Take a Trek on the Licking County Brewery Trail, from Three Tigers to DankHouse

Here are eight beer and cider taprooms to explore in and around Granville and Newark.

Nicholas Dekker
Establishments on the Licking County Beer Trail are: 1) Granville Brewing Co., 2) Seek-No-Further Cidery, 3) Three Tigers Brewing Co., 4) The Lot Beer Co., 5) Homestead Beer Co., 6) Trek Brewing Co., 7) DankHouse Brewing Co., and 8) Stein Brewing Co.

Scenic Licking County is home to a growing number of craft breweries, all with distinctive personalities—from a Granville bar stuffed with arcade games to a “dank” Newark mainstay boasting an expansive backyard.

Granville Brewing Co.

For its first five years, Granville Brewing Co. operated as a production-only brewery, selling its bottled Belgian ales in local stores. Then in 2018, founders Ross Kirk and Jay Parsons, friends since high school, converted an old horse barn on Kirk’s Granville property into a public taproom.

Granville Brewing Co. taproom manager Echo Durant with a flight of beers

Granville Brewing sits on the crest of a small hill, with a patio and a covered front porch. The low-ceilinged interior is lit with strings of white lights; heavy wooden picnic tables fill the space. “The general vibe is the feel of going into a friend’s den or party barn with really great beer,” Kirk says. “A lot of random stuff on the walls. The music is very background. We have TVs but they are only on if there is something worth watching. It’s all about the people and the beer.”

While Granville Brewing has expanded its beer selection over the years, it still mainly focuses on Belgian-style brews. “They were the beers we liked to drink,” Kirk explains. “And with our original, one-barrel brewery, we didn’t have a lot of fermentation temperature control, and the Belgian yeasts are more forgiving to the higher temps.” Even now, they use those yeasts to brew pale ales and IPAs, as well. 5371 Columbus Road, Granville, 740-919-5495

Signature beers: Betrayer Belgian Tripel, Traveller Pale Ale

Grub: A changing selection of local food trucks provide barbecue, hot dogs, Nepalese fare and more.

Seek-No-Further Cidery

Trent Beers opened Seek-No Further-Cidery in a renovated barn in downtown Granville.

Trent Beers’ cidery epitomizes the small-town charm of Granville: a cozy, two-story white barn in the center of town with a small bar, upstairs gathering space and adorable patio. The cidery draws on both heirloom orchards from the Northeast and small Ohio farms to build their ciders, which lean toward dry and semi-dry styles. 126 E. Elm St., Granville

Signature ciders: Golden Road Dry Cider, Seeker Semi-Dry Cider

Grub: Granville’s Barn Owl Bakery pops up most Saturdays with cookies, scones, doughnuts and more.

Three Tigers Brewing Co.

Granville’s popular small-batch brewery and Mai Chau food truck have merged and grown into a community-favorite brewpub. Three Tigers’ new location, inside a former fire station, is an open space with a U-shaped bar, long tables and a view of the brewery behind glass walls. 133 N. Prospect St., Granville, 740-920-4680

Signature beers: Small Axe Pale Ale, Juice Bazooka New England IPA

Grub: Three Tigers’ kitchen (formerly the Mai Chau food truck) offers a mashup of Vietnamese-inspired fare (pho, steam buns) and American pub grub (burgers, fried cheese curds).

The Lot Beer Co.

When Three Tigers relocated across Prospect Street, the Lot Beer Co. quickly took up residence in the corner space. It’s a veritable playground for kids of all ages. Brightly colored menus list easy-to-love eats, the cocktails are simple but charming, and every square inch of space is jammed with classic arcade games, pinball machines, Skee-Ball chutes and even a Nintendo 64 deck. 140 N. Prospect St., Granville, 740-920-4444

Signature beers: Goldeneye Cream Ale, Never Say Die IPA

Grub: Everything kids like, such as tater tots, waffle fries, hot dogs and burgers.

Homestead Beer Co.

Starting out from a humble production brewery and taproom in Heath, Homestead has grown to four locations in Central Ohio, including a pub in nearby Newark. The original taproom in Heath still has its own charm, with a small corner bar, a patio with a firepit and tables in the brewery itself. 811 Irving Wick Drive W, Heath, 740-522-8018

Signature beers: Tenpenny Amber Ale, Galactic Heroes IPA

Grub: A rotating lineup of food trucks ranging from tacos to hot dogs to hibachi

Trek Brewing Co.

Utilizing the expansive digs of a former Damon’s restaurant, Trek Brewing owners John and Kristin Ream have created a family-friendly gathering place for the Licking County community. And while the name speaks of adventure, you’ll find nothing but comfort at Trek: a roster of easy-drinking beers, full pub menu, TVs, board games and a kids’ area. 1486 Granville Rd., Newark, 740-281-3394

Signature beers: Canteen Cream Ale, Scarlet Red Ale

Grub: Bar bites like pretzels and wings, burgers and chicken sandwiches

Owners Josh and Heather Lange at DankHouse Brewing Co. in Newark

DankHouse Brewing Co.

Josh and Heather Lange started DankHouse Brewing Co. in 2017 when they were looking for a new direction in life. “We had no idea about making beer or running a business,” Josh says. “My wife was a local schoolteacher; I was a cable tech for Time Warner for 10 years. We were tired of that grind.” The duo watched YouTube videos and began homebrewing in their garage before testing recipes on friends and family.

Once DankHouse opened, the brewery quickly grew busy enough that Heather quit her job six months later to run the taproom. “We’ve been a full-time, tag-team partnership ever since then,” Josh adds. “It has been a rather meteoric rise. It’s completely consuming in the best of ways.”

DankHouse offers guests more than 8 acres of what Josh calls a “backyard, laid-back atmosphere” to relax, drink beer, enjoy live music and savor a meal. In addition to the main taproom, the property includes expansive patios, a secondary outside bar and a nine-hole disc golf course. Beers are constantly rotating and run the gamut from pale ales and IPAs to stouts and fruit sours. DankHouse has earned recognition beyond Central Ohio. Hop Culture magazine named it as one of the country’s top 12 new breweries in 2018. This year, DankHouse scored a rare invitation to the Mikkeller Beer Celebration, taking place in Copenhagen in May. 161 Forry St., Newark, 740-915-6413

A flight of beers from  DankHouse Brewing Co. in Newark

Signature beer: Super Fantastic IPA

Grub: MNCHS food truck, operated onsite by husband-and-wife team Dallas and Lehne Runyon, satisfies cravings with street tacos, smash burgers, burritos and birria ramen.

Stein Brewing Co.

This downtown Newark taproom is an extension of a Mount Vernon brewery. All the drinks are self-serve, with guests pouring beers from the 36 taps (two of which are craft sodas). Stein fills about 15 of those taps, while the rest showcase mostly Ohio craft brews. 23 W. Church St., Newark, 740-348-5193

Signature beers: Sweep the Leg American Lager, Becca Kolsch

Grub: All your favorite pub grub, such as smash burgers, chicken sandwiches, sweet potato fries, even weekend brunch

This story is from the May 2023 issue of Columbus Monthly.