Brewers of Central Ohio, Columbus and Athens – comedy, beer reviews, and whatever else we want.

Random Article

Posted July 29, 2013 by keif in Brew Tour

#CbusBrewTour v0.1

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to Last of the Big Time Beer Drinkers.

After a long hiatus, we are working on a few changes, and we kicked off the first Semi-Bi-Monthly-Weekly-Annual Columbus Brew Tour (aka #CbusBrewTour)!

Why now? Why at all?

After a weekend in Denver sampling some great brews, I realized that I keep leaving the state to sample what is unavailable when I haven’t touched the finest beers Ohio has to offer! And #CbusBrewTour was born…

Our plan was simple, hit every brewery in Columbus.

…and we did it. Well, almost. We had a plan–start at 11am at Columbus Brewing Company for their brunch, ending eventually at the Elevator. I contacted Zauber Brewing (via Twitter) about their tasting hours, and tried to reach Four String Brewing–I finally reached Dan at Four String after posting on Four String’s Facebook Page and a little phone tag–to discover they don’t have a tasting room at the moment (hopefully 60-90 days? Looking forward to it, as I’m a fan of their Big White Star IPA) and Actual Brewing company with no luck.

The initial map. For those of you following me on twitter or playing along at home, on Untappd or Instagram.

The Pros: This plan was feasible. It was supposed to be rainy, so we figured that would kill the crowds. Maps were made. Back-up plans were made.

The Cons: Color Run. Jazz and Ribs fest. Construction. A night of drinking Friday. All-in-all lead to a late start, and arriving in the early afternoon at CBC–an hour and a half after our proposed start time. I accept responsibility for the late start, but hey, I can’t take responsibility for not knowing the “closed street” needed to be drove down to hit CBC, which was inaccessible every other way.

Stop #1: Columbus Brewing Company

(Man, Instagram won’t make it easy to just link to a photo!)

This was a brilliant choice to begin. Evidently, there was a cyclist tour of the breweries (obviously well posted, since I never heard of it!) but the service was decent, the flights were poured, and we had a great kick-off (although, no Summer Teeth!). A hell of a first impression, and I look forward to the next beer tour!

Ry: The brunch menu they now offer has impressed me to no ends… why didn’t they do this a long time ago I wonder. They beer was all their standards minus the absence of Summer Teeth.

Stop #2: Barley’s Brew House

Why, oh why, did we make this stop two? Our bellies full, we ordered ten tastings–every beer they had.

At $0.75 a pop, it was an easy choice. At this time, a couple friends joined us, and our group became four. Barley’s isn’t your typical place–as it was the afternoon, they weren’t too crowded, so we landed a spot at the bar, but inquiring with the bartender revealed that they don’t often get people ordering flights. I look forward to bringing a larger group for multiple flights.

Ry: We in fact had 11 tastings including the 1 cask version on hand.. biggest selection out of the entire tour and most well rounded in style.

Stop #3: Seventh Son Brewing Co.

We managed to hit them up before the cyclists arrived (a tour for awareness of something, alas my memory fails me, but props to them!).

The staff was friendly, even as the crowds picked up, and their back area didn’t even have overflow. It boggles my mind they can get that busy there–but I loved the vibe and decor, and it was cool that you can peer directly in to their brewing operations!

Ry: I like their tap room setup, the atmosphere is rather laid back and good scenery in which you can sit back and enjoy the brew. The staff was very friendly and helpful as well, which is always a bonus in my book.

Stop #4: Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar

I know, this isn’t beer. Shut up.

We had a chat with the owner/manager, and I’ve met their brewers at their old location (when it was a hidden gem in Columbus, before becoming the hipster mecca that it is today). I know some people have had bad experiences, but I’d wager they deserve a little good karma after getting a money bag stolen, and the general assholery that has happened to them.

Ry: I found it interesting that a good chunk of the honey used comes from Marysville Ohio which is only 30 mins North West of town. I like to see local companies using local resources!

Stop #5: Four String Brewing Co.

Well, I took a chance on this one, as they said “call and see if we’re around!” so I knew it was highly unlikely we’d get a tasting. I was correct in that I would lose this gamble. Looking forward to including them in the future.

Ry: Boooo-urns, soon though!

Stop #6: Zauber Brewing Co.

Wow. Jeff is an awesome guy. Alas, no photos here (at least, on my phone). Tastings of four brews unlike anything else on the tour, and we totally went in the wrong door. It’s the door closest to the street. Don’t cut in through the garage :) We nabbed a few stickers, picked up a few growlers, and chatted about beers, brewing… and his future brewpub! *really* looking forward to it in the coming months! Zauber is a required stop, and definitely a highlight, even with the smaller tap selection and room size.

Ry: Jeff…. king among men! He seemed to be so pleased we came in to try the his beer (this is how I would be if I had a brewery). Zauber’s beers are all on par for their styles but I found the Brown Ale to be the best of the bunch. I do not prefer brown ales but I find so many breweries try to UP the brown ale scene and end up ruining the style. I was pleased to see a brown true to its style and well crafted. I cannot wait for the tap room to open and wish Jeff all the best!

Stop #7: North High Brewing (formerly BRU)

Why we didn’t hit this after Brother’s Drake… I don’t know why.

I managed to pick up yeast for my home brew here (something I’ll write up later), and run in to a couple more friends and have a fantastic discussion with Gavin–I’d love to brew a beer on site here, in the future! Or have a brewing party. It’s such a cool atmosphere, with a great staff, and large selection of beers. The second most prolific in flights–alas, a friend nabbed a photo since Ryan and I’s iPhones died (and Gavin was nice enough to throw my yeast in their cooler, and plug my phone in behind the bar!)

Ry: Gavin a delightful fellow who was full of conversation. I enjoyed my time here and have since this visit. The smell alone when you walk in just makes me smile since it is the smell of brewing beer. Their beers though nothing game changing are all true to the style they represent and well done for sure. This has become one of my regular stops when in the short north and enjoy my visits every time.

A cool place. I still have a $10 gift card from a Yelp event I need to use. I will be back.

Stop #8: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

We cut this from the list. They’re not bad beers, particularly their seasonals–but as they aren’t exactly an “Ohio brew” we felt it was worth cutting them to save the time.

Ry: Chain… seasonal beers are ok… but as Keith said, not “Ohio Brew”

Stop #9: Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus

Man, what a disappointing end to the night. The hostess assured us – they’re open! The bar had a lot of people, and we were thinking we would grab a flight and bail, hitting up somewhere else for a late night bite.

With three seats at the bar, (our group had dwindled) I thought it was perfect! I approached the bar, and was rudely told “WE ARE CLOSED.” Excuse me?

Back to the hostess. And we got a table. Ten minutes before the KITCHEN closed. We didn’t want food, but decided–if we have a server, may as well indulge, and ordered wings and sauerkraut balls, with a limited flight. The beers… were okay. I’ve held a grudge against elevator, but their Three Frogs IPA and Dark Horse are decent brews, but overall, we weren’t happy with the attitudes of the staff, nor the quality of our flights.

This lead to Elevator being dropped from future tours. Their location and hours also made it easier, as there is enough hopping going on, that we’d much prefer to end at Barley’s (for cheaper, less costly food and a better beer flight!)

Ry: I love their beers but not their service and attitude at the front end. I have run into this every time I have visited and every time I hope for a better experience. I say keep doing the beers you do boys but maybe rethink the people running the front of house.

The Completion of a Journey.

Overall, it was a success. Two people (with the intermittent addition of two, then one more, then the loss of two) showed a small group can do this. Next step: We’re opening the tour up (with no transportation provided) to allow for more people, and we will draft a new right up after the completion of  #CbusBrewTour v0.2!



Vo.2 is coming in just a little over a week and I cannot wait to update and tell you more.




Keif is a ecommerce web consultant and fan of beer, wine, fine spirits, the art of the home brew, and fine smokes. Favorite Beer: tends to fall around stouts and I/PAs Favorite Wine: Port Favorite Microbrew: The city of Columbus, Ohio. All of it.