Maybe you think you’re too old for an Easter egg hunt. Maybe you don’t believe in Easter. I don’t know what’s so hard to believe about a giant rabbit scampering around the world to deliver goodies, but whatever floats your boat. At least the Easter Bunny doesn’t skirt international human rights concerns by running a sweatshop at the North Pole.
The thing of it is, the weather is finally starting to ease up, and it’s time to waddle our pale asses outside. After months of sitting around, it won’t take much waddling to work up a thirst. So why not sate yourself with a beer? Below are some clues you can follow to track down your reward: (If you’re lazy, the answers can be found at the bottom of the page.)
1. You’ll wander by the junkyards on McKinley Avenue and into an industrial park off of Scioto Harper Road to get your kicks in this tap room. You can’t smoke in here, but a classy ruffian can do it for you.
2. Not far from there, just up Grandview Avenue, is the place where smoke lives, and the beer you’ll want to order doesn’t reside inside of a pine tree’s relative, even though that’s what the name of the vessel seems to imply.
3. Don’t leave Grandview because there’s a battle afoot. One brewer storms the front with German forces, often led by a bitter brown ale, while the other can drop a bassline, or drop suckers with a metal-clad fist. Sneaking in from the bushes is a blast from the past as an old pub emerges from the abyss as a microbrewery.
4. Head north and take no offense to this brewer’s nod to “curvy” women. These beers are big, and it doesn’t get much bigger than the Scottish Ale that draws on the brewer’s education.
5. Don’t prohibit yourself from thumbing your nose at the teetotalers who once made Westerville a drag. This brewery is in the heart of the lion’s den, and they’re big fans of gassing their beer with air minus the O2. Have one.
6. Hop on 270 and drop into Gahanna’s Creekside complex to sample a mouth-puckering offering from this brewery named for football hide. Why? Because nobody else in town has one just yet.
7. Ease your way on down past the airport and try not to get lost in the maze of warehouses and workshops. Your next prize can be found in a cavernous space where danger lurks. Odds are pretty good something weird will be on tap, but chubby chasers will be rewarded.
8. Roll the dice on the corner of Fourth and Fourth. Think “lucky number.”
9. Speaking of rolling the dice, this new brewery in Clintonville is hoping to have taps flowing in time to quench your thirst. Cruise the ‘Ville and check out the old carwash at 2971 N High St. If they don’t have a beer, you can glare at them through the windows.
10. Down High Street a bit, just south of campus, is a place you can brew your own beer and leave the mess behind. It turns out these guys know a thing or two about brewing. The beer you’ll want to try here should remind you of our city’s bovine moniker.
11. Without this grain we wouldn’t be having so much fun, and this High Street brewhouse is among our most revered. If you’re looking for something particularly refreshing, ask for the creepiest thing on the menu.
12. Up we go, but you have a choice: if you’re hungry, this restaurant is a top-floor endeavor, but the laidback feel of the brewery tap room on Fourth is hard to resist. If you’re in doubt, try both. Perhaps allow yourself to succumb to the powers of the dark side at one place, and maybe drink one in honor of the hometown team at the other.
13. Hardly a challenge to find the next stop nary a block north of the last, but you’ll still want to have the hair of this dog. With the rustic taproom just off the casually upscale restaurant, perhaps one should add “were” to the name. Your beer of choice should be the one most likely to rise to the top.
14. Your next stop is across the river at a Franklinton brewery that seemed to go through hell before they even opened. Name changes, location changes, shady landlords pulling fast ones. At long last, you can settle in behind a frosty pint. Don’t let this elusive beer push you away. Grab hold and drink.
15. Ah, the next stop takes us to the historic Brewery District, which is home to just one brewer these days, and that will be changing soon when our biggest craft brewer presses the start button on our biggest craft brewing operation. This pub doesn’t belong to the brewery, but numerous selections flow. Columbus is crazy for the Swayze-inspired beer you should be ordering here.
ANSWERS: 1. (Sideswipe/Elegant Hoodlum) 2. (Smokehouse/Firkin)
3. (Zauber/Stodgy Brown) (Four String/Brass Knuckle) (Knotty Pine/IPA) 4. (Zaftig/Wee Heavy) 5. (Temperance Row/Nitro) 6. (Pigskin/Gose) 7. (Actual/Fat Julian) 8. (Seventh Son/ Seventh Son of a Seventh Son) 9. (Lineage/TBD) 10. (North High/Milk Stout) 11. (Barley’s/Blood Thirst) 12. (Elevator Restaurant and the Taproom/Dark Force and Bleeding Buckeye) 13. (Wolf’s Ridge/Clear Sky Cream Ale) 14. (Land Grant/Stiff Arm IPA) 15. (CBC/Bodhi)