BarrelHouse Taproom Review

barrelhouse reviewBrewery Name: BarrelHouse
Brewery Location: Paso Robles
Famous Beers: Pale Ryder

 

Overall Impression:

Positioned in the middle of nowhere, it’s worth the journey, especially if you are going to Firestone Walker anyway. They had some great session beers, some interesting limited releases, and a spectacular location to drink in.

Getting There

You must go here if you are planning on going to Firestone Walker. If you can only make it to one, do Barrelhouse and you won’t regret it. Off the freeway exit you pass under the overpass and turn left. When you get to the street they’re on, it’s at end of the cul-de-sac.

Decor

Outside the brewery they’ve got an old truck, a rock waterfall, some benches, and a few other decorations in a park-like area where you can drink. It’s peaceful, green, and looks like somewhere you might want to have a barbecue with friends.

barrelhouse outside

Inside the taproom you sit with the equipment, and though I thought they were fermenters at first, I’m now thinking that it would be way too hot for that, so it might have just been decoration. I thought I remember them being conical in shape but I guess they might be hot liquor tanks or grain silos.

Back near the bathrooms you can see some unused barrels that they use for barrel aging. It’s not a huge space, but it’s clear that they have some money behind their operation because the size of the location is certainly not small, and everything looks ultra clean/new.

barrelhouse inside

The seating area inside was quite small. The bar was packed and there were just a few tables scattered around the inside. I guess if things got really busy more folks would opt to sit outside. For me, it was just a pain in the butt to take my flight outside.

Beers

Overall, I was really happy with the beers here. I tasted 9 different ones, starting with their standard lineup, and finishing with their limited releases.

Unfortunately, I was dumb and wrote down in my Evernote notepad that I should check my Untappd check-ins for details on the beer. I didn’t think that it was going to be impossible find the beers again. Thanks to Google search I found some notes, but not all. I’ll list them below.

The most memorable beer for me however, was the Pale Ryder. It was a spectacular version of a Rye Pale ale, with a unique flavor that was completely unlike any rye beer I’ve had before. It was very dry, and the spicy rye character came through in a way that complimented the subtle hop flavors/aromas. THIS is the beer you must try.

barrelhouse beer flight

Zinja

A unique beer with a very ginger flavor and some honey qualities. Honey haters like myself will be happy that the honey was not overwhelming. A bit of a girly beer, but I could have a couple pints of this!

Templeton Session Style Ale

At first I thought it was just the yeast character that impressed but, but later in the week I realized that I just really like Kolsh style beers. This is a Kolsh, and it was very crisp and refreshing. It lives up to it’s name, and I’d give it first place for sessions style beers of the day.

Barrelhouse Stout

The only stout I had for the day, it hit the spot. I don’t remember much about this one except that it was good.

Heidbanger

I was not happy with this beer at all. It was aged in scotch rye whiskey barrels for 6 months, and tasted like it. At only 6%, it tasted over 20%. It was hard for me to detect much flavor in it because of the strong alcohol taste, but there was some malty sweetness and caramel character.

Brazz Monkey

A great ale brewed with clemetines and orange blossom honey. I’m not into fruit beers much, but enjoyed this one a lot. It wasn’t overpoweringly fruity, but citrus tends to go well with beers anyway.

Curly Wolf

I can see how people like Russian imperial stouts, and I do too. But I’m not a fan of vanilla in beer except in small quantities and balanced with other things. I also seem to be barrel-aged biased, so that’s two strikes for this beer. Tasty, for sure, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for that day.

All the other beers I tasted were clean tasting and well brewed as far as I can remember.

Food

Self serve pretzels and water. A true taproom, where the focus is beer! They allow you to bring your own food.

Service

I actually got to speak to one of the brewers for a bit, and he stood behind the bar pouring drinks and talking to customers about his beers. The other beer servers were friendly, and most importantly knowledgeable about the beers.

I received a little card with notes about how the beer was brewed and what flavors to look for, which always helps me enjoy a craft beer. I don’t always know what I’m drinking or what it should taste like, so I like having that bit of help.

Final Word

I really enjoyed my short trip to Barrelhouse, and I will be back on my next trip down the 101.

 

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About Nate

I created this website almost two years ago when I first started homebrewing. Like my brewing, it's been through many changes over the years.

I'm a full time online marketer and brewing beer is my hobby. You'll find a mix of all topics related to craft beer and homebrewing at xBREWx!

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