The popular Northern Kentucky restaurant chain Barleycorn’s is expanding into the brewery business, and its owner’s eyes are set on Wilder for the first location.
The idea is to have a brewery specializing in traditional beers like lagers, pilsners, and IPAs, said Gary Holland, founder and CEO of One Holland, which owns three Barleycorn’s locations. The brewery will also feature local brews from Braxton and Rhinegeist.
Along with beer, the location will have a test kitchen component that will allow customers to try new dishes exclusively at Barleycorn’s Brewhouse. The best plates will be added to Barleycorn’s restaurant menus.
One Holland acquired the three Barleycorn’s locations (Cold Spring, Lakeside Park, and Florence) in December of 2021. The restaurant group will partner with chefs from two other restaurants they own — the Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell and the Merrick Inn in Lexington — to create the dishes for Barleycorn’s Brewhouse.
Holland said the idea to create a brewery started before he acquired the Barleycorn’s restaurants. He said he and his high school friends were spitballing ideas to develop a brewery together in their hometown of Independence, Kentucky.
“One Holland Corporation had acquired a significant amount of land at the intersection of Taylor Mill Road and Madison Pike,” Holland said. “One of them (his friends) said we should do a brewery. So, we started chatting it up and we decided to do that. But as that development is unfolding, it obviously takes some time to turn raw land into commercial development. We decided, let’s do a test kitchen and start brewing beer right away and that led us to Wilder.”
As the brewery in Wilder was unfolding, One Holland acquired Barleycorn’s and then decided to make it a collaboration.
The second Barleycorn’s Brewhouse is already in the works and will be located in Independence, like Holland and his friends initially imagined.
“That kind of allows us to get our feet wet and allows us to get started much sooner than waiting until the development (in Independence) is finished in the next two years,” Holland said.
You can stop in for a sip at the Wilder location, at 402 Licking Pike, a former firehouse, when it opens its doors in mid-July.
Matt Perry, Shane Trego, Jay Shelton, Shawn Cunningham, Craig Sanders, Dave Meenach, Scott Harney, Gabe Wainscott, Bob Ross and Brent Coppage are partnering with Holland on the Brewhouse.