New watering hole debuts in Grandview

A new beer- and bourbon-centric watering hole opened at the end of March. Located at 1380 W. Third Ave. in Grandview Heights, Barrel & Taps is owned by Carlos Domingo and Erik Niceswanger. The two met through mutual friends three years ago. Domingo is close friends with the owner of the Barrel & Taps building, Niceswanger said, so the two began discussing possibilities of opening a business in the space in 2017.

“We got together, did a lot of research, talked to a lot of people,” Niceswanger said. “We asked what [the neighborhood] needed. With all of our discussion, we thought the community wanted a new gathering place. We came up with the concept of Barrel and Taps.”

Niceswanger also owns HopAlong Farm in Howard, Ohio, where he produces hops for local brewers. He's collaborated with Columbus Brewing Company and Grove City Brewing Company in the past, although now he sells all of his hops to Homestead Beer Company in Heath.

Barrel & Taps offers 40 to 60 bourbons on the shelf at any given time. Niceswanger said the bar will always have a private bourbon barrel that has been bottled just for them by a Kentucky distillery. Barrel & Taps also produces its own house-made bourbon cream using Old Grand-Dad bourbon.

The bar also features cocktails, which are mostly bourbon-based but include selections of vodka- and gin-based drinks. Current cocktails of the month include a Flaming Old Fashioned, where the orange peel is torched before serving, and a Manhattan featuring bourbon infused with Stauf's coffee.

As for the beer, Barrel & Taps offers a rotating selection of 16 brews on draft. There's no set theme to the draft list; Niceswanger said it will include local and regional selections, as well as the occasional macro lager. “We have some local beers,” he said, “but the neighborhood also wanted a Bud Light. It's a community gathering place. It's something for everyone. We have a lot of knowledge of the beer world, but the local community will dictate what's on draft.”

The bar is currently open Wednesdays through Sundays, with happy hour offerings weekdays from 3-7 p.m. (Niceswanger said the goal is to expand hours soon.) He's also at work on a patio, and is planning special events like a Kentucky Derby party.