Since then, Four String has become a well-known name in the Columbus beer scene, with beer on tap in Columbus craft beer bars. Dan agreed to meet with us again this past week to discuss the to-be-launched Four String Taproom, Columbus craft beer scene, and hypothetical superhero matchups.
Grab a growler of your favorite Four String beer (we really like the Backstage Blonde) or head to your local bar serving Four String on tap, and read on for an update from a local favorite.
It’s been about two years since Four String Brewing Co. opened. Since then, what would you say was the catalyst for change; as in, what made you want to open a taproom?
For about a year and a half I’ve wanted to have a taproom here. It’s always been a question about space and square footage here in the building, and a few months ago I just decided that this is something we need to do. People constantly want to come by and drink beer. A lot of people are coming by and buying beer “to-go.”
There’s been some recent legislation in the state of Ohio that is allowing me to sell the retail “on premise consumption” beer that I wasn’t able to sell before, so, It’s a good opportunity not just to get some income coming in for the brewery, but also to kind of have a headquarters.
What obstacles have you met as more microbreweries open around Columbus?
*Well right now there are so many new craft beer bars opening, as well as existing bars expanding their craft [beer] lists, that getting in at new locations isn’t even the biggest challenge– and I think there is still plenty of room in the market for other breweries.* This is kind of the hey-day now, where it’s just blowing up so fast and there is as much opportunity as we can make beer. I think the important obstacle that has come up is making sure that the staff knows about your product. There are a lot of bars that have a lot of draft options and a lot of the staff isn’t sure how to sell it – or even how to describe it.
What challenges do you see Four String facing concerning the taproom specifically?
The taproom is in the brewery itself; it’s within and around the production space, so safety is a concern. I want to make sure that it is a safe environment for everyone – for the patrons and the beer. That’s something that we’ve had to consider and figure out how the layout [would work]. It’ll be interesting to see how things go in the beginning. We are tucked away. We’re in the heart of Grandview, but we’re still off the beaten path.
When will the taproom open? Will there be an opening party?
I don’t have a date set yet. My wife is due in three weeks; we’re having a boy. She could go into labor at any time. I am saying the end of September, so in the next 30 days. There will be an opening party, but I don’t have that planned as of now.
Who would win in a fight, Mighty Mouse or Superman?
Superman, right? Is Mighty Mouse from another planet, and that’s where he got his power? Is there some story behind him? You gotta’ go with Superman, because [Mighty Mouse] was just a mouse rip-off of Superman.
…and back on topic. Do you have any further expansion ideas or future plans that we should be on the lookout for?
We’re forever expanding. We recently expanded the production side, and tripled our production volume. The taproom was always coming after that happened. Once things got rockin’, I said I need to scale this up – now. That took about a year to get done, and now we’re cranking a new level of beer out, and that’s why we’re now doing the Taproom. Our goal is to keep growing. [The taproom] will max this building out. We want to be bottling or canning beer as soon as possible, and I’m not sure we could ever do that in this building. There’s a mobile canning business, Buckeye Canning and I’ve spoken to those guys. Packaged beer in grocery stores and carry-outs is at the top of our list.
What new beers, if any, can the public look forward to enjoying in the next few months? Will any be unveiled at the opening of the taproom?
By the end of September we hope to have our fall seasonal ready, for the taproom opening. All I can tell you about that at this point is that it is a red ale. The increased production capacity has allowed us to do more seasonal beers. We started with our Cherry Blonde in the spring and we’ve been running Suncaster Summer Wheat this summer. We will be putting out our vanilla porter in November. It’ll be our winter seasonal. We did just one batch of it last winter for our anniversary and everybody loved it, so that’s gonna’ be out all winter long.
By now you should be halfway through your growler – or already on jug number two. Perhaps you’re a few pints deep at the bar—regardless, be on the lookout for an announcement on Four String Brewing’s taproom opening which will be located on West Sixth in Grandview, and don’t forget—Superman always beats a mouse rip-off.
This is a guest post from Eric French. Eric is a modern day renaissance man who enjoys all walks of life, studies all schools of thought, and once slayed a dragon You can’t stop the metal train.