The Columbus Distillery Trail is a free, digital trail that sends you exploring the city’s seven craft distilleries. In this series, we’re helping you get to know each stop a little better by interviewing a key player to help show you why The Proof is in the Proof here in Columbus. 

Meet Dustin Ross, beverage director at Service Bar, the in-house restaurant for Middle West Spirits!


Dustin Ross Middle West Spirits, Service Bar

Dustin Ross, Beverage Director at Service Bar


So what do you do at Service Bar?

I’m the beverage director at Service Bar. I was brought on the end of September before we reopened in October. Before this I was at Prohibition in Powell, working with Elton, and at No Soliciting Bar. I did the same thing at both places, like cocktail menus and sourcing.


How do you describe Service Bar to newcomers?

Definitely contemporary, especially paired with the food Chris [Connolly, head chef) is putting out. We try to have a good amount of crossover between what the kitchen is using and what we’re using upfront. For the bar program, the purpose is to showcase Middle West Spirits. We make great stuff, so it makes my job easy.


Middle West Spirits, Service Bar Cocktail


What do you offer to guests who visit on the Distillery Trail?

Typically when they’re doing the trail, they’ve already been on the tour. We offer a discount code on a tour and a discount code for 10% off merch in the bottle shop. Guests often have questions about the spirits, and we’re happy to chat about those.


Middle West Wheat Whiskey

Oloroso Wheat Whiskey, Double Cask Collection, Middle West Spirits


Do you have a favorite spirit at your distillery?

I fell in love with Vim & Petal gin originally. At the time I was going to Club 185 often enough and hammered them enough that they kept it behind the bar, with the assurance I would drink through the bottle every week.

Obviously the last couple of years my focus has shifted from wine to spirits. Any of the Cask Collection are great; the cask rye is more in my wheelhouse. The cask-proof releases are awesome.


Anything else people should know about Service Bar?

Whenever people ask about the bar program, I say, if you’re a bartender and work in the industry, and you want to geek about cocktails, we can do that. We’re a very technique-driven bar. Also, if you want to come in, you can have a cocktail and enjoy it quietly.


Chapman's Eat Market, German Village, Exterior

Chapman's Eat Market, German Village


Where else do you Live for the Scene in Columbus?

When I do have the weekday off I always find myself at Chapman’s Eat Market. They’re huge supporters of us. They’re in here as often as they can be.

I live in Grandview but my heart’s still in German Village. We’ll swing by the Beck, and end up at Club 185. The usual rotation.


Find Service Bar at Middle West Spirits:

1230 Courtland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215

Learn more about the Columbus Distillery Trail and share your memories with us on social using #LiveForwardCbus.