Columbus Brewing Company and Four String have undertaken huge expansions, and Brew Dog plans to bring some international street cred to our brewing game in less than a year, but what’s the story with other breweries in the area? In the months between Stock & Barrel editions, the Columbus craft brew community keeps increasing its capacity, barreling away at a seemingly bottomless market.
Hoof Hearted finally opened a taproom in their expanded production operation out in the sticks, north of the city in Marengo. It was a little late to seize the moment on the Columbus Ale Trail passport, but people seem to dig the new digs and Hoof Hearted has tightened up its game to secure some accolades. And Italian Village will soon host a Hoof Hearted brewpub.
Actual Brewing has made no secret that growth is part of its plan. Fred Lee has charmed the pants off of a number of investors and looted their pockets. In addition to increased production, Actual has designs on canning, and quite possibly a teleporter that will help Fred build a following as we colonize Mars.
Zauber has opted to invest in the home front in Grandview, securing partnerships that will add a coffee house and a permanent kitchen (Explorers Club) to the mix.
Zafting is in the process of ramping up to a larger system to increase its footprint in the market, and our other “nano” brewery, Sideswipe, has designs on a larger operation with some onsite perks.
Down on Fourth Street, Elevator is also pushing their system harder to meet increased demands, while Wolf’s Ridge is on the verge of a major production push.
In Gahanna, Pigskin is continuing to round out a larger portfolio of beers while pushing its system a bit harder.
The story is similar at Lineage, where the urge to grow is kept in check by a desire to perfect the fledgling lineup.
People have finally seemed to realize that Smokehouse Brewing and Barley’s are separate entities, and the parting of ways has been good for both. Smokehouse has dabbled in some interesting styles, notably releasing a refreshing gruit, while Barley’s continues to manage an impressive portfolio of hometown favorites. Lenny Kolada has made good on his promise to distribute Smokehouse beers to numerous locations around town, and Barely’s is in the process of nailing down a location for a full-scale production facility.
North High’s production brew house and its distribution partnership has given the brew-on-premise concept a competitive market share and room to grow beyond the confines of teaching people how to brew.
Formal announcements are forthcoming, but the word on the street is that business is good. Columbus has a robust craft beer scene with ambitious brewers who understand that quality and growth go hand inhand.