Columbus' beer scene is growing by the month! It could take you a full season of wild nights out to taste everything that's available. While that does have a certain appeal, Columbus Brew Adventures has a better way: they're offering beer tours! A sister of popular Columbus Food Adventures, these tours curate the best beers to sample, get you up close and personal with brewers and their craft beers.
A few weeks ago, I joined CBA for their Downtown Brewery Tour, which includes stops at four breweries. The roomy van is brand-new and comfortable. Having a designated driver is definitely a bonus for this tour - and one as friendly and knowledgeable as Jim Ellison, partner, is icing on the cake. Our first stop (and meeting point) was at Columbus Brewing Company, where we also shared a hearty sampling of appetizers. We tasted three generous samples of the brewery's specialty -hop-forward beers. I found myself gravitating to their outstanding IPA.
Next, we stopped at Barley's Brewing Company, where brewmaster Angelo Signorino personally took us through tasting notes on four vastly different beers. From the blood orange wheat beer to the ultra dark Russian Imperial stout, each of these beers was delicious in its own way. Angelo's passion for brewing - he's been doing this in Columbus for 21 years - shows in the way he describes his creations.
Seventh Son Brewing Company is a newcomer to the Columbus beer scene. Brewer Colin Vent showed us his brewing equipment and talked through the important components of beers - malts and hops. We then tasted three beers, including the signature Seventh Son Strong Ale (my favorite of the trio.) The beers were all great - and all very different from what I was expecting.
The final stop was at North High Brewing Company, which hits you with historic charm right as you walk in the door. The building, originally one of Columbus' first car dealerships, features architectural salvage showpieces like window shades made from the original bleacher seats at Ohio Stadium and a very cool money order window. Not only can you order pints to stay and growlers to go, but you can also brew your own small-batch beer on site! You can choose from 30 styles and take home your beer 2-3 weeks later.
The van is equipped with a cooler which safely stores 12 growlers of beer. Definitely take advantage of that service! I came home with two growlers (one from Barley's and one from North High Brewing) that were a hit at a party I went t0 that evening. If after all this, you're not feeling ready to drive - CBA is happy to call a cab for you, or you could always stop back into the Columbus Brewing Company for a dinner. CBA also offers a variety of beer and spirits tours in Columbus and throughout Central Ohio - check them out here.