With the slow transition from summer to fall, beer drinkers will start swapping crisp wheat beers and farmhouse ales for maltier Oktoberfests and pumpkin ales. But one thing you can bet on: Columbus will keep supporting their local breweries. Looking to drink local when you visit? Kick things off with these Columbus beers!
Four String Brewing Company | Brass Knuckle Four String’s flagship American pale is available at the brewery, on tap around town, and in cans at most grocery stores. Don’t let the hard-hitting name fool you: Brass Knuckle may start with a punch, but it mellows out with a crisp, hoppy finish. It’s an easy drinking beer that deserves to become a mainstay at any gathering.
Columbus Brewing Company | Bodhi CBC is one of the most recognizable beer brands in Columbus. Their well-designed bottles line shelves of every grocery store in town (and many around Ohio), and any good bar will boast at least one CBC beer on tap. One of their more popular beers – and not available in bottles – is the Bodhi double IPA, which pours clear yellow with a foamy white head and big citrus hop flavors.
Smokehouse Brewing | Red Molly Imp Red Molly takes the classic red ale style and raises the alcohol with the addition of candy syrup. Stop by at the right time and you’ll catch Red Molly in cask-conditioned form or on nitro tap. Pair it with the Smokehouse’s barbecue, smoked chicken wings or sauerkraut balls.
Zauber Brewing Co. | Myopic Red In August, Zauber transitioned from their original equipment to a full-sized 20-barrel brew house. Faithful beer drinkers no longer have to visit on Thursday to try Zauber’s beers – their beers are on tap all the time! Out of their German- and Belgian-focused beer list, try the Myopic Red, a reddish-brown German alt style that’s malt forward while remaining very balanced.
Actual Brewing | Ingenuity Ale Out of their brewing facility and yeast lab, Actual produces complex beers that defy traditional styles. Ingenuity, for instance, is a hazy lemongrass saison that’s like summer in a glass, rich with grassy and floral flavors.
Zaftig Brewing Co. | Shadowed Mistress Zaftig borrows its name from the Yiddish term meaning “full-bodied,” and they follow suit with high gravity beers that are bursting at the seams. Their Shadowed Mistress American Strong Ale is a typical heavy-hitter with a creamy texture and notes of dark fruit and herbal hops.
Sideswipe Brewing | Hoodlum Smoked Stout The casual beer drinker may not be familiar with smoked beers, or rauchbiers, but Sideswipe’s Hoodlum is a solid introduction. A mix of wheat, rye, and oats give the beer a complex flavor, while a light smoking imparts an incredibly smooth texture.
Barley’s Brewing Company | MacLenny’s Scottish Ale MacLenny could be in the running for Columbus’ signature beer. The brewers toast the grains before brewing, resulting in a copper-colored, sweet, and malty beer that’s incredibly balanced. It’s also the perfect gateway into craft beer.
North High Brewing | London Gentleman This busy Short North brewery offers brew-on-premises, where customers can brew and bottle 15-gallon batches with oversight from an experienced brewer. North High just opened a new off-site brewing facility to keep up with demand for beers like The London Gentleman, a well-balanced English Special Bitter (ESB) that’s a quintessential session beer.
Hoof Hearted Brewing | Musk of the Minotaur IPA Hoof Hearted’s Musk of the Minotaur IPA is a good introduction to their quirky style and over-the-top branding. Quickly becoming a local favorite IPA, Musk’s 7.2% ABV is hidden well behind big citrusy hops.
Elevator Brewery | Procrastinator Doppelbock Elevator serves their beer at their beautiful downtown restaurant, but customers can find many brews in bottles around town, or they can sample specialties in the 13th Floor Taproom. Procrastinator is a dark German lager built like a porter, with hints of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate.
Seventh Son | Stonefort Brown Ale Named after the Ohio’s oldest building, Seventh Son’s Stonefort nails the brown ale style. The beer is built from the brewery’s English yeast strains and balances biscuit and coffee flavors.
This is just a sampling! Columbus is bursting with breweries, and we’re just getting started. New watering holes opening soon in Franklinton, Gahanna, Clintonville, and Westerville will add to the list of must-try Columbus beers.