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By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host
Published Mar 28, 2023 at 2:32 PM

The J. Leinenkugel’s Barrel Yard, the new year-round restaurant at American Family Field, will make its official public debut on Monday, April 3.

And fans have reason to be excited for the new restaurant, which will feature both a full menu featuring scratch-made fare under Delaware North Executive Chef Loren Rue and an onsite Leinenkugel’s pilot brewery headed up by full-time brewer Corrinne Georges.

Exterior of Barrel Yard
Step into the restaurant and you’ll find a space teeming with understated details, many of which were created by local design and build firm, Three Sixty, RAMLOW/STEIN Architecture + Interiors and a variety of other local artists and craftspeople.

Walls sport warm wooden “Northwoods” accents with a whimsical mural and art work created by local graphic artist David Zimmerman of Big Shot Robot.

Meanwhile, high top tables in the dining area are emblazoned with the Barrel Yard logo, designed by RevPop.

Dining room
And yes, guests will have great views of the field, whether behind glass inside the restaurant or out on the patio.

On the menu
“It has been an amazing experience curating a menu for this restaurant,” notes Delaware North Executive Chef Loren Rue. “The food is fresh and uncomplicated and the flavors depend on high quality ingredients.”

Rue, who refers to the concept as “new Northwoods kitchen,” says careful sourcing and attention to detail are what make menu items a step above the usual.

There are fun takes on indulgent favorites like the Barrel Yard’s “Nueske’s Hanging Bacon” which has been treated to a maple black pepper glaze ($16).

Locally made cheese curds are hand-battered in house and taken up a notch with the addition of pickled Calabrian peppers and housemade sour cream aioli that gets a boost from a pop of lemon.

Supper Club crispy chicken dinners are made with Midwestern air-dried Amish chickens, which have been battered and pressure cooked to promote tender juicy meat with a crispy, flavorful exterior (four piece for$28; eight piece for $45). It’s served with housemade potato salad and coleslaw, along with house buttermilk biscuits — all of which are worth the eating.

As for its beer, The Barrel Yard will be releasing three exclusive beers for Opening Day. Due to the extended timeline for the installation of the micro-brewery’s three barrel system, the inaugural brews were crafted for the Barrel Yard at Leinenkugel’s Chippewa Falls location. However, a rotating selection of beers will be brewed on site by Corrine Georges moving forward.

Corrine Georges
Featured opening day brews will include Cherry Gose (3.8% ABV), a slightly tart beer with subtle cherry flavor that features pale, acidulated and red wheat malts along with Hallertau Mittelfreu hops, Door County cherries and pink Himalayan salt, which lends both mouthfeel and a clean finish.

A rare Leinenkugel’s IPA called Hop Head (6.5% ABV) will also make its debut. This brew offers up fresh hop notes of resinous pine, tropical fruit and citrus is made with both pale and caramel malts, plus Cascade, Citra, Mosaic and Hallertau Mandarina Bavaria hops, which are also used to dry hop at a rate of one pound per barrel.

Guests will also get the first taste of a remastered version of Leinie’s Red Lager (4.8% ABV), a beer with a sweet malty backbone from pale, caramel and Carapils malts, along with Cluster and Mt. Hood kettle hops. The beer is balanced by subtle notes of pine from dry hopped Cascade hops from Wisconsin.

Additional brews which will be available at The Barrel Yard include Leinenkugel’s Honey Lemon Light Lager, Original American Lager, Leinenkugel’s Light and Grapefruit Shandy.