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M.J. Barleyhoppers
621 21st Street
Lewiston, Idaho
(208) 746-5300
Visited in July 2008

Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington isn’t exactly an area ripe with breweries. A couple more were added before I moved away from the region, but from what I could tell the newbies needed a lot of work.

That’s not to say that the existing ones didn’t need a lot of work too.

M.J. Barleyhoppers was – for a long time – the one of only two brewpubs within one hour of two major college universities. How exactly a student base of more than 30,000 combined at Washington State and the University of Idaho doesn’t draw more than that is beyond me. But they didn’t.

Barleyhoppers is located inside of the Red Lion in Lewiston, a short haul south of Moscow and Pullman. The restaurant really isn’t all that impressive. It’s a bit drab and dingy – your typical aging hotel restaurant. The food and beer wasn’t much better. I sat and went through samplers on two occasions. Though I remember conceding on my second trip that it wasn’t quite as bad as I had originally thought, I don’t remember anything good to say about either the food or the beer.

Original Review

This restaurant is located inside of the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston, Idaho. It’s a typical brewpub trying to be a little upscale but its mainly a night hangout with decent beer. The outdoor patio is awesome, though.

For food, I tried the marinated, teriyaki tri-tip steak bites. They weren’t very impressive. For beer, I tried them all and I’m sorry to say I really don’t remember much about the beer except that they were all pretty average or below average. The brewer isn’t very creative and doesn’t make very assertive beer. Since everything tasted thin, the summer ale that had some flavor from orange peel was the winner.

I was the only person in the place for lunch on a Sunday yet I got zero conversation and the bartender was absent. He was watching television when I walked in and for some reason turned the sound down when I sat. Like I wouldn’t want to watch Sports Center. Come on.

Location: 16
Food: 13
Beer: 11
Service: 10
Overall: 13
Total: 63

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