Barfly India Pale Ale | Barley Island Brewing Company

96 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Barfly India Pale AleBarfly India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
STYLE American IPA
MALT 2-Row, Global Vienna, Carahell, Victory, Flaked Barley
HOP Summit, Citra, Amarillo, Cascade
ABV 6.5
IBU 70

Added by rdailey76 on 07-12-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 167
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barfly India Pale Ale pours an orange color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is dominated by hops. The flavor is also very hoppy, there is a nice malt backbone to balance things out. This is a very enjoyable IPA, recommended.

 259 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at brewpub.

Poured dark amber color with an average frothy white head that fully diminished with fair lacing.

Moderate grassy earthy hop aroma.

Moderate balanced bitter flavor with a medium bitter earthy finish of moderate duration.

Medium body with a slick texture.

Good drinkable brew.

 298 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After a bad run-in with their Bourbon barrel aged stout, I thought I'd give Barley Island another chance. Picked up a bottle of Barfly IPA while in South Bend.
Poured into a pint glass. Hazy blood orange in color, with good carbonation and a meringue textured tan head. Good lacing. Nose is floral hops and caramel malts, nicely blended. Taste is hops with a slight metallic twang, and a general oily sweetness. Odd mustyness to the hops, but it's not bad. Average mouthfeel.

 475 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with Sephiroth (thanks!).

Poured a deeper amber/orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of citrus, grapefruit, pine, light caramel, and had a floral/green hoppiness to it. Tastes of grapefruit, oranges, light caramel, and had a sugary sweetness to it as well. Not overly bitter. Not bad, a beer I could sit down and drink a sixer of.

Notes from 1/25/07

 404 characters

Photo of cnally
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out and settled with a surprising amount of head. Its appearance is a very bright amber color with many carbonation bubbles. Its smell is a little sour, comprised of citrus air. There is a lot of initial hop flavor, but that subsides into a orangey aftertaste. However, the flavors are subtle and underwhelming. I don't expect I would like another.

 365 characters

Photo of orangemoustache
3.09/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange with tons of large sediment,it looks like floating flakes of brown shit(yuk),the head is off-white(almost yellow) and small,it does leave some sheets of lace.The nose is lightly toasted and malty ,sweet with hints of marshmellow and citrusy hops.The taste is straight forward,sweet hops fruity and citrusy(grapefruit mostly) with some pale malts in a subtle balance,a nice bitter edge keeps things interesting but I would have enjoyed more tangyness and depth.The mouthfeel is a little to sticky on the lips for me,the body is medium and the carbonation is low.I have always avoided taking bar flys home,this one is no exception.

 649 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy and slightly chunky, amber/brown with a creamy off-white head. Nice sticky legs that hang around all night.

Smells lightly hopped with a strong malt presence. Taste mirrors the smell with a light alcohol finish. Malt is too high in this one for me - it drowned out the hops.

Nice Pale Ale with no frills, but this is an IPA? Decent session beer, I guess.

 372 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - slightly hazed burnt orange, a good fluffy cap above. The foam leaves a blanket layer of sparkly lace all around the glass.

Aroma - biscuity, some caramel and crackery grain. A very faint citrus and pine hop element. On the lighter side but with good persistence.

Taste - good biscuity and sweet malt component. Very good and full hop flavor. Grapefruit and pine with plenty of intensity. Doesn't have a lot of complexity or depth, and despite a touch of medicinal flavor on the swallow and aftertaste, this is one great IPA. The finish is a little sweet, a little bitter, and a little dry.

Mouthfeel - properly smooth with that slight oily feel. Medium carbonation, medium+ body.

Drinkability - this IPA can stand up to just about anyone's IMO. Superbly sessionable.

 784 characters

Photo of ncvbc
4.33/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a stunner, yes? Pours deep amber to copper in color, slightly hazy. This great off-white head caps it off and stays forever, leaving a wall of lacing down the glass. Smell is of citrus hops and big, big malt. Toasted, buttered bread. Lots of caramel and toffee. Even a touch of chocolate, perhaps. I didn't really mind the smell for having so much malt in it. The flavor takes some of that out but what was there in the smell provides excellent balance for this brew. The hops have taken over. A little piney flavor now comes through along with citrus flavors. Lots of orange flavors and grapefruit. Again, such a great balance with the malts that come in. It almost reminds me of a hoppy amber in a way but whatever you want to call it, it's great. Mouthfeel has a good bitterness and is somewhat dry in the finish despite all the malty goodness. Great drinkability. This is one I would love to have around at all times. Perfect session candidate as an IPA.

Thanks to lightindarkness for this great unhyped UGLY brew.

 1,025 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Indybigtom: Poured a cloudy orangey color ale with a nice foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bitter dry hops is dominating with some light caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by some dry bitter hops with no floral or citrus notes and some very light caramel malt. Body is quite full with some good carbonation.

 354 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed this at the sterling Sun Singer. A thick finger of white head tops a dark amber body, darker than the usual IPA. Nice rings of lacing decorate the pint glass. The smell is a little subtle, though hops are plentiful and some citrus emerges. The taste readily indicates that this is not a straightforward IPA. Though hops run this beer's roost, fruit but also drizzles of caramel accost the palate. The sweet-and-sour riff is an interesting motif, particularly from the caramel-sugar taste. Good stuff.

Though I wouldn't mind a little more carbonation, this is robust enough to adequately offset the smooth texture, making this a nice IPA. Not a top of the line pale ale, Barfly is nonetheless satisfying and worth grabbing.

 733 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.09/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dry hopped with hops added to the cask, tapped at Hot Shotz in Indy.

Pours like fresh cider, a little orange and murky, unbelievably cloudy, and obviously no head. I can't tell if the unique appearance is attractive or intimidating.

Nose is juicy, with big sweet citrus - orange and grapefruit, pineapple, with a syrupy smooth balance of hop and malt. Hidden scents of sugar and some peach, with a definite resiny hoppy funk.

Taste is slightly watery up front and at the finish, without the carbonation, but flavor more than compensates. Middle is like chewing on a pine cone soaked in orange juice. Bitterness rises and flavor washes out at the finish with strong resin replacing. I can't tell how much malt is in there, but the hops themselves seem to be in an agreement that results in a surprising and unique balance.

Feel is medium bodied with a dry resiny finish. Slight tingle, but no carbonation.

Surprising drinkability. Little balance between the hop and malt, but a stunning display of hop character rarely achieved in any other format. Despite their strength, the hops aren't overpowering. A really nice surprise.

 1,130 characters

Photo of shbobdb
4.46/5  rDev +26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is amazing what the serving style can do for a beer. I've had barfly before on tap and in the bottle and it certainly isn't a bad beer, but it really isn't anything special. That changes dramatically when it is served on cask. The hops take on a brilliant marijuana presence that is beautifully complimented by some light grapefruit and a nice solid, if unremarkable malt base. The finished product is far more than the sum of its parts, a beautiful drinking experience. Really guys, try it on cask, it is a whole 'nother animal.

 532 characters

Photo of Goliath
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with nearly no head.

Aroma holds great citrusy notes, noteably grapefruit. Maybe some grass/pine as well. There are also sweet malty undertones.

There is a nice hoppiness to the taste showing good citrus notes, mostly bitter grapefruit. There is a strong malt following which balances this IPA more than many.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively.

Drinkability is fair, I could have two in a sitting.

 426 characters

Photo of pmatz2
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured an amber /orange color that was very cloudy. Particles of something were floating in the beer. (Don;t recall seeing that in an IPA before)

Taste is very malty with a slight bitter finish. Overall this was drinkable but was not a very good example of an IPA. There are way better IPA's out there. This might have been closer to a pale ale

Mouth feel was moderate with slight carbonation. Once again nothing special.

This was drinkable but I found myself trying to finish it it as quickly as possible so that I can move onto something else!

 549 characters

Photo of iconoklaztor
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great brew. I've been a fan of BI beer since I tried it at a local Beerfest. This beers pours a nice head with yeast in the glass. My ommegang chalice is nicely full with a nice beer.

Overall this beer is full of yeast, flavor, and color. I really like this brew and would try it again.

 298 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, with very little head but decent horizontal lacing. Has a nice strong, hoppy and floral scent. Nice taste, bitter, but not very complex for an IPA. For the little bit of alcohol in the flavor, it has a very low ABV. Goes down fine, just a little rough.

Tried a few more times, the most recent being at Barley Island Broad Ripple at this moment... it's gotten so much better (or perhaps I'm better now)... but the citrus/floral scent and flavor are quite good and it's much more mellow.

 513 characters

Photo of mnstorm99
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown cloudy with the yeast floasting through, small white head laces, but disappears quickly. Not a pretty beer.
Aromas of carmel sweetness and a touch of citrus hops.
Taste is good, creamy carmel backbone balances the citrus hops well.
Mouthfeel is nice creamy and chewey especially for an IPA.
I could drink this beer often, I like it very much and as I think it isn't pretty I think people need to get beyond that and taste it with your eyes shut, very good beer IMO.

 477 characters

Photo of tempest
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's some big flavors here, they may not be the best possible, but they're bold and you know what's going on here. The malts focuses on dry biscuits while the hops come in with tangy, grassy hops. Unfortunately, this beer doesn't sit well on my tongue, I think it's too dry and astringent. This could just be a beer that isn't for me,

 337 characters

Photo of BioBilly
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yeah definately some weird stuff floating around in the beer. I wasnt sure what it was until I logged into BA and saw that it is old yeat. Besides the appearance this beer was good the taste was good, could of had a little stronger but not bad it is very drinkable. I actually thought it gets kind of bad rap and I would recommend this to someone.

 347 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small white head adorns a very hazy into almost cloudy dark copper/brown body. Bits of fishfood yeast floating around. A good bit of hops on top of a malt scent. Light malt front, good mix of floral and bitter hop flavors. Medium creamy body. Pretty good overall, but Im not sure why there's yeast floating around.

 314 characters

Photo of morimech
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

When I was pouring this I was wondering if it was unfiltered or not. Figured it out too late. We are not talking about particulate matter floating around. It is huge chunks of yeast bubbling through the brew. It looks disgusting. I'm not drinking this I thought but I continued on anyway. Otherwise it is a golden brew with a one-fingered head that goes away quickly and leaves just spotty lacing.

The smell is grassy and yeasty.

The taste is of an IPA but it is on the subdued part of hoppiness on the IPA scale. The taste is of grass and a little bit of pine aftertaste.
It is well carbonated for the style and medium bodied. It is just hard for me to get past the unfiltered aspect of this beer.

 701 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burnt orange with a sticky white head. Decent lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt base with pungent earthy hops and citrus fruit.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Initial caramel sweetness is overwhelmed by the intense earthy bitterness that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Very dry.

An impressively intense IPA. Unusual in it's earthy hops, very little citrus flavor. Certainly worth a try.

 397 characters

Photo of bashiba
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy golden orange with a huge pillowy white head. Great Lacing.

Has a very nice fresh bread, and toasty malt odor with a bit of floral hops.

A very balanced IPA with a great toasted malt body and a clean lightly piney and floral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly slick with a crisp dry finish.

An easy to drink lighter more balanced IPA with much less hops than most American version, compares more favorable to good English versions.

 449 characters

Photo of gmfessen
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a golden-amber color with tons of small bits of sediment bouncing around and a thick, frothy head. It does say unfiltered, but man that's alot of sediment. The smell is piney, earthy hops with a hint of amber sweetness. The taste is very similar to the nose with the earthy bitterness of the hops being at the forefront. I'm usually a huge fan of IPAs but this one falls short for me; something about the earthy hops... tastes dirty. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy sort of consistency. Drinkability is hurt by the taste of the beer; I'm just not a fan. I think if this beer was done with a different variety of hops it would be much better.

 712 characters

Barfly India Pale Ale from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.