The recently launched Columbus Brew Adventures offers van tours for those looking to explore the booming brewery scene in Central Ohio.
I was recently invited to check out the Downtown Brewery Tour, which offered a fun and informative visit to four of Columbus’ centrally located breweries, with plenty of water and salty snacks at each stop and in the van en route to keep everyone safe and sober during the roughly 3.5 hour tour.
Columbus Brewing Company
Tour attendees meet in the parking lot of the Columbus Brewing Company restaurant in the heart of the Brewery District. The CBC stop included plenty of food – pizzas, calamari and nachos – so skip lunch before taking this tour! One of CBC’s manager spoke of the history of the brewery, as well as provided some background information on the beer styles we were tasting. CBC’s Pale Ale, IPA and Bodhi Double IPA were hoppily poured at this brewery.
Barley’s Brewing Company – Ale House #1
If you’ve never met Angelo Signorino, the head brewmaster at both Barley’s Brewing Company locations in Columbus, you are missing out on one of the friendliest, most passionate and knowledgeable people in the local craft beer community. Angelo led us through the history of Barley’s beers, including the cask-conditioned selections unique in Columbus to Barley’s. Tastings here ranged from MacLenny’s Scottish Ale, Angelo’s first brew at Barley’s nearly 20 years ago and still their most popular, to the citrusy Blood Thirst Wheat, to a cask-conditioned stout and ended with Infinity Grand Cru, a deliciously sour Belgian strong ale.
Seventh Son Brewing Co
Seventh Son is in the center of what is arguably Columbus’ new brewery district (with North High Brewing, Middle West distillery and Brother’s Drake Meadery around the corner.) The Seventh Son portion of the tour delved into the ingredients of beer, with brewmaster Colin Vent explaining show-and-tell styles of malts and hops, plus a microscopic look at yeast. Seventh Son’s signature Seventh Son ale, along with a new IPA bizarrely brewed to the Fibonacci Sequence and a stout rounded out the tasting.
North High Brewing
The final stop on the current downtown brewery tour is at North High Brewing, Columbus’ only brew-on-premise spot where you can utilize their equipment to brew your own batch of beer. After touring the facilities and learning more about the brewing process, owner Gavin Meyers explained the unique history of the building and the many curios he and partner Tim Ward brought into the facility. Here we tasted North High’s creamy Milk Stout, English Special Bitter and a third beer that I can’t remember because I had been drinking for three hours, ok?!
Columbus Brew Adventures co-owner Jim Ellison says that the beers tasted and information shared at each brewery vary each tour, and the newly opened Wolf’s Ridge Brewing will be added to future downtown brewery tours as well. Columbus Brew Adventures offers several other tours, including tours of Southeast Ohio breweries, Licking County breweries, Grandview breweries and an in-depth meet the brewers tour.
Tours are offered weekly on Saturdays and Sundays, with a Thursday distillery tour launching in a few weeks. For more information and to reserve a spot on an upcoming tour, visit the Columbus Brew Adventures website.