Digfest is a good value. While in the moment it felt like handing over three tickets for a thumbnail-sized cocktail was a lot, you’d pay $30-50 upfront for events like Columbus Winter Beerfest or Columbus Wine Festival and only get a dozen or so tasting tickets. But with Digfest you buy one-dollar-a-piece tickets only for what you want (and can handle) to drink.
Digfest also differs from other local beer and wine tasting festivals in that it’s ONLY about Columbus-made alcohol. Attendees were presented with beer offerings from Barley’s Brewing, Elevator Brewing, Hoster Brewing, Four String Brewing and Zauber Brewing. Disappointingly and despite what was promoted, Actual Brewing and Oval Brewing were not serving beer. It seems there was some confusion about the event permit required to allow the pilot breweries to offer tastings, which is a shame because I was most looking forward to trying these new breweries for the first time.
Buckeye Winery, Camelot Wines, Signature Wines, Elchrist Wines and Soine Vineyards each brought a solid selection of vino for the wine inclined. And the cocktails that Middle West Spirits, Watershed Distillery and Tessora Limone were mixing up were dangerously delicious.
I burned through my 18 tickets and left after little over an hour because I got bored, and tipsy, a little too quickly. At other tasting events you have to wait in a long line to get your next sample, or the event is spread out over a wide area with vendors sprinkled in – giving you something (waiting, walking, shopping) to do besides pound samples. But with Digfest, there were no lines and nothing to do but wander aimlessly back and forth on a short street with the breweries, wineries and distilleries mere feet apart. There were two or three food trucks, and I did stop to scarf down a delicious ham and gruyere crepe from Leslie’s Creperie. For next year I would love to see them add some artists and other vendors to make it more of festivalish – thematically, I know there are lots of local crafters who make can coozies, wine glass charms and crazy cool stuff out of bottle caps.
Digfest held a text-to-vote contest for crowd favorites – here are the winning businesses and products:
Favorite Local Brewer: Four String Brewing Co
Favorite Microbrew: Stodgy Brown – Zauber Brewing Co
Favorite Local Distillery: Middle West Spirits
Favorite Cocktail: Summer Thyme – Middle West Spirits
Favorite Local Winery: Signature Wines
Favorite Wine: Exotic Fruits – Camelot Cellars
Overall, I’ll be looking forward to this event again next year.