The Dark, BarrieHaus Beer Co.

In Ybor City, cross over to The Dark side with this dunkel lager. | Local craft beer of the week
The Dark is BarrieHaus’ Munich dunkel lager.
The Dark is BarrieHaus’ Munich dunkel lager. [ Photo courtesy of Geneva Johnson ]
Published Jan. 16, 2020

The gradual increase in demand for traditional lagers has been consistent in the past few years.

In some ways, this is burnout in the face of ever-hazier IPAs and bombastic stouts, but it’s also indicative of a collective palate expansion. Beer lovers have come to prize execution and nuance.

It’s no surprise, then, that lager-centric breweries are on the rise, including in Ybor City, where BarrieHaus Beer Co. opened last month. Co-owner Jim Barrie boasts a multigenerational lineage of brewers, dating to 1863 in Detroit, where his German immigrant great-great-great grandfather opened Peninsular Brewing.

It’s natural that he started a brewery — along with wife Brittney and friend Junbae Lee — that reflected the European traditions of his family. German pils, Vienna lager, German export and Munich dunkel are all on the menu. BarrieHaus’ Munich dunkel lager — The Dark — is the best of the bunch. It is poured from a European side-pull tap, allowing for a variable pour — a popular choice among lager aficionados — that results in a rich, full-bodied beer that goes down so smoothly that it could silence even the most adamant dark-beer doubter.

This take on the style is traditional, with a malt-focused flavor showcasing its bready, semi-sweet cereal flavors. There’s a nuttiness and some low-level cocoa notes that liven up the beer, while still resulting in a crisp finish.

Try The Dark, and if you’re up for an experiment, ask for it poured both ways: with a side-pull and on the standard tap. The differences are remarkable, and both result in a fantastic brew.

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