After two years of construction, Happy Basset co-owner Eric Craver is finally ready to unveil his latest project to the Topeka community.
Happy Basset Barrel House, located at 510 S.W. 49th St., is complementary to the brewery’s original location at 6044 S.W. 29th St.
According to Craver, the Barrel House is a combination of an events center, taproom and, in the near future, a dog park.
“It complements the other (location) tremendously because you are able to rent this space out versus that place you can’t rent out because it’s so small,” Craver said. “The size of this location is key because we can have wedding receptions here, we can have a rehearsal dinner. We will have food trucks out here, too, just like the other location.”
The Barrel House sits on 11 acres of land. Inside, teal walls greet guests as they walk into a large, open-concept room.
To the left, high tops run along the wall, drawing the eye to a wall of windows at the back of the building.
Look to the right and patrons will see a bar top 60 feet long. The counter is covered in epoxy and sits on top of cut pieces of oak barrels.
Behind the bar, 12 television screens decorate two large oak barrels. What sits below is what everyone comes for: Happy Basset beer.
The back half of the Barrel House will one day be utilized for production and a canning line. The north side of the building will be turned into an event space where people can host weddings and reception parties.
Craver said he also hopes to start barrel aging beers at the new location, hence the name.
Outside will sit a 75-foot-long deck where guests can drink beer and enjoy the summer breeze. The bark park, which will be slightly less than an acre, will be accessible by way of the deck.
Adding a dog park not only suits the Happy Basset’s theme but is an amenity Craver thinks Topeka is yearning for.
“We already get tons of patrons at our other location with dogs but they can only sit on the patio,” Craver said. “We’ve had up to 10 dogs on that patio, and it’s small.”
Craver said he hopes to have the outdoor deck complete by mid-June and the dog park by the end of the year.
With more acreage still undeveloped, the possibilities are endless for what Craver can create.
“I have so much property out here that I’ll be able to put in all kinds of different fun things, like some Frisbee golf nets or I have been playing around with so many ideas like maybe some pickleball courts,” Craver said.
The Barrel House officially opened its doors May 8, and Craver hopes to have a grand opening sometime this summer.
Business at Happy Basset’s second location has been slow, but Craver said he understands the hesitancy to go out in public.
Once local and statewide restrictions lessen and people aren’t as apprehensive, Craver hopes the Barrel House is a destination location.
“It’s just going to add a nice, friendly atmosphere where people can come out, hang out, feel like they belong here,” Craver said. “And people really just enjoy sitting outside and drinking a beer.”