Barley Forge Brewing Co. is based in the southern California town of Costa Mesa, to be exact. Its 10,000-square-foot facility that opened in November 2013. And it’s not just a brewery, but also includes a tasting room and kitchen as well. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the brewery—unless your pet is a unicorn, that is.
Greg Nylens, the co-owner of Barley Forge, began homebrewing almost three decades ago, joined the oldest homebrewing club in the country, the Maltose Falcons, and won numerous homebrewing awards. He worked as an attorney while dreaming and planning to one day open a brewery. Some of his recipes perfected during that era have carried over into the commercial endeavor including today’s beer called The Patsy, a coconut rye stout with an ABV of 6.6 percent ABV, 37 IBUs and brewed with chocolate and toasted coconut.
The pour clippity clops into a snifter with a dark brown body almost as if it was still in the original brown bottle with an inch of light tan foam capping it off. The aroma is coming through with a heavy hit of toasted coconut macarons, some sweet chocolate, and light coffee. A sweet crystal malt flavor is lurking, though there are no signs of hops, yeast or alcohol here just clean and sweet.
The taste comes in at first with a burnt coconut hit followed by a dark rye bread character reminiscent of Danish Rugbrod or pumpernickel. It’s quite a bit different than the nose led it to be. The feel is on the lighter side with ample carbonation helping to scrub some of the burnt astringency. Given the name and label design I am surprised at the lack of horse blanket notes; a missed opportunity perhaps?