Booming beer scene helps travelers say “Cheers!” in Columbus

Rockmill Brewery witbierColumbus, OH – The microbrew movement has taken the U.S. by storm, and Columbus has emerged as one of the nation’s top cities for craft brewers.  The Central Ohio craft beer boom started several years ago and has yet to come up for air, with several new breweries opening in 2014 and four more expected to open in 2015, bringing the total number of craft breweries in the city to nearly two dozen.  All of the breweries share a passion for quality, but each has its own intriguing personal story about what launched the brewmaster’s love affair with hops, barley and wheat. Columbus Brew Adventures even offers six different culinary tours of the city’s vibrant craft beer scene, or will customize tours for specific groups. Just a few of the unique breweries germinating in Ohio’s capital city include:

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing opened as the vision of a father-son team and has rapidly become the perfect spot to enjoy outstanding craft beer served with some of Columbus’ finest cuisine.  Far from a typical “beer joint,” the spotlight here shines on both the brewmaster and chef creations. Visitors can experience imaginative dishes, such as grilled octopus, confit pig cheeks, or geranium and apple salad, with the menu offering beer pairing suggestions for each dish.  Guests can sample any of 12 brews from the Wolf’s Ridge taproom, or try a Stout & Espresso, Beermosa or any of the other creative cocktails crafted with brew. www.wolfsridgebrewing.com.

Land-Grant Brewing Company is one of the newest to hit the scene. This hip taproom’s open, communal atmosphere is located in a former elevator factory in the newly gentrifying neighborhood of Franklinton. What started as a home-brew hobby in a tiny Chicago house has become a prominent newcomer in the city’s impressive microbrew scene. Land-Grant offers four year-round beers and several that rotate seasonally, along with food truck cuisine.  www.landgrantbrewing.com.

Rockmill Brewery has a secret to its brew. And it’s resulting in beer so good that James Beard Foundation Award-winning FirstWeFeast.com included it in its bucket list of the top 12 must-visit breweries across the world. Brewmaster Matthew Barbee uses water from a private well on the pastoral 100-year-old horse farm the brewery calls home. When Barbee discovered that the water running through his land has the exact mineral content of that in Wallonia, Belgium, he knew the property was perfect for brewing Belgian-style beer. www.rockmillbrewery.com.

Columbus Brewing Company (CBC) is one of Columbus’ more longstanding microbreweries. Pouring a wide range of hand-crafted beer styles, from lagers and India Pale Ales to Scottish blends and Belgian strongs, CBC’s award-winning beer is available on tap, by the bottle and in half-gallon growlers for guests to take home. As demand for the 10-year-old’s brews outpaces the capacity of its existing 6,000-square-foot facility, CBC will soon relocate to a 50,000-square-foot space. www.columbusbrewingco.com.

Elevator Brewing Company offers up nine distinct brews and special seasonal beers at two locations. One is a respected full-service restaurant in a stunning Historic Registry building that boasts the city’s oldest and most ornate pool tables and a colorful Victorian past as a gentlemen’s club. The other houses Elevator’s brewing operation and welcomes beer aficionados for tours every third Saturday.  Open every Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., the taproom at the brewery allows visitors to enjoy a game of cornhole or perch atop a keg to watch football and play old-school Nintendo games — all while enjoying Elevator brews.  www.elevatorbrewing.com.

Seventh Son Brewing Company features three delicious brews, along with a variety of rotating specialty beers. Seventh Son’s taproom and brewery are well located in up-and-coming Italian Village. The venue hosts special events and live music, as well as some of the city’s most popular food trucks, allowing visitors to enjoy some great local grub along with their beer. www.seventhsonbrewing.com.

North High is a brew-on-premise microbrewery that offers a unique experience to visitors.  Not only is all of the beer crafted on site, but also, guests can create their own personal blend. North High’s expert brewers walk brewmasters-in-training through the process to ensure success.  Some two dozen taps serve up multiple choices in several different styles, from Belgian, Porter and IPA to shandy, ale and stout.   www.northhighbrewing.com

Four String Brewing Company was started by rocker Dan Cochran who started brewing in 1994 and has never stopped.  Cochran has toured the United States playing bass guitar for a host of touring rock bands. While on the road, Cochran visited microbreweries at every tour stop, feeding his other obsession and learning from the best along the way.  Open Thursday-Saturday, Four String’s tap room serves just four taps at a time, but all offer exceptional beer.   www.fourstringbrewing.com.

Barley’s Brewing Company has been a part of the Columbus craft beer scene for more than 20 years, making them one of the more seasoned breweries in town. This company’s specialty is crafting unique ales, a process they’ve mastered by using the finest ingredients from all over the world. Along with their honored brew, Barley’s serves up delicious food in the Short North Arts District, making it a one-stop destination for travelers.  www.barleysbrewing.com.

Zauber Brewing Company began with founder Geoffrey Towne receiving his brewmasters diploma from the University of California at Davis Master Brewers program.  Towne then went on to work for Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland where he honed his skills as a brewer and cellarman.  From there, he went on to work with Boston Beer Co. where he furthered his brewing knowledge, launching his own Brewing Company.  Zauber pours eight of its own beers, plus a handful of other respected craft brews, while the Explorer’s Club food truck is permanently parked outside to offer guests a great meal.   www.zbeers.com.

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Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive, Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit.  Columbus’ uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome visitors.  Free travel guides, maps, online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or 866.397.2657 (866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus and facebook.com/ColumbusFoodScene, Twitter: @ExpCols and Pinterest.

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Contact Amy Weirick, (614) 848-8380 or amy@weirickcommunications.com

Weirick Communications is the public relations agency representing Experience Columbus.