Barrel House Coffee

Written By: Bre Humphries

Nicole Howard roasted her very first batch of coffee beans in a skillet in the kitchen of her Ball Ground, Georgia home.

Having discovered a new passion, she continued experimenting with the process, purchasing equipment and playing with flavor profiles until she lit upon a truly unique technique: depositing her beans into empty whiskey bottles to age, where they soaked up the remnants of the remaining spirits. Howard and husband, James, sold the first batch of whiskey-aged beans in their furniture and décor shop in Downtown Ball Ground with great success and soon swapped their empty bottles for whiskey barrels so they could age the beans in bulk.

In early 2019, the Howards closed their retail shop to focus fulltime on Barrel House Coffee Co. with new Kathryn and Ryan Turnage in a brand-new space in Ball Ground. The coffeehouse is quickly becoming a gathering spot for the community, where patrons can warm up over a freshly brewed cup or the company’s newest offering, coffee cocktails. 

Popular roasts include a barrel-aged house blend, as well non-barrel aged options for java traditionalists. Bags of whole beans are available in the store at 275 Gilmer Road or online at


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