Barbarian Brewing Hopes For Summer Opening of Downtown Boise Taproom 

click to enlarge - Barbarian Brewing hopes to have its new taproom at the former location of The Crux open in summer 2017. -  - HARRISON BERRY
  • Harrison Berry
  • Barbarian Brewing hopes to have its new taproom at the former location of The Crux open in summer 2017.
Garden City-based Barbarian Brewing has hung out its shingle in front of the former location of The Crux at 1022 W. Main St. in downtown Boise, heralding a new taproom with 20-23 beer taps, local wines and cider from Meriwether Cider Company.

Barbarian Brewing Co-owner and business manager Bre Hovley said she expects the taproom in the leased space to open in mid-summer 2017, but is waiting for building permits, allowing a contractor to "close off that space to make it a little more intimate."

Changes to the interior of the former all-ages music venue will include removing the stage, installing a walk-in refrigerator and hanging photographs by Rob Hart on the walls. The vibe will mirror that of Barbarian Brewing's current taproom, which will remain open. There will be corrugated tin details, reclaimed wood and custom work on the bar, tables and chairs.

The taps will be stocked with Barbarian favorites, as well as beer from the 95 oak barrels full of sours and funky beers aging in the back of its Garden City brewery, which Hovley said should be ready for customers by the time the Boise taproom opens.

The five-barrel brewery currently employs four people, and more will be needed to operate the new taproom, but apart from a handful of new bartenders, Barbarian Brewing hopes to remain small, eschewing canning its beers, expanding production and wholesale distribution in favor of brewing at a steady pace and selling out its taproom.

"For our size, we thought it was beneficial to open a second location to keep as much of our beer in-house, rather that compete with the other awesome breweries out there," Hovley said.

Admittedly, Hovley said, Barbarian Brewing is swimming against the current of conventional wisdom for breweries set by the likes of Payette Brewing, which expanded rapidly, sold its beer regionally in cans and quickly outgrew its own Garden City brewery. Opening a second taproom would allow the 18-month-old Barbarian Brewing to remain small while satisfying Boise customers eager to drink craft beer downtown.

"We hear from quite a few people who love our beer but don't want to go to Garden City to drink it."
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