5 O'Clock Somewhere: Barley's Smokehouse & Brewpub

  • Jodi Miller photo
    Barley's Smokehouse & Brewpub
  • Jodi Miller photo
From the 12/09/2009 edition
Barley's Smokehouse & Brewpub might lack its sister's swanky High Street address and airy interior, but its awesomeness is right there in the name: barbecue and microbrew.

Its strong suits even rhyme. Time to celebrate.

Inside the humble confines, located between I-670 and downtown Grandview, are a small bar with stained-glass accents and a dining room that wraps around the brewing headquarters. You can check out the steel mash tuns before sitting down and ordering up a draft birthed in them just weeks before.

Both Barley's locations are supplied by brewmaster Scott Francis, yet each offers slightly different selections. Seven or so originals are offered on tap at the Smokehouse. They rotate seasonally and start at $4.25.

First-timers should try the Scottish Ale, an amber-bodied concoction with a residual sweetness and a slight hop bite. The Christmas Ale is darker and slightly less potent. Both show that Barley's cares about the science and craft of fermenting hops.

For even more evidence, check out Firkin Fridays, when the Smokehouse unveils a small batch of "real ale" (see box). Because the 10 gallons released each week are brewed and served according to traditional practices, they only keep for about 40 hours. Most make it less than half that, so get there early.

Like all good smokehouses, this one won't let you simply come in, drink a beer and leave. Your hunger will only be whetted by the warm ale-induced buzz and the smells wafting by on large trays of hickory-smoked meats.

The menu is populated by beef, poultry and pork - every shred of which gets proper smoking and dousing with spicy sauces. If you can't make up your mind, try the Smokehouse Sampler for $9.