The Columbus microbrewery scene isn’t exploding, yet, but it is on the rise. Dan Cochran, brewmaster at the just-opened Four String Brewing Co. sat down to answer a few questions about his beer, his business, and what he likes about the Columbus beer scene. Have a quick read and then join Drink Up Columbus at Woodland’s Tavern in Grandview for Four String Brewing’s launch party where we will be tapping Cochran’s Backstage Blonde Ale and Brass Knuckle APA.
Let’s start with history. You’ve been around brewing for a while– talk to me about Wooden Pony in Mansfield, why you’re opening a brewery now, and what your outlook is for the craft beer scene in Columbus.
I worked for The Wooden Pony in Mansfield in the mid 90’s. It was a great experience. The growth of brewpubs in the 90’s was a huge step for craft beer. Things are definitely different now. People are much more aware of craft beer and have tons of great options to choose from. I’m opening the brewery because it has been a long time dream of mine and all the pieces fell into place. Columbus has a great beer history. If you look into how many breweries were in Columbus pre-prohibition, it’s unbelievable. There are a lot of craft beer drinkers in this town, and I know that another good local beer will be appreciated.
When can we expect to get a taste of the beer, and what recipes will be your first releases? I know Woodlands will be hosting a tapping party on 1/13. Is that the first release?
I am starting with 2 beers. The first is called Backstage Blonde. It’s a Belgian Blonde Ale with a twist. The other is called Brass Knuckle APA. It’s an American Pale Ale through and through. It’s dry hopped with all American hops, but is still sessionable. I am currently on tap at a few local bars and have taproom hours starting this week at the brewery…growlers to go. You can check the hours on fourstringbrewing.com. We are looking forward to the tapping party at Woodlands on 1/13. It’s gonna be a blowout!
You’re a musician, and your brewery’s name reflects this. How does your business capture a rock n’ roll attitude?
I believe in following your passions. For me, that’s brewing beer and playing bass. I had a lot of opportunity to tour the U.S. in the 90’s with Columbus bands, and it lead me to a lot of good beer. I got to sample beers all across the country. Building this brewery and spreading the word is like playing in a band. You have to believe in it and work your ass off to make it happen. If you cut corners, people will know.
Any long term plans for the brewery? Will you be distributing only or is there a brewpub in your future?
As for as long term plans for the brewery, I guess I just want it to be as good as it can be. If it is something that takes off and I think that the locals would want a brewpub, I would consider it.
And finally, what’s your favorite Ohio brewery that inspires you most? Anyone that’s made an impression on your own endeavors?
There are a lot of great Ohio breweries. I think that CBC is doing a great job. Better beer then ever. I’m also a fan of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. I hear that Jackie O’s down in Athens is brewing good beer. I need to get down there and check it out.