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The Barley Pub

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The Barley PubThe Barley Pub
24 Ratings
The Barley PubThe Barley Pub

Type: Bar, Eatery

83 Washington St
Dover, New Hampshire, 03820-3809
United States

(603) 742-4226

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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 24
Reviews by GarthDanielson:
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.06/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Got to stop in to this establishment last weekend during the Oktoberfest pub crawl in Dover. Great little joint in downtown, with a decent array of tap offerings. We got to chat with the bartender for a bit, and he was telling us about just getting in some new beers from the west coast, including North Coast offerings. Great array of styles available, and it sounds like the taps are constantly rotating. The service was very decent, and the bartender seemed very knowledgable about beer. The food menu was decent, and the prices were extremely reasonable. There are some dart boards down on the far end, as well as a stage where there are multiple shows/musicians each week. Fun little joint, and I would definitely recommend it to others.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Boto
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Stopped in here expressly to find beer from The Prodigal Brewery. Found that in addition to one of their beers, they had a very nice tap selection. The bartender was also quite knowledgeable about all of the beers that were available. We also had lunch while we were there. Not a very large menu, but the sandwiches we had were tasty and reasonable priced. The place has a nice "local" feel to it. Certainly not a cookie cutter "brass and fern" type pub. Well worth the stop if in the area.

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Photo of Schracky
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I really enjoy this bar for the atmosphere and their selection of beer. They don't have the largest selection of beer on tap, but it is always a high quality selection. The bartenders are always friendly and knowledgeable. The usually have a lot of local breweries on tap, with some hard to find small batch brews on occasion. They don't serve liquor, which is nice. They do have a decent wine selection though. Darts and pool are options for entertainment and they have a lot of great musicians perform on most nights. They don't really do much in the way of food, so don't go there for grub.

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Photo of rolle
3.29/5  rDev -19.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Went on a weekend afternoon. To me little things and first impressions count. Only a few people hanging around, friendly dog, staff is pleasant and helpful with beer descriptions. But unfortunately the place looks pretty dumpy outside and in, unkept, bathroom towel dispenser broken, just a roll on the sink, no trash can, cracked toilet bowl....dirt/dust visible thick enough to write in - euuee! Otherwise, the interior of this establishment, well to be kind, pretty much reminded me of a college bar, best viewed when drunk and in the dark.

But ... I'm here for the beer, samples quickly offered of some awesome brews. But whoops ... I immediately notice the full size glasses we get the samples in are disgustingly dirty looking, maybe rinsed in dirty water, or ??....ummm. My choice is then filled in the self-same sample glasses with a selected brew - I imagine the brew kills whatever I saw or at least dilutes it - but euuee again!

With my appetite gone, conversations with patrons were friendly and overall we had a nice time - but sadly never to return. The owners desperately need to spend some effort/money to spiff up the place/fix things. I mean how long/how much does it take to pull a bar out of the gutter to even a modicum of class/cleanliness? Especially when brew are in the upscale pub range ($5-$9)?

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Photo of alkchrios
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Went here last night for the first time in about two years and its still just as awesome. I had a pint of the moat mountain porter and it was quite nice. The only downfall of this place is they only accept cash. Relatively large area and in a great location in dover. The server was great the beer selection was anything from PBR to sam adams double bock with some great locals in between (smuttynose imperial porter and wheat wine, moat mountain, tuckermans etc.) Im not sure if they do this every night because like i said this was the first time id been here in a couple years... but people were bringing there dogs in? Kind of cool. Also this place features local music which is always nice. I really need to go here more often.


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Photo of Joppa
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I've been living locally for about four years, and I'm now kicking myself for not giving this place any more attention than a quick pint with friends. I saw some older reviews here on BA, and decided that it deserved my full attention.

I went in at about 4 in the afternoon, and the "Froggy Hour" had just started - all taps with a rubber frog on them were just $3. This included Sebago's IPA and Brown, Moat Pale & Porter, Dogfish Brown and Sam Adams' Noble Pils, among others. Other full (yet reasonably) priced choices included Allagash Four and Interlude, and some vintage Smuttynose - the '09 Imperial Stout and '09 Wheat Wine.

I had read about the Vintage List here, so I had to give that a try. I ordered an '07 Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale for $20. The bartender let me know that for only $2.50 more, i could add a plate of 2 aged cheeses, toast and dried fruit. I went with a 5-year old gouda, and a 15-month old cave-aged cheddar. Both were incredible, and the cheddar paired incredibly with the Farmhouse.

The atmosphere was very pleasant, a few friendly locals at the bar, and the bartender referred to everyone, present company included, as "honey." Scott Mason, the owner, came up from the cellar to ask my thoughts on the Smutty as well.

The only downside was the lack of constant music. There was a jukebox on the far side of the bar, but it would only play one song every 15 minutes or so. However, when Dylan's "Simple Twist Of Fate" came on as I was enjoying a perfect beer and cheese combination, I had to just lean back on my stool and smile.

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Photo of GarthTaargus
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2.5

The Barley Pub is by far my favorite beer bar. The selection is the best on the seacoast, and the atmosphere is so laid back, friendly and generally pleasant that it feels like home (if your bathroom was covered in graffiti).

By NH standards, the selection in an A+ for sure. There is always Tons of Smuttynose. There is also almost always Rogue, Moat Mountain, a few Begians, Brooklyn, and Allagash.

There is also a nice Vintage Program, with a dated bottle list. The owner Scott always (I believe) serves the prior year's Bigfoot when Bigfoot is on, which is nice, as well as many other vintage big beers and barleywines.

They also have an exclusive beer, the Snowblower Stout, brewed by Smuttynose for the Barley Pub. This is a nice stout, which tastes like a session version of Victory Storm King, IMO. Plus its only $3, and $2 when it snows or rains.

The food is good enough but limited...

Bottom line, this is in my opinion, THE destination after the Portsmouth Brewery on the NH Seacoast, and in both atmosphere and commercial selection, beats the Brewery hands-down. This is where I go with friends to have fun, and to try things that aren't for sale in bottles in NH.

Another Edit: It just occurred to me that this bar and the Blue Mermaid in Portsmouth are the ONLY places where the Smutty Big Beer Series can be found on tap. Also they have Ween, CAN, and loads of Steely Dan on the jukebox. Big Plus.

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Photo of SevaTse
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My favorite bar. Used to live down the street, which I miss dearly, but fortunately it is still on the way home from work.

The list of current taps on the Web site is updated pretty regularly, so don't hesitate to check before you go, so that you know what to look forward to. A lot of very interesting beers are introduced regularly.

They have recently introduced a "mug club", a membership to which was presented to me as a Christmas gift by my thoughtful girlfriend. Have enjoyed the membership thus far.

New Smutty products are always brought out, in addition to a good number of other local beers. Various Unibroue products are on tap pretty often. Good rotation of Belgians, though sometimes(like now) the place does go through periods without any Belgian-made products, although Belgian styles are usually on.

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Photo of brewone
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Great neighborhood pub with a very good selection of local and more exotic (at least from NH) craft brews. Service is always good and cheerful. The biggest drawback is cash only, which isn't really that big of a deal. Plenty of pub things to do, darts, pool, leather couches and most importantly - beer. The beer selection gets updated often and is normally quite good. Bias towards Smuttynose, which is a very nice trait as some of Smutty's beers are tough to find in most places. Also the first place on the Seacoast to have Stone's beers on tap.

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Photo of MugOfGoodness
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Went last night for the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, it was good - not an imperial but definitely had some kick to it. Brooklyn Lager was also on tap.

They had just pulled the last of the Dogfish 90 Minute but had the 60 minute going.

They also had a Shipyard Bluefin Stout and Leffe Blond.

Smoke-free is excellent, its a great visit - food is still pretty basic but La Festa's Pizza next store makes up for it.

Taplist was pretty accurate and is available online:


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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I stopped by here for the first time with my girlfriend the night before I left for a semester in Germany, and it was a great place to spend my last night in America for a few months. It was a Sunday night, so the place was a little dead, but still fun. The inside feels like it could be a friend's basement or some dive bar in any pseudo-college town, but the beer selection and quality are remarkable. I don't want to compare this to the Publick House in Brookline, but I'm going to... I've never seen a beer selection like the Publick House, but this place comes close. Sure, there are plenty of bars with much more extensive beer selections, but this is one of the most unique selections I've seen anywhere... a great selection of microbrews, and tons of local specialities, including vintage beers. I can't remember exactly what I had, but I want to say my first beer was something like a vintage 2005 Smuttynose saison, and it was so good. They use proper glassware, of course, but I really just couldn't get over how different and creative the selection was... it was just like drinking beer in a friend's basement--comfortable and a little bit skeevy--if your friend had on hand a couple dozen of the best beers you've ever had.

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Photo of BuckSpin
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Was in Dover meeting friends before heading out to a high school football game, so thanks to BeerFly I was able to find this gem.

Its slightly hard to find, located off a 5 point intersection near a loop. However, anytown where you can park diagonally on Main Street is OK with me! The decor is very casual. Upon entering there is a fireplace with a hodge-podge of comfy chairs & couches. The bar, an old wooden one, can't sit more than 15 or so. Booths & tables run the length of the Barley Pub on the right. The bar is decorated in what can best be described as "BeerAdvocate meets Applebee's meats Sturgis biker bar". Decals adorn the back of the bar, as well as many old beer items & the bottle selection. The access to the cellar is right behind the bar. A pool table & dart board (leave ID at the bar) await if you choose.

I chose....to drink. I chose wisely.

While only 15 taps, they are quality taps. 2 Moats, 3 or 4 Smuttynose, Dogfish Head & Paulaner seasonals, a nice varied selection. What caught my eye were the vintage taps. I enjoyed an 05' Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, the 06' Smuttynose Big Beer Series Barleywine, while my friend helped to kick the last of an 06' Smuttynose Big Beer Series Imperial Stout. The Smutty barley was amazing & I lamented having a 2 hour drive back home or I would have loved to put a dent in that!

Scott, the owner/barkeep, was very knowledgeable, super friendly, knew many people by name, and once he found out I was a BA & into the vintage beers let me know he has a vintage cellar of all kinds of goodies, including the Unibroue line going back 5 years. He commented on their "frogbeer" special and that they have a tradition of "when it snows it blows" with $2 drafts!! He was on his way to Smuttynose to help brew a Barley Pub EXCLUSIVE "Snowblower Stout" for this winter!! How cool is that?

Prices were very reasonable for what I enjoyed. A 12oz draft (in the correct glassware) of the aforementioned barleywines were $3.50 during happy hour, a buck more later.

What was nice is that they don't sell spirits or any A-B products. I saw a token wine glass being enjoyed, but everyone else was drinking beer! I was able to have some pretty good & educated "beer" conversations with Scott & a number of his regulars.

I enjoyed an Italian sausage Panini style sandwich (the sausage is made locally) which, amazingly, went very nice with that Bigfoot. Not often you can pair food with a barleywine! It was $4.75 and pretty good. My only complaint about the Barley Pub is the menu is very, very, very short. Your options are limited to a few choices. But this place is about the beer.

I don't know what it is about good beer/brewpubs in New Hampshire. Between Milly's & The Barley Pub there is a such a cool, noticeable, laid back "vibe" that is very nice & most welcome. You can't help but have a good time. The Barley Pub is a great lil' spot to enjoy some great beer & good food in a chill, casual atmosphere. I highly recommend it & will make a point of stopping in there when I am near.

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Photo of n0rmann
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place looks like a dive bar, but the beer selection is definitely nothing to look down on.

A fair amount of good beers on tap, and I loved the vintage list. I picked up a five year old bottle of Maudite, which was reasonably priced at $15. They had several other vintage beers.

The draft list was decent -- they have a few mass produced beers, but it's in the middle of Dover, N.H., not exactly the height of craft beer central.

The crowd on Friday night was mainly younger people - myself and my friend were the oldest ones in there at 33 and 35 respectively.

The bartender seemed to know what he was talking about.

If you have some time, sit at the bar and just read the random news clippings everywhere, very entertaining.

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Photo of Truh
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Worn, blue, bowling alley carpet ebbs to the back with pizza parlor tables on the right, and three leather couches at the start with a fireplace, a bunch of board games on the mantle, Golden Tee, and a games machine on the left bump start of an L bar, seven seats ranged down, based on the needs. Lots of brewery schwag, mostly Guinness, on the exposed brick on the left, and unfinished wooden walls on the right. A string of white Christmas lights stretched to the back, while other odd things jumped out from the shadows: a huge saw blade, a mannequin with a purple boa, a clock with the hours printed in reverse, and news clippings concerning the pub and its owner. On the whole, a pretty dark and weird atmosphere, perfect for drinking.

Kumar was hopping around the jukebox located halfway towards the back and next to a pool table; looked like an internet job, but I wasn’t sure. There was also a foosball table even further in the recesses. In the meantime, Jim was hovering around the bar and yelling something unintelligible about ladies and hooking up, to which I replied, “ Not in your lifetime.” He kind of sauntered off towards the front, making his way to the Golden Tee, when suddenly he was accosted by a group of kids at a booth. He stopped short and began an animated conversation with them, while I made a mental note of the taps:

Smutty IPA
Smutty ’04 Barleywine
Smutty Winter Ale
Bigfoot Barleywine
Moat Mountain Blueberry
Flying Dog Pale Ale
Affligem Blonde

There were eight more, mostly Sam Adams and other pap crap. Jim and I had ordered some panini as soon as we had sat down at the bar, a basic grilled cheese with fresh basil, sun dried tomato, pesto, and provolone for Jim while I ordered the local Italian sausage with peppers and onions, superb. Aside from the panini, the only other thing on the menu was chips and salsa. Clearly, this was a drinking establishment, and made no bones about it. Adding more credence to this, there were close to one hundred tap handles on display behind the bar. Some of the more notable ones included Woodstock Wassail, Hooker Liberator, Franconia Notch Mountain Stout, Big Ben Parliament, Lucknow Winter Festival Ale, and Lucknow Porter. I exclaimed to a guy on my right how I would have loved to have tried the Lucknow stuff when it was around. He said if I ever found it, try and snap up any Chucklehead I ran across, that there were whispered rumors of it still popping up in the odd beer store here and there.

The sandwiches showed in less than five minutes, and I dug in to mine with a fanaticism unseen since the Great Purge. Jim had reappeared and downed his in almost two bites. He grabbed two Moat Mountains, handed one off to the table of kids he’d been talking to, and then went and joined Kumar who was still messing with the jukebox, though no music was playing yet. I downed my Smutty ’04 Barleywine and grabbed the Vintage Bottle Beer List propped up on the bar. There were two breweries on the list, Smuttynose and Unibroue. All of the Unibroue bottles, 2002 vintage, were $15 and included 11, La Fin Du Monde, Trois Pistoles, and Maudite. Smutty was represented by 2005 Big A and 2006 Imperial Stout, at $12/apiece. Maintaining a theme, I decided to go for a Bigfoot.

Suddenly, the music kicked in and I was surprised to hear Kumar had chosen some Nickleback. It had to have been a mistake, because I could see him gesticulating wildly at the jukebox while Jim bellowed out laughter, slapping Kumar on the back. He must have found the cut-off button because the noise came to an abrupt end and the two of them began punching some more choices in to the machine. I turned my attention back to the bar and it was then that I noticed the musket mounted above the bar. A plaque underneath it read, “This gun was used in the capture and transportation of Louis Wagner, found guilty of the infamous Smuttynose murders March 13, 1873.” I wondered if the bar that possessed the musket was the recipient of hard-to-find Smutty offerings, and if perhaps there were raiding parties from other bars to steal the fabled musket. With visions of roving bands of marauding bar employees ranging across the New England countryside, I decided to hit the bathroom.

As I passed Kumar and Jim, the two were bantering on as usual.

“Christ, stop looking for any Creed,” Jim roared, “they don’t have any of that pansy ass shit!”

“At least I didn’t put on any Hootie and the fucking Blowfish,” Kumar hit back.

“The fuck is wrong with that,” Jim demanded, and so it went from there as I entered the restroom. That’s where I found all of the graffiti:

I’m from Delaware and I drink in my tool shed with my sister

Would you like to fuck Satan? I could arrange that 4 you

GG Allin for President

The Other Side of Fear is Freedom [in a funky hipster scrawl, obviously a little more effort put in]

Straight Edge Losers

Have a Few Beers and Find Yourself

Blink Free or Die

…it takes a special kind of moral deficiency

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Photo of troutbumnh
4/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A note to update the past reviews...

A) The Barley is now non-smoking... It was a shock to some regulars, but it had been the smokiest place around. They're likely just ahead of the curve as a ban seems likely in NH.

B) They haven 2-3 'Frog Beers' (they put a little plastic frogs on the taps) that are $2.75 all night, and their happy hour prices are ridiculously low ($2/glass) of everything they have... So in response to the expensive comment below, I think it's just a matter of timing.

C) I've found the staff to be extremely knowledgeable about beer, and they have a lot of 'graveyard' taps behind the bar to show what's been through.

D) Last, on the food... I only give it a 4.0 because I happen to love a good pastrami sandwich. It's one of only two they offer, along w/ a wide assortment of chips.

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Photo of bewley
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

I think $5.50 for a pint of cider, which is what we had, is a bit pricey.

A bit hard to find if you don't know the area.

Decent selection of local beers, Moat Mountain Stout!!
Patrons seemed very friendly.
Dogs were friendly.
Nice fireplace with couch in front.
Great jukebox that downloads an endless number of tunes.
Bands listed on weekends.
Food is crap, avoid.

I quit smoking a while back, but happy to see places where it is still allowed. My wife says she wasn't that impressed, but I think it's worth a try for local beers on tap you may not find elsewhere.

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Photo of HopasaurusRex
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A nice bar a little off the beaten track in Dover, NH. Good selection of New Hampshire microbrews and vintage ales including Moat Mountain, Smuttynose, Franconia Notch, and Milly's Tavern among others. A little pricy for New Hampshire - pints of the Smuttynose Big Beers and other vintage stuff were $5.50 and up. Fairly relaxed atmosphere with comfortable seats at the front and pool tables in the back. There really isn't any food to speak of, but we bought in pizzas from a great pizza place two doors up. A definite place to check out if you are wandering the streets of Dover.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I've been here a few times now, with BAs of course. Atmosphere is ok, it's a bit of a pool hall, band area, young crowd with dogs in tow of assorted friendliness. I do enjoy the idea of dogs being allowed in, but I think it gets overwhelming for some. Smoking is allowed, as it's New Hampshire, and folks like to smoke there. Beer selection is very good, if you like NH brews, they have a good selection, usually a few Smuttynose brews on, also Molly's Tavern I have seen at times. Another good thing is I have been there when thy have had aged beers on, lke '03 Bigfoot, which is a treat. Food is very limited (I think they may have paninis), but you can order pizza and eat it there. I've had good times here, just remember to always ask if you cna pet someone's dog. Cover charged after it gets a bit later and the bands are starting, I've never paid, as I've always been there well before dark.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.14/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

I visited this pub with a group of BA's in October, 2004.

This pub has an unassuming storefront with windows to the sidewalk and busy street in Dover, NH. The interior is a long rectangular room with a fireplace and some sofas and comfy chairs near the entrance, some booths along the right wall, the bar along the left wall, and pool tables and an internet jukebox in the rear. This internet jukebox is nice, and is all the more necessary because the Barley Pup has no TVs (somewhat unusual for a pub, but apparently they want it that way, despite possibly losing business during big sporting events such as in Oct. during the baseball playoffs). The decor is brick and wood with an industrial carpeted floor, though with a homey feel to it with breweriana decorating the bar, and the bar itself an interesting piece of woodwork.

The bar had about 16 taps and offered about 24 bottled beers plus a few malternatives. The beer selection was good with quite a few local and regional microbrews available. Some examples were: Smuttynose (3 taps), Rogue, Paulaner, Moat and Mountain, Fosters, Sierra Nevada, Franconia Notch, Guinness Stout, and Redhook Porter. It seemed that all draught beers were served in pints, regardless of ABV.

The service was very good and friendly. You can tell you are far from the big city here. We were allowed to bring in food and snacks, and we ended up sharing some excess with the bar staff. The customers were a friendly bunch, too, and many brought their dogs into the pub with them. I think that many students from UNH hang out here, but on the night I visited, not many were around due to some other event on campus.

Overall this is a really nice and cozy pub, and I wish I could get up there more often.

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Photo of Denali
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

I first went here for the BA gathering back in October. This time I went last nite by myself.

Located within walking distance of the Days Inn means no hassle and expense of having to get a taxi. Inside, the place is extremely comfortable and large, with sofas, tables, a pool table, and a jukebox. Its like hanging out at someone's house.

Above the fireplace is a picture of Barley, the Newfoundland that the bar was named after. Their logo shows a drawing of Barley drinking a beer.

No TVs, which is great because it allows the focus to be totally on having great beer with great people. The staff and patrons at this place are incredibly friendly and I had a great time.

The service and quality of the beers are excellent. There were only about 10-15 beers on tap, but the selection was excellent with domestic micros and imports available. They also had aged Smutty Imperial Stout and Barleywine on tap - both were outrageous. They usually also have some regional NH beers available, such as Moat Mountain, which is always a treat.

Overall, a very relaxed atmosphere with great people and great beer. You just go in and after a few minutes you'll be saying "Wow, what a cool place!". I will be going back whenever I have the chance.

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Photo of bennybrew
4.1/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

stan (purplehops) made me go. blame him.

didn't try the food though there were several sandwiches available.

on to the important stuff...

atmosphere was good. lots of brewerania about on the walls but still kinda dumpy. the kinda place where you'd expect to hear tesla and whitesnake all night long (though we didin't). i suppose the beer selection helped steer the crowd...

did someone say beer selection? 10 taps? i think they had pabst. the rest were smuttynose (pale, pumkin, ipa, barleywine and imperial) rogue i2pa, moat mountain stout, ephemere and a few other quality micros. good stuff. there were also a bunch (25?) of bottles available but i didn't get into those as we were there for the smuttynose.

all brews were fresh. glasses were clean and big. all brews served in (shaker) pints at varying prices. celebration and the aged beers were $5.50. good prices.

i'll go there every time i'm in dover.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I went to the Barley Pub to see a band, more than to seek out beer and I was pleasantly surprised by their offerings. The taps had a regional micro-brew bias, which pleased me as I've had trouble tracking some of those beers down. The bottle inventory is quite diverse for a small bar that caters to the student crowd. The room itself isn't much to speak of. It is showing its age. A decent beer bottle collection, and various topographical maps give it a homey backpacker vibe. For the most part, it is a clean and well-lighted place.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.1/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

(Original review of 20JUL03). Easily missed on our first pass down the street in Dover.... Got there about 430PM on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was just the bartendress, Artied2 and myself there. Place is a brighter, airier Bukowskis, in a way. Place is oriented on the long-axis from front to back. Bar to the left as you walk in, with tables, chairs and stools strewn about, with a pool table near the rear. Also have some big, comfy couches and a fireplace near the front window (similar to the dearly departed NorthEast Brewing). Hundreds of bottles line shelves on the walls, along with a slew of old coasters stuck to the ceiling above the bar. Assorted bier posters, old steins and knick-knacks decorate the place. Very nice draft selection, highlighted by Smuttynose Big Beers Big A IPA, Maibock, Scotch Ale, Robust Porter and Barleywine (from '02). Also had Shipyard, Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada and PBR on tap among others, as well as a couple dozen decent bottle selections. Had 3 of the Smuttys....real nice! The owner, Scott, had stored some in the basement for months for a recent Smuttynose tasting session. Good stuff! The gal tending was helpful when asked, though quiet in general. Cash only, and I don't believe any food is offered. If you're near Portsmouth, this is a quick, and savory, side-trip. Prosit!!

overall: 4.10
atmosphere: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: n/a | $


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Photo of ecoboy
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This is one of the best places I know of to sample a decent number of New Hampshire microbrews under one roof. That, in itself, should be a reason to go beyond the city limits of Portsmouth to search it out. The Barley Pub's dedication to beer is heartwarming to this BA.

The atmosphere feels like a basement bar, even as the storefront window looks out on the street. I've been trapped there on a snowy evening, dropped in for last call, been there when a band was playing, and it always feels like a room with bar, stained drop ceiling, paint flaked off the wall, smoke by the cloud, tables, chairs and beer. And that's good enough for the selection.

Smuttynose, Moat Mountain, Redhook, Tuckerman's are all here, alongside Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada and other "usual suspects" on the 16 taps. Unibroue and Lindemans are available in bottles. I went in 6/03 and all the Smuttynose big beers were on draft (replacing a more wide selction, but a great short-term special.)

Good beer bar for use when visiting UNH, the Seacoast, or heading on to Maine from the south.

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The Barley Pub in Dover, NH
Place rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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