Q&A: Bodega's Collin Castore

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Columbus flocks to Bodega to sample top-quality bottles, drafts and vino. Soon co-owner Collin Castore will help customers enjoy these fine things at home with The Barrel and Bottle, a new beer and wine shop set to open in mid-November in the North Market. He shared more about beer, business and how he learned to make his famous grilled cheese.

I'm originally from West Lafayette, Indiana. It's a small, Midwest college town - like Campus if there was Ohio State and nothing else. I came to Columbus when I was 14, in eighth grade. My dad was going from teaching to practicing psychology, and he had an internship at Ohio State.

The first beer I ever drank was probably a really bad beer when I was visiting my brother at Purdue University. He went to school there after we moved to Columbus. It was probably along the lines of Bud Light or Natty Light.

The first time I had really good beer was when I was seeing Grateful Dead shows. During summers, I would sell grilled cheese sandwiches in the parking lot. There was a lot of good beer like Sierra Nevada and Samuel Smith running around Dead shows.

My favorite beer is the 07-07-07 Stone Brewing Vertical Epic. It's a San Diego-style Belgian strong golden ale that is a perfect example of American craft-brewing ingenuity tempered by Old World or traditional recipes.

Three things I can't live without are my to-do list, my glasses and my car keys.

No matter how big my to-do list is, I find that I complete 75 percent of it. I always like to keep it pretty lengthy. When you open a business, it's hard to make that jump from just talking about it to actually doing it. You have to have just a little hardheadedness - a refusal to accept defeat.

The Barrel and Bottle will offer 250 beers and 150 wines. One thing we want to do is to make things comfortable for people. Of the shops that I really like what they're doing, they break things down to a manageable level, so people aren't intimidated.

With the new shop, it will be nice to slow down sometimes from the pace of Bodega. I don't always get to talk to people as much as I want to. It's a great opportunity. Everybody loves the North Market.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.

Collin Castore

Age: 33

Neighborhood: Victorian Village

Hometown: West Lafayette, Indiana

Web: columbusbodega.com

Last Words

Last movie you watched: "The Land Before Time" with my son

Last great meal you ate: Carryout from Basi Italia

Last great beer you drank: Founders Porter

Last song you listened to: "Marathon" by Tennis on Sirius

Last thing you bought: Spray paint for testing colors