Wicked Barley Brewing Company recently celebrated their grand opening on July 30.
We went there on opening day to check out their new facility at 4100 Baymeadows Rd. The place was packed, to the point that a JSO officer stopped to direct traffic coming into and out of the parking lot.
The inside of the facility looks fantastic, with the brewery’s equipment showcased prominently near the entrance.
Next to that is a bar that offers a selection of Wicked Barley’s own brews, as well as a collection of local and national selections. Strangely, the brewery wasn’t doing much to advertise their own creations. We had to look at their website to know what to order.
The beer is served in their distinctively-shaped glasses, which are also for sale in their small memorabilia display. We had previously tasted some of their creations at their preview tasting. We were big fans of the Left Foot Lager, which is definitely the best option for the casual beer drinker. For those more adventurous, the brewery has a truly vast collection of options ranging from pale ales, to a hard root beer, to an Indian pale pilsner. For the full list, check out their website.
The service was pretty good considering how packed the place was; it was hard to even move through some areas. The seating spaces are somewhat limited, but should be suitable for the average, non-grand-opening crowd.
There’s also outdoor seating available. One notable feature of the brewery is the boat access it offers from Goodby’s Creek, allowing boaters to easily access the restaurant.
The food options aren’t super extensive, but they’re more than what you’d expect from a brewery. We didn’t have time to get a food order in, but the plates we saw nearby looked quite impressive.
The brewery is a bit far away from the center of activity. It probably isn’t a great fit for the younger crowd, but it could latch onto a specific demographic. The crowd when we were there was a little older than that of the average brewery. This makes sense given the area’s demographic being more suburban and family-oriented. It also has a lot of potential for those who frequent Goodby’s Creek.
If it can draw in those crowds consistently, Wicked Barley will be around a long time.