Home  +   About  +   Races + Recaps  +   50 States  +   DIY  +   Books

Friday, May 06, 2016

Top Five Breweries in Ohio (According to Me)

Hello! I'm back with another Friday Five linkup with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia. This week, I'm staying on theme (food and drink) to bring you my Favorite Breweries in Ohio.

I have to preface this by saying Ohio has an insane number of breweries. While some have the omnipresent industrial lighting/reclaimed wood thing down to a science, their beers are a mess of hops trying to cover a failed attempt at a drinkable beer. I may not have the fanciest palette or rate drinks on Beer Advocate or Untappd, but I have solid favorites in Ohio. In no particular order...

Rhinegeist, Cincinnati 
Columbus started getting Rhinegeist cans and drafts a few years ago. Their label design is clean and simple, which immediately appealed to me. They had a few standard brews like Panther (Porter) and Franz (Oktoberfest), but it was Peach Dodo (Gose) and the Cidergeist that really won me over. On top of the tasty varieties and clean branding, we visited the brewery last year and it's amazing (see photo at top). The old factory space has a fantastic atmosphere with plenty of seating and games.

Some special bottle releases from Jackie O's

Jackie O's, Athens
Jackie O's Athens roots put them in the heart of the beautiful Ohio University campus. A few years ago they started canning their popular styles and my office was hooked. Eventually, they began to bottle super special brews like Bourbon Barrel Oil of Aphrodite (Stout) and Dark Apparition (rich beer with chocolate and coffee) in collectable batches. Their bottle releases go quickly, but luckily my boss is a big fan and gets his hands on all sorts of goodies. I've had a least a dozen (maybe two dozen?) different styles from Jackie O's and they never disappoint. Their taproom and brewpub are both worth a visit if you're in Athens. This is my favorite non-Columbus brewery.

Some HHB can and bottle releases in the past year

Hoof Hearted Brewing, Marengo and Columbus (2 locations)
Okay first, say the name out loud. Ha. (The first time we tried HHB was at a North Market Microbrew Fest and I didn't get the name until I said it out loud.) I have a special place in my heart for Hoof Hearted because I got to re-skin an arcade cabinet for a beer collaboration between my boss and HHB (Konkey Dong. See cabinet here.) Besides, their beers are fantastic. They have some of the most exciting styles, ridiculous names, and their artwork is bananas. They recently opened a Columbus restaurant/taproom, but it's a bit too sterile for my taste (not enough silly art). Luckily, their beers make up for it. Some of my recent favorites: Rosé Gosé, Koffury, Saizzurp, and of course, Konkey Dong.

Love the bottle art on the Dire Wolf
Wolf's Ridge, Columbus
First off, Wolf's Ridge is the kind of classy place you bring out of town friends. (Or at least I do.) We got a beer flight on our first visit and I remember thinking the beers tasted very fresh and clean, but nothing stood out. Flash forward a year later to the opening of their taproom when a co-worker got us a personal tour with the (newer) brewer. It was night and day. The beers were still fresh and clean, but now they were memorable. They have some standards like Clear Sky (cream ale), but the standout for me is the Dire Wolf (Russian Imperial stout) and it's myriad of combinations. My favorite so far? Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus. They have a good thing going and I hope they keep pushing the boundaries without losing quality. 

Zauber flight, the bar, and more beer

Zauber Brewing, Columbus
Alex and I started visiting Zauber when they were a teeny tiny growler fill manned by the owner. I was pretty pumped when they opened a full-sized bar and even more excited when they added food and a coffee shop. My co-workers and I go to Zauber about twice a month for lunch. While the food is tasty, I'm in it for the beer. I love German and Belgian beers and their selection is A+. If you love a wheaty hefeweizen you cannot miss with Vertigo. They also do small batches of new styles and combinations. I don't mind spending big beer $ on their small brews. Sometimes I feel a bit boring saying Zauber is my local favorite because it's right around the corner, but they don't make crappy beers. They nail it every time and I'm never disappointed.

Ohioans: Do you agree? Do you have a favorite?
Non-Ohioans: What is your favorite brewery? Winery? Or whatever! 


  1. I prefer wine when I go out so I like wineries. However if I do go to a brewery I like trying different craft beers. So much better than just your average bud light.

    1. I agree - craft beers are much better! I prefer drinking wine at home or with dinner. Many Ohio wineries are about three hours away so I don't get to visit as often. Maybe I'll do a winery post next month to encourage myself to try something new! ;)

  2. I have family in Dayton so it's cool to read about Ohio. I try and visit every year--I'll keep these in mind when I go!!

    1. I need to explore more breweries in that area! The closest I've been is Yellow Springs Brewery, which is a cool place to visit.

  3. I'm not familiar with any Ohio breweries (but it was interesting to read about your top picks!) but there are many in Wisconsin. One of my favorite events ever is a beer tasting event that takes place at the Milwaukee Public Museum. You get to walk through all the exhibits and local breweries have tables set up throughout for sampling. It's so much fun and you get to try so many beers you might not otherwise taste!

    As far as actual breweries go, in Milwaukee I like Lakefront Brewery and Sprecher Brewery!

    1. That event sounds perfect. I did one in Pittsburgh that was similar - we got to walk around a library and sample different food and drink. Very cool.

      I will have to remember those breweries if I'm in Milwaukee. Thank you for the recommendations! :)


I read and respond to each comment (either here or I will visit your blog.) Thank you for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...