Brewer: Dan Cochran of Four String Brewing Co.

  • Photo by Alysia Burton
By Columbus Alive
From the February 23, 2012 edition

Dan Cochran got a space in May, started brewing in October and now has beers on tap at more than a dozen locations around Central Ohio. It’s a pretty quick turnaround for one guy, but he says he couldn’t have done it without his wife and Hemi, his greyhound that’s the “fastest dog in Grandview.”

When did you start brewing?

I’ve been an avid home brewer since 1994. We had Columbus Brewing Company and Hoster’s, but sitting in my apartment on North Campus there just wasn’t a ton of stuff we could buy. To regularly experience a lot of great beer styles, my roommate and I started home brewing. And why not? It’s fun.

And you use some unorthodox equipment here, correct?

It’s repurposed dairy equipment. I went to a few auctions and worked with a reseller of used commercial dairy equipment. I had a lot of modifications done, but I was able to save quite a bit of money that way.

Tell me about the beers.

The first is Brass Knuckle (5.75 percent ABV), an American pale ale. It’s somewhere between a hop-forward pale ale and a sessionable IPA — dry hopped, American ale yeast, all four types of American hops. It’s our bitter beer.

The other is called Backstage Blonde (5 percent ABV), a Belgian blonde ale that’s a little hop forward for the style but sessionable. It’s a little fruit forward and a little spicy, but not overwhelming.

Why did you choose these two styles?

A sessionable, hoppy beer can be hard to find. To drink just one or two of a big IPA wasn’t really satisfying to me. It can be challenging to get hoppy beer that’s not 7, 9 percent ABV. That’s what led me to the Brass Knuckle recipe.

It’s a similar story for the Belgian blonde. It’s drinkable, and you don’t see a lot of Columbus draft Belgian beer.

Any future plans?

I’d like to bottle in the next couple of years. There’s a new law starting March 22 that’s going to allow me to have retail sales in the taproom. We intend on doing that, but we don’t know how soon. I plan on coming out with a seasonal beer this summer.