It has been more than a decade since Wild Barley Kitchen and Brewery owners Holland Lawrence and Marc Fogelsong first met while attending Texas A&M University. It was not long before they imagined themselves opening a restaurant with craft beer brewed in house.
That dream gradually became a reality — first with a food truck launched in 2019 as Lawrence and Fogelsong served up bagels and pizza on the go.
Now, the duo has a brick-and-mortar version of their food truck, Wild Barley Kitchen Co., offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner north of Alamo Heights, in the north Broadway Street space last occupied by the restaurant Taco Garage.
The food truck, which was initially stationed at the Shops at Broadway News outdoor market, remained active while Fogelsong and Lawrence were remodeling the former Taco Garage, opening up the new business in phases over the last several months.
“We’ve been opening various parts of the restaurant,” Lawrence said. “It took us about seven to eight months to get us to a spot where we could open the property.”
Lawrence and Fogelsong decided in spring 2022 to sell the mobile kitchen and fully focus on the brick-and-mortar eatery, where wood-fired dough and fermentation are key to the brewpub’s signature dishes, including sourdough sandwiches and brick-oven pizzas.
Lawrence learned a lot about fermentation during his time as head brewer at Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling, now applying those lessons toward the bites and beers at Wild Barley.
“Fermentation is behind all aspects of what we do here,” he said.
A closer look at Wild Barley’s evolving menu reveals a variety of bagels that can be enjoyed in different ways. There is a range of sourdough sandwiches available for breakfast and lunch, and a diversification of dinner-time pizzas from which to choose.
Wild Barley’s owners said many diners who like certain menu items to be available during one part of the day return and end up enjoying a different dish during another part of the day.
“Our customers work their way through the menu, and they’re finding out what they love,” Fogelsong said.
As far as the beers are concerned, Wild Barley will contain 12 taplines for brews produced by the restaurant’s seven-barrel system. Craft beer fans who visit Wild Barley will find an assortment of beer styles, from IPAs, pale ales and lagers to sours, porters, and stouts.
Lawrence said he plans to release a blackberry framboise and a light cream ale this summer, alongside a collaboration brew with Second Pitch Beer Co. Wild Barley released its first collaboration beer with Kunstler Brewing Co. last spring.
Lawrence said there will be an emphasis on designing food specials to pair well with a specific in-house beer: “There’s going to be something for everyone,” he added.
Additionally, Wild Barley will fill up to-go growlers. Patrons seeking non-alcoholic beverages have options such as cold brew coffee, hop water, Liquid Death water, and products from San Antonio’s Southside Craft Soda.
Wild Barley is friendly to both families and pets, with dogs allowed on the patio. The brewpub is also available for catering, and will host activities such as trivia night, outdoor markets and live musical performances.
Fogelsong and Lawrence said Wild Barley also emphasizes slow food, meaning the staff is careful about preparing the dishes with high-quality local, regional, and seasonal ingredients. “Our philosophy is to make slow food move fast and get it out to you fast as possible so you can enjoy your visit,” Fogelsong said.