"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" -Ben Franklin
The locavore movement has everybody buzzing about homegrown food, but don't forget about the wonders of homegrown brews.
Microbreweries, brewpubs and craft breweries have a firm foothold in the beer industry, with over 1,500 in the U.S. Columbus has its own collection of local breweries, including the high-end craft brewery Elevator Brewing Co.
Anyone who's sampled the beer at Elevator's Downtown bar and restaurant knows you'll find an assortment of fantastic frothy-tops with intense flavors.
From the Bear Ass Pale Ale to the award-winning Dark Horse Lager, which earned a bronze medal in the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, each of their 10 staple drafts and a monthly special is crafted with precision from the recipes of veteran brewmaster Vic Schiltz. (His 19 years of experience include six at Elevator.)
For years, Elevator brewed their refreshing wares in Marysville, but owner and operator Dick Stevens wanted to move operations closer to the Downtown Draught Haus. So at the end of 2007, the brewery was moved into a 100-year-old building on Fourth Street.
After a yearlong relocation process - not everything could be moved at once, otherwise beer production would've halted - Stevens met his timeline of brewing exclusively at the new location by the end of 2008. The first batch began on Dec. 31.
Now, instead of kegs being trucked from 30 miles outside the city, they travel only a few blocks. In a pinch you might even catch Elevator staffers wheeling kegs down Spring Street by handcart.
The brewing process is an exact science, but it's the little details that separate the craft masters from the billion-barrel barons. The following pages will look at how Stevens, Schiltz and Elevator Brewing Co. create their bevy of brews.
Sorry, you won't find any trade secrets here, but if you're interested in experiencing the process firsthand, Elevator will begin offering public tours in September.