy hour (Tues-Thur from 5-7pm) and order up some of the best cheese and charcuterie boards you’ve ever had with a couple dozen half-priced oysters. Sit around the beautiful bar and order from the cocktail menu, which is half Rye standards and half rotating originals.

Image Courtesy of Sour Mash Tours

900 E. Market St.

9 Sherby

Sure, if you really wanted to, you could probably find a way to get into one of the Derby Eve parties and spot celebrities coming into Louisville to watch the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports. But since you probably didn’t pack a tuxedo, why not Derby like a local on Friday night? Every year, Sherwood Avenue in the Highlands gets closed off east of Bardstown Road for a day of live music, food trucks, and bourbon. This started as a local block party but has grown into a large-scale event, which has raised over $100k for local charities.

Image Courtesy of Team Sherby

Sherwood Ave.

10 Taj

Taj is one of our favorite bars in NuLu. One of the best Old Fashioneds in the city and a unique space. Check out the back patio that’s covered and open rain or shine, plus the Four Roses bar in a shipping container that opens in the evenings. If you want to stumble back to Taj after a night out, just look for the big Mint Julep out front. It’s a sign that you have to stop in during Derby!

Image Courtesy of Sour Mash Tours

807 E. Market St.