There’s nothing quite like walking into a bar and feeling right at home. That’s what it felt like upon entering the Malted Barley. I opened the door and the smell of homemade pretzels and craft beer pulled me and my boyfriend into the warm establishment on High Street. Plus, Seinfeld was playing on one of the TV’s so we couldn’t resist.
It was a Friday night so the place was pretty packed but we found a couple seats at the bar. I always do a little people-watching when I first arrive at a local drinking hole to see if there’s anyone I know. I took a glance around and then started in on the seven-page beer list.
The first few pages were of the draft and seasonal beer available and the later pages were filled with numerous bottled beers. If you like beer, Malted Barley is the place to go. There’s truly something for everyone on the beer list: from wheat ales to pale ales to stouts and porters.
There’s also a fairly extensive wine, cocktail and liquor list for those who aren’t interested in brews. Although my boyfriend considers himself to be an IPA connoisseur, he enjoyed a bourbon on the rocks at the Barley and I ordered a gose style beer, which is more sour than the average beer.
After we got our drinks, which were incredibly delicious, we perused the pretzel menu — everything sounded good. We’d already eaten dinner but from the looks (and smells) of the pretzels that were being eaten nearby, we had to at least get one.
We decided on a jalapeno and cheddar stuffed pretzel with spinach artichoke dip and cannellini bean and walnut pretzel sandwich with cranberry & goat cheese pate, sliced pear and arugula.
While we waited for the food to arrive, we left our coats on the chairs at the bar and wandered around the place. From the main level, there’s a stairway going up and down. Heading down brings you to an overflow seating area with a foosball table and a set of doors that open out onto a seasonal outdoor patio beside the Pawcatuck River.
Heading up to the second floor brings you to the establishment’s newest addition: a second bar and another seating area. There’s a large screen on the wall where sports and indie films are often projected. The second floor has some cozy seating areas and large tables for bigger groups.
When we went back to our seats, the made-to-order pretzels arrived. The sandwich came with a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips. It was all delicious and made us want to order more but we decided instead to order another adult beverage.
As we ate, I watched the bartender muddling lime and mint leaves in a glass in front of us. I always love watching mixologists making magic happen. We chatted with the couple next to us as we finished our drinks and prepared to leave.
We both agreed that we had found our favorite bar…we’ll be back for sure. There’s always that one bar you go to and feel comfortable going to no matter who you’re with or what’s going on in life. Well, I’m happy to say that I think Malted Barley might be that bar for us.