Craft beer lovers of the Reading, PA area rejoice! On March 1st, 2014, The Barley Mow Craft Beer House will open it’s doors on Penn Avenue in West Reading. Described by owners Peter Starr and Claire Edwards as a unique establishment providing a “coffee shop feel with beer,” The Barley Mow will be a comfortable yet sophisticated place for patrons to explore the world of craft beer.
The bottle shop will carry beers from any U.S. micro or craft brewery they can get their hands on, including year-round offerings and seasonal brews. They anticipate a wide selection of 600 to 700 varieties of beer from over 100 breweries. Take some bottles home, fill a growler or relax in the warm, intimate atmosphere and enjoy the brews on-site from the bottle or four rotating taps.
A rotating menu built to pair with the drafts will initially include gourmet meat and cheese plates from Di Bruno Brothers. Plans to partner with a bakery for dessert offerings are in the works as well as scheduled tasting and pairing events.
The road to The Barley Mow began when owners Peter and Claire ventured into the world of craft beer a few years ago. It was a Christmas seasonal variety pack that sparked the idea in them: How could they offer variety to other craft beer lovers?
Researching the business of craft beer bottle shops led them to Suzanne Schalow and Kate Baker who own a place called Craft Beer Cellar outside of Boston. After a trek to New England to meet with Suzanne and Kate for some sage advice, Peter and Claire returned and began researching bottle shops near Philadelphia and within a 20-mile radius of Reading. Though they found a great selection of beer, they couldn’t find a place that offered the environment they were seeking.
They took a risk (and a road trip). “We resigned from [our] jobs on the same day,” explained Peter. “We knew if we wanted to do this well, we needed to learn more about the craft brew industry and feel what the industry is like.” They spent six weeks traveling across the country, through 34 states and visited over 30 breweries.
Once back home they set to establishing the business. First, they scouted for the perfect location, finding it on Penn Avenue among the independent boutique shops and artisanal establishments of West Reading. They spent four months renovating the building and five months getting everything sorted with the Liquor Control Board. And now, opening day is just around the corner.
We’ll definitely be stopping in to check it out on opening day, March 1st. We wish Peter and Claire the best of luck and were sure The Barley Mow will be an awesome beer spot here in Reading.