Barley Island Brewing Company

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Barley Island Brewing CompanyBarley Island Brewing Company
805 Ratings
Barley Island Brewing CompanyBarley Island Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

639 Conner St (Hwy 32)
Noblesville, Indiana, 46060
United States

(317) 770-5280 | map

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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of Phoneguy
4/5  rDev +14.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of JohnnyHopps
1.9/5  rDev -45.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 2

When the kitchen staff could be heard yelling profanity at the waitress after my wife and I ordered Scotch Eggs, I had to make my voice heard. I wrote a note to Barley Island. I never heard a response in over a year. Apparently, I am not the only one with a negative impression of the establishment based on reviews. Never again.

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Photo of redleg411
3.35/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of dwouters
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of UrbanCaveman
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of LivMomma
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

I want to love Barley Island. Years ago, I did. But now..... I'll just say that one should not have stomach issues after a few pints of their beer. I thought it was the food there making my husband and I react so poorly after leaving Barley (the food has rapidly declined in quality; I tell people I like to just not eat there at all), but turns out it could be the beer either instead or as well. I've only had it on tap at the brewery but every time, it makes me ill. I've spoken to others who have had the same issue as well. I drink craft beer all the time and this is the only brewery that has this adverse affect on me.

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Photo of rabbitguy
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of ronn
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Kyrojack
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of shirtless_mike
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of neckbracesub
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

I've always been a fan of some of Barley Island's original brews, and have been stopping by from time to time for the better part of the last 10 years.

They keep a solid staff on hand, especially Michael, who has been the bartender there since I first visited and continues to provide outstanding service to this day.

My wife had never been, so I took her out for a couple of beers and burgers last weekend and we had a very good experience. The food was cooked perfectly to suit our picky-ness, the service was terrific, and the beer was fresh and as tasty as ever.

BI's food has went through all sorts of ups and downs over the last few years, as I've had a few hits and misses, but it seems like they are at a very good point now and I hope they keep it up.

One of the first bars I ever attended and one I will always go back to!

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Photo of HosP
3.63/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Met up with a fellow BA to swap a couple beers and have a few drinks.

The dining area was dead, although it was a Monday evening. Bar was a regular bar, nothing out of the ordinary with some locals in there.

The beer selection was ok. They had their regular year round beers, which are ok. There was one special one off beer on tap which was the highlight of the beer night.

One bar tender who did a great job keeping up and offering samples of anything we needed. Did a good job for the amount of people that were there.

Not many beers to choose from. Just their average beers and one special beer. So nothing to get to excited about.

The food was good. Had a pulled pork bbq sandwich which was good. Probably better than most of the beer selection they had.

Overall it is an ok place to go. Pretty quiet all around. Nothing great, probably won't go back unless someone really wanted to go.

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Photo of lbaker
3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I'm not sure what Barley Island these people (see below) have been to, but I'm quite possible it's the Barely There Island. When I first moved to Noblesville I was pumped to see a brewery so close. I love Upland and the ability to grab growlers and the fact that Sunday carryout was going to be the norm come July 4th I thought I would head on down to sample it all out. We have ate there once, and all my other experiences have been going to the bar for growlers on just about every night of the week, with that said...lets go.

Anyone love Sunny in Philadelphia? Well you will love it here! ( IF YOU WORK THERE ) Ever notice how people just mosey on back behind the bar to serve themselves because the gang is out fighting crime and finding babies in the dumpster? Well this is the norm, at least from what I've experienced. Many times when I've approached the bar the bartender looks confused, today I ordered a growler of their wheat and hefewiezen and he looked at me like I was speaking German. Finally another employee came from the back to help. (Did I mention a fellow bar fly had to yell for the first set of helpful hands in the first place?)

I just don't get this place. I always think about what kind of following Barley's could have with the proper management and marketing team. What's the point of having great beer if you can barely serve it in an atmosphere that screams Paddy's Pub? The best way to explain Barley's is to explain your psychotic ex-girlfriend. You are well aware of just how crazy she is...but you keep going back because she's so damn good. You know the fall-out but you just don't care.

In this case, I know what to expect when I go to Barley's. Awful service...but damn good beer.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I was in Noblesville for a concert and stopped by Barley Island (found it on BA).

This is a nice little place with some good beers.

Walking in you'll find a decent sized dining area. Walk to the back and you'll find the bar (unless you park out back, then reverse it). We sat at the bar.

The back bar is beautiful...old stained glass, and a beautiful old bar.

While there, I sampled their cask ale, which at the time was an imperial stout--a pretty good one. I also had their IPA and a few sips of their Count Hopula imperial IPA. All were good examples of the style. It was nice to see a cask ale on tap, and the stout was served in a small snifter.

One thing I enjoyed about this place is that they do half pours...which, if you are looking to sample a few extra beers, is where it's at.

The service was friendly, and the bartenders were quite knowledgeable about their beer. One beer bottle on display was a java stout...they didn't have any on hand, but one bartender said it was brewed with locally roasted coffee, which lead us down to a local coffee shop later. Pretty cool.

Overall, the experience was nice...a cool place with some good character and fine ales. Check it out if you are in the area.

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Photo of dmfrench
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A nice, quiet place to have some modest but respectable original beers.

I've been to Barley Island twice now, and I'm pleased to report that on my recent trip, I found the same charms as last time. The place itself has a warm, dark atmosphere, and was relatively dead on both visits (this I like). The beers themselves are modest but fully respectable. Typical characteristics seem to be assertive hoppings and full mouthfeels. Service was great and genuinely friendly both times (with I could remember their names). The food was ok... pretty typical pub fare... didn't notice any standouts. Prices were reasonable with no beer over $4. Definitely worth a visit... or two :)

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Photo of BeerNuggets
2.74/5  rDev -21.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

We were two of the four people in this brewpub on this particular night.

The bartender was sitting behind the bar and talking to a guy smoking at the other end. He wasn't paying much attention to us. He didn't have much knowledge on the beers either.

The place seemed dirty and they really wanted to rush us out. (It was 10pm.)

The brown ale was a good beer but everything else was bland.

I usually like the odd bars and brewpubs, but this one just seemed dirty and non-descript.

I wouldn't recommend this a brewpub crawl.

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Photo of TonyBrew
4.09/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Okay my wife and I stopped by here on Phish tour. When we first walked in the dining area was dead because kitchen was closed and it was only 9:55pm on a Thursday. So we went to the bar and ordered a beer. The taps were not working because of the compresser or something was on the fritz, but their cask had some delicious BB Aged Stout (Beastie Barrel Stout). I was very pleased with this beer, the aroma was a bit low but the taste and body made up for it. They had plenty of their brews in bottles so my wife ordered a Sheet Metal Blonde (Belgian Style Wheat Ale). After about 30 mintues there was about 9 people there enjoying the brews, while the bartender and I were the only ones haveing the cask. The bartender (we will remain nameless for security reasons) and I were jabbering about beers and he tried the tap again and got it working. Then I started moving to the Beastie Barrel Porter, being a Kentucky burbon whiskey fan I really enjoyed this beer. My wife stuck with the Sheet Metal Blonde but on tap. Before we could even finsh a beer the bartender would automatically keep refilling. I asked about the Java Porter and the EXTREMLY RARE Single White Friar. He looked around and answered, sorry but we don't have anymore of them. a few minutes before 12am the bartender started asking people to leave due to closing time, but asked my wife and I to stay. After evey one except for the bartender and one of the cooks were gone he locked up and took us on a private tour of the brewery. Then he brought out the Java Porter (bottle 12oz) and shared it with me, while still pouring more Sheet Metal Blondes for my wife. Then he brought out the Single White Friar and explained why this is so rare and how it is impossbile to clone every again. We left about 2am and was charged only 14 bones for one of the best brewpub visits I have had.

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Photo of JoeST
2.08/5  rDev -40.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5 | food: 1

I had high hopes for this place as I have had their full line up of brews & have enjoyed all of them. Any way my wife myself & a couple of our friends stopped in here last night 02/07/09 Friday to have dinner & some drinks. First impressions were that it looked like a pretty cool little spot, it was just off the square in downtown & kinda reminded us of being at home. The place overall looked somewhat warn down but gave you that kinda nostalgic feel. They had a live band playing that wasn't half bad, but just you typical yuppie band type of stuff. There was a decent crowd but plenty of elbow room & we were seated just after we walked in.
Our server took our drink order within minutes & was back in a snap the first time but never bothered to introduce himself. We ordered an appetizer & got that back again right away, but than things just went down hill. We all ordered, I had the Pot Belly Burger I think it was called my wife had their Black & Blue, one of our friends ordered the Beer B Que burger & our other friend ordered a grilled chicken.
The food again was back in a very quick manner, but the biggest problem was the server. He would not stop for shit. Every time he would bring us something he would pretty much fly past & drop it off. Every other time he would stop for something he would not give us a chance to talk or to make sure everyone had what the needed.
Than their was the food, Just plain awful. Every last one of our burgers was burnt even my friends chicken. The fries they brought my wife was a disgusting mess of mush. The server again in his mad rush dropped mayo on the table & all over the side of my friends pint glass. To his credit here though he did give him a fresh new one after apologizing. But after this we had to track him down to get our bills.
What made us mad about the whole deal is we were only one of two tables he was serving, all the other time he was too busy running back to talk to one of the female servers.
I would give most of their Beers an A to B rating, but their food & service had done us in on the first time. Defiantly will never return to this place.

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Photo of JamesS
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Nice brewpub atmosphere, with nice hidden tables, good bar area seats, and a nice open area, as well.

The bartender was the only one on duty at lunch, but he was very friendly, gave excellent service, and was knowledgable about the food and, more importantly, the beer.

The menu seemed large, the scotch eggs and tenderloin sandwich were excellent.

The have their usual brews on tap, as well as a few guest beers (Belhaven Scottish Ale, Warbird's Irish Shanty, and Three Floyd's Gumballhead when I was there). I was a little disappointed that their pump engine was out, because I really wanted to try their pump stout, but it was being repaired at the time.

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Photo of mgobrew
2.9/5  rDev -16.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I dropped by to check the place out seeing as I was only about 40 miles away and I had enjoyed a bottle or two of their beers elsewhere. The brewery and pub is housed in a big garage like building and according to the menu it was previously a livery and stable. It was rumored to be a distribution center during prohibition and was a legal distribution center after that. The place was deserted except for a few people at the bar; not good considering it was 6:30. Hopefully they are making money on the bottled beer. The bartender was friendly but seemed to be more suited to a regular beer bar as he offered no input on the beer selection other than they are all good. Thanks for that. In his defense he did have regulars at the bar that he needed to talk to… I opted to try the IPA, which was serviceable at best. Not bad but not outstanding in a world of great IPA's (Alpha King). I then tried the Belgium Wit which came with a lemon without request. Where was the umbrella? I'm sure the brewer loves seeing his creation accessorized. It was a watery wit with faint characteristics of orange and coriander. I had the chips and salsa and the salsa was excellent and maybe worth a try on some of the other menu items. But the beer was not worth the drive. I also asked for and received a logo pint glass that was dirty with the appearance of use without washing. The bathroom was in disrepair as well. Maybe this explains the emptiness at dinner time.

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Photo of Duster72
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Stopped in for a late lunch because we were in the neighborhood visiting a friend. Furnishings are a little on the old side and the place is a little drabby IMO. Service and food were both very good. I had an excellent beer battered pork tenderloin and my wife had a good chicken wrap. I got the beer sampler which was a great value. 5 4oz servings of draft + 1 4oz cask serving for $6 was a good deal. I'm not a huge fan of their beers, but the food is very good. If you like their beers, this place is a no brainer.

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Photo of danielocean03
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Visited Barley Island last night for the first time with my wife. I've never had any of their beers despite the fact that they're available practically everywhere beer is sold in Hamilton County.

Atmosphere is cozy and warm despite the overall size of the place, a fairly large establishment overall with nice old-world accents like the gold tinned ceiling not unlike that of the Broad Ripple Brewpub and the stained glass windows separating the bar from the booth and table seating area. We were sat in a booth being nonsmokers as the bar was a smoking section as well, which is fine if that's your cup of tea.

Service was knowledgeable and attentive, our waitress seemed to be fairly well versed in their beer's characteristics.

Selection of fare ranges from burgers and waffle fries to typical pub fare like scotch eggs and fish n chips, along with a few mexican and asian influenced dishes as well. We started off the night with the Beer bread and Asiago cheese crock which was great. We also got their beer sampler which gives you 5-4oz. samples of their Wheat, Pale, Brown, 60 Schilling Scotch Ale and their IPA.We also added their Oatmeal Stout and the Black Majic Java Stouts to round out the lineup and get a feel for their brewing. Their stouts in my opinion are their bread and butter, both great beers. Their other beers aren't bad by any measure, just a little plain.

As far as the food is concerned, my wife and I both ordered burgers, I opted for the "Black and Bleu" and she got the "Beer-B-Q" burger, both of which were pretty tasty.

Value is outstanding, the seven four ounce samplers of beer and the burgers with the appetizer was only $32.66 before the tip. Absolutely amazing, the quality offered at these prices is practically unbelievable. I've had some better beer and some better food at similar establishments but not at these prices.

Overall, a solid brewpub with a comfortable, relaxed feel that offers up some solid beers and a good menu at great inexpensive prices. Stop in and check this place out if you're hungry or thirsty for a good beer in Noblesville.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

First planned stop on my Indianapolis beer adventure. Unfortunately the place doesn't open until 5 on the weekday, so I had to come back and open it up after BW3's, Kahn's, and Alcatraz.

Barley Island is housed in a retro-fitted antique-y building right off of the main drag in Noblesville. Has the feeling of a pre-prohibition tavern. Classic wood floors, painted metallic ceiling tiles, wild west creaky wooden furniture, crappy plastic bucket seats at the bar, video gaming unit. The bar is gorgeously mirrored and decorated with Christmas lights with a few decent scotches and some other sub-top level liquors.

Remiscent in tone to the Horse Brass pub in Portland, Oregon. Refreshing after an afternoon at the BW3's.

Parking is a bit iffy, there's some behind the building but I wasn't really sure where exactly I was supposed to. Could be a problem weekend nights.

The bartender was downright obnoxious when I got there. She was talking to a fellow employee and playing one of the Cherry-masters while attempting to take my order, her back turned. I was rather infuriated by the time it took to get my pint and a simple hello.

Fortunately, she got less gruff rather quickly when I showed an interest in the beers, and she was actually pretty knowlegable about the beers. She did eventually redeem herself with pleasant conversation and a friendly tone.

I thought BI's selection was pretty darned remarkable for how small of a pub it was. On tap was a wheat, red, scotch, brown, porter, stout, and pale, which was available via conventional CO2 or on cask. The bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal stout was available in a bomber for $5.

Faced with the prospect of an hour drive home, I could only have three pints over a couple hours. I loved the scotch ale, loathed the red, and could have easily drowned myself on the cask pale ale, which was really tasty and 100% sessionable.

Definitely worth a stop if you're near Indy.

PS - if you go, request that they do an IPA. They never have, and the brewmaster might do one if the interest is there...

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Barley Island Brewing Company in Noblesville, IN
Brewery rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 805 ratings