Last fall, when I moved across the river, I found my long lost New Holland Brewery growler (I went to college just a few blocks from the New Holland brewpub). As fate would have it, I also moved within walking distance of the Party Source. It was a perfect marriage: a large 64 oz container made for beer, and a steadily rotating cast of brews with which to fill it.
My favorite part of filling up the growler is testing the eight different beers on tap and making a decision. A few weeks ago, I tried each of the eight and was blown away by one beer in particular: a Mikkeller IPA (I forget what the official name was now). I filled the growler and took a stroll down that long beer aisle and found that there were 50 Mikeller beers there. Who was this Mikkeller? And were all of their beers this good?
Mikkeller, as it turns out, is a man, not a brewery. His name is Mikkel Borg Bjergsø. He's Danish and, like a lot of brewers, started brewing beer in his home. When he decided to expand, however, he opted against opening his own brewery and instead rented space from other brewers. The result was such a success that he continued to bounce from brewery to brewery, working with local brewers to make one great beer after another. (He recently brewed a pilsner called "Bloody Show" with Louisville's own Against The Grain—it's a blood orange pilsner with a great amber color, a nice citrus zing up front, some spice in the middle, and a crisp finish. It' s currently on tap at Party Source.)
Are the beers good? Yes, all of them. And Mikkeller has so many styles, you can easily find one that will suit your palate. (I'm especially intrigued by his series of single-hopped IPAs, each of which uses a different hop in the brew.) It's actually pretty daunting to stand in front of Party Source's Mikeller selection—one worker told me they spent $40,000 on it all—so allow me to offer up my own strategy: Start on the left, and work your way down the row.