Note: If you want to skip to the summary of this review, scroll down to “SUMMARY.”
Shortly after I moved to the Poconos, a neighbor told me, “We have to go to Barley Creek.” I was generally unaware of what he meant, and assumed it somehow involved fishing.
It did not involve fishing. What it DID involve was ATVs, a hypothetically illegal ride through Game Land trails in a blizzard, and a very cold crew of snow-encrusted adventurers traveling down Camelback Road to where it ended at Sullivan Trail in Tannersville. The ATVs were (hypothetically) parked outside Barley Creek, libations were had, food was consumed, stories were told, and everyone was much warmer in no time.
Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape or form recommend driving an ATV to Barley Creek. Not only is this almost certainly illegal for numerous reasons, but also if you do it, it will take away from the awesomeness of my story.
16 years later, Barley Creek is considerably larger and more well-known. They have a pint-sized baseball park, a huge outdoor gazebo/beer garden for private events, a brick oven that produces delicious pizzas, an expanded dining area, and a distillery. Even their decor has gone from “Who does your decorating, vandals?” to “Wow. I can’t let my wife see that or she’ll make me do a smaller version of that in the house.”
But what hasn’t changed is the driving force of the company; the beer. Barley Creek was the first microbrewery on the mountain, and they have a staple of core beers that have been dependably solid and consistent for as long as I can remember. My personal go-to is the Iron Arm Belgian Wheat, but they have other seasonal beers and award-winning ales/lagers as well.
It should also be noted that Barley Creek was active during the pandemic, offering curbside pickup, socially-distanced dining, and free bottles of hand sanitizer. (It didn’t smell at ALL like Tequila.) As the region and country slowly recover, Barley Creek is right there with us.
SUMMARY: Highly recommended. This restaurant manages to be very family-friendly (they have a children’s menu and a small arcade to keep the kids occupied), while managing to keep the bar at the heart of the building, separated in an aesthetically-pleasing way. Want to go on a budget? Go on Wednesday nights – $5 pizzas and $8 growler refills are the norm. Want to treat your palate to more culinary fare? They can handle that too…their steak and seafood is excellent.
Even over the past year and a half, they managed to adapt and keep the good times going in a safe and respectable manner. Unless you count the Barley Creek Peanut Butter Whiskey, created by some lunatic with too much time on their hands. I sampled that Wednesday, and I’m not entirely sure “safe” is the proper word.
You can learn more about Barley Creek Brewing Company here: http://www.barleycreek.com