Lately the steady stream of news and events that I’ve come to expect from Central Ohio breweries has swelled to a torrent. It seems like every time I check social media I come across a new piece of significant news about a local brewery. So while I normally I leave coverage of the goings on in Ohio beer to the pro’s like Rick Armon (The Beer Blog), Cheryl Harrison (Drink Up Columbus), or Dan Eaton (Columbus Business First). I thought it might be helpful to recap stories hot off the press and remind readers of some noteworthy upcoming events.
No brewery was in the news more over the last few weeks than the pride of Marengo, Hoof Hearted Brewing. To start it off Rick Armon paid a visit to Hoof Hearted on his way home from a Columbus beer excursion a couple of weeks back (I was happily recruited as a guide for the Thursday night leg of Rick’s trip) and reported on their acquisition of a new 15 bbl brew system, plans to open a taproom, and a deal to work with Buckeye canning to put Musk of the Minotaur and other delicious Hoof Hearted brews into cans (click here for full story).
As if that wasn’t enough this week Dan Eaton reported that the brewery was going to be opening the Hoof Hearted Brewery & Kitchen in partnership with the owners of Clintonville’s Crest Gastropub. The sustainable brewpub is set to open this summer in Italian Village at the corner of N. 4th Street and E. 1st Avenue (click here for full story). Already 4th Street is home to the Elevator Tap Room, Wolf’s Ridge, and Seventh Son, not to mention 16-bit Bar and Arcade, The Crest, Studio 35, and Savor Pint. Plans for an awesome 4th Street Brewery Crawl later this summer are already forming in my head.
The high gravity gurus at Zaftig are turning one year old this month, and celebrating in their signature way by brewing a special barrel aged beer called Batch 50. Two versions will be available, one aged in Watershed Bourbon barrels and the other aged on French Oak. I don’t know the details on Batch 50 beyond that, but I’m willing to bet the mortgage that it was made with more malts than your average mash tun can hold, enough hops to stand up to the massive malt bill, and the end result will be sporting an abv that flirts with Ohio’s legal limit of 12%. The release party runs from 11 am to 6 pm this coming Saturday (Feb 28) at the brewery (545 Schrock Road).
In a recent visit to Zaftig I also learned that they’ve purchased a small bottling system and plan to start releasing 22 oz bottles in late spring or early summer. The first release is likely to be the Black Perle Stout.
Wolf’s Ridge has a couple of promising events coming up next week. The one I’ve got circled on my calendar is a tapping of special versions of their imperial IPA Howling Moon next Wednesday (March 4). They will be pouring double dry hopped versions of Howling Moon featuring Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic hops. You can get a tasting flight of these three versions along with the standard Howling Moon for $7. The beer starts pouring when the tap room opens at 4 pm. So if you’ve not yet had a chance to check out the new taproom at Wolf’s Ridge this is your perfect excuse.
As if that wasn’t enough they will be teaming with Clintonville’s Angry Bear Kitchen for a six course meal where each course paired with a different Wolf’s Ridge beer (click here for details, spoiler alert no wolf or bear meat will be served). The dinner will take place at the Angry Bear Kitchen (2653 N. High) this coming Monday (March 2) starting at 7:30 pm. Advance tickets are required.
Rick Armon reported today that Rockmill, Central Ohio’s own farmhouse brewery, is planning to add a restaurant and a boutique hotel to the bucolic property where the brewery is located. They hope to break ground on the restaurant later this year, with the hotel to follow at a later date. The goal is to create a destination similar to wineries in the Napa Valley. That makes sense because Rockmill beers cost about the same as a decent bottle of Napa Valley wine (click here for the full story).
Last month as part of a story profiling Delaware’s Staas Brewery, I reported that they would soon be installing two beer engines, hand pumps for serving ale from a cask without using pressurized CO2 or N2. “Real Ale” fans can rejoice, because the beer engines have arrived and starting today (Feb. 26) patrons can get Stass Runner Up ESB and their new House English Ale served in the same manner you would get in a traditional English pub. No word if they are going to be serving beer in 20 oz imperial pints, but owner’s Liz and Donald Staas did agree to refer to potato chips as crisps.
Dan Eaton reports that North High Brewing has signed a distribution deal with Premium Beverage Supply, a Hilliard-based distributor. The partnership should expand the availability of North High beers in Central Ohio. According to Eaton, distribution will initially be limited to kegs, but next month they will begin packaging their IPA, pale ale and milk stout in cans for sale at area retail outlets. (click here for the full story)
After what must seem like a long wait to Gahanna residents (their brew system was installed in August) Pigskin Brewing is finally open. Located in Creekside Plaza in Gahanna, they are open Monday-Thursday from 3 to midnight, Friday from 3 pm to 2 am, Saturday from 11 am to 2am and Sunday from 11am-11pm. Initially they will be serving guest beers while they brew up batches of their own beer. According to their Facebook page they’ve got three sports-themed beers fermenting: Laces Out Hefe, Kickoff Brown, and Undefeated IPA, those three will be followed by Porterback, Gose all the way, and Legendary Amber.