Matt Barnaby, of Barnaby Brewing Company, talks Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, about he and his wife’s plans for a new location for his company on Shattuck Way. A fire on the evening of April 16, 2018, forced their business to close. They hope to be open by the end of the year. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Matt Barnaby, of Barnaby Brewing Company, talks Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, about he and his wife’s plans for a new location for his company on Shattuck Way. A fire on the evening of April 16, 2018, forced their business to close. They hope to be open by the end of the year. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Barnaby Brewing finds new location after fire

Owners aiming to reopen by the end of the year

Four months almost to the day after a fire started in his brewery on Franklin Street, Matt Barnaby stood Monday morning at a property on Shattuck Way that will be the brewery’s new home.

The space, located in the Emporium Building across from City Hall, is much larger than the previous location, which was in a basement that used to house the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council (JAHC).

“Our tap room will be about four or five times as large as the last one, with windows,” Barnaby said, gesturing to the bright room. “There’s not a light on in here.”

Barnaby, who co-owns Barnaby Brewing with his wife Kelly, said there’s been almost no progress in cleaning up the old location after a fire damaged it in mid-April. He was walking downtown one day, he recalled, and saw that the building on Shattuck was being leased out. He called the number and things moved quickly from there.

The space is still under construction, as the large open area that was formerly occupied by Commercial Signs & Printing has been divided into three commercial spaces. Barnaby Brewing’s lease doesn’t start until October, Matt said, and he said the brewery will probably open in November or December. There’s still quite a bit of work to do, both on the physical space and on the brewing front.

An electrical issue caused a fire on the evening of April 16 in the brewery’s former location, just as Matt and Kelly were preparing to celebrate the brewery’s one-year anniversary. They’ve been closed since then, but Matt said the alcohol production companies in town — Alaskan Brewing, Amalga Distillery and Devil’s Club Brewing — have all been supportive. Devil’s Club, for instance, has been serving Barnaby Brewing root beer from time to time.

“Among the manufacturers, (the support)’s been outstanding,” Matt said.

He said they’re hoping to get larger brewing equipment for the new location as well. Even if they stick with the same smaller setup they used in the old location, Matt said, the layout of the new brewing area is better. Instead of a crammed, long and thin space to brew, the brewing area is more of a square and should make for a less cramped setup.

Even in its hiatus, the brewery has seen some success. Barnaby’s “I’ll Have Another 2018” smoked beer won silver in the Smoked/Rauch Beer category at the 2018 U.S. Open Beer Championship this summer. The irony of the brewery winning with a smoked beer after the fire was not lost on Matt, he told the Empire at the time.

Matt and Kelly were at Haines Brew Fest earlier this summer and will be at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver at the end of September. Research and development never ends, Matt said, and he’s still been brewing in small batches.

They’ll continue to offer a similar lineup of beers whenever they reopen, Matt said, with some new wrinkles. He’s particularly looking forward to releasing a Norwegian-style farmhouse ale, which he said is becoming trendy among the brewing community.

“It’s completely different from what we’ve been doing,” Matt said, “so it’s exciting.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

The LeConte state ferry departs Juneau on Tuesday afternoon, bound for Haines on a special round-trip following two cancelled sailings due to a mechanical problem. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
LeConte returns to service with special trip to Haines after weekend cancellation

State ferry will pick up half of nearly 60 stranded vehicles, others may have to wait until July.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, May 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Anchorage pullers arrived at Wrangell’s Petroglyph Beach on May 23 for a canoe-naming ceremony. One of the canoes they will paddle to Juneau was dedicated to Wrangell’s Marge Byrd, Kiks.adi matriarch Shaawat Shoogoo. The canoe’s name is Xíxch’ dexí (Frog Backbone). (Becca Clark / Wrangell Sentinel)
Canoes making 150-mile journey from Wrangell, other Southeast communities to Celebration

Paddlers expected to arrive in Juneau on June 4, one day before biennial Alaska Native gathering.

The Alaska State Capitol and Dimond Courthouse are seen on Thursday morning, Jan. 18. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Judicial Council recommends Alaskans keep all judges, including figure behind correspondence ruling

The Alaska Judicial Council has voted to recommend that state voters retain… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, May 26, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, May 25, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, May 24, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Wreath bearers present wreaths for fallen comrades, brothers and sisters in arms during a Memorial Day ceremony at Alaskan Memorial Park on Monday. Laying wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes is a way to honor and remember the sacrifices made. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies offer new ways to ‘never forget’ those who served

New installations at memorial sites, fresh words of reminder shared by hundreds gathering in Juneau.

Most Read