Our city already has a number of reputable beer bars, but none quite like House Beer, the part taproom, part carryout, part bar that recently opened in the Short North.
The small, single-room spot is decked out in wood — from its shellacked log-like table tops to its walls adorned with lumber from an old barn that was once busted during Prohibition for making illegal hooch. More bars around town should feature remnants of formerly illegal distilleries, speakeasies, bathtub gin houses and the like.
Besides the Prohibition era accoutrements, there is a wall full of coolers featuring an excellent selection of between 160 and 200 bottles available in singles, bombers, six packs or mix-and-match sixers. The bar offers some even better beers on tap. House Beer is basically the PB&J combination for beer nerds. And that’s probably because the proprietors of House Beer are beer nerds themselves.
Two brothers, Patrick and Steve “Walt” Walter, along with their childhood friend Kurt Edwards, started House Beer after doing extensive research traveling all over the country. They took their favorite aspects (and beers) of their favorite places and put them to good use in their own spot.
The six taps are constantly rotating in new drafts. A couple of Stillwater Artisanal ales were on last week, and the Cellar Door wheat ale I tried was excellent. It was a refreshing beer with enough hoppiness to round out the citrus flavors, but the best part was the addition of white sage. It gave the Cellar Door a dry, zesty finish. Most drafts run between $5 and $8. Growler fills are $20-$25.
Being a carryout and bar means patrons can peruse the coolers and then sit down for sampling. It’s a way to try a couple different beers without having to buy a whole six-pack based solely on assumption you’ll like the beer. My guess is you’ll be leaving with a six-pack anyway, but at least you’ll know what you’re getting into. All six-packs are sold at state minimum.
House Beer is still finalizing its hours of operation, but they’ll stay open if they have customers.