Discover Columbus’ Local Breweries: A Tour Through the Heart of Craft Beer and It’s History - Trolley Pub Columbus, OH (2024)

  • September 20, 2023

Columbus, Ohio, a city known for its vibrant Buckeyes spirit and Ohio State football fervor, has another hidden gem that’s been brewing under the radar: its burgeoning craft beer scene. If you’re planning a bachelor party, looking for unique city tour ideas, or simply want to support local businesses, then a brewery tour on a trolley pub is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Here, we’ll explore the history and importance of how craft beer started in the city and the current the standout breweries in the Short North and Downtown areas that you can visit while on a Pedal Bar Columbus Adventure.

Columbus’s brewing history is deeply rooted in its German heritage. In 1836, Louis Hoster opened the first beer brewery in Columbus, aptly named the City Brewery. This establishment marked the beginning of a brewing legacy in the city. Over the next few years, five more breweries were established, solidifying Columbus’s reputation as a brewing hub. The Brewery District, traditionally known as the Old German Brewing District, stands as a testament to the city’s rich brewing history.

Why Columbus is a Top City for Local Breweries:

  • German Heritage: The influx of German immigrants in the 19th century brought with them the art of brewing. Their expertise and passion for beer laid the foundation for the city’s brewing culture.
  • Innovation & Tradition: Columbus breweries strike a balance between honoring traditional brewing methods and embracing modern techniques. This blend of old and new has led to a diverse range of beers that cater to all palates.
  • Support for Local Businesses: The residents of Columbus have always shown immense support for local businesses. This community-driven approach has allowed small breweries to thrive and experiment with unique brews.
  • Events & Festivals: Columbus hosts numerous beer festivals and events, such as the Columbus Beerfest & Six One Pour, which celebrates Ohio’s craft beer scene. These events provide a platform for local breweries to showcase their creations and interact with a larger audience.
  • Collaborative Spirit: Breweries in Columbus often collaborate, sharing knowledge, resources, and even creating joint brews. This spirit of collaboration has fostered a sense of community among brewers and has led to the creation of some exceptional beers.

While visiting, don’t miss out on our following personal list of favorite breweries. And speaking of unique beer experiences, consider a stay at The Dog House: Brewdog’s Craft Beer Hotel in Canal Winchester. It’s not just a brewery—it’s the only hotel of its kind where you can immerse yourself in the brewing process overnight.

Hoof Hearted Brewing

  • Known for: Its quirky and fun approach to brewing, often experimenting with bold flavors and unique ingredients.
  • Specialties: Roller Blade, a double dry-hopped IPA, and Tub Life, a tart and refreshing saison.

Barley’s Brewing Company

  • Known for: Its pioneering role in the Columbus craft beer scene, offering a range of traditional ales and lagers.
  • Specialties: The Scottish Ale, a malty and smooth brew with a hint of smokiness, and the Blood Thirst Wheat, a refreshing wheat beer brewed with blood oranges.

Holy Trinity Brewing

  • Known for: Embracing the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium while adding a modern twist.
  • Specialties: Their range of Belgian-style ales, each crafted with a unique blend of ingredients and brewing techniques.

Seventh Son Brewing

  • Known for: Its innovative and diverse range of beers.
  • Specialties: The Scientist, an ever-evolving IPA where the ingredients change with each batch, and the Humulus Nimbus, a super pale ale that’s a favorite among locals.

BrewDog Short North

  • Known for: Being a part of the global BrewDog brand and its punk ethos.
  • Specialties: Elvis Juice, a grapefruit-infused American IPA, and Hazy Jane, a New England-style IPA. BrewDog is a haven for those who love bold and unconventional brews.

Jackie O’s on 4th Street

  • Known for: Its dedication to sustainability and producing unique, artisanal beers.
  • Specialties: Razz Wheat, a refreshing raspberry wheat ale, and Mystic Mama, a hoppy IPA with tropical notes. Jackie O’s is a testament to the creativity and passion of Ohio’s craft beer scene.

Whistle & Keg

  • Known for: Its self-serve taproom, allowing visitors to pour their own drinks.
  • Specialties: With a rotating selection of 50 taps, Whistle & Keg offers a diverse range of beers, from IPAs to stouts. It’s a place where you can truly explore and find your next favorite brew.

While our trolley bar tours are not able to visit the following locations, here are a couple of our highly recommended breweries outside of our party bike route limits.

Derive Brewing Company

  • Known for: Phenomenal IPAs and various collaborations with local breweries.
  • Specialties: Lost Leatherman, an award winning English Dark Mild, and Friends out West, a Double Dry-hopped California Style IPA brewed with a base of pilsner malts and copious amounts of malted spelt and flaked oats. Whether you’re a fan of light, refreshing brews or hoppy and hazy IPAs, Derive offers everything a craft beer enthusiast could dream of.
  • Derive is also an official partner of Trolley Pub and guests of ours receive 10% off their tabs with proof of booking.

Germut Bier Garden

  • Known for: Its cozy atmosphere and a diverse selection of beers inspired by German brewing traditions.
  • Specialties: Traditional German lagers and pilsners, offering a taste of Europe in the heart of Columbus.

Land-Grant Brewing Company

  • Known for: Its commitment to sustainability and community engagement, with a spacious taproom perfect for gatherings and a patio that hosts local concerts and outdoor games.
  • Specialties: Stiff-Arm IPA, a balanced and citrusy brew, and Greenskeeper, a light and crisp session ale.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

  • Known for: Its commitment to creating high-quality, flavorful craft beer.
  • Specialties: Clear Sky Daybreak, a cream ale with coffee and vanilla, and Dire Wolf, a robust imperial stout. Whether you’re a fan of light, refreshing brews or rich, dark ales, Wolf’s Ridge has something for every craft beer enthusiast along with a top tier restaurant offering fine dining cuisine.

Columbus Brewing Company

  • Known for: Its wide selection of craft beers, ranging from lagers to IPAs.
  • Specialties: Bodhi Double IPA, a pale golden beer that showcases a unique blend of hops, highlighting the true nature of Citra, and Steel Dawn Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, aged in bourbon barrels for 12 months and brewed with chocolate malts, roasted barley, and oats. The brewery offers a diverse menu from its stationary food truck, ensuring that good beer is always paired with good food.

Forbidden Root

  • Known for: Its innovative approach to brewing, inspired by elements found in nature, and its commitment to exploring the rich world of wild ingredients.
  • Specialties: Peach Wit, a botanical beer augmented with real peach purée and select botanicals like rose, chamomile, and jasmine. Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen, a wheat beer infused with strawberries and basil. Sparkling Rosé Ale, a Belgian-style tripel with the scent of Niagara grapes. Snoochie Boochies, a double IPA with aromas of white fruit and pineapple. Ohio High, a citrus-forward Pale Ale brewed with all Ohio grown malt and hops.

Columbus’s brewing scene is a blend of history, innovation, and community spirit. Whether you’re pedaling through the streets on a pedal wagon or exploring the city’s historic districts, these local breweries offer a taste of the city’s rich heritage and its modern, vibrant culture and are among the best breweries in Columbus, Ohio.

Note: Always drink responsibly and ensure you have a designated driver or transportation arranged after your brewery tour.

Discover Columbus’ Local Breweries: A Tour Through the Heart of Craft Beer and It’s History - Trolley Pub Columbus, OH (2024)
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