Columbus Ohio returns to its lager roots.
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Well, for starters, local stalwart Columbus Brewing, the resurrection of a brewery originally founded in 1830(!), has been delivering rock-solid beers since they emerged in 1988, led by the Gold Standard of Ohio Double/Imperial IPA, “Bodhi”, a pungent, crisp, palate-coating stunner that made me a tad weak in the knees…A brewery named for one my favorite adjectives ever? Yeah! Zaftig Brewing takes its name from the Yiddish-derived, Americanized word for a shapely, round-bodied woman and that’s exactly the aesthetic owners,brewers Jim Gokenbach and Brent Halsey have fiercely embraced: high-gravity, ass-kickin’ BIG beers, led by their spectacular Barleywine/DIPA monster, “Shadowed Mistress”, which can stand toe-to-toe with any American Strong Ale I’ve ever tasted…Smokehouse Brewing goes straight for the DIPA jugular with Double Dog Dare, a spectacular mouthful of citrus, flowers, resins galore, and iron-willed malt core…Barley’s Brewing should, if God is in His Heaven, make a killer Barleywine, wouldn’t ya think? And they do: the imaginatievly named “Barleywine!”, with a built-in exclamation point, both in print and in piehole. Titanic, rich, almost thick BW with flavors that explode on the tongue…Toss in Seventh Son Brewing, with one of America’s great Biere de Gardes, the very promising Zauber Brewing, North High Brewing with a Black IPA that would stack up strong even Out West. Four String Brewing, Sideswipe Brewing, Wolf’s Ridge, and the delightfully name-conscious Actual Brewing Company, with their towering Wheatwine, “Beau’s Eisenweizen Condensate”, and ya got a crazy-promising culture that’s only getting better, year by year, new brewery by new brewery.