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Barley John's Brew Pub
Active Beers: 12
Beer Ratings: 234
Beer Avg: 3.61
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery, Store ]
781 Old Hwy 8 SW
phone: (651) 636-4670
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Reviews by feloniousmonk:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
I was aware of this place for many years, but just don't get outside city limits much, not that I don't care, just that I don't drive. That changed when I heard of Rosie's Ale, the world's strongest beer, as of this writing, and I got a friend to take me up there, surprisingly not far away, via the freeways.
First of all, a very small building, with a limited number of tables, and only 4 stools or so at the bar. As an original structure (I think), free standing, you'd think they'd make it bigger, but there can be blessings here. Less crowded, no smoke, less noise...that I like.
Service was extraordinarily friendly and attentive, (the waitress brought out samples of beers we didn't order, utterly unbidden! How amazing is that?) atmosphere was tolerable (I can do without classic rock/80's radio, but it's the suburbs, whatchagonna do?), everything was nice and cozy, and the food? F'geddaboudit! It's all fresh and organic, the brewmaster is also the head chef, and it was all delicious! I had the braised beef made with Jindalee Shiraz, yum, yum!
Now, as for the beer, the real reason for any of these critiques: Incredible! The IPA was scrumptious, the porter was near perfect, the Belgian brown, which I am drinking now from a growler, was excellent, and the barleywine, the aforementioned biggest, strongest beer known to man, as of this date, 2004,AD, was sublime! Actually, the hype I created here about it caused some commotion for the staff, for John Moore, the brewmaster was out of town on vacation, and unaware of what a tumult would occur when they started serving this behemoth, and all the calls and visits they'd get!
One of the few brews I didn't try here was their mild bitter, which isn't really my style, but every other sample was excellent.
A tiny little box in a NorthEast suburb of Minneapolis serves excellent food and incredible beers. Seek them out, if you can. Consider this an order!
03-10-2004 06:47:00 |
More by feloniousmonk
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
A good friend of mine introduced me to this very quaint jem, thanks Jeff! The place is VERY small only a seating capacity inside of maybe 40 people but there is a patio that can seat another 60 people if the weather permits. The first time here i had one of the BEST pale ales i've ever had and have since had, a pale ale brewed with kaffir limes, not overly fruity or limey but very balanced and delish! there porter was also very solid.
The last time I was there i tried their flagship "wild brunette" which is brewed with wild rice, again very different, very balanced and very good! also tried a "sour mash rye" that was so good i ended up getting a growler of it for 17 bucks, thats PURCHASE of growler and FILL, idk if this was so cheap because of being there at happy hour or if there normal prices are just this great. This beer was very sour and rich but again a great tasting beer that i can't really compare to anything else. also tried an imoerial ipa that was good and worth trying but nothing great, i think it was called "give me liberty or give me death...? something like that.
there food menu is in my opinion their weakest link. the menu options are very limited, everything i've tried was very good but a little on the spendy side, so even thoe the beer is resonably priced, again i was there durning happy hour there food is not what i would say "reasonable" but not ridiculously priced either. if you like trying different styles of beer that are hard to come by i would strongly recommend this place
05-06-2013 03:34:15 |
More by Beerlover
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
This is place is tiny. I mean tiny... In summer it's probably nice with the patio, but in winter, everyone is packed in their shoebox. Which has it's redeeming charm as well. The beer is fresh and you can see some of their vats from the bar. Everything is well done here and it feels like an oldtime local joint. There are four regular beers, a couple seasonals and about eight guest taps, all decent or good selections. The food here is ok, but I haven't had anything that wowed me. Come here for the beer, the food is passable.
As far as price/value, the beer are very fairly priced, the good is overpriced. Weight together, I call it reasonable.
12-16-2011 23:47:24 |
More by jsprain1
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Unfortunately, I live on the wrong side of the twin cities to visit Barley John's to be a regular. Recently, visited BJ's again for the AHA Teach a Friend to Homebrew day, and actually brought a friend to learn from the welcoming Minnesota Home Brewers Association. I attended this same event several years ago when I started homebrewing and the learning from it gave me the confidence to brew my first batch.
On to Barley John's, who has always been a great host. For 10 am start, BJ's had a breakfast back special, including a veggie version that was much appreciated by me. Also, two additional options offered two different sausage versions of the egg bake. Over the years, I've been to BJ's maybe a dozen times--and have never been disappointed by the food. In fact, the food is one of their strengths.
On this trip, I started with the Imperial Stout, which was a very respectable version of the style. I finished the keg of the Biere de Garde, which the server said was the staff favorite. It wasn't a favorite of mine, but it was the bottom of the keg (comped for half the glass). Moved to my standard favorite Old Eight Porter. When available, the much acclaimed Dark Knight is very much worth the effort to drink.
If you're on the north side, or if you're looking for a way above average dinner with your craft beer, Barley John's should be a serious consideration. This small place with friendly service, great food and solid beer won't disappoint.
11-12-2011 18:41:41 |
More by FightingEntropy
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped in the other night for some Dark Knight
I grew up in New Brighton and have been going here since i have been of legal age to enjoy there beer. They don't have a huge selection of offerings but they have a great selection of different brew, 3 to 4 regulars and few guest and a seasonal, I always get the Stockyard IPA and the Maibock when on tap . If you have seen the size of this place you will know why they don't offer a bunch of different beers.If you can get here during the tapping of the dark knight you will be in for a treat such a great brew. The food is above average for a pub, pizza's are great and the Habenero Hummus with Pita Bread is awesome. They have a really nice patio, but can be really busy on a nice night and on Friday and Saturday night. Service is always great here, have never had a bad experience here.
05-28-2011 15:51:54 |
More by TIMMYJ21
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$
Stopped here after the St. Paul Beer Fest. Was somewhat disappointed that they didn't have much extra for beers they made other than what I tried at the fest. The beers that they did have were quality and pretty solid. Prices were reasonable and it seemed like it would be a nice place to visit on a nicer day despite the weird interection it was on, as it appeared to have an area outside. Inside it was cramped as I was that day. I would like to visit again, but only if they have their heavy hitters on tap.
01-12-2011 23:30:21 |
More by MilwaukeeCrusher
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | $$
Barley John's is a fun place to hang out. The atmosphere is very cozy, and Northwoods like. It is very small inside, but they do have a large patio. All of the beers I have had from them have been very solid or better. The selection leaves a bit to be desired though. Four regulars and two seasonals, plus a dozen or so guest taps seems to be the norm. Which would be fine if the seasonals were rotated a bit faster. If I'm visiting a brewpub once a month I like to see new seasonals every time I visit. The last time I was there they were down to one seasonal, and weren't pouring one of their regulars, because it was "off." With just four house beers to choose from I ended up ordering a guest tap at a brewpub for the first time. I enjoyed the beer, but I visit brewpubs to drink the beer they brew not someone else's.The servers have always beer very knowledgeable about all of the beers they pour, but can be quite slow to refill your glass.
12-03-2010 18:57:15 |
More by KarlHungus
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $
Our first night in Minne for Darkness Day and we headed here for dinner. Super small inside with a big outside patio. As you walk in you get a total feeling of a small town place, way more small town than Minneapolis, think 700 miles from a major city West Texas. Inside is quaint but weird. Plain brown walls with painted on hop plants dancing around the ceiling. A selection of 4 regulars and 2 seasonals. The taps were all pretty good, with some super unique tastings. You should order a sampler because it comes with the coolest sampler holder ever. Overall, a very cool experience that you must visit. However, I was SUPER disappointed that did not have dark night or ba rosie. Come on guys, its Darkness weekend people from all over he country are coming and you can't have your heavy hitters on, weak!!!
10-26-2010 01:18:22 |
More by jrallen34
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $
I love going in to Barley Johns. Whenever I have a friend from overseas come to visit, I make sure to take them there to get some "real" American beer. It is a very small cosy place to have a beer and get lunch.
Their menu is quite small but they have lots of good diverse choices. Also with Vegetarian options; their Hummus is to die for! The daily specials are also great and unique. Friendly staff, but it always seems to take a while for them to get to you.
The beer is excellent across the board. The Wild Brunette (wild rice brown ale)is my favourite; it is very unique and interesting. They also have great seasonal beers.
I would definitely recommend stopping by, having lunch, and bringing a growler home.
09-30-2010 19:48:19 |
More by EwaldEichstaett
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Barley John's was the first stop on a full-day karmic adventure with my man, dirtylou
Must have been somewhere around 11 am on a Saturday when we rolled in. The place was dead aside from 3 chatty old gents at the bar and a group performing some manner of fantasy football maneuvers on the patio.
The brewpub is set on a pretty dreary suburban street corner. Poor landscaping, a wooded lot and an enterprise rent-a-car across the busy street - not exactly scenic. The patio sports lots of stained wooden tables, worn/cracked/bumpy pavement underfoot, and some hop vines. Inside had that mopwater smell with a small barroom and dining room to the side - vibe mostly nonexistent.
A decent amount of brewpub stuff on tap - maybe 6 or 7 total, and some guest beers as well. I went with the Wild Brunette - a brown featuring wild rice, so points for creativity. Standard pint serving. The beer was fresh and certainly had an interesting flavor - can't say it's an award winner or anything, but I was happy to have it in hand.
The server was friendly enough though I get the feeling she wasn't having a great time. Samples easily obtained. Brownie points for clowning on dirtylou's Wisconsin ID.
08-27-2010 15:50:41 |
More by blackie
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Barley John's Brew Pub in New Brighton, MN