With a typically irreverent tagline BrewDog has broken ground on its first production facility outside the UK; a 100,000 sq ft brewery on 42 acres at Canal Winchester, Ohio. The facility will incorporate a visitor center, restaurant and taproom; and brewing should be under way by fall 2016…
This exciting development is of interest to Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer not only because of our current involvement with craft beer but also because Columbus is where we spent our first eight years together during the late 80s/early 90s. It’s where The Navy Son was born and where we still have many friends and relatives dotted around the I-270 outer-belt, including a cousin in Groveport literally a couple miles from the BrewDog site. Naturally we are very familiar with the area; our most recent visit to the Buckeye State was in 2013.
It was during that trip that we learned to our delight how much the craft beer scene in and around Columbus, much like America in general, has changed for the better. We encountered a vibrant craft beer scene in Columbus which now boasts several breweries and brewpubs.
According to the Ohio Craft Brewers Association the number of breweries in the state has more than doubled from 58 in 2012 to 130+ today. And a quick glance at the Ohio Brewery Map shows that more than 25 of these are in the Columbus area. While this number – in a metro area of 1.9 million people – may not have quite the same critical mass of a Beervana city like Seattle or Portland, trust me when I say this is a HUGE improvement compared to how it used to be.
So, not surprisingly, the famously maverick Scottish brewers are actively seeking a site in Columbus to locate their flagship BrewDog bar in America. According to their blog they are concentrating their search in the Franklinton, Victorian Village, Short North and Italian Village neighborhoods. Frankly I’m very pleased that BrewDog has people on the ground who know to look at neighborhoods outside the inner ring because within the downtown core, hemmed in by the ring of freeways, is not the place to be. Wherever it ends up, a BrewDog bar should go down really well there.