Beer Guide: BrewDog U.S. headquarters taking shape in Canal Winchester

Jim Fischer

When hyper-trending, Scotland-based craft brewer BrewDog announced last fall it was locating its new American headquarters in Central Ohio, it was, of course, big news on the development and craft beer fronts.

Construction on the 100,000-square-foot brewery plus visitor center/restaurant/tap room continues apace in Canal Winchester, with the first beer scheduled to arrive later this year.

BrewDog has also announced plans for a brewpub somewhere in East Franklinton, officially making Central Ohio the hub for the brewer's U.S. expansion.

Construction and other delays have pushed the hoped-for August opening back to October or November, and while Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union has created some financial chaos, the project is proceeding.

"The building now has four walls and a roof, and we are hoping to see the first brew roll off the production line in late 2016," BrewDog Co-founder James Watt said. "The 42-acre site will soon boast a kickass, 100,000-square-foot brewery."

Watt said the site will feature both a restaurant and a tap room, DogTap Columbus. In all, the facility will employ upwards of 100 people.

"We will be sending people from our Scotland-based crew over to exchange knowledge and expertise with new recruits at the sister brewery," Watt said.

Plans for the Franklinton brewpub are a little more nebulous, which is not to say BrewDog isn't committed to the neighborhood. "Plans for the brewpub are underway, and things are in the process of being finalized with the current owner of the epic venue we found," Watt said.

Best efforts to divine this location proved fruitless. "They've been pretty tight-lipped," said Land-Grant Brewing Company's Adam Benner.

Franklinton Board of Trade Executive Director Trent Smith said he is also in the dark on BrewDog's pending location.

"The Franklinton Board of Trade would love to see this happen, but as with all projects in Franklinton, it takes a lot of time," Smith said."We remain very optimistic. …We've talked with other businesses who are members of our organization, and the general consensus is pure optimism about what a BrewDog could bring to the table. The other 'beverage' establishments welcome the addition and don't see it as competition but complementary to what they offer."

"We're excited for them to be in Franklinton," Benner said. "It will be great for the neighborhood to have another location for folks to visit. We've had a lot of fun with everyone from BrewDog that has stopped by Land-Grant in their visits to the neighborhood."

"We love the booming craft scene in East Franklinton. It is one of the main reasons we chose to locate there," Watt said. "At BrewDog, we like to create strong friendships with anyone who contributes to the craft beer movement, and we want to do exactly that with our new American neighbors. We're psyched with the idea of joining forces in the future and collaborating on new brews to help us achieve our mission of getting awesome craft beer into the hands of as many people as possible."

Correction: The second mention of Benner incorrectly referenced Actual Brewing and was removed