As part of the inaugural Columbus Craft Beer Week taking place May 1-9, several local organizations have partnered to launch the Columbus Ale Trail and 2015 Brew Book. The trail will promote the more than two dozen Central Ohio breweries to residents and visitors, who can pick up a copy of the Brew Book to earn rewards by visiting them.
The Columbus Ale Trail features breweries from Lancaster to Delaware, including a handy map featuring a centralized downtown “Brewers Row.” After acquiring stamps from visits to any four participating breweries, craft beer enthusiasts will be able to pick up a pint glass from an Experience Columbus Visitors Center, in the Arena District or at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The first 500 users to visit all twenty eligible breweries will be rewarded with a commemorative t-shirt, available at The Ohio Taproom, located at 1291 W. 3rd Ave. in Grandview.
The Columbus Ale Trail and Brew Book were launched with support from Drink Up Columbus, Columbus Brew Adventures, The Ohio Taproom and Blue Label Digital Printing, with marketing and promotional assistance from Experience Columbus.
“Each of us is a passionate supporter of the rapidly growing craft beer community in Columbus,” said Cheryl Harrison, editor of beer blog Drink Up Columbus. “We wanted to launch a program to make it easy for locals and visitors alike to explore our area breweries.”
Stops on the Columbus Ale Trail include Actual Brewing Company, Barley’s Brewing Company, Buckeye Lake Brewery, Elevator Brewing Company, Four String Brewing Company, Homestead Beer Company, Knotty Pine Brewing, Land-Grant Brewing Company, Lineage Brewing Company North High Brewing Company, Pigskin Brewing Company, Rockmill Brewery, Seventh Son Brewing Company, Sideswipe Brewing Company, Smokehouse Brewing Company, Staas Brewing Company, Temperance Row Brewing Company, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Company, Zaftig Brewing Company and Zauber Brewing Company.
Other locally owned breweries featured in the book (which do not have taprooms to visit) include Columbus Brewing Company, Granville Brewing Company and Hoof Hearted Brewing. Gordon Biersch and Hofbrauhaus, both of which brew beer in Columbus but are not locally owned, are also included in the 2015 Brew Book.
“With 25 local breweries, the Columbus region has emerged as one of the nation’s top destinations for craft beers, and now we have The Columbus Ale Trail to highlight the growing scene,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “We’re excited to give visitors this new experience when they come to our city.”
A free copy of the 2015 Brew Book can be picked up at any of the participating breweries or sponsoring organizations after May 1, while supplies last. The Columbus Brew Book will be re-printed annually, allowing new breweries to be added and new rewards to be earned by visitors.
Columbus Ale Trail visitors are encouraged to share their experiences using the hashtag #CbusAleTrail, and can connect with the Columbus Ale Trail on Twitter and Instagram @CbusAleTrail, and at CbusAleTrail.com.
Five breweries, centrally located downtown, make up the newly created “Brewers Row.” Each brewery is within walking distance to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, surrounding hotels and the free CBUS circulator route, making it easy for visitors and convention attendees to experience the trail. Stops along “Brewers Row” include:
North High Brewing is a brew-on-premise microbrewery that offers a unique experience to visitors. Not only is all of the beer crafted on site, but also, guests can create their own personal blend. North High’s expert brewers walk brewmasters-in-training through the process to ensure success. Some two dozen taps serve up multiple choices in several different styles, from Belgian, Porter and IPA to shandy, ale and stout. www.northhighbrewing.com
Seventh Son Brewing Company features three delicious brews, along with a variety of rotating specialty beers. Seventh Son’s taproom and brewery are well located in up-and-coming Italian Village. The venue hosts special events and live music, as well as some of the city’s most popular food trucks, allowing visitors to enjoy some great local grub along with their beer.www.seventhsonbrewing.com
Barley’s Brewing Company has been a part of the Columbus craft beer scene for more than 20 years, making them one of the more seasoned breweries in town. This company’s specialty is crafting unique ales, a process they’ve mastered by using the finest ingredients from all over the world. Along with their honored brew, Barley’s serves up delicious food in the Short North Arts District, making it a one-stop destination for travelers. www.barleysbrewing.com
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing opened as the vision of a father-son team and has rapidly become the perfect spot to enjoy outstanding craft beer served with some of Columbus’ finest cuisine. Far from a typical “beer joint,” the spotlight here shines on both the brewmaster and chef creations. Visitors can experience imaginative dishes, such as grilled octopus, confit pig cheeks, or geranium and apple salad, with the menu offering beer pairing suggestions for each dish. Guests can sample any of 12 brews from the Wolf’s Ridge taproom, or try a Stout & Espresso, Beermosa or any of the other creative cocktails crafted with brew.www.wolfsridgebrewing.com
Elevator Brewing Company offers up nine distinct brews and special seasonal beers at two locations. One is a respected full-service restaurant in a stunning Historic Registry building that boasts the city’s oldest and most ornate pool tables and a colorful Victorian past as a gentlemen’s club. The other houses Elevator’s brewing operation and welcomes beer aficionados for tours every third Saturday. Open every Saturday, noon to 8 p.m., the taproom at the brewery allows visitors to enjoy a game of cornhole or perch atop a keg to watch football and play old-school Nintendo games — all while enjoying Elevator brews. www.elevatorbrewing.co