After a year and a half of planning and construction, the anticipated brew-on-premise business Bru opened its Short North doors to the public yesterday.
I stopped in to check out the space on its official first day and talk to co-owner Gavin Meyers about the new business. He gave me a tour of the bar’s many antique finishes, in a building which was originally a Ford dealership in 1917. The original floors are intact, but the rest of the rustic finishes were imported, including windows from demolished buildings on The Ohio State University’s campus, reclaimed barn wood used to tile the bar front, and metal shutters from one of the oldest distilleries in the country, Old Crow, used at Bru both as window shutters and as bathroom sinks and urinal stalls.
“Right when I saw it I said, ‘I want to pass a beer through that so bad.’ So I took it to our architect and said, ‘I want to build a bar around this,’” said Meyers
The back of Bru is where the make-your-own-beer magic happens, approximately a 3-6 hour process in total over several weeks. From grinding grain to bottling beer, the various workspaces at Bru feel methodically planned out. There’s even a switch brewers can flip to alert the bartender that they want a beer, which, yes, is slid through the money order window. As a nod to the 21st Amendment, 21 individual bulbs hang over the brew kettles.
Bru has a full bar boasting 30 taps, five of which are currently filled with Bru’s own beers, 10 total by the end of next week. The rest of the taps are occupied with crafts from some of the owners’ individual favorite breweries, as well as other local breweries like Zauber, Four String and CBC. There’s also a selection of spirits, including all the offerings from local distilleries Middle West Spirits and Watershed, as well as several bottled and canned beers.
The official grand opening celebration is still a few weeks away, but the bar and homebrew supply shop are open for business. The bar will be open from 4pm-1am weekdays and until 2am weekends. Those looking to purchase homebrew supplies can stop in anytime the Bru folks are in the building brewing, starting at approximately 10am daily.
Bru is located at 1288 N. High Street.