Columbus Beer Guide: Breweries worth the drive

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Liz Staas, co-owner of Staas Brewing Co.

Great beer isn't limited to the city proper. A short drive will have you sipping quality suds at any of these establishments.

Staas Brewing, Delaware

Liz and Donald Staas have mastered a variety of styles, mainly English and Belgian, so their beer roster should please any palate. Their pub is like the "Cheers" of Delaware. Locals grab a seat to sip Belgian quadruple, English special bitter and Spruce Ale brewed with locally harvested spruce tips.

Rockmill Brewery, Lancaster

Rockmill may earn the award for most beautiful brewery in Ohio. Among the rolling hills of Lancaster, the tasting room is situated on an old farm that provides the spring water for their organic Belgian brews. Stroll through the grounds to find the old grist mill or hang in the tasting room to enjoy live music. There's no food served on premises, but you're welcome to bring your own picnic.

Homestead Beer Co., Heath

The tasting room at Homestead's, well, home features a shiny wooden bar where you can sip four to five house brews on tap, sample from their bottled wares, fill growlers and enjoy eats from the food trucks that park there occasionally.

Buckeye Lake Brewery, Buckeye Lake

Located near the lake, Buckeye Lake Brewery-which remains open despite dam issues-offers plenty of outdoor seating at their taproom. It's the perfect location for sipping session beers like the Irish Red or the Blue Goose Cream Ale.

Weasel Boy Brewing, Zanesville

Weasel Boy sports a beautiful riverside location in Zanesville. Their taproom is the optimal spot to take in the scenery, taste house-made pizzas with beer-infused crusts and sip Plaid Ferret Scottish Ale or Dancing Ferret IPA.

Tapping Out

In 2012 Ohio eliminated the requirement that breweries have a license to sell directly to customers. This allows them to pour brews without providing food (i.e. building a restaurant). Multiple breweries have roped off corners of the brewery, tapped kegs and even invited food trucks to park out front.

• Actual Brewing

• Elevator Brewing

• Four String Brewing

• Seventh Son Brewing

• Sideswipe Brewing

• Wolf's Ridge Brewing

• Zaftig Brewing

• Zauber Brewing