Barney's Beer is owned and operated by Andrew Barnett who moved to Edinburgh over twenty years ago to study brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University. He went on to work at the historic Fountainbridge Brewery, founded by William McEwan, as well as Famous Grouse, the whisky distiller. In 2010, he decided to start his own brewing operation and contacted the Behind The Wall Bar in Falkirk about using the former brewery plant that was operated by Egglesbrech Brewery, a microbrewery attached to the pub for a short time a number of years ago. Beers have brewed there and occasionally also at Tryst Brewery in Larbert.
After seeking a premises in Edinburgh, Andrew filed an application to renovate an old clinic and some stables in the Summerhall complex that was formerly the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School. Previous to this, the site was home to the historic Summerhall Brewery that was in operation from at least the early- to mid-19th century until it was demolished in 1913 having been owned by Edinburgh United Breweries up until its sale in 1911. All Barney's Beer products are now brewed at Summerhall making it the only micro-brewery within the Edinburgh city limits. In addition, all Barney's Beers are either cask-conditioned or bottle-conditioned.