Barley House (CLOSED)

1520 S. Randall Rd, Algonquin, IL, 60102, United States
Latitude: 42.15556, Longitude: -88.33576


Wifi Available
Cask Beer
Indoor Smoking
Available Parking
Beer Pricing: $$$
Public Transit
Proper Glassware
Outdoor Seating
Family Friendly
Selection: 4.50 | Atmosphere: 4.00 | Service: 3.38 | Food: 4.00
out of 100
Overall Beer Mapping Score
Based on 2 reviews.
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dzouras (49)
Monday 27th of December 2010 11:52:45 AM
I have been to Barley House a few times, but I somehow forgot to write up a review.

It is located in a strip mall so there is plenty of parking.
They carved up the interior of a large building to make it look like multiple smaller rooms. I liked the feel of it.

The beer selection is excellent. There are a respectable number of taps, but the vast majority of the beers are bottled. I like that the huge beer menu is grouped by style. My wife and I like to work our way through the menu by each ordering one beer from each page in order to explore all the variety.

The food is fair, but that is not the reason that I make the trip to Barley House.

The service has never been very good over the course of several visits. I have sat at the bar and at tables. It is not bad, but I always feel like something is missing.

One thing that we like to do after a day of drinking at Barley House is to walk across the parking lot to the Borders and drink coffee and read in order to prepare for our long drive home. Another benefit of finishing one's beer adventures before 2AM.

Overall, I like the beer selection, but Barley House is kind of far from my house. I prefer fresh brewed beer though, so it is hard justify the trip to a place that does not brew their own beer. I would definitely stop by if I was in the area, but I don't make it up to Algonquin very frequently.
Selection: 4.75 | Atmosphere: 4.5 | Service: 3.75 | Food: 4.0

emerge077 (360)
Friday 4th of June 2010 04:10:37 PM

Seems like people like to bag on this place on other sites, had to check it out and get a first-hand impression. The conclusion that i've come to is that it's a good place for craft beer. Far from the best in Illinois, but an asset to a craft beer-deprived area. The gripes that i've read were blown well out of proportion, from my experience.

The building was on Randall Rd., accessible only by a maze of suburban strip mall parking lots. Saturday night, and the lot was completely full. Inside, it was clearly a large building parsed down to feel "small" in the cozy irish pub sense, but was not so easy to navigate. The bar had 3 sides, and 3 tap towers. Definitely quality beer on tap...Surly 16 Grit, Furious, & Bender. Tell me, where else in the NW burbs has 3 Surly taps? Also Founders, FFF, DFH, and plenty others. Bottle list was big and organized by style. There was quite a bit of filler, but there was plenty to choose from in terms of quality. The focus seemed to be US craft, but there were broken out sections for Trappists, North American Farmhouse Ales (2 from Jolly Pumpkin), and several other unique categories. This place serves as a gateway for people to get into craft beer, and not exclusively a beer geek clientele. The crowd was thankfully not rowdy on a Saturday night, and seemed to be from all walks of life.

The low point for me was the service at the bar, it took almost 15 minutes to get a beer, despite attempts at eye contact and our general thirsty appearance. Draft prices were fair, but some bottles veered into the spendy range.

All in all it was better than several other bland suburban chains, and I would probably go back for some of their exclusive stuff if I happened to be in the area again. One added plus, there's a gigantic Binny's just north on Randall Rd.
Selection: 4.25 | Atmosphere: 3.5 | Service: 3 | Food: N/A

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