New brews: Columbus Microbrew Revival

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

It's a somewhat odd coincidence that this year five microbreweries either have opened or will be opening in Columbus. As craft brews have become more and more popular, starting up a microbrewery has not only become a viable business venture, but a hell of a lot of fun, too.

I had a great time reporting for this story, and not just because I got paid to try beer. The five new microbreweries are run by an assorted group - business types and academics, eccentrics and the downright hip. They all share a considerable love for beer and a desire to introduce their carefully crafted recipes to the city.

Each of these brewers also represents the different stages of a startup brewery venture. Four String Brewing Co. is offered at 50 locations throughout Central Ohio, while The Actual Brewing Co. is still in the process of getting licensed.

Zauber Brewing Co. and Hoof Hearted Brewing are using pilot systems - a smaller-scale brewing operation - with plans to expand. Seventh Son Brewing Co. is finalizing recipes while their multiuse space in Italian Village is under construction.

Joining the city's long-established microbreweries (Elevator Brewery, Columbus Brewing Co., Barley's Brewing Co.) and newer ones (Rockmill Brewery, Neil House Brewery), each of these newest five is expecting a whirlwind and beer-filled year.

With the number of locally based microbreweries about to almost double, you'd think there would be a sense of competitiveness among everyone, but that's not the case. Every fledgling brewery feels the market can sustain numerous breweries, because they all offer something unique. And you can never have too many beers.

The Actual Brewing Company >>