Destination Drinking: New breweries in Chillicothe

Written by on April 29, 2021 in Bars, Beer, Taprooms - No comments

Two of Ohio’s newest craft breweries recently opened in the same small town on the same downtown street. Old Capitol Brewing and 50 West Brewing are both located on North Paint Street in heart of Chillicothe. This town of 22,000 is located just 47 miles from Columbus, a straight shot down Route 23.

Fifty West, located at 1 N. Paint Street, is a new location for the well-known Cincinnati brewery. Their $2 Million dollar renovation of an old bank building has transformed it into a bright and open two-story brewpub with an impressive lineup of their well-made beers. In the entry level, only the old hardwood oak floors remind us that this is indeed an older building. Everything else screams bright, new, modern. White walls striped with 50 West’s trademark orange and brown stand out, with a clean, white L-shaped bar with bright orange stools invite you to have a seat and a cold beer. The brewing system is in full view in the back of the taproom. Sixteen taps pour a range of beers that includes everything from a light lager and a sour, to the requisite Hazy IPA and a nitro stout. Six packs of beer are available to grab-and-go from the cooler across the room. Growlers and crowlers are available as well. If you want to spread out, head up the stairs to the second level which offers loads of seating and tons of flat screen TV’s. Fifty West has a full kitchen with a menu heavy on burgers and fries. Kids will be excited to find hot dogs, shakes and ice cream floats on the menu.

Take a very short walk down the block and you are at Old Capitol Brewing. If you are not up on your Ohio history, Chillicothe was the original capital city of Ohio, and served in that capacity from 1803 – 1810. Hence the name of the brewery and their logo. When you open the door to Old Capitol, the ambiance is 180 degrees different from 50 West. If 50 West has the feel of a diner, Old Capitol has the feel of a nightclub. The taproom is smaller and cozier; something of a ‘shotgun’ space in the respect that it is deep, but narrow. Lighting is relatively muted, and with an exposed brick wall on the left, a mostly black wall on the right, a black ceiling, oak floors, and you get that nightclub vibe. Their 3.5 bbl brewing system is in full view in the rear of the taproom, and unlike the rest of the space is well lit. Two skylights add ample natural light to supplement the overhead fixtures. Seating options include stools at the bar, group tables, easy chairs, and stools at a drink rail overlooking the fermenters. Beer options are limited to just a handful at this point as they continue to build inventory in the 8 weeks since opening. Feel free to bring in your own food to wash down with their beers, or order in from their food partner, Old Canal Smokehouse, which is right around the corner. Old Capitol is open Thursday thru Sunday.

About the Author

Bill Babbitt is a retired engineer, beer lover, and freelance writer for Beer Advocate Magazine.

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