Leading up to a recent road trip I wondered about a good spot to get a pint right off Interstate-12 between Baton Rouge and Biloxi. I hit up a friend in the beer drinking business and he let me know he’d heard The Barley Oak was supposed to be awesome. I looked up their website and thought darn this place looks too good to be true. Well I’m happy to tell you that it’s actually better than on their website.
I’d never been to Mandeville or “Old Mandeville” as this area is called. It was an extremely easy drive. Essentially you get off of I-12 on to Highway 59 and head South until it ends in a just beautiful neighborhood. You take a right and drive a couple of blocks until you see The Barley Oak on the right.
The Barley Oak and everything around it was shockingly beautiful. It’s just not what I expect when I’m going find a pub. You walk up and it’s this beautiful building on high brick stilts that looks like someones home. Lots of really nice landscaping and perfectly clean. You walk in to high ceilings, some beautiful couches to the left, tables to the right and a wonderful long bar across the back wall. For a moment I felt like I was back in Europe as this place was top notch and not some cheap knock off. But the most impressive part about the entire establishment was the bartender knew at least as much about beer as I did. A shocking amount that a person would only know if they really loved and enjoyed beer themselves. She talked about aroma, flavor, appearance, finish and knew everything about the respective regions and breweries. Typically I can find fault in someones knowledge but this lady knew her beer.
Beerwise I had a couple of my German favorite. I can’t pass up Kostritzer when I see it and I had a Dunkel with my German sausage plate I ordered. The food was very good pub food and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I hated to leave but I’ll be back. I think Highway 59 should be labeled “The Beer Exit” in that you can get off that exit, turn either way and end up at either The Barley Oak or Abita Brew Pub.