Where can you drink Columbus beer and meet the makers? Here's what you need to know, from Actual to Zauber

Actual Brewing Co.

Actual Brewing Co.'s warehouse space near the Port Columbus airport may look more like a mad scientist's laboratory than a brewery, but that's the most appropriate setting for enjoying their beers. The informal taproom is open Friday evenings, letting customers sample their beer straight from the tower while taking in the brewing facility, the yeast lab and the coffee-roasting corner. Warm into spring with their dark and balanced Fat Julian imperial stout.

Barley's Brewing Co. Ale House No. 1

Barley's provides the quintessential brewpub experience, pairing pub classics, like wings and burgers, with house-brewed ales. Spring at Barley's welcomes an Irish Rogue and an Oatmeal Stout for St. Patrick's Day. Late May brings their annual homebrew competition; they'll tap last year's winner, the Two Tones IPA, "an Imperial IPA brewed by two guys named Anthony," head brewer Angelo Signorino says.

Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus

Elevator is housed in a century-old Downtown restaurant, complete with tile floors, the longest wooden bar in Columbus and marble columns. The setting is perfect for dinners of fish and chips or surf and turf. By contrast, their 13th Floor Tap Room three blocks away is about as informal as it gets. Customers sit on padded kegs and drink at a re-purposed conference table held up by barrels. The taproom is open Saturdays and serves 12 brews on tap, including the Heifer-weizen, an unfiltered German wheat beer rich with banana and clove aromas.

Four String Brewing Co.

Four String's rock 'n' roll-themed taproom takes up 400 square feet at the back of the brewery. Customers stroll through the brewery itself to sip pints and flights of their knockout pales, porters and IPAs. Look for the Suncaster Summer Wheat in April, an American wheat boasting tropical fruit aromas and a dry finish.

North High Brewing

North High's combined taproom and brew-on-premises store houses some serious history. Decorations include window blinds and tap handles made from Ohio Stadium benches, old windows from OSU's now-demolished Brown Hall and a wall of post office boxes from a New Orleans station destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. This gives visitors plenty to take in while enjoying a Multicle, a malty maple brown ale.

Seventh Son Brewing Co.

On the right days, the warm and welcoming scent of a wood fire draws you into Seventh Son's Italian Village brewery. Renovations have turned their building, a former tire garage, into a busy weekend hangout for beer aficionados. The space includes long tables, an enclosed beer garden out back and benches surrounding an outdoor fire pit. Try their dark and dry-hopped Lost Sparrow Black IPA while enjoying a meal from regularly rotating food trucks parked out front, like Challah or Dos Hermanos.

Staas Brewing Co.

At Staas Brewing, you can gaze over the long walnut bar at the tall tap handles while deciding which house brew to try. Cozy up in the downtown Delaware taproom and sample their Spruce Ale, a late spring special brewed with piney hops and spruce tips harvested by Liz and Donald Staas.

Zauber Brewing Co.

In their new Fifth Avenue brewery and taproom, Zauber delivers German-style beer and a German-style drinking experience, complete with communal beer hall tables. Refresh yourself with their Kitschy Kolsch, a pale yellow ale fronted by fruity and flowery notes. Sip it while enjoying a meal from one of the food trucks parked out front at both lunch and dinner times.