Driving through the farms and fields on the approach to Gunbarrel Brewing Company it seems impossible that you will find anything remotely resembling a brewery, but if you look carefully for an industrial park on the west side of 71st Avenue you’ll get your reward. The day we visited, the cavernous taproom felt very empty and low-energy but the patio was pleasant-enough and the extensive beer list of all styles, combined with great service, encouraged us to linger for just one more.
BEER LINEUP: For a small brewery, Gunbarrel delivers a huge taplist of about 20 beers that cover the spectrum from wheat to stout with a lot of pleasant surprises in between including a saison, several fruit beers, a gose, some IPAs. They also offer several barrel-aged options.
ATMOSPHERE: We visited mid-day on a Sunday, which arguably is not the busiest time for any brewery, so we were the only patrons for a while. As such, it’s hard to guess at the normal energy of the place, but for us the huge building was very quiet. The large industrial-looking front room gives way to a gameroom on the back with pinball and pool, and there’s a huge bar for easy access during busy periods. Additionally, they offer a shady patio and seem to have regular food trucks. Naturally everything seemed very laid-back on our visit.
SERVICE: Despite the emptiness of the place, Gunbarrel had several servers working, which probably contributed to the excellent service we received. They were attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable about their beers.
NEIGHBORHOOD: Really none to speak of. Situated in an industrial park surrounded by farms, Gunbarrel appears to be the only retail-oriented business for miles and thus is definitely a destination. The remote location comes with the benefit of ample parking, and the LOBO trail lies about 1/4 mile to the south and offers bikers convenient access.
STANDOUT BEER: Memberberry is a New England IPA heavily infused with berries. The cloudy, reddish-copper color provides a tipoff that this is more than your normal NEIPA, and the berry sweetness provides an interesting contrast to the hoppiness. Raspberry and blueberry predominate. Overall, the light body and fruitiness make for a refreshing summer sip.