On Tap: The year in Columbus beer

Nicholas Dekker
A beer flight at Somewhere in Particular

From sours to the suburbs, plenty of openings and a couple of closings — the only constant in Columbus brewing is change.

The Taps Are Flowing

New breweries opening around Central Ohio remained a recurring theme this year. First off,Random Precision Brewingopened on St. Patrick's Day. Housed in a renovated carpet store in Linworth, Random Precision is the city's second brewery dedicated exclusively to sour beers. Owners Jason and Andrea Grable opened with a selection of two sours: a Brett IPA and two versions of a Berliner weiss. Later in the year, Grable hosted a grand opening to coincide with the release of his full range of sours.

On the city's Northwest Side,Somewhere in Particular Brewing took shape in a brewery and taproom behind the historic Henderson House. The brewery adapts its name from brewer Pat Sullivan's nomadic Nowhere in Particular Brewing, which will continue to operate as a gypsy brewer.

Lewis Center gained its first brewery with the November opening ofOlentangy River Brewing Co. The busy opening night featured a portfolio of 10 beers on tap, from the Sofia Ohiorrican IPA to the I Can't Feel My Pants Russian imperial stout. The brewery shares its taproom with Roosevelt Coffeehouse, which operates full coffee service beginning early each morning.

Finally, Seventh Son's much-anticipated sister brewery,Antiques on High, opened in late November along a growing stretch of South High Street. Focused around sour beers and cocktails crafted by Travis Owens (most recently of Curio), AoH features a comfortable first-level bar, front and back patios and an open second floor.

Closing Time

But the growth of Columbus brewing isn't completely unchecked. In 2017, Zauber Brewing closed its doors, replaced by Endeavor Brewing. The biggest and most surprising news of the year was the abrupt October closure ofFour String Brewing. The city's second-largest brewery in terms of capacity, Four String notified vendors of its imminent closing just weeks before planned seventh-anniversary celebrations.

In November, Gahanna'sPigskin Brewing shared it would close at the end of 2018, while Nelsonville's Multiple Brewing announced it would take ownership of the brewpub and rebrand asNostalgia Brewing, to renovate and re-open in the New Year.

Making the Move

In August,Ill Mannered Brewing in Powell made a major upgrade by moving to a new standalone brewery and taproom. The expanded facilities include a patio and space for food trucks. The brewer retained its old storefront for storage and a potential private event space.

Coming Soon

As usual, more beer is on the horizon. As of this writing, Powell's second brewery,Nocterra Brewing, is busy building out its taproom and brewing its first batches of beer. Meanwhile,Actual Brewing's Clintonville brewery and taproom is still on the way.