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    This article appears in the January 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit

    Don’t know about you, but we could really use a drink right about now. So we’ve scoured the city to find our 21 favorite bars — from upscale jazz joints to dives where your beer bottle sticks to the table. We’ve also tossed in some personalities familiar with local nightlife and quotes we overheard while out on the town.

    We think Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, had he been to Rich O’s (3312 Plaza Drive, New Albany), might well have altered one of his famous sayings to, “Any beer-drinker should be able to run the country.” Instead, he put cooks in charge, and we all know how that turned out.

    On most evenings, the collective at this New Albany brew haven — which has a room with a larger-than-life-size Lenin poster on one of its walls — will include members of its own knowledgeable leadership: the “fossils,” an acronym for Fermentors of Special Southern Indiana Libations Society. These home-brewers know their suds, and one of them will often be standing nearby should you have a question your bartender or server cannot answer.

    You’ll want some advice because there’s an on-tap rotation of esoteric microbrews and imports, plus current draft offerings from the New Albanian Brewing Co. (under shared ownership) and a bottled-beer list of global all-star pilsners, ales, porters — you name it.

    But what about the Belgians? you ask. Let’s just say that if Lenin had worked his way through the Rich O’s selections, he might have skipped the cooks, and even the beer-drinkers, and instead nominated the Trappists to run post-Czar Russia.

    Photo: John Nation

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    About Lou

    Didn't I tell you? I run this place! Not much goes on here without me knowing...I'm always watching.

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