By Joe Hedges and Laren Hines

It is a sunshine-filled Friday afternoon as Ryan Phillips greeted us at the 7 Brew stand on Hurstbourne Parkway with an equally warm grin. He is the Regional Manager of 7 Brew Louisville, running four stands spread across the Metro’s east side. 

Spring is in full swing for the coffee chain, which announced its trio of featured seasonal drinks at the beginning of March. At the start of our visit, Phillips guided us through the stand — booming with bright-faced baristas and Animals by the Neon Trees — while detailing 7 Brew’s journey to Louisville. 

7 Brew’s signature drive-thru stores have increased in popularity due to their vast array of drinks and speedy customer service. Phillips mentioned that 7 Brew aims to have up to 40 locations in Kentucky within the next four years. The Hurstbourne stand opened in January. A new location in Fern Creek opened on March 25th.

The coffee chain spans 21 states with 211 stands, though it hails from Rogers, Arkansas. Each stand is custom-built off-site and then placed into each new location by crane. After each new store opens, 7 Brew celebrates with a large donation to a local charity. 

A 7 Brew stand being lowered into place by crane.

Phillips was a strong embodiment of the community positivity that the franchise supports. 

“I feel that we’ve had an amazing community response,” he said about Louisville’s new stands. “Coming to 7 Brew is an experience. Every stand that we open, we make 25,000 samples and give them to local businesses to try.”

We couldn’t leave without a taste test of 7 Brew’s spring lineup: The “Pixie Stick” Chiller, the “Cloud 9”, and an iced Salted Caramel Macchiato. Here’s what we had to say about each drink.

7 Brew’s featured spring drinks (from left to right): Cloud 9, Salted Caramel Macchiato, Pixie Stick Chiller.

The “Cloud 9”

Before trying the matcha latte flavored with lavender and vanilla, Ryan told us to “[think of] Froot Loops” as we sipped.

Joe: “A great option for someone who doesn’t want too much caffeine. Even people who don’t like tea will still love this option, as the vanilla and lavender make it very smooth.”

Laren: “Matcha and lavender sound like taking a bite out of a garden patch, which has me hesitant. I tell Ryan that I’m prepared for the drink to taste like grass. “You either haven’t eaten grass, or you haven’t had good matcha,” he states. Thankfully, it tastes nothing of the sort. A sweet, peaceful beverage that truly evokes the aura of spring.”

Iced Salted Caramel Macchiato

This classic drink features a shot of espresso over iced milk, flavored with salted caramel syrup in a drizzled cup.

Joe: “Although I am not a huge caramel fan, I could not help but gulp down the caramel macchiato in minutes. A perfect blend of 7 Brew’s proprietary beans, salted caramel, and oat milk.”

Laren: “A bold twist from the previous drink. Espresso-forward and slightly sweet, which is exactly how I prefer my coffees. The perfect drink for an early morning commute or a study session at the library.”

Joe and Laren learn how to pull their own espresso shots.

The “Pixie Stick” 

This energy chiller is flavored with orange, almond, and pomegranate while blended with ice and 7 Brew’s own canned energy drink — aptly called “7 Energy.”

Joe: “It reminds me of the slushies I had as a kid, with the distinct taste of Pixie Sticks that I also adored at a young age. This drink was one of a kind, and will be tough to top.”

Laren: “It tastes exactly like the namesake candy; Tart, sweet, and very bold. I couldn’t imagine it getting much better than this. Definitely a brain-freeze inducer, but the electricity of the fruit flavors makes it too good to care.”

On April 27 the newest Louisville location will be open for business in Outer Loop. Check out 7 Brew’s full menu here, or find a stand near you.

Photo Courtesy // Joe Hedges/Laren Hines, The Louisville Cardinal; 7 Brew