Things are hopping in the southeast suburbs of Columbus. Three new craft breweries have recently opened their doors, not only changing the scene in Pickerington and Canal Winchester, but making the best of vacant land or former historic buildings. All three breweries have their own special character and appeal.
BrewDog , the first to open, is a large facility on Gender Rd. in Canal Winchester. It has a full-service restaurant as well as 16 taps at the DogTap; some are curated from other breweries, but eight are their own, house-made brews.
The first BrewDog in the USA and also its local headquarters, BrewDog offers a gift shop, shuffleboard, pin ball, an outdoor patio and even a bike path. It recently started its canning facility, so watch out for one of its four core brews in a store near you: Jet Black Heart, Punk IPA, Dead Pony Club and Elvis Juice. Tours of the facility are also available.
Combustion Brewing resides in the old Pickerington Creamery building. It offers select gourmet food, local musicians and a rotating schedule of food trucks. If you want Combustion beer, you might find it in a few regional establishments, but to be sure that you have some of their fresh crafts on hand, just grab your growler for a fill-up.
In an old electric power sub-station in the village of Canal Winchester, Loose Rail Brewing, like the other two establishments, offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Wednesday trivia night draws a lively crowd. A variety of food trucks visit, mostly on weekends and local musicians and other events make this an evening must-tast for visitors who walk along the business district. My visit on trivia night saw the place hopping with many teams filling the inside and outside patios.
What I enjoyed most about these distinct breweries is the variety of beers that they offered, the friendly service and the sense of community. All three of these fun breweries are easily accessible by foot, so they make an after-dinner walk ideal.
Like me, you should consider trying all three just to see which one is your favorite. Grab a friend or two, or even a growler, and go enjoy the outdoors on the patios, listen to music and get a real taste of the latest craft beers!