Writer / Heather Chastain
Four Kentucky home brewers took their love for beer and turned it into a craft microbrewery. Greg Hayden and Ben Shinkle met at Bellarmine University where they studied chemistry. Greg says back then the idea of starting a brewery just seemed like too big of a dream and more like a fleeting interest.
So, the two went off to work in other industries. Then, a few years ago, decided they were ready to take their love for brewing to the next level. The men brought on Ben’s brother, Dale, and Brian Minrath and began planning.
“We wanted to do something local, and we wanted to venture into an underserved area,” Greg says. “Right now, there are breweries located in basically three different areas. We wanted to bring craft beer to a number of beer drinkers who didn’t have anything in their area.
He said Jeffersontown officials welcomed them with open arms. They took up residence in Gaslight Square in a newly restored 1878 church.
3rd Turn Brewing opened in September 2015 during the Gaslight Festival.
“That wasn’t done by mistake,” Greg says. “Thousands of people come out to the festival every year and it runs right down our street. We thought it would be a good time to open and a good time to meet the people of Jeffersontown.”
The brewery is designed to bring back the idea of the neighborhood bar.
“It’s kind of a joke around here, people want to know when we’re getting more TVs.” Greg says. “But it just kind of goes against what we’re trying to do. We want to be a tap room where people come to talk with each other and hang out.
The brewery has large tables designed to hold big numbers of people. The microbrewery has hosted birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings and vow renewals. The business has had parties as large as 120 people.
Greg says people are taking to the kind of environment they are creating.
“We’ve had people tell us they lost track of time and spent three hours inside our brewery,” he says. “It’s just an honor to know we’ve become such a big part of the community.”
One Facebook reviewer expressed her excitement over the brewery.
“We love 3rd Turn!! The building itself is beautiful and comfy, bartenders are very friendly, and the beer is always amazing. This isn’t a hipster place that makes craft beer that you secretly think is gross, the beers are unique, and we haven’t had a bad one yet. Love having this in J-Town close to home!”
3rd Turn Brewery has 20 beers on its menu. Half of them are the ales they produce, and the other half are different types of local and regional beer rotating on a weekly basis.
“It gives people a chance to drink different beer all across Louisville and Kentucky,” Greg says.
However, if you’re not into beer, they do have a modest selection of wine, bourbon and some specialty drinks. Since they do not prepare food, they invite customers to bring in their own.
The name of the brewery not only references the third turn in the Derby, but it also has special meaning to Greg and Ben. Back in college, the two men would stick around at the end of the school year and would say to each other, “I’ll meet you in the third turn.”
Later this spring, you’ll be able to meet at the third turn in Crestwood as well. The brewery is opening a second location. The owners are proud to say it’s Oldham County’s first brewery.