Just down the road from famous Mystic Pizza in the basement of a red brick warehouse building, BARLEY HEAD BREWERY opened in this quaint seaport village during 2017.
Taking the rustic gray cement-floored space of a former jewelry store, Barley Head’s diminutive low-ceilinged two-barrel nanaobrewery includes several small sectioned-off brew tanks, three-seated wood serving bar (with large blackboard menu), right-walled couch, four left scattered seats, two window seats and many one-off homebrews by ex-Cottrell brewer Drew Rodgers.
I visited the humble underground pub during mid-January ’19, soaking up one signature staple and seven limited edition elixirs.
Approachable flagship offering, Saison du Maison IPA, coalesced dry saison yeast with IPA-like citric hops, leaving orange-peeled pineapple, mango and tangerine juicing upon mild herbal peppering, lemony grape esters and light earthen musk.
Another crossbred saison, Haley Farm Farmhouse IPA, brought sour lactic acidity and leathery barnyard funk to the lightly embittered citrus hop profile.
Dewy peat contrasted spicy yellow-orange fruiting for moderate Interstellar Secret IPA, an engaging English-derived, New England-styled moderate-medium body.
Floral citric herbage spiked 2nd Enthrallment IPA, leaving lemony grapefruit and orange rind bittering upon piney-hopped grouted oats.
Tart cherry piquancy inundated Love & Pop, an easygoing fruited Belgian ale with murky grain malting.
Lightly creamed specialty grain ale, Chevy Levee & Rye let peaty caraway-seeded rye malting run amuck on brusque herbal citrus hops.
Chocolate-y raisin sweetness uplifted Dave The Great Dubbel, allowing mild burgundy, fig and date illusions to encounter dewy peat serenity towards the midst. The nitro version added mildly creamed walnut, hazelnut and black cherry nuances to the Raisinette-candied glaze.