If you haven’t made it to Columbus yet add it to your Beerventure list! I’m lucky enough to be a native of this bustling brew-city and as much as I love exploring a brewery while on vacation, there’s really is no place like home.
While Several brewery hot spots have been pouring pints for years, there are lots of new kids on the block, and even a few more with their brew kettles packed and ready to move in. Ohio has 76 craft breweries (ranked 12th in the US) and is the fourth largest barrel producing state in the country, producing over 1 million barrels of craft beer per year according to brewersassociation.org.
Fourteen of these 76 breweries are within the Columbus city limits and 8 more are just a short drive away. That doesn’t even include the myriad of brewpubs and restaurants serving up Ohio’s best brews. Beer Advocate and Ohio Craft Beer both have phenomenal lists available for those combing the virtual seas for their next pint.
JHP and I have to decided to try and hit a central Ohio brewery every week which means for the next 22 weeks we’ll be drinking pretty well! Here’s where we’ll be heading and a little of what we already know as well as what we’re looking forward to!
- The Actual Brewing Co. – 655 N James Rd, Columbus
- JHP is a microbiologist and food safety specialist (yes his skills are put to very good use while brewing) so you can imagine he is pumped about Actual’s focus on the science and biology of beer and their laboratory.
- Barley’s Brewing Company – 467 N. High St., Columbus
- We go here a lot, but why not revisit an old favorite! They’re committed to cask-conditioned ale and always feature a Firkin on Fridays, which they do run out of so make this your first stop if you’re feeling a Firkin!
- Buck’s Brewing Company – 1044 Stewart St. E., Newark
- Newark’s one and only brewery. This is a new name to me and we’re looking forward to the road trip. What else is there to do in Newark you ask? Plenty, here’s 17 ideas from TripAdvisor.com.
- Buckeye Lake Brewery – 5176 A Walnut Rd., Buckeye Lake
- Buckeye Lake we will save for warmer weather. I foresee a growler and a camp ground in our future. I have enjoyed their Pale Ale at Ohio Tap Room and I’m excited to drink it at the source.
- Columbus Brewing Company – 535 Short St, Columbus
- Bodhi. Enough said. What may surprise you, is that the popular restaurant and the award-winning brewery are two separate companies of the same name. Although separate, they don’t skip a beat as the restaurant serves as the brewery’s tap room and offers all three year-round CBC beers as well as taps the seasonal favorites. It’s also exciting to note that at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival CBC took home Gold for their Creeper in the Imperial India Pale Ale category and Bronze for Bodhi in the American-Style India Pale Ale category – three cheers to brewmaster Eric Bean!
- Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus – 161 N High St, Columbus
- Elevator is another great spot for a local brew and a great meal. I’m a big fan of their red and love the history behind the building too. Did you know it’s haunted? We stopped by for a drink on Halloween in hopes of catching a glimpse of a ghost. I settled for a cold beer and a scary story.
- Four String Brewing Company – 985 W 6th Ave, Columbus
- Not just another tap room – this place really rocks and I’m excited to stop by for the (I’m embarrassed to admit) first time. I think a Thursday night movie event will be just the ticket. Just can’t get enough of their Big Star White IPA!
- Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – 401 N. Front Street, Columbus
- Is GB a craft brewery you ask? Well it keeps popping up on everyone else’s list so I’ve included it here; however with 34 restaurant & brewery locations around the country I’m aped to say a “hand-crafted beer” does not a localvore make. But since we’re heading to a Blue Jackets game next week it’s an easy concession.
- Granville Brewing -5371 Columbus Rd., Granville
- Granville isn’t just known for Denison University, this brewery specializes in Belgian-style ales and is just a short drive from Columbus as well as neighboring Buck’s Brewing Co. and Homestead Brewing Co. the weekend practically plans itself!
- Homestead Brewing Company – 811 Irving Wick Drive West, Heath
- I’m captivated by Homestead’s mission “At Homestead, we’re dedicated to restoring the roots of American beer. Call it craft, call it artisan, call it old – we call it good… In recent years the craft beer industry has been ruled by a spiraling arms race of more alcohol, more hops, more bitter beer. We think that’s a race to the bottom and we’re opting out. We miss the days when you could have a few beers with your friends and not find yourself under the table. When did we have to start choosing between flavor and alcohol?” It’s quite a bold statement which makes me thirsty to see what all the fuss is about.
- HoofHearted Brewing – 5560 Township Highway 211, Marengo
- I’m kind of at a loss here. I’ve enjoyed several of Hoof Hearted’s (say it fast it’s so fun) crassly named beers at the Daily Growler including Sidepipin’ India Farmhouse Ale and Musk of the Minotaur IPA, but I cannot put together if they have a tap room. Hoof Hearted lovers please feel free to chime in or JHP and I will be driving aimlessly through Marengo…
- Land-Grant Brewing Company – 424 W Town St, Columbus
- Brand-spanking-new and I’m so excited to visit. They crowd funded this brewery (not unlike other operations such as Seventh Son) and have an awesome story to share for aspiring home brewers. I’m pumped to swing by and share the experience!
- North High Brewing Company – 1288 N High St, Columbus
- Pumped about this one because Idont want to just drink their beer – I want to brew here. While it’s worth stopping by for one of North High’s own brews, they also allow average Joe’s to rent their brew kettles and create a 15 gallon batch of their own. In my opinion it’s a great business model and I’m psyched to take advantage of it and get the large scale “brewmaster” experience.
- Rockmill Brewery – 5705 Lithopolis Rd. NW, Lancaster
- Our first trip to Rockmill was on a snowy Thursday night last year. I get cabin fever so bad in January and insisted we go on an adventure. We speed off to Rockmill for a quick beer before they closed and it was worth the 1+ hour round trip. It’s quaint, the beer is delicious and they’ve even been written up as one of “12 Bucket-List Breweries that every beer lover should visit.”
- Seventh Son Brewing Co. – 1101 N 4th St, Columbus
- If you’re a Columbus-kid you’ve probably made it to Seventh Son. Ranked Best Brewery of 2013 and Best Local Brewery of 2014 by Columbus Underground, they truly brew a great beer as well as a great brewery-culture. However, JHP would still like to know when the foosball table in the back will be fixed?
- Sideswipe Brewing – 2419 Scioto Harper Dr, Columbus
- As craft beer enthusiast and bourgeoning home brewers we are especially interested in the smaller breweries that serve up a great pint in a smaller set up. Sideswipe fascinates us as from what we can tell by their website, they’re brewing in a garage?! Either way we’re looking forward to riding by to visit the eclectic and simple space. Yes, I said riding as they’re right off the Scioto Trail – location. location. location.
- Smokehouse Brewing Co. – 1130 Dublin Rd., Columbus
- Another House Firkin Friday option, Smokehouse has a lot of great beer on tap including a House Nitro which we always like to try. But Sunday is also a great day to go with 60 cent wings and $10 pitcher specials. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends and enjoy some local libations.
- Staas Brewing – 31 W Winter St., Delaware
- One of the newest kids around town, Stass opened in Delaware in 2013. They “are a small batch, all grain brewery that features 12 taps with emphasis on classic Belgian and English beer styles.” I see shuffleboard and an Evangelist Belgian Quadrupel Ale in my future!
- Weasel Boy Brewing Co. – 126 Muskingum Ave., Suite E., Zanesville
- Weasel Boy is new to me I must admit but after a quick read of their website I think it’ll be love at first sip. Head brewer, Jim Wince boasts three medals from National Homebrew Competitions and Weasel Boy’s Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout won a Bronze Medal in the Imperial Stout category at the Great American Beer Festival. With his assistant brewer and wife, Lori, this duo does not seem to disappoint.
- Wolf’s Ridge Brewing – 215 N 4th St, Columbus
- Our most recent brewventure took place at Wolf’s Ridge, coincidentally on the opening night for their new tap room. They were packed, which I love to see! We enjoyed dinner and several of head brewer Chris Davison’s concoctions in the dinning room (I’m an Alpha addict!); however, I’d like to make it back to the tap room to sample more of the infused and unique beers offered exclusively in the new space.
- Zaftig Brewing Co. – 545 Schrock Rd, Columbus
- New to the Columbus brewery scene after opening in December 2013, Zaftig promises big, bold, full-bodied beers inspired by the brewmasters’ favorites. Former home brewers as well I’m looking forward to learning more about this start up.
- Zauber Brewing Company – 909 W 5th Ave, Columbus
- While I’ve had a few jovial evenings in the Zauber tap room, I’ve yet to try a Zauber craft brew since their own brewery operation has been up and running. I have a strong feeling JHP will be Nitro bound while my-fav will be Myopic Red.
A few brewventure tips from one experienced drinker on the go!
- Always plan ahead and cab it when necessary – drink responsibly and be a classy craft lover!
- Not all of these breweries are equipped to serve food and not all of them are serving session ales. Snacks are a must when I’m drinking more than one 9% IIPA, check out food truck schedules when available and/or policies on BYOS. Rockmill and a picnic basket make for a perfect Saturday for example.
- While I love being impulsive, microbreweries are not always open. A quick glance at the schedule will prevent you from being th-angry (ok, ok fine it’s not as obvious as hangry – but thirst-angry could be a thing).
Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone! If there’s a “just gotta have it” brew at any of the above. Or feel free to share all about your own favorite brewventure!