It seems like Elevator Brewing Company has always been here, but the facts say they are only 15 years old. In human years that’s not even old enough to drive, but in Columbus craft brewery years that’s older than Actual, Four String, Land Grant, North High, Seventh Son, Sideswipe, Wolf’s Ridge, Zaftig and Zauber all put together. Not old enough to be the grandfather of Columbus Breweries, but definitely old enough to be the eccentric uncle who drinks too much at Christmas dinner.
To celebrate their 15th birthday they are doing what breweries do best and throwing a party. It will take place this coming Saturday, Nov. 8, from noon to 8 pm at the 13th Floor Taproom (165 N. Fourth Street). Just to make sure there is no confusion, the party is at the Brewery/Taproom on 4th Street NOT at the Restaurant/Draught House on High Street. Having spent the better part of last Saturday at the brewery judging the King of Ohio IPA event, and then just hanging out in the taproom, I can attest first hand that it’s a great spot to spend a Saturday afternoon. They have the full lineup of Elevator beers, a wall mounted big screen TV showing college football, padded kegs serve as the bar stools, and they have the only beer themed urinal in the city. The 15th Anniversary party will include live music, a visit from CD 102.5, food trucks, and stupid human tricks (the last one is not guaranteed/sponsored by the Elevator but is usually a safe bet when you put a room full of people and copious amounts of beer in the same room for 4+ hours).
The best part of the anniversary party is the limited release of a special beer called Horus, a barrel aged imperial red ale. When talking with owner Dick Stevens last week he said he wanted the event to be something like Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Day. That’s a pretty ambitious target, which begs the question, who is Horus and what is an imperial red ale? After a quick trip over to Wikipedia I can tell you that Horus is the falcon-headed Egyptian god who carried the sun across the sky. He is the son of Isis and Osiris, but in an unconventional twist he was conceived after his father Osiris was killed, dismembered and thrown into the Nile. I’m not going into the details of that story, you’ll have to look it up for yourself, but it does involve a golden phallus.
With our Egyptian mythology lesson behind us we can turn our attention to the beer itself. Here is what the Elevator has to say about Horus:
As a way to say thank you to our loyal fans, we will be rolling out a small batch, limited run of HORUS, our 12% ABV Imperial Red Ale. This big and rich Red Ale is aged for over 18 months in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels and will be available for purchase in commemorative 750ml bottles on the day of the Anniversary Party only. Don’t miss your chance to grab a bottle of this special batch that we hope you will use to toast us in celebrating 15 unforgettable years in Columbus. Here’s to 15 more!
OK so it will be bourbon barrel aged with an abv that pushes right up against the legal limit in Ohio. That’s a starting point, but the red ale classification of the base beer is still a bit vague to me. Elevator has a pretty uninformative blog post on red ales where they tell you what it isn’t. I think it is a pretty safe bet that Horus will bear little resemblance to Killian’s Irish Red, my bet is that the base beer is something closer to an American strong ale like Great Lakes Nosferatu. If you want to know for sure I guess you will just have to come down to the party and score a bottle to find out for yourself. The Elevator is no stranger to barrel aged beers, so I’ve got high expectations. On their Facebook page Elevator states that the bottle sales will begin at 1 pm. There are only 900 bottles available, so while you probably don’t have to queue up at 11 am I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t make it to sundown. I plan to attend and hope to see you there.