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Summer is excellent for two things – tasting new beers and traveling to new places. Luckily for me, I got to do plenty of both when we visited Columbus, Ohio for a quick weekend getaway.
Matilda, being a jetsetter of a pug gets really excited when we travel somewhere new so she can tag along. We hadn’t been to Columbus before, but since Le Meridien The Joseph is a pet friendly hotel, we absolutely had to try it out.
The hotel was right next to a pet store, so you might have seen on my Instagram that Matilda got a bit spoiled during our trip. We got her a new Kong treat dispenser, a pink shark and a flamingo toy.
Along High Street in the Short North neighborhood you can find an array of adorable locally owned shops and restaurants – it really is a cute spot to stay at if you’re in Columbus. But alas, this is not a post about my adorable traveling pug, but of the awesome craft beer scene in Columbus!
On our first night, we enjoyed some local brews and some stupid-good sauerkraut balls at Barleys Brewing Company. Like, stupid-good. Columbus is proud of its local culture and its food and beers are an infusion of various ethnicities and influences. You are sure to find something delicious to sip on along the way. In Columbus, throw a stone and you’ll find something good to drink, I promise!
We took two tours with Columbus Brew Adventures to learn the ropes, and we got lots of really great beers from local breweries and got to learn the history of the area along the way. We picked up some local magazines and the guide to the Columbus Ale Trail to help lead the way for some delicious beer adventures of our own. No matter what, our goal was to sip our way through the city, and I’m happy to report, it was mission accomplished.
The Columbus Ale Trail consists of over 25 local breweries to help give you a fun and challenging variety of beers to try. Following the paper passport (known as a brew book), you can pick up at the local visitor’s office or most beer establishments, you can challenge yourself to try as many of the local spots that you can in a year. For those of us that are ready for the challenge , visiting 20 of the establishments earns you a really cool t-shirt. Now, that’s a challenge I can get behind!
For those of you who visit Columbus and love beer but aren’t quite sure you can tackle the tasty options by yourself, I highly recommend touring with the Columbus Brew Adventures. Our tour guide was a brand new father (congrats!) and did an excellent job of taking us from place to place for some of the best brews and pizzas in the city. We got to enjoy the Downtown Brewery Tour and the Pitchers & Pizza in the comfort of a beer touring van that took us from place to place, and also got us discounts at spots we wanted to revisit later.
Needless to say, it was delicious….
We must have tried 10 different breweries, but my favorite was The Seventh Son brewery. We got to sit in the brew room and enjoy flights of beer samples and learn about the process. Most of us that enjoy beer know it consist of barley, hops, yeast and water – but did you know the local water really does influence the taste of a brew, yet it’s the unsung hero ingredient of the beer? I didn’t either.
I also learned that on average, 111 microbrews are started a day. A DAY. While many beers follow the same formula and process, because of the many variables- like the sourcing of the hops or the roasting of the barley, you will never taste the exact same beer twice. An IPA in northern Oregon will not taste like an IPA in Columbus- so when you find something you really like, take note of it, you may not find that exact blend elsewhere. It really makes the beer drinking experience as unique as our own palates!
After all of that beer sampling and touring, you can also refresh at the Columbus North Market– which is an indoor market to pick up fresh produce, local fare and lunch to go. There’s also a beer area (of course), but you can sip on tea, soda or stop in for a cupcake too. Yummy!
There are a lot of reasons to love Columbus – the shopping, the mild summers and of course, the brews! You can seriously spend an entire week exploring the beer scene, though we only had a few days. If you’re looking for a getaway for the beer lover in your life, or are simply looking to develop your knowledge of beer and expand your palate, you’ll find Columbus offers a great value for your money and a fun experience! Happy sipping! Cheers!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LifeInCbus via RhythmOne. The opinions and text are all mine.