To be clear, barflies at Brew Bridge in Owensboro, Kentucky, can’t fling axes while in the pub. But, patrons can pop on over to neighbouring Escape Today, a sister venue, to try their hand at the increasingly popular activity (like darts with hatchets).
Both establishments are owned by the same company and co-owner Max Garvin assures that it’s totally safe and that tipsy guests aren’t permitted to channel their inner Viking (all patrons must sign a waiver).
“It’s very safe. Honestly, we’ve had more minor injuries in our escape room,” he laughs. The venue also includes an arcade.
Garvin and partner David Haynes opened the activity centre three years ago in Owensboro, a small city in the northwestern part of the state that is known for its fine Fine Arts Museum, magical Moonlight Inn Bar-B-Q (named one of the world’s ’15 Happiest Places’ by CNN in 2017, no less), and as home to the most excellent Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.
With a steady stream of visitors to the town for those attractions, Garvin and Haynes joined forces with master brewer Will Gomez soon after to open Owensboro’s first craft brewery (the name is a play on the city’s signature Blue Bridge, which spans the Ohio River to neighbouring Indiana), and first since 1903.The venue, located downtown at the end of the main drag, is an easy walk from the Bluegrass Museum and Convention Centre. Unremarkable outside, it features a large bar and comfortable warehouse chic interior, including local artwork displayed on the walls. In the back there’s a shaded patio, the biggest in town, that beckons during the summer heat.
But mainly, “We’re all about the craft,” says Garvin, citing a roster of about 30 of its own beers brewed onsite, 12 to 15 of which are available on tap at any one time, including seasonal varieties.
From 1947 a premium light lager to the Commander, a double chocolate oatmeal stout, there is something for all adult tastes (kids are welcome in the bar too), and ideal to wash down barbecue from the onsite smokehouse, which features brisket, pulled pork, turkey, and homemade sides.
The menu also includes custom burgers, wraps, pasta, and even poutine to help Canadians feel at home.
And to work it all off, there’s the axe-throwing next door. Just not if you’re tanked.
Bridge Brew is located at 800 Main West 2nd St. in Owensboro, which about two hours west of Louisville and a similar distance north of Nashville, Tenn. Info at owensborobrewbridge.com.
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