Snack Attack: Macanadas at Barrel House Z
The barrel-aging antics of Weymouth’s first brewery, Barrel House Z, are on the radars of local drinkers by now. Founder Russ Heissner has put his focus primarily on small-batch, rotating beers, sending kegs of a gin-kissed pilsner, Sunny & 79º, whiskey barrel-aged imperial Irish red Townie Strong, and rum-aged RR#23 to South Shore and Boston-area bars, as well as filling growlers at his soon-to-open taproom.
Heissner wants to cast a wide net in both concept and versatility with his beers—Barrel House Z won’t have a flagship—so he knew the food would have to follow suit. With that in mind—and a bit of collaboration—meet the macanada, empanadas stuffed with macaroni and cheese. Barrel House introduced the grab-and-go option earlier this month, but in due time, diners can start ordering their empanadas “for here,” once Barrel House Z secures final approvals to pour on-site.
It’s not just mac and cheese that will find its way into these snacks, either. Additional stuffing options include truffle broccoli, saffron shrimp, buffalo chicken, chorizo, carnitas salsa verde, and more.
“I’d love to get some beer incorporated into some of them,” says Dan McGuire, a consulting chef. “We may try some things with cheese and beer, and may try something along the lines of a hummus dip to go with some of the vegetarian ones.”
There are about three different kinds available each day the brewery is open. This macanada menu is constantly changing from McGuire’s growing lineup, with no one iteration taking center stage. Heissner is pleased about that decision.
“The ‘no flagships’ [mantra] is in our DNA, and we’re extending that to the way we’re pushing our macanada,” Heissner says.
Next time you’re stocking up on crowlers, snag two stuffed empanadas with a side of dipping sauce for $6. Dipping sauces range from bleu cheese, to whole grain mustard, to honey sriracha, with plenty more options planned for the future.
Barrel House Z makes the mac and cheese for its empanadas in bulk once a week, which McGuire says produces more than 400 empanadas. Each batch is made with parmesan and Tillamook sharp cheddar, then portioned out and folded into the pastry with various proteins or vegetables. Shell noodles are used in the mac, to scoop up the most cheese and fillings possible, he says.
Barrel House Z is awaiting final approval to begin operating as a full-functioning taproom, and the team is expecting more news there in the coming days. Weymouth has approved the brewery’s local permit, and the team is primed and ready for the green light.
Once open, expect pints and pours of all of Barrel House Z’s roster, as well as flights. The brewery will be able to host 49 people inside, and the team is hoping to debut an outdoor patio space soon after. And, the brewery can begin serving their macanadas for dine-in.
“The minute we open, they’re going to be available right alongside a pint,” McGuire says.
$6, Barrel House Z, open for to-go sales Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 95 Woodrock Rd., Weymouth, barrelhousez.net.