If you're a craft beer connoisseur or perhaps even a microbrew neophyte, Columbus Brew Adventures was created with the beer lover who not only appreciates the taste of a finely crafted brew, but also wants to know the science, art, and also the face behind the beer.
Co-creators Bethia Woolf and Jim Ellison have already had a great deal of success in bringing the best of Columbus' culinary creations to us. Woolf, co-owner of Columbus Food Adventures and Ellison, ECDI’s Food Fort coordinator, have now directed their combined efforts and expertise to help Columbus get a personalized experience with some of our great city's microbreweries. Columbus Brew Adventures will begin tours in September and as of now, offer six different tour options that offer patrons a chance to experience different types of craft beers.
"It's beer, but every beer is a little bit different," said Ellison. "There are so many interesting things about each brewery and something to learn from all of them. You get to appreciate the owners and the history."
While both Woolf and Ellison want to give craft beer drinkers a taste of the beers brewed right in our lovely city, they believe the tours will offer something else as well. "If you go from place to place and try other people's beer, you develop a sense of community," said Ellison. "You get to see that and appreciate that and become connected to that business and will make an effort to find that beer."
Woolf adds, "It's (the tour) beneficial for everyone. Everybody wins. You get to meet the brewers and at the same time promote Columbus."
Columbus Brew Adventures is currently offering Saturday and Sunday tours, but Woolf said they may add Thursday and Friday tours as the company becomes more successful and more breweries are ready to become a part of the tour. The six tours offered now are the Downtown Brewery Tour, the Grandview Brewery Tour, Meet the Brewers Tour, Columbus Distilleries Tour, Southeast Ohio Tour, and a Licking County Brewery Tour.
The tours include the following stops:
- Downtown Brewery Tour: Columbus Brewing Company, North High Brewery, Seventh Son, Wolf's Ridge and Barley's.
- Grandview Brewery Tour: Barley's Smokehouse and Brewpub, Zauber Brewing Co., Four String Brewing, Pigskin Brewing Company, and ending at the Ohio Taproom.
- Columbus Distilleries Tour: Middle West Spirits, Watershed Distilleries, and Brother Drake Meadery.
- Southeast Ohio Brewery/Distillery Tour: Rockmill Brewery, Jackie O's Pub and Brewery, and Dancing Tree Distillery.
- Licking County Brewery Tour: Begin at Brews Cafe then onto Granville Brewing Company, Homestead Beer Company, and Buckeye Lake Brewery.
- Meet the Brewers Tour: The first tour, taking place on September 28th, will feature Fred Lee from The Actual Brewing Company and Angelo Signorino, one of Columbus' most versatile and experienced brewmasters and currently brewmaster for Barley's.
According to Woolf and Ellison, not all tours are designed with the same intentions in mind. While most of the tours offer a chance to taste different styles of beers and essentially whet your appetite, the Meet the Brewers tour is more technically focused and will give attendees an in-depth look at how craft beer is created, as well as give them a chance to pose questions to the brewmasters.
Woolf said so far the feedback about the tours has been very promising. "People are really excited about this. Brewery tours are becoming more popular and we're getting a great reception about doing private tours."
So how does this all work? Each tour will be able to take 14 people in an air-conditioned van. There will be a designated meeting spot and Ellison will drive everyone on to the next stop. The amount of tastings, time, and prices vary with each tour. One thing will remain the same throughout each tour, however. "Our goal is to create the best possible experience for everyone," said Ellison.
Private tours are also available and those can be tailored to the group to make it a slightly different experience. Whether you choose a private or non-private tour, these opportunities will allow craft beer fanatics a chance to dig a little deeper into the microbrew magic that goes on behind the scenes, as well as introduce you to beer styles you may not have tried before.
Columbus Brew Adventures is just getting started, but both Woolf and Ellison say the possibilities are endless and they are getting ideas and suggestions from people that are helping them develop different types of tours. As the microbrew community grows, more than likely so will the frequency of the tours, as well as the locations. Ultimately, Woolf and Ellison agree that the brewery and distillery tours will help an already tight-knit community become even more connected.
If you are interested in signing up for a tour or would like a private tour, visit Columbus Brew Adventures' website and discover the details of each tour. Tours begin this month and will be conducted year round.