It’s not as if this town has been lacking when it comes to delicious pizza with a side of great cocktails (looking at you, Curio, and Harvest), but I have to say that Christina Basham is doing the lord’s work at Brooklyn export Paulie Gee’s, and the autobiographically titled Columbus By Way of Brooklyn cocktail is all the proof you need. It’s been covered before, but this beautiful combo of OYO Dark Pumpernickel Rye, Amaro Lucano, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Luxardo, and Bittermen’s Hopped Grapefruit bitters, is a damn revelation, and deserves a second and third round of praise and worship. Perfectly balanced with the rye up front, and a host of flavors playing supporting roles, this cocktail is the blueprint for how to create a complex yet approachable whiskey cocktail. If you aren’t feeling the whiskey drinks, check out Paullie’s Epoch, a mix of Watershed Vodka, house made black grape shrub, Bittermen’s Orchard Shrub, rosemary, and some bubbles to top it off. I could tell you that the slightly savory and sour components of the vinegar-laden black grape shrub pair perfectly with the rosemary, or that the sparkling brut makes this already refreshing cocktail a springtime dream, but I think the fact that I just suggested a vodka cocktail (*gasp*) says enough. “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge at the bar at Paulie Gee’s” — Psalm 34:8 (or something like that).
If you’re surprised by the sheer number of “barcades” popping up in Columbus, you’re not alone. There seems to be a new one every week, and yet somehow the line for NBA jam at 16-Bit never gets any shorter. The drink and video game combo is clearly more than just novelty at this point, but there may come a time when we reach peak barcade. Luckily that time is not now, because Barley’s has recently opened up their second floor to create Columbus’s first brewery/arcade, and that’s exciting for everyone—unless you hate beer brewed on site, and video games, in which case you might also hate fun, and I might also hate you. The appropriately titled Brewcadia features 40 taps total with seven of them featuring beer brewed downstairs, and all the classic arcade games, pinball machines, and Skee-ball (!!!) your heart desires. This spring, I would imagine my heart desiring a fiercely competitive, no holds barred, Blood Thirst Wheat-fueled, Skee-ball tournament. There will be blood.
Oh Rhinegeist, you know the way to my heart. As if the late-March release of the Pete Rose-themed, Hustle rye pale ale wasn’t enough, this month you’re releasing what is sure to be my go-to beer as the temperature begins to rise, and my thirst for gose rises with it. Previously only available on draft, Rhinegeist is releasing their Peach Dodo gose sour with peaches in cans this year, much to the joy of a certain drinks writer who doesn’t like to be forced to put on pants and go to the bar for a taste of the slightly sweet, slightly sour, and ever so slightly salty dream in a glass that is Peach Dodo. Gose is style of beer that was pretty much extinct (get it…dodo?) for a long time, but has been growing in popularity for a few years now. For the uninitiated, it can be a slightly jarring style, owing to it’s more mouth-puckering qualities, and the addition of sea salt to the brew. Luckily, the subtle peach flavor of Rhinegeist Peach Dodo rounds everything out with a bit of sweetness to create a refreshing 4.4 perfect ABV patio beer that even the most annoying beer nerds will approve of. Plus the peachy pink bar on the can is just plain adorable.
When Blind Lady Tavern opened last year, they made short work of transforming the former Jury Room/1831 Tavern/Balls space, into one of the city’s best spots for cocktails, and with the addition of their delicious can’t-pick-a-bad-item-on-the-menu Southern-inspired cuisine a few months later, you might have thought that the transformation was complete. You would be wrong. This month, they’ll be starting brunch service, and with brunch food comes brunch cocktails. According to owner Seth Laufman drinks will be “Classic boozy brunch stuff. Home made bloodys, mimosas, beermosas/brass monkeys, red and white sangria by the glass or carafe, micheladas and a few brunchy beer cocktails/shandies.” The team at Blind Lady hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I’m just gonna clear my Saturday and Sunday schedule now to make room for day drinking downtown with the lady of justice.