Discriminating ale-swallowing and lager-lapping Columbusites are lucky to have a half-dozen industrious microbrewery establishments within our city's confines.

In How To Cook a Wolf, the great M.F.K. Fisher wrote, "One infallible way to know the country is at war is to read of the increased activity of militant prohibitionists. Another fairly good way is to read statistics about the rise in pub crawling."

Well, from where I'm sitting (and, yes, that's often a dark and glass-littered spot), I'd say the war is definitely on.

But at least we needn't fight amongst ourselves. In other words, there's plenty of brewpub beer for all of us. Because discriminating ale-swallowing and lager-lapping Columbusites are lucky to have a half-dozen industrious microbrewery establishments within our city's confines.

And to think, those hard-working hoppers courageously spread their malty love in the hard-staring face of very heavy competition - I mean, we're one hell of a huge "King of Macrobrews"-producing community, too, aren't we?

My assignment: to report on the six brave locally situated microbreweries who could. To this end, over the course of several beery and bleary and blessed days, I rustled up a few enablers, er, I mean designated drivers (who've subsequently shown me barely legible signed documents wherein I pledge never to sing in their presence again), and I thus hit the pubs.

When all the haze settled, I discovered that while some of these accommodating taverns operate on a totally local basis - some not so local - in general, their suds, snacks and style made them all well worth a visit. Only try keeping a kibosh on the fighting, and ixnay on the ingingsay. Cheers!