Round-Up: Five central Ohio taprooms to seek out

Nicholas Dekker, Columbus Alive contributor

Back in 2012, Ohio eliminated the requirement for breweries to have an A-1-A license to sell directly to customers. This was a big deal for our state's burgeoning beer scene, because the breweries saved nearly $4000 in license fees annually, and they were no longer required to serve food (which in the past meant building out a kitchen).

After the change in laws, many breweries quickly roped off corners of their breweries, set out some tables and chairs, tapped kegs and invited in customers. The end result has been more engagement between customers and new breweries. Beer-makers can share new brews, while beer fans have more spots to drink.

With Kindred Artisan Ales launching their taproom this weekend, we decided to highlight five more taprooms worth checking out.


545 Schrock Rd., Worthington

Zaftig's taproom is in the process of growing up. It started as a collection of folding tables and couches in one corner of the brew space, and, while it's still rustic, they've supplemented with more seating and expanded beer offerings. Currently, you can enjoy their push-the-Ohio-ABV-limit brews on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Be prepared: they're building out a new brewery and taproom right around the corner on Huntley Rd.

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2419 Scioto Harper Dr., West Side

Like Zaftig, Sideswipe's taproom started out as rustic but has been more handsomely furnished over time. There's now a full bar, plentiful seating and occasional food trucks or food events (like a recent dinner with 1803 Bacon). Find five or six of owner Craig O'Herron's beers on tap at any given time. O'Herron recently expanded taproom hours to Thursday from 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5-10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

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655 N. James Rd., North Side

Actual Brewing's taproom is a much-loved hangout. There's beer. There are video games (both old-school systems and arcade games). And they often host events like concerts and comedy nights. From this facility, it brews beer and cultivates yeast with "tender loving science." You can join the fun Wednesday through Friday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 2-9 p.m. or Sunday from 2-7 p.m.

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Ill Mannered

30 Grace Dr., Powell

Created by four friends, Ill Mannered joined the central Ohio brewing scene late last year, filling the niche for a craft brewery in Powell. The storefront is next door to Mojo Tago, and includes a seating area decorated with repurposed wood and overlooking the three-barrel brewing system. It's open from 5-10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 3-10 p.m. Saturday.

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Wolf's Ridge

214 N. Fourth St., Downtown

WRB benefited from being a full-blown brewery and restaurant before they added the taproom. Located at the back of the building, the taproom allows guests to sip beers without having to make a reservation. The space rotates through about 20 taps of Wolf's Ridge beer, and a limited snack menu is available. The brewery also uses the taproom (which is open every evening except Monday, and opens midday Saturday and Sunday) to host special beer tastings, like their regular pairings with One Line Coffee.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast and leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures.