Carryout: Barley Hopsters

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From the February 9, 2012 edition

Every good bottle shop has its own draw, a unique appeal that settles in like a thin layer of dust on that rare, cellared vintage.

A friendly salesman who remembers your love of stouts. A choice selection, with a few oddities always in stock. An owner who’ll order anything you request.

Barley Hopsters, a carryout that opened in Delaware about 10 months ago, already has a bit of that seasoned charm.

“I like to form a relationship with people, build that point of trust,” operating partner Bill Denen said. “We’re just doing what we love.”

As he wanders through the store, a vintage space on North Sandusky Street with tin ceilings and wooden accents, his love of things brewed and bottled is clear.

He points out new additions like the Portsmouth Pilsner, which he stocked only a few weeks after its initial release. He shows off a map of Ohio alcohol operations and a downstairs meeting room that can host special events.

In the spacious main room, usual suspects and quirky newcomers are stored in coolers and on shelves. Labels from Dogfish Head, Bell’s and Goose Island wait next to those from Stillwater, Two Brothers and Uncommon. The beer total tops 400, and the wine list includes more than 100.

The store offers every beer in stock as singles, making for endless mix-a-six possibilities. The beer selection is priced by the bottle and organized by type, assets for snob and newbie alike.

Barley Hopsters is a great place to wander slowly, investigate new drinks and get to know the staff.

“It’s an M.O. of ours to keep getting new stuff,” Denen said. “We try to drink whatever comes through the door.”