There is great craft beer in Columbus, Ohio. I know this because so many of my friends and family tell me but I hadn’t had the chance to visit for myself. That changed this past Sunday as I spent Father’s Day in Columbus with family and got to visit a couple breweries while I was there.
My trip has convinced me that I need to try more craft beer in Columbus. Here’s what I discovered in one afternoon visiting Fourth Street.
My quick day trip to Columbus was all about spending a great Father’s Day with my family so we wanted something fun to do. That led us to Pins Mechanical Company as our first stop.
This place is not easy to describe. It is part bar, part pinball arcade, part duckpin bowling alley, part outdoor venue and a ton of fun. Their place is very large so you can easily spread out. They offer two bar areas with 36 craft beers on tap, a specialty drink list and even mocktails for anyone that isn’t drinking alcohol (including kids). Yes, this place is family friendly during the day.
The outside areas include giant Jenga, giant “beer” pong, shuffle board and plenty of seating. Inside, you will find pinball everywhere you turn, foosballl, ping pong and duckpin bowling.
I had never heard of duckpin bowling so check out this link to learn more. But more or less, it is like bowling but the pins are smaller and wider at the base. The lane is really short, the ball is smaller and you get three chances per frame instead of two. Scoring works in a similar way and you play 10 frames. It is much more challenging than it first appears and it’s a lot of fun. Just a word of warning, put your name on the list for a lane as soon as you arrive. On a Sunday afternoon, there was a 2 hour wait.
They don’t serve food but on most days they have at least one food truck. When I was there, there was a taco food truck so I enjoyed some tacos al pastor and chicken nachos. Check out their site to learn more and see what events they have scheduled.
Next door to Pins Mechanical Company (and I mean right next door) is Elevator Brewing Company. This is where I got my first taste of craft beer in Columbus since I didn’t get a drink at Pins.
Upon walking in, I immediately could tell this was going to be a relaxing, laid back experience. The taproom is in the front of their brewery and it literally just an area inside of a dock door with a small bar and tables. Nothing fancy, just good beer.
Here’s how they describe themselves on their website. Head over there to learn even more about them and their craft beer.
The Elevator Brewing Company was founded in 1999 by a Father/Son drinking team committed to delivering quality craft beer to authentic people just like you. Now in our second century of brewing, our aim remains the same. Our commitment to excellence is evident in each sip of our award-winning beers. Stop by and see us at the 13th Floor Tap Room, located at the brewery, or reach for a six-pack next time you’re at your favorite retailer.
They also have a full scale restaurant that is just a block away. I hear they have great food; hopefully I can check it out during a future visit.
Just a block or so further north on Fourth Street is Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. We entered through the front entrance and found ourselves in a restaurant. I honestly was confused and then quickly learned that the taproom is in the back of the building. We quickly made our way past the kitchen and down into the taproom. There is a side entrance dedicated to the taproom that I will be sure to use in the future.
What I noticed first was how different this place was compared to Elevator Brewing. Wolf’s Ridge is a high end taproom experience. Lots of dark wood features and attention to detail. The bar stretched across the back of the room where most of the stools were taken. In addition, there were long tables that were packed full of people. Live music was part of the atmosphere and appeared that this was something they did on a regular basis. It was quite loud but not unbearable.
They offered a lot of dark beers so it was easy to decide which ones to try. Here’s what we had in our flight: Night Method, Sustinator, Dire Wolf, Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus, and Dire Wolf Yub Nub. The Dire Wolf beers were amazing; especially the Yub Nub. It was dessert in a glass. The base Dire Wolf is available on a regular basis but the variants are special release beers. I hear the lines can be quite long to get these and I can tell why. We were still full from having tacos for lunch so we skipped on the food but it all looked and smelled great.
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Final Thoughts And A Bonus “Craft Beer” Experience
Before leaving, we wanted to get some Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Little did I know that this would turn out to be a way to enjoy more craft beer in Columbus. Ok, that’s a stretch but my ice cream did have a craft beer connection. I had the Mocha Black Cherry which is a collaboration with Stone Brewing and created to pair with their Mocha IPA. This was their second collaboration after making Xocorosa which paired with Stone’s winter beer, Xocoveza.
A day trip to Columbus was the perfect way to spend Father’s Day. We had a great time exploring a small section of Fourth Street and we can’t wait to see more of this city.
Have You Had Craft Beer In Columbus? What Breweries Did You Get To Visit?