Three locations in just four years – this concept taps into a desire for craft beer and great food.
Walk into a Barrel Republic, and you see the difference right away. You’ll see nearly 60 taps
(yes, 60) built into the walls. And you’ll see customers happily serving themselves. It’s called “freedom to pour.” The beers on offer change daily, weekly, seasonally – there’s always something different to try. As a keg is finished, a completely new beer is put online. Pulling some of the handles gets you wine and non-alcoholic beverages, if that’s your preference.
Atmosphere and Appeal
According to Chef Michael C. Brown, he joined the San Diego area group to add the same interest to the food. His goals: seasonal menus, hitting all food trends, and a value price point. Grab your choice of beverage, take a seat, and look around at the appealing decor of weathered wood and rusted corrugated metal. The atmosphere is relaxed, calming and comfortable.
Now, learn more about Barrel Republic.
How does your menu design play
up the craft beer emphasis?
MB: Since we’re continually rotating beers, when pairing with food, we focus more on style than exact beers. If you’re a spice eater, IPAs bring up the heat. Otherwise I usually focus on the nuances – citrus notes, vanilla background, coffee flavor, etc.
Your menu strikes a great balance between vegetarian and proteins
MB: We’re currently 40% vegetarian, with some vegan options as well. Our Wild Mushroom French Dip was featured in a national magazine. Food and beverage trends are always a moving target. Currently and for some time to come, I believe plant-based meals are increasing in popularity. Our protein-driven dishes are unique, like our California Cuban, and we use premium products supplied by Shamrock Foods.
There’s no freezer in your kitchen, and you lean on Shamrock Foods for Specialty items and basics.
MB: Yes, everything from dairy products to core items like bacon, Villa Frizzoni® pasta, San Pablo® dried beans. Then their partners: Seaboard® pork, Gold Canyon Angus® 100% ground chuck, Markon® produce, fresh salmon and yellowtail – I can always be assured there’s a product that fits my needs. Recently when looking for a new cheese for our artisanal board, I was won over by the aged Beemster Gouda – perfect for us!
When it comes to empowering
employees, you’re very involved.
MB: My philosophy is much like Shamrock Foods’: Treat staff as family. I do my best to support our team in every way. I encourage them to form bonds outside the workplace, share a ton of reading material with them, include them in food and beer tastings … And I’ve brought many to the annual Shamrock Foods EXPO. Together we grow!
You’ve got a lot to say about
MB: As the Barrel Republic concept was being built, I worked closely with Josh [Shamrock Foods Sales Representative] to ensure quality products and efficient pack sizes. Josh continues to be the eyes on the streets; he informs me of trends in food, trends in business and trends in location. In addition to letting me know of the new restaurants opening, he also lets me know who are the Shamrock Foods customers so that I can form a relationship with them. The market is always changing, and with each seasonal menu change I rely on Josh to give me pricing and sustainability information before committing to the product.
And you’ve partnered with Shamrock Foods for over 15 years?
MB: Shamrock Foods has been with us from the beginning. As we grow, I know that Shamrock Foods will be with me to address any of my needs and continue to provide great and safe products.
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