Barley's Brewing Company

Barley's Brewing CompanyBarley's Brewing Company
Barley's Brewing CompanyBarley's Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

467 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio, 43215
United States

(614) 228-ALES | map

Notes: AKA - Ale House No. 1
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 78 | Ratings: 142
Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This brewery was just down the street from our hotel in Columbus. The bar has a wonderful mirrored backing and the bartender was friendly. The beer was excellent, and we learned that this is one of the oldest brewpubs in the city. We didn't try the food, but the beer was excellent, and the place is frequented by friendly regulars.

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Photo of dafla67
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Across the street from the convention center. The beer selection is above average and the beer itself is well above average. The food was very good too. The atmosphere is very warm and enjoyable.

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Photo of cueball52
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I admit I'm a bit nostalgic about this place because we have been coming here since 1994 but the beer is always good and the food is delicious. We always sit at the bar and always get great service.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.09/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Didn’t exactly know where to go in the Columbus area, just passing through.
Decided on here.
Nice clean atmosphere with good service, the place wasn’t packed but still service was good. Beers were pretty good, nothing seemed off. I had fish n’ chips which were very good. I'd go back if I lived closer.

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Photo of Babalu614
4.94/5  rDev +22%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Always a great place to eat. Located right accross from the Greater Columbus Convention Center. They have plenty of drafts to choose from, guest taps and Barley's brews. The food is very good, i always enjoy their Cuban Sandwich and saurkraut balls. Service is great, fast and friendly. They also have an arcade/bar located above the restaurant with lots of games and more taps.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Visited on 05/10/16.

Cool spot, about 12-14 beers on tap. Beer was decent; had their scotch ale and a brown ale with vanilla, peppers, and cocoa. Worth checking out if you're downtown.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Thoroughly enjoy my visit every time I come to Columbus on my trek to Wooster Ohio. Nice old time bar/eatery with a very nice traditional bar with nice wood work and classic bottles from around the world. Food is very good, burgers are solid and fish and chips are quite nice. Service is always good and attentive. Ale selection is as good as you want it to be. Solid dark and strong ale offerings, Belgian and Russian imperials, nice IPA's and an always good hand pull firkin. Old, worn, and comfortable with guests of every walk of life from urban professional to college hipster and general Joe public. No complaints except that I only have 3 growlers to fill on a visit....and they need to bring back the Barley Burger which was awesome. Owner is very nice as well and has a great attention to detail when it comes to his brews.

Try it, you will find something to your liking.

Visited this time around on a Thursday afternoon at lunch time. Get in early, they get crowded fast.

Cheers Barleys------please do not change!

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Photo of wapcap
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A very good brewery in North Market district. I've been here several times. Beers are consistent and good. Food is not bad, but I'm don't think they support local, which with the market right there they should. A great place to go check out, and its good for the whole family.

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Photo of jp32
2.08/5  rDev -48.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 2.75

This place seemed to be more of a restaurant than a brewery. Much like hanging out at an Applebee's or a big shiny menu type place.

Vibe was slow and pretty boring (see above to understand why).

Quality of beer was mediocre. Actually, calling it mediocre is probably doing it a favor. I first tried the 5-beer flight, and when there was nothing there that impressed me, I knew it was time to move on elsewhere opposed to getting a pint here.

Bartender was painstakingly slow, however he did make an attempt to be friendly near the end of our visit.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

Visted on a Tuesday evening after the dinner rush.
A - A good bar scene, booths, some TVs, well lit, clean, more focused on people and conversation. 4
Q - Almost everything is served in a shaker pint, but no other complaints - 3.75
Ser - Bartender was attentive and friendly 3.75
Sel - All of barleys plus a few other locals At least one beer on cask. - 3.75
F - Did not have food during this visit

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

This place looks like it has been around since the 90s's. I assume that's the case. It's right next to the convention center and I assume the hockey arena is nearby as well, so it was quite busy when I was there. Lots of Coors Light drinkers. Lots. The one beer I had was very tasty and the food was way above average. (Thanks to my host for the recommendation.) A worthy visit, though seems stuck in the past on decor.

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Photo of Alanca
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Great spot if you're at convention center you can just walk across street and get a good beer and sandwich instead of convention food. They're in entertainment book so cheap price w on line /smart phone coupon

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Photo of Bonis
4.09/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

This has been one of my go-to breweries since I got into craft beer a few years ago. Their beer is above average compared to most of the breweries in the area, but rarely anything that will "knock your socks off".. they always have a couple good options and there's always something for even the most novice beer drinker. The food is always excellent and service is great. If they are brewing, you can request to go down and talk to the brewers. Nice view of the brewery (in basement) from the bar area as well.

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Photo of MRJAZZ
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

One of the best places in town, all around ! Even brought back a growler of their Scottish Ale and the Blue Ribbon Grand Cru that I'm enjoying as I write this review. You definitely have to go here when in Columbus. The Brewery was located around the corner from the hotel where I was residing and is in the area known as the Arena District.

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Photo of SudsTerkel
4.7/5  rDev +16%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

I hit the BBC on a weekday afternoon after a long flight to Columbus. It sits in a very attractive and tastefully renovated old building and has a gorgeous bar that was originally from the building next door, which now is a Sushi place. I had the Centennial IPA and the Imperial IPA - it was 'hops fix' time for me. Both fit my definition for taste, balance and finish. The real flavor rush was their cask offering, 'Kind of Blueberry' barrel aged Rye IPA. As the name implies there's a slight hint of blueberry, adding to the complexity of the brew. I could sip that one into perpetuity. I ordered one of the salads off the menu which was excellent, too. Columbus' 'Short North' offers a plethora of quality beer interludes; locals are indeed fortunate to have an institution like the BBC doing what they're doing for as long as they have.

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Photo of rodney4130
4.13/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

One of my favorites in Columbus. Really good beers, though to be fair, probably not the best you've ever had. Still, you'll find a couple of things that you'll enjoy, I'm sure of that. The Imperial Stout had a really nice flavor, but was just barely imperial, clocking in at a hair over 7%. It was a touch watery too, but after another miss at a different Columbus brewpub, I was pleased all the same.

Our food was very reasonably priced upscale pub fare, and the server was really nice, friendly and knew his beer.

Totally worth a stop. Nice building too.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Located across the street from the convention center in downtown columbus oh. My boyfriend has been here a few times and wanted to share the experience with me.

A- The atmosphere is simple but very good. Its sort of an old woody pub feel. What makes this place stand out to me is the beer poster above every booth. Some are very Euro and some are posters of Barley's own ales. This place doesn't try to be a "big deal" They arent advertising all of their stuff to go or merchandise. We had to ask to get a growler fill-and they had them-but they werent tooting their own horn in the esence that a lot of other places are.

The Beer- 9 beers on tap 8 regular and a cask. They are really big fans of firkin and real ale. The cask this evening was a very well put together bourbon barrel barley wine (what?)- amazing. Also was a pale ale, pilsner, 2 christmas beers, their flagship scottish ale, a DIPA (best I've had in awhile), a Russian Imperial Stout, and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Pretty serious stuff. All were well put together- the DIPA and the availibility of the barleywine definately stood out for me.

The Food- Pretty standard upper middle class pub food with some nicer entrees. THe bleu chips were awesome and my buffalo chicken wrap was a bit too spicy. Edit-I have been here again and everything is good except for the wrap being a little too spicy

The Service- Our server was knowledgeable about the beer and did well-but didnt have much of a personality.

Overall- This was a bit pricey but a great experience. I'd love to come back here again!

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Photo of CapitalGains
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

When I lived in Columbus about two years ago I was at Barley's downtown location at least once per week, usually during the late afternoon or early evening. My friends and I usually sat the bar which seats about 15-20 people. There are a lot of tables (maybe 20?) as well. No outdoor seating if I recall correctly.

Atmosphere was enjoyable especially considering its proximity to the heart of downtown which can garner some less-than-par beer enthusiast environments. The crowd was never too obnoxious and the establishment as a whole was never all that busy when I visited except on a few occasions.

Quality was above-average but not stellar. Barley's puts out solid products across the board but nothing that will blow your mind. We usually had the same bartenders who were attentive and knowledgeable and started to recognize us (in a good way) after awhile. Can't say they did anything spectacular - they did their job.

Selection consists of 7-9 of Barley's taps, of which 4-5 were constants and the others were seasonal rotators. There were usually a couple of guest taps (2-3) that often weren't ordering in lieu of Barley's in-house selections. Apparently there is a bottle selection as well but I never ventured to take a look at it. There always seemed to be at least one beer on cask which is worth checking out. Barley's does a fine job with their cask beer - highly recommended.

I usually ordered food at the Smokehouse but the food at the downtown location was tasty the few times I ordered it.

Prices are about average. I always enjoyed myself at Barley's and I would have to say it was my favorite brewpub in the general Columbus area. My favorite selections were the Alexander Russian Imperial Stout and usually whatever was on cask.

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Photo of jrstacy98
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

A fun place - it wasn't as big as I expected it to be, thought it was a conveniently located and a great escape from a Volleyball tournament for a few of us dads. If you find yourself at the Columbus Convention Center - this is a definite great way to escape from the $3+ bottles of water.

I tried the Scottish Ale (top notch) and an Oatmeal Stout. Good but a little weak on flavor.

We sat at the bar, wait staff friendly and took care of us. With a large beer supply I was surprised to see some patrons drinking main stream beers - so they sell both.

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Photo of UnionBrew
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Due to it's location near the arena, this is a popular pregame spot for many Columbus Blue Jacket fans. And I, with my hockey jersey sleeves rolled up, have spent many an afternoon in the slender but inviting dining room that makes up the main eating hall at Barley's Downtown. The menu features a nice mix of American and German style food that compliments the beer served there nicely. Most recently I enjoyed the $2 brats and 50 cent sauerkraut balls that were on special that day and they hit the spot.

Barley's isn't well known for traveling too far outside of traditional styles and their beer selection has remained relatively unchanged since they opened the doors in 1992. They normally only introduce a few new one off batches of beer a year, and those are usually a twist on beers they already brew. Due to the fact that the brewery shares space with the restaurant and bar, the restrictive space probably doesn't afford them much opportunity to experiment with many test batches. I assume they're going with the montra that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" which is reflected in the sampler that I received.

There's the token Pilsner for those that prefer to judge beer on how easily you can see through it rather then on taste. The Pale Ale and Blurry Bike IPA were pretty forgettable, and the Stout was on par with a Guiness. Now this isn't indicative of every experience I've had at Barley's, I actually really like their Centennial IPA which comes in above 7% ABV, I just think I came at a bad time in their beer rotation. The exceptions being the Scottish Ale which I found to be surprisingly sweet and almost had a cotton candy taste to it, and the GlenLenny's Scotch Ale was the star of the bunch. The GlenLenny had a sweet and boosy taste that sort of reminded me more of a Belgium tripel then a scotch ale/wee heavy. I ordered a glass of it for my bonus round and was not disappointed.

So to sum up the experience, I would skip the sampler and go straight to what interests you. One of the nice things about Barley's is that you can sample a beer for 75 cents, which is a nice deal for 5oz and more ideal than trying to fight through $5 worth of beer you don't want. Unfortunately, the service is sort of hit or miss so sometimes it's just better to sit at the bar if you can. Although they don't stray very far from the beaten path as far as their beer selection, the location and overall experience of coming to this brewery makes it worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

Man, everything in Columbus is expensive. Im just a southern boy and these prices are killin me! Beers here were $5.75 for a "pint". I guess that is about standard for downtown Columbus, but it doesnt mean I cant complain.

I wasnt very impressed with the service here. I ordered a porter and after the guy next to me ordered a pint of the cask ale, I decided I wanted that instead. The server gave me a menacing look and said "Are you going to make me waste a beer?" I understand there is a bottom line, profit wise, but I have never beer refused a different beer in my life. I have only asked maybe twice but anywhere else, the staff were very compliant and willing to serve. So, I had my porter and left.

I was actually pretty excited abou this place but the server ruined that. The atmosphere wasnt really that good anyway. It was kind of dead and boring. They had only 5 beers on draft. Why cant a brewpub have more than 5 beers on draft? The beers were a pale ale, a scottish, a porter, something called Auld Ale, and a Frambwah. I dont get it.

Barleys is across the stree from the Hampton where I was staying, but I wont be going back anytime soon.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I was re-reading my beerfly reviews and was surprised to find that I never reviewed Barley's Downtown! For the time my wife and I lived in the Columbus area, Barley's was one of our favorite stops. Sure, we were partial to the Barley's Smokehouse, and to Bodega, which was a short walk from Barley's Downtown, but we always visited this place.

It was so nice going to the North Market and then walking across the lot to Barley's. Never crowded, just animated, with a cozy atmosphere, lots of wood, nice ample booths, dim lights, unobtrusive music. Yeah. This is a place to enjoy beer.

And the beers are top-notch! A great IPA, a great Imperial Stout, a great Rye IPA... and so on. They're not your average brewery that only brews a pale ale and a brown. They go beyond! Quality is always very good, and Scott Francis the brewmaster (a classic of the Columbus beer scene) is always around.

And on Fridays, the firkin! Beer as it used to be, on a wooden cask, warm and raw.

Food is pretty good, better than average. We loved the Truffle Mac n' Cheese, the Hummus (even though it was a bit to seltzer-y), and the sauerkraut balls and brats that were a weekly special (perfect with beer!).

Prices are very, very reasonable. Better than the Smokehouse and most places around Columbus.

Service is good, either at the bar or the tables. No complaints. It is funny, though, that a lot of the servers have this surly face, like they're not enjoying, but still- they do their jobs fine.

As I'm writing this, I realize I miss Columbus/Ohio.

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Photo of tat2dhllblly
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Barley's Beer and Food are a wonderful treat I look forward to everytime I visit Columbus. I have 2 growlers that I fill everytime I am there and have people fill for me when they go to Columbus.
I have yet to have a bad beer but I really look forward to their Centenial IPA, it is amazing and a great representation of the style.
Also the Imperial Stout is great and a local ice cream shop has used it to make some ice cream, that's just how good it is!!
Also try their Turkey Nut Burger!!!
The only issue I have is that their waiting staff could use a class on manners. The bartenders are great but their table wait staff are usually rude and hard to find.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Barley's downtown is a solid brewpub that won't let you down when in Columbus. Good variety of house beers on tap, 1 cask, and a small number of guest taps. Nothing to mention in the bottle selection, primarily BMC.

The house beers are good, running the standard range, a pilsner, an IPA, a porter, a pale ale, a mild, a barleywine, basically most styles except sours (so far).

The square-shaped bar serves customers along 3 sides, with seating for about 16. Beyond that there are plenty of booths and some tables, allowing for another hundred or so customers. Lots of woodworks, neutral colors on the walls, plenty of house posters on the walls with original artwork pushing the house drafts.

The food is OK, not exceptional but not bad at all, decent USA pub food. Average prices, the only real issue is the lack of free parking. You can do meters on the street or try your luck with the North Market lot, but you'll want to get a validation by some store in the North Market.

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Photo of Lolli1315
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Went a couple days ago to meet someone who had a couple of beers to give me.

Nice place with numerous taps of their own beer along with a couple of guest taps that change periodically. Overall the beer was pretty good with the bartender making sure that all our needs were met. Samples of beer is allowed for those who want to sample before a decision. Also, growlers are available for those who want to take something they particularly liked home.

Overall a good place to stop if you are in Columbus, unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to try the food, but I'm sure that I will soon and will update the review then.

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Barley's Brewing Company in Columbus, OH
Brewery rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 665 ratings