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One Barrel Brewing Company

Egg Harbor, Wisconsin

 

Crusin' Rating: A-

Booze Rating: B+

 


This week, we are checking out One Barrel Brewing Company in Egg Harbor - part of our Door County Series. I know what you’re thinking - “Didn’t the Crusin’ for Booze Team already review One Barrel? Didn’t they even include Commuter Kolsch in their yearly award list?”


You’re spot on. We did review Madison's One Barrel, but we’ve thought for a while that the two locations are so starkly different that both deserved a separate review. Adding on to that, the Madison location has since closed. So as of the date of publishing, the Egg Harbor location is the only One Barrel spot that’s currently open. Never fear though, as there is some rumors that the new location will be opening on the west side of Madison! Now, the locations are different enough, and we are going to try and not rehash previously tread ground. So whenever we visit an establishment - and they have more than one location in Wisconsin - we will make sure to review new styles of beer that are available as well!



The Egg Harbor location was our first experience with One Barrel, which opened in 2019 (for those keeping score, the Madison location opened in 2012). At the time, Wild Tomato Pizza had several locations in Door County - one of them in One Barrel and Hannah and I were looking for solid lunch and some beer. The outside patio was still under construction at that time so we held off writing a review. This time though, while the weather wasn’t awesome for the patio - 50 and rainy - the patio was finished and it is such a fantastic patio. With a covered pergola, permanent fire pits, and a large outdoor service window - this patio was built to maximize the outdoors during the height of tourist season in the county- the summer. While it’s true Hannah and I opt for the off-season, I could easily see a fantastic late summer night, fire going, live music, and beer and pizza after a long day of hiking and sailing. The patio is solid enough that, despite the weather, tables began to fill up under the pergola as the afternoon carried on.


Even more so, despite some decidedly dreary weather, the inside was quite full as we began our review - Hannah, me, and the Thirsty Troll. We took note that there could definitely be more seating made available inside as fall sets in, but then, with most spots in Door County moving to limited hours as fall and winter come, maybe it’s too much seating for those slower months. The inside can seat around 50 that the Thirsty Troll counted spaced out at a combination of tables with chairs and benches, plus the bar seating. There is a small, cozy-ish seating area that sports a fireplace as well. Wild Tomato has since consolidated down to two locations in Fish Creek and Sister Bay and Hannah and me both agreed it’s still some of the best pizza in Door County- maybe the state. We held off on getting pizza from One Barrel's newest pizza maker - Pizza Bros. Perhaps we will give it a shot on our next visit.



As the space filled up around us, we did feel slightly guilty that we took up one of the 6-person tables when there was only three of us, but it was the only seating available inside. I suppose, to go back to the point on seating - maybe it isn’t so much as their isn’t enough seating, but the way the seating is laid out is either for bar, couples (a communal bench with small table tops and a chair on the opposite side of the table) - which, now that I think about it, was a similar seating arrangement that the Madison location had which was also problematic. There isn’t really seating for groups of four or groups larger than six. This may seem like an odd complaint but it makes sense if you’re out meeting a larger group of friends or just have another pair that you’re out and about with. The point is, I think the seating could be a little better laid out and the space used a little more efficiently. It didn’t really hurt the vibe, but there were times where there was a volume level from conversations around alone that made it difficult to hear, plus groups coming in - being frustrated that there isn’t enough seating, and leaving. Again though, maybe that’s just an off season problem that they don’t see during the busy season.



Between the patio, natural light, pizza window, and shop area, it is a noticeable contrast to the Madison location which, to us, was always cozy -if a little dark - more of a supper club vibe than the Egg Harbor spot which is catering toward outdoor summer nights.


Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- One Barrel Brewing Company- Beer Flight

Like the previous Madison location, One Barrel offers wine, hard cider, canned margaritas, beer, non-alcoholic beer, and soda. There is an area for carry-out and swag as well. We opted for a flight of four plus a bonus little sample. The flight of four ran us $14 - a little pricey that we chalked up to “Door County Tax”.


Land B4 Lime (4.8% ABV) - Key Lime Sour - I’ll let you guess who ordered this beer! Featuring medium-high clarity and yellow in color with high carbonation I got bright lemon-lime on the nose, Hannah picked up sugar and lime, and Thirsty Troll found some green grapes when smelling. I also noted a little graham cracker and sweet cream as well. Tasting of sweet limes with just a little sour felt on the insides of your cheeks - reminiscent of biting new green grape skin this was a fairly solid beer. I don’t know if it fully encapsulated the key lime experience in flavor - but this was an easy not-too-sweet and not-too-sour fruit beer that we all enjoyed.


Pretzels Oktoberfest (5.9% ABV) - This Marzen featured brilliant clarity and a rich orange hue this beer lived up to its namesake in the aroma department, smelling of pretzel dough and bread crust. With some perceived sweetness up front when tasting, there was plenty of toastiness to be had that we all picked up on and finished with some strong malt that to me, always reminds me of fallen leaves and bread, which is probably the hops working to balance out the matliness. I would have liked a little more pretzel in the flavor profile - especially in a beer with that in the name, but a fully serviceable Marzen nonetheless.


Stardust (6.5% ABV) - This Juicy IPA poured a warm gold with medium clarity and features Citra, Mosaic, and Centennial Hops. Given those hops, there was grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple juice, and the Thirsty Troll commented:

“Well, they do have the juice-part down.”

This was an easy-drinking IPA with relatively low hop presence in the finish which didn’t leave any of those lingering hop oils on your tongue, you can still definitely pick up on some of those understated pine-like notes and some grapefruit in there. Even Hannah admitted this one was okay for an IPA. The Thirsty Troll quite enjoyed it.


Pete’s Wheat (5.0% ABV) - Pete the Penguin, the One Barrel Mascot, featured on many of their beers, is a humble farmer on the can of this Bavarian Wheat Ale that poured pale yellow. Smelling of thick dough, and some musty banana in there. I think the dough was inappropriately high for a German Wheat and closer to an American wheat, but I think that was just me. The Thirsty Troll confirmed it smelled “wheaty” and Hannah wrinkled her nose at the banana notes - she’s not a fan of the style. Tasting also of doughy, undercooked banana bread to me and the Thirsty Troll stated:

“It tastes like the old bubblegum from under my 5th grade desk.”

I could pick up on that perceived bubblegum sweetness flavor and I will admit, this was one I didn’t really love out of the bunch.


Door County Trolley Red (4.8% ABV) - Our bonus sample we ordered, because we had to while in Door County - right? Like so many things in fall in Door County - the cherry is ever present in this Cherry Lager of high clarity. Smelling of sweet cherry pie filling - minus any sort of spices and tasting of sweet cherry juice and malt Hannah stated this:

“Tastes like Busch Light Cherry.” Maybe let’s not give that company any more wild ideas.

The thirsty troll didn’t detect as much cherry as he was expecting and wished for more cherry but cautioned that he didn’t want it to be at the expense of the beer coming off too sweet.


In all, I don’t know if our grade for the beer at One Barrel changes much. The Commuter Kolsch is still fantastic and they do serve up some easily drinkable beers, with the odds being you’ll snag something solid-enough if you walk in and order blindly. If you are in Door County, this will absolutely be a must stop if you’re there when the patio is in use. For now, it is the only taproom that One Barrel has, until their new location is settled on and you can bet we will be at that location not long after it opens. One Barrel continues to be steady in their service and offerings and I will continue to recommend them. While I won’t go so far as to say you need to go all the way to Egg Harbor to try them, I maintain it should be a must stop if you’re up there on vacation.


Until next time, keep on Cruisin', don’t stop boozin’.


To learn more about One Barrel Brewing Company please visit their website at: www.onebarrelbrewing.com/

or on Facebook: @OBBCDC or on Instagram: @OneBarrel.DC




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