COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Whether you prefer a good old-fashioned hops and barley type of beer, or you crave a pumpkin spice latte on tap, NBC4i.com readers told us which local brewery they prefer the most.
Choosing the ingredients for beer and combining them is an absolute science. Any novice who has tried brewing at home has learned making beer is not as easy as mixing everything together and 30 minutes later a beer appears.
“Beer is bread when you think about it. You’re taking barley and other types of grain and turning their sugars into alcohol,” said Justin Hemminger, who is the Deputy Director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “The explosion in the craft breweries has happened in the last 5-10 years.
4 to Know Breweries in Central Ohio
The breweries with the longest tenure in Central Ohio are the Columbus Brewing Company and Barley’s, which is having its 29th anniversary here soon.
The growth of the localized industry has centered around creativity and community. Breweries offer live music in the taproom that features local acts and draws people from the community connections. The bigger part of offering beer to people is getting them to return.
“Land Grant in Franklinton does great work in the community. There’s just so many ways breweries are trying to connect with people in the community to come and gather, share a pint together, and discuss the world around them and get to know each other,” said Hemminger. “What craft brewers are doing right now is pushing the envelope of what beer can be and what it should be considered.”
The part that attracts beer drinkers and nonbeer drinkers is the environment or the experience. Hemminger talked about our No. 3 brewery, Wooly Pig Farm Brewery.
“Wooly Pig is just a gorgeous out-of-the-way location. They are making great beer like everybody on your list. It’s out in Coshocton County, out in the middle of nowhere. You get there and it’s a working pig farm that has a world-class brewery. It’s really a one-of-a-kind experience and you’ll get that from a lot of the breweries around here.”
The one thing that stands out among all of the breweries is that none of them are the same. The beer, the food, the experience are all different.
“There’s a lot of diversity on that list as far as longevity, size of the brewery, and kinds of beers that they make,” said Hemminger. “That’s what you get from any of the 60 or so craft breweries in Central Ohio.”
To enjoy the hundreds of local breweries in Ohio, you can grab The Ohio Craft Brewers Association’s map of craft breweries around Central Ohio and the region. Plus download the group’s app and earn merchandise rewards as you visit different locations.