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

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore docks in Juneau in October, 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the Week of June 4

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Monday, June 5, 2023

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

Water and wastewater rates in the City and Borough of Juneau will increase 2% starting July 1. (Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire File)
Water, wastewater rates to increase starting July 1

The 2% increase is to match inflationary costs, city says.

A progress pride flag flies in the wind below an U.S. flag outside of the Hurff Ackerman Saunders Federal Building on Monday evening. Last week the flag was raised for the first time by members of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and will remain up through the month of June. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
LGBTQ+ pride flag raised at federal building sparks backlash, support

Varying reactions to the flag that was raised for the first time outside the building.

Cars and people move past the City and Borough of Juneau current City Hall downtown on Monday. The Assembly Committee of the Whole unanimously OK’d an ordinance Monday night that, if passed by the full Assembly, would again ask Juneau voters during the upcoming municipal election whether to approve $27 million in bond debt to fund the construction of a new City Hall. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Voters could see proposal for a new City Hall back on the ballot this fall

City signals support for $27 million initiative, after $35M bond last year fails.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Sunday, June 4, 2023

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

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, June 3, 2023

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

Courtesy Photo / Chris Blake
The <strong>Hōkūleʻa</strong>, a double-hulled and wind-powered traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, navigates throughout Southeast Alaska in May. On Saturday the canoe and crew members will be welcomed to Juneau in preparation for the canoes launch days later for its four-year-long global canoe voyage called the <strong>Moananuiākea</strong>.
Celebration of four-year Polynesian canoe voyage to kick off Saturday at Auke Bay

Voyage set to circumnavigate 43,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean beginning in Juneau.

Most Read