Food News: Cincinnati's Rhinegeist Brewery plans Columbus expansion

Nicholas Dekker, Columbus Alive contributor

Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati just announced some major expansion plans, including added production capacity, private event space and a rooftop deck in its brewery. The expansion also includes formal distribution to Columbus, with draft and canned sales starting late spring or early summer. As part of this expansion into Columbus, the brewery hopes to finalize a lease shortly for a 17,000-square-foot space near downtown, where they will "build a massive refrigerator and host a fleet of colorful sprinter vans, along with a new 54-feet freight truck," in addition to hiring a more than 12 people for a sales and distribution team.

The newly renamed Mapfre Stadium, home of Columbus Crew SC, announced the addition of new local vendors for the season, including Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, Hot Chicken Takeover, Schmidt's Sausage Haus and local breweries like Land-Grant, Columbus Brewing, Elevator and Four String.

Lineage Brewing in Clintonville announced it's received its brewing license and plans to open its taproom at 2971 N. High St. in early April.

The coming of spring hearkens the arrival of food truck season. Hot Chicken Takeover launched its new food truck this past Saturday at Crew SC's season opener. Early Bird Food Truck re-opened for the season this week at 2141 Indianola Ave., selling coffee and beignet-style donuts. Por'Ketta food truck debuted last Saturday at The Ohio Taproom, serving porchetta sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. Por'Ketta will make appearances at Seventh Son and Staas Brewing in the coming weeks. And the new food cart Native Eats got its start at Seventh Son, serving breakfast entrees and burgers using Ohio ingredients.

Destination Donuts was announced as a permanent North Market vendor starting sometime in April. Heather Morris, the Destination Donuts owner, has been selling at the market as a pop-up for two years. Her new stall will take the place of the recently closed Pure Imagination Chocolatier.

Red Velvet Cafe is now open at 246 S. Fourth St. An extension of the Pickerington cafe, Red Velvet is serving tea, coffee (in a variety of serving styles), cupcakes, and Filipino-style paninis.

The gang behind Press Grill is taking over the old Graffiti Burger space at 1505 W. Fifth Ave. in Grandview.

The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern in New Albany re-opened this past Sunday, after being closed for remodeling.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast at breakfastwithnick.com and authored the guidebook "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus," with a second edition coming spring 2015. He leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures and brewery tours for Columbus Brew Adventures.