The microbrewing scene is exploding all over America – perhaps no place more than Columbus. Of the 25 Columbus microbreweries currently in operation, over half have opened in the last five years. Take a look at our guide to the best microbreweries in Columbus, and leave plenty of room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
Five breweries make up the new Brewer’s Row, all within walking distance in downtown Columbus. Start in one of the city’s oldest breweries, Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus, popular with locals for its Horny Goat porter aged in whiskey barrels and its hoppy Three Frogs IPA. Play a game or two of pool on the city’s most ornate tables while working your way through the beer menu.
Further along Brewer’s Row is Barley’s Brewing Company, another long-time favourite. Grab dinner with a pint of its best-selling Scottish Ale or award-winning Blood Thirst Wheat, which is brewed with blood oranges.
Newcomers to the downtown craft beer scene include Seventh Son Brewing Company, featuring live music and food trucks alongside its Oat Brown Ale and citrusy American Strong Ale, and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, offering gourmet dining and small batch brews. As well as serving up favourites like Hefeweizen Ale and Belgian Wit, North High Brewing lets patrons become brewmasters for the day, creating their own beer under the guidance of North High’s expert brewers.
Just south of downtown, make sure to stop by Columbus Brewing Company, where you can taste dozens of Ohio-made brews on draft including CBC’s popular IPA and Pale Ale.
Venture just outside of downtown to Four String Brewing Co., where local musician Dan Cochran crafts rock “˜n’ roll themed brews like Backstage Blonde and Big Star White IPA between gigs. Nearby, Zauber Brewing Co. serves up American-style beer with Belgian and German influences.
If you have time to venture a little further on your beer quest, travel 30 minutes north of the city to Delaware and visit Staas Brewing Company, known for its small-batch, all-grain Belgian and English-style brews. Rockmill Brewery, 30 minutes south of downtown in Lancaster, serves up award-winning Belgian-style ales like the full-bodied Tripel Golden Ale.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the best Columbus microbreweries on one of Columbus Brew Adventures‘ guided tours, where you can meet the brewmasters and sample the various styles made at each location.
Whether you opt for a guided tour or plan your own agenda, be sure to pick up a Brew Book for more details about the new Columbus Ale Trail. Get your book stamped at four of the 25 breweries and you’ll receive a Columbus Ale Trail pint glass. Stop in the Experience Columbus Visitor Centers in the downtown Arena District or inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center to get your glass – the best memento of a Columbus microbrewery tour.
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Which is your favourite of these Columbus microbreweries? Have we left any off our list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Claudia Plumley