Columbus Craft Beer Week 2016 Preview

The 2nd Annual Columbus Craft Beer Week begins today.  I’ve spent hours perusing the list of events in a vain attempt to put together the ultimate itinerary for the obsessed craft beer fanatic, but there are just too many enticing events to distill the week down to a definitive short list. That doesn’t stop me from making a few observations on the festivities.

A tasting flight of Sideswipe magic.


Beer Releases

Last year local breweries broke up into teams of 2 or 3 to make a series of collaboration beers.  I really enjoyed that aspect of the week, but apparently I was in the minority, because this year sixteen different breweries combined to brew a single collaboration beer.  Saison 994 is a Belgian style farmhouse ale whose name is the sum of area codes 614 and 380.  It’s described this way on the CCBW website:

The resulting saison uses Palisade hops, French Saison yeast, Pilsner Malt, white wheat, dark munich, flaked rye malts, whole leaf Crystal hops and grains of paradise. Saison 994 starts off with a distinct fruitiness, then moves on to a floral, bready and earthy character. The body is much fuller and more bitter than a typical saison. The beer finishes slightly spicy and tart.

To borrow from the limited vocabulary of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, it’s huge!  Look for it at the Kickoff Event today (Fri, May 13) at Grandview Yard Market District, at the Six One Pour beer festival next Friday (Fri, May 20), and a host of places in between.

Saison 994 is not the only beer to make its debut during CCBW, nor is it the only collaboration beer.  Here are some other notable releases, in chronological order:

  • Pigskin Brewing Berliner Weisse (Fri, May 13)
  • Zauber Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, Belgian Dark and Bourbongeist (Fri, May 13 from 4-12 pm)
  • Ill Mannered & Restoration Brew Worx collaboration Hefeweizen (Fri, May 13 from 5-10 pm)
  • Wolf’s Ridge Canis Mexicanus Bottle Release (Sat, May 14 from 10 am-3 pm)
  • Four String Ghostship Vortex Baltic Porter Bottle Release (Sat, May 14 from 12-3 pm)
  • Smokehouse Heatherwood Gruit with Heather, Aussie wormwood and no hops (Sat, May 14 from 12-3 pm)
  • Hoof Hearted French Toast Stout Bottle Release and Cask Party (Sun, May 15 from 11 am – midnight)
  • Land Grant & Platform Beer Co. Session 71 release party (Tues, May 17 from 5-10 pm)
  • North High Old Man McNasty Bottle Release (Tues, May 17 from 4-11 pm)
  • Wolf’s Ridge Belgian Style IPA (Tues, May 17 from 4-11 pm)
  • Hoof Hearted Wet When Slippery Bottle Release and Cask Party (Wed, May 18 from 3 – 10 pm)
  • Royal Docks Frambozen release at Flip Side Easton (Wen, May 18 from 5-11 pm)
  • Fat HeadsThree Floyds collaboration beer at Worthington Pies and Pint’s (Wed, May 18 from 6-10 pm)
One of the collaboration beers from Columbus Craft Beer Week 2015, Ghidora Peach Saison from Land Grant, Four String and Sideswipe.

Everything Goes Better with Beer

If you are reading this blog I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say most things in life pair well with beer.  Apparently many of the CCBW participants feel the same way.  During the next week you can sip on a glass of locally brewed beer while adopting a kitten (Kitten Party at Actual Brewing; Friday, May 13 from 6-9 pm) or sample a flight of Pigskin beers while watching a sex kitten purrlesque show at Bossy Grrl Pinup Joint (Monday, May 16 from 9:30 pm to midnight).  You can enjoy craft beer from Little Fish Brewing while grabbing dinner at BDs Mongolian BBQ (Sawmill location, Tuesday, May 17 from 6-10 pm), sign up for the epic Bike the Breweries event starting at North High (Saturday, May 21 from 8 am to 2 pm). or sip on a Lineage beer while taking a yoga class (Sunday, May 22 from 10 am to noon).

The week is rife with food and beer pairing events, far too many to mention here.  Some don’t really rise to the level of a special event in my eyes (I’m sorry Knotty Pine, but a beer/appetizer pairing for $10 sounds a lot more like happy hour than an event). Here are a few you don’t see every day:

  • Cupcake and Beer Pairing at Lineage Brewing ($13, Saturday May 14 from 11 am – midnight)
  • Hoof Hearted Hog Roast at Daily Growler Powell (Saturday, May 14 from 4-11 pm)
  • Four Course Beer and Bacon Brunch with Platform Beer Co. and 1803 Bacon at the Commissary ($25, Sunday, May 15 at 10 am)
  • Beer and Donuts with Seventh Son and Fox in the Snow ($20, Sunday, May 15 from 11-1 pm)
  • Hopped Kettle Corn paired with Platform Beer Co beers at the Ohio Taproom (Tuesday, May 17 from 5-11 pm)



Take you back to Schoolin’

If you want to learn more about beer, CCBW is chock full of opportunities.  Here are some that caught my eye (prices are given for those that require tickets)

  • Beginner’s Homebrew Class at Lineage Brewing ($15, Saturday, May 14 from 9:30-11 am and again Monday, May 16: 6:30-8:00 pm)
  • Beer 101 with Homestead Brewing at The Ohio Taproom (Sunday, May 15 from 1-5pm)
  • Beer Sensory Class 201 at Lineage Brewing ($25, Sunday, May 15 from 9:30-11 am)
  • Beer Cocktail Class at Zauber Brewing featuring Karate Cowboy (Monday, May 16 from 6-8 pm)
  • A conversation with Columbus Craft Beer Pioneers at Smokehouse Brewing (Tuesday, May 17 from 6:00-7:30 pm)
  • The History of Beer with Ohio Historical Center and Dogfish Head at Studio 35 ($30, Saturday, May 21 from 2:00-6:30 pm)

Lineage Off Flavor Tasting_3way

Other Notable Events

To finish I’ll leave you with a few more events that should not be missed, although I wish you good luck if you try to make them all.  You can find a full list of events at the official CCBW site:

  • Columbus Craft Beer Week Kickoff Party at Grandview Yard Market District (Friday, May 13 from 5-10 pm)
  • Columbus Ale Trail Volume 2 Kickoff Party at Wolf’s Ridge Taproom (Friday May 13 from 4-8 pm)
  • Infusapallooza at UA Daily Growler featuring 24 limited edition infused beers (Friday May 13 from 4-12 pm)
  • Founders Meet and Greet at Pies and Pints Short North featuring Founders co-owner Dave Engbers and brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki (Friday, May 13 from 6-12 pm)
  • Mini-Real Ale Festival at Smokehouse Brewing ($35, Saturday, May 14 from 12-3 pm) Sample infused firkins from 13 Ohio breweries,
  • Sideswipe Taproom Grand Re-opening (Saturday, May 14 from 5-11 pm)
  • Wolf’s Ridge Brewing/One Line Coffee Collaboration ($25, Sunday, May 15 from  9:30-12:30)
  • Big Bad Baptist Vertical Tasting Pies and Pints Easton (Monday, May 16 from 6-10 pm)
  • Six One Pour Festival at Huntington Park ($50, Friday, May 20 from 7-11 pm)


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