Big Barn Brewing
16004 N. Applewood Ln., Mead, WA
The beers (many of them bottled for outside sales) indeed are brewed in a large barn on this Green Bluff farm. That’s also where they’re served over the winter, when the action (including regular live music) moves from the smaller, uninsulated taphouse that operates over the summer. Big Barn uses homegrown and other bluff produce in seasonal selections like its Apricot Wit and Raspberry Braggot and grows its own hops.
Opened: October 2012
The story: Craig Deitz of Bodacious Berries, Fruits and Brews, along with partner Brad Paulson, launched this Green Bluff brewery that specializes in beers made with berries, hops, pumpkins and other produce from the farm and the surrounding area.
The scene: While the big barn houses the seven-barrel brewing system that went into operation in early 2014, the taproom is in a smaller structure nearby, with the “Watering Hole” sign out front. Rustic touches abound, from the weathered wooden floor to a hanging saw, wood stove and red checkered tablecloths. A clock fashioned from old license plates hangs behind the bar, with the letters “TAP” in the middle. Customers sit in comfy stools at the wood-topped bar, with its corrugated metal front, or at picnic tables on the deck. Since the taproom isn’t insulated, the action shifts to the actual big barn over the winter, with distribution to area bars and restaurants continuing year-round.
Food: Free peanuts and pretzels, occasional food trucks.
Live music: On Sundays and some other days during summer.
Specials: Wednesday, discount growler fills; Thursday, $1 off pints.
Brewhouse size: 7 barrels
Beers: Typical offerings include Lone Pine Pilsner (4.4 percent alcohol by volume, 35 International Bitterness Units), Mead Honey Lager (5.1, 22), Peone Wheat (5.1, NA), Rusty Red (5, NA), Bluff Top Belgian (6.3, 36), Dirt Road Rye (6.3, NA), Dunn Day IPA (6.1, NA), Fallow IPA (7.7, NA), Mt. Smoke Porter (7.2, 56), Strong Oat Stout (7.2, 28) and big Black Dog Stout, after farm dog Nandi (9.3, NA). There also are such seasonals as a Strawberry Blonde, Apricot Wit, Blackberry Porter, Miss Maggie’s Lavender IPA, Applewood Amber (brewed with cider) and Golden Pumpkin Ale.
Other options: No
Don’t miss: The clean, crisp lager has a pleasant honey flavor, but isn’t too sweet; try it in a Black and Tan with the smooth oatmeal stout.