The Bar Belle has been staking out popular watering holes, neighborhood dives and trendy taverns for more than 20 years in Louisville, Ky. The nightlife scene reached out to her like a drunk text at midnight, asking her for some company and maybe a ride home.
Her award-winning column ran in LEO Weekly from 2006-2014, but like last call at The Back Door, all good things must come to an end. She created this website to pick up where she left off — as Queen Jester of Louisville’s Nightlife.
Currently, you can find The Bar Belle column in Food & Dining Magazine, which comes out quarterly.
Fingers crossed her tabs continue to be paid and she can handle her liquor like a professional. Remember: There’s no crying in bars, liquor before beer, and practice sobriety in moderation.
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And professionally speaking, Sara Havens is a spirits writer for various publications, including Alcohol Professor, The Bourbon Review, Bourbon+ Magazine and Food & Dining Magazine. Below are some of her recent articles.
The Bourbon Review:
• Founders & Creators: 22 Women of Whiskey
• Betting the farm: Joyce Nethery rekindles her passion for distilling at Jeptha Creed
• Pioneering a path: Jane Bowie leads the charge of innovation at Maker’s Mark
• From moonshining to Michter’s: Andrea Wilson recalls what ignited her passion for distilling
• Memphis Belle: Alex Castle walks the tightrope between tradition and experimentation at Old Dominick
• Baker’s Mark: Baker Beam Reflects on His Past, His Industry, and His Newly Rebranded Bourbon
• Bullitt County’s Wine & Whiskey Trail Offers the Best of Both Worlds
• Behind the Scenes of Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s World’s Top Whiskey Taster Competition
• How the Latest Jefferson’s Bourbon Was Crafted to Honor a Bootleggin’ Grandma
• 8 Intriguing New Whiskeys You Should Try This Spring
• 6 Whiskey Unicorns of the Great Fall Release Season & Some Ryes Too
• 7 New Whiskey Releases You Will Want to Try This Summer
• 7 of the Best Whiskey Releases of Spring 2022
• Is the Country’s Oldest Largest Wine Cellar at the Baker Bird Winery & Distillery Worth a Visit?
• A Drinker’s Guide to Augusta, Kentucky
• Kentucky’s Hive & Barrel Meadery Puts the Buzz in the Barrel
• Craft Beer For All: J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, aka Dr. J, leads an initiative for bringing inclusivity to the beer industry
• Buried Bourbon: From Beam to Pappy to Weller, many bourbon legends can be found in this Louisville cemetery
Food & Dining (Bar Belle column):
• Two Decades & Too Many Memories (Summer 2023)
• Derby Shenanigans & Insider Tips (Spring 2023)
• Worming my way into tequila south of the border (Winter 2022)
• The wonderfully weird ways of gin (Summer 2022)
• The ebb & flow of the Louisville bar scene (Spring 2022)
• Olive a good Bloody Mary, don’t you? (Winter 2021)
• Hangover 101: It’s gotta be the hair of the dog that actually bit you (Fall 2021)
• License to chill: An ode to the beach drink floater (Summer 2021)
• It’s our civic duty to drink local (Spring 2021)
• Last Call 2020: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here (Fall 2020)
• Back in the saddle: The return of The Bar Belle (Spring 2020)