Wine & Beer

Paso’s BarrelHouse Brewing to open another taproom

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. plans to open a taproom in Fresno – but just where it’s opening is a secret.

The popular Paso Robles-based craft brewery has a following in the Valley, with a large tap room in Visalia and another in San Luis Obispo.

BarrelHouse’s founders were at the California Food Expo Tuesday and decided to announce their news after interacting with the public and potential buyers, said Chris Vaughn, marketing manager and one of the founders. The founders are all from Lemoore, with one still living in the area.

BarrelHouse plans to open the tap room in summer of 2020.

But for now, you’ll just have to take guesses as to where it will be, Vaughn said.

“No, we’re keeping it a secret,” he said. “It’s something we’ve done with all of our locations.”

The tap room will be 6,000 square feet, with a large outdoor patio space. It will have a small stage for live bands and dogs will be allowed, he said. It won’t have a restaurant, but customers are encouraged to bring in food. Like the other tap rooms, it will have large roll-up doors that can be opened on nice days.

BarrelHouse Brewing Co. opened this tap room at 521 E. Main St. in Visalia in 2017. The Fresno location will have a similar style, with lots of exposed brick. Photo courtesy of BarrelHouse Brewing

Any hints about location?

Vaughn knows keeping the location a secret will inspire speculation.

“Everybody’s like, ‘Is it Clovis, is it downtown, or is it north Fresno?” he said.

He won’t say, but he did share a pretty big hint.

“Typically, we’ve gone into areas that are more destination based. Basically, we go into an area that is on the verge of becoming a hot spot … This time we’re changing gears and going into an area that’s already a hot spot.”

It’s also in a location where they can’t bring in food trucks, he said.

He added: “At this point we’re going to leave it a little vague because, I don’t know, you can’t have Christmas every day.”

BarrelHouse hasn’t signed a lease at the location yet, but is close, Vaughn said.

“We are finalizing that right now,” he said. “All the terms have been agreed upon and now it’s just a matter of putting ink on paper.”

The Fresno tap room will have the same feel as the others, including lots of exposed brick and duct work, he said.

The news comes as craft beer is the talk of Fresno. A dust up over a Tweet by Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s communication manager that appeared to insult Fresno has been on the lips of many Fresnans.

Also based in Paso Robles, Firestone Walker has since extended an olive branch, and its co-founder, David Walker, was at the food expo Tuesday. Mayor Lee Brand said Walker voiced his appreciation for Fresno and Brand posted a photo of the pair online.

Mayor Lee Brand posted this photo with Firestone Walker Brewing Co. co-founder David Walker from the California Food Expo Tuesday. Brand said Walker was “A great guy who expressed his appreciation for the city and people of Fresno.”

BarrelHouse Brewing

BarrelHouse was founded in 2013 and has grown quickly. The brewery grew 39 percent in production and distribution last year, Vaughn noted.

Its Sunny Daze blonde ale and mango IPA are popular. At the food expo, the brewery was promoting its new Standard Ale. The brewery also does lots of sour beers.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.