Baker City, Oregon
The unassuming exterior of Barley Brown’s sits on Main Street in Baker City, and inside the cozy Western atmosphere is everything you could hope for in a small town brewery restaurant.
- Claims to have the best American wheat beer in the world.
- Won the gold medal in the 2010 World Beer Cup in Chicago, which takes place every two years and is sponsored by the Brewer’s Association.
Cliché but necessary signs featured in the restaurant:
- “You can drink thirty or forty glasses of beer a day no matter how rich you are” – Adolphus Busch
- “Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink.”
- “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” -Ben Franklin (This quote isn’t quite what most brewers think it is, see here)
First time ordering a beer by myself (the person I was supposed to meet had to cancel last minute). A man to my left at the bar just got back from a trip where he “killed thousands of salmon” he exaggerates proudly. I wonder what that means?
The restaurant is bustling with locals and families even on a Tuesday night. Some of them must be regulars, and of course in keeping with small town style, all the waitresses know them. “See you next week,” one waitress says to a group leaving.
I don’t know anything about beer. These are just my observations. I ordered the Stumble Off pale ale and the classic spaghetti and meatballs, which was delish. I ordered the pale ale because I recognized that name, and thought that might be something my fiancé had bought before.
Huge mistake! Apparently (as I discovered after) a pale ale has the most hops (whatever that means) making it one of the most bitter tasting beers. Aka not the best one to have when you are just starting out and have no idea what you’re doing, like me.
In general, Barley Brown’s was a great place for a classic Americanized meal, and was definitely the best I had in Eastern Oregon, although you can’t go wrong with spaghetti and meatballs.