Garden City's new barrelhouse, Barbarian Brewing, hosted its grand opening Saturday, Oct. 3. Situated just a few spots down from Crooked Fence's original brewery location, Barbarian specializes in "Belgian- and European-style Sour Ales, Imperial Ales and a variety of other beers that require 2-18 months of aging time in oak barrels or stainless steel vessels."
When I approached the stripmall storefront at 5270 Chinden Blvd., Wetos Locos was outside slinging tacos and a crowd of eager beer drinkers had pooled around the small bar inside the front door.
For the grand opening, only two brews had spent some time on oak: The Big Bad Wolf Imperial IPA (9% ABV) and the Dark Saison (6.5% ABV), which was fermented in merlot barrels. I sampled the latter, which had a nice chocolatey maltiness.
Other intriguing offerings included: PostFunk (5.5% ABV), a tart and citrusy dry-hopped golden sour; and The Commoner (5.1% ABV), a California Common, or "Steam Beer," with a medium body and a dark amber color.
Past the tasting room, which included a six-top wood table with high bar stools, was the brewery. A pathway had been constructed from some orange plastic netting, which separated a cluster of wood barrels from a row of stainless steel brewing equipment. All told, it's a pretty small space.
Barbarian is now open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-9 p.m., Saturdays from Noon-9 p.m. and Sundays from Noon-5 p.m. at 5270 Chinden Blvd.
If you'd like to try a few Barbarian brews with some small bites, Juniper is hosting an Appetizer Beer Pairing Event Thursday, Oct. 15 from 5-7 p.m. for $20 per person. You can make reservations by calling 208-342-1142.