Barley Island Brewing Company
639 Conner St
Visited in March 2007
Barley Island is more of a “family style” brewpub than most that you come across. It resides in a suburb of Indianapolis, about 45 minutes north of downtown. The square and shops around it are historic and charming. The exterior of Barley Island is not.
The interior, however, has some charm. It’s got dark wood and a nice looking bar. Of course, that wood might only be dark because of all the smoke that typically fills the restaurant. I have no idea why Indiana has yet to join the rest of the smart people of this country by banning smoking in eating establishments.
But even though its smoky, at least the beer is bad. This was one of the first places I ever went to, being so close to where my sister lives, and I wasn’t too impressed with it even then as a naïve brewpub connoisseur. Having gone back since just for the beer, I was even less impressed. I’m not sure what keeps this place open, but it’s not the quality of anything I’ve ever tasted there.
T his Indiana brewpub is set in an amazingly beautiful building. The old woodwork is absolutely stunning and the bar is really, really cool. It’s a shame the rest of the establishment doesn’t live up to its housings…
The breaded fish (baked, not fried) was pretty bland, although my company did enjoy their meals quite a bit more than I did. The burgers are apparently pretty good, so you might want to stick to traditional pub fare.
The beer sampler kind of sucked. They didn’t pour their signature Java Porter (which might have been out of season). They were also out of their wheat and replaced it with a Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat. I’m happy they at least replaced the beer, but I’d rather have one less sample and pay a bit less than have a Leinenkugel.