I’ve heard of Barley Creek Brewing many times, and finally I made it there in November 2019 (the review is updated with a February 2020 visit). I had sampled their beers at other locations (and festivals) but it’s really worth going to their main location in Tannersville, less than a mile from the Crossing Outlets and just as you get off Camelback Mountain. Actually they do have a tasting room at the outlets, but again, I recommend going to the brewery, maybe while your significant other is shopping.
I live in New Jersey so I always visiting breweries in other states where Prohibition laws have been better repealed. Meaning, mostly, that breweries can serve food and have more of a bar atmosphere. Barley Creek is associated with the Morning Toast eatery, which has a variety of delicious offerings starting with hearty breakfast, and a full lunch and dinner restaurant. The place also has the vibe of a sports bar, and often in the summer they have live music here.
Honestly I’d never been impressed with their samples at off-site events, but the beers they have on tap at the brewery were amazing! Mainly because they have so many IPA options, which they never serve at other locations. So here’s what I tasted in the fall of 2019 and winter of 2020:
- Citrabellum Double IPA: One of my favorites, it’s a strong double at 8.2%, but with the Citra flavors that makes it feel very smooth. There a nice mix of Cascade, Simcoe and a few other hops.
- Iron Arm Belgian Style Wheat: A light Belgian blonde (5%), with a nice mix of fruity flavors, very refreshing for a hot summer day (especially as they serve it with an orange slice).
- Rescue IPA: Very hoppy IPA that I really liked, it’s not that strong (6.1%) but it has a great combination of Cascade and Centennial hops. It’s probably their flagship IPA.
- Antler Brown Ale: Very good traditional English style ale, good and refreshing after a cold day on the slopes with only 4.8%.
- Downstairs Mixup: This 7.3% New England IPA was another of my favorites. It’s smooth and hazy, with strong aromas and low bitterness, with a slight touch of lactose just as I like them.
- Saison IPA: Although I’m not a huge saison fan, this brew is amazing, it has the light tropical flavors of a good saison, and the hopiness of a Mosaic-based IPA. It has a good kick at 7% but feels light and also great for the summer.
- SuperHop Triple IPA: A very strong beer at 12.3%, with a very hoppy kick, but made quite smooth by the Centennial and Citra hops. It has a bite but tropical flavors make it easy to drink.
- Full Stack Imperial Stout: Good classic imperial stout at 10.3%, with slight maple and chocolate flavors and a rich taste.
- Tommy’s Double Black IPA: Is it a stout? Or is it an IPA? Well, this is a combination of both and it tastes amazing. It’s quite strong at 7.8% but the mix of coffee stout flavors with the smooth Cascade hops makes it very drinkable.
- Wanderlust Chocolate Porter: A delightful porter on a cold day, only 4.5% with strong chocolate and coffee aromas.
- Slippery Slope Pale Ale: Easy to drink 4.9% ale, with a bit of hoppiness from the added Cascades, made as a refreshing drink for Camelback skiers.
There were a lot more options to pick, and there was a wide variety of beer styles, so a new visit is kind of required. They sell a few beers in 16oz cans, and almost everything else in 32oz crowlers.
Besides the brewery, Barley Creek also has a distillery! They don’t do liquor lights like they do with beer, but if you plan to buy a bottle you can ask for small samples. I only tasted a few of their products, so here’s a brief overview:
- Vodka: Very smooth and light tasting. They also have fruit-flavored vodkas (orange, raspberry, vanilla), and the bacon vodka that I tasted – interesting combination but not something I’d drink on a regular basis.
- Whiskey: It has a bit of an oaky aroma, but I found it a bit too rough on my taste buds.
- Flavored Moonshine: Nice surprise, I really liked this, especially the coffee moonshine!
The food was also great, lots of options both for adults and kids. My kids were very happy with the meals, just what they needed after a day of skiing. For my, the bison Cowboy Burger really hit the spot.
To conclude, I really enjoyed visiting Barley Creek in the Poconos. Definitely planning to come back, maybe make it a favorite dining spot and combine it with their great beers, liquors and cocktails.