Wednesday, March 19, 2014

North High Brewing

Photos by OHventures

1288 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
Homemade beer is becoming more and more popular these days, with a growing number of people setting up at-home basement kitchens and makeshift microbreweries  to concoct their very own sudsy beer. But, to do it right, that requires a great deal of expensive equipment that some people might not be comfortable purchasing. Thankfully, if you want to become a brewmaster for a day, your wish can come true at North High Brewing, a brand spanking new brewery located smack dab in the middle of the bustling Short North neighborhood of Columbus!

We are living in a day of age where the "me" mentality reigns supreme - everyone wants everything personalized and hands on. Creativity and customization are sought after in every aspect of life. And we at OHventures are no strangers to this. We love giving things our own signature stamp of approval! So why shouldn't that apply to our favorite things - like BEER? At North High Brewing, this is all possible!

With North High Brewing's Owner, Gavin Meyers

OHventures had its first encounter with North High Brewing as part of the Columbus Brew Adventures Downtown Brewery Tour last fall. Here, we met owner Gavin Meyers, whose personality is larger than life and his passion for what he does certainly shines whenever he talks. Gavin told us over a large crowd gathered in the bar (a regular sight at North High Brewing) about the recent renovations that went into creating the brewery. He explained every intricacy found within the bar - from the stools, to the window sills, to the table tops. All of the parts and pieces of the bar have a cool background story that is half the fun of visiting. 

The star of the show is of course the beer itself, so we took the opportunity to taste-test about 4 different beers on this trip. My favorite was the  was the rich, dark chocolate milk stout that reminded me a lot of coffee. It was mighty tasty, and left quite an impression (in more ways than one - it is 6% alcohol after all).

Recently, OHventures made a special return visit to North High Brewing to have a more intimate and one-on-one experience with Gavin, and so we could taste test TEN of the beers that are brewed special at NHB! Some of the highlights from our tasting experience were as follows (descriptions taken from the official site):

  • Filthy McNasty - Russian Imperial Stout - ABV 8.1% :: IBUs 50: A beer of pure decadence and excess. While this style was originally brewed by a London brewer for export to the queen of Russia, this beer isn't going anywhere. Sit down and let it warm up. Enjoy notes of coffee, chocolate, sweet malt and boozy warmth. A nice hop balance and presence makes this a beer to savor.
  • Brown Ale - ABV 4.8% :: IBUs 24: This Northern English Ale is sweet, biscuity and full bodied. The color is a direct reflection of the style and the low ABV makes this a great game day beer.
  • Wee Heavy Ale - ABV 8.0% :: IBUs 25: Sing it with me now: I love scotch! Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down. Down into my belly.. With a prominent amount of honey, this beer is boozy, smokey, caramelly and delicious.
  • Double IPA - ABV 7.3% :: IBUs 115: A bit sweeter than your average double. This has a bit of residual sugars from the malt. Generous hop additions clear your palate and leave you with a citrus hop bitterness. A double IPA that can be enjoyed by all. 
  • Oldford - Porter - ABV 6.8% :: IBUs 37: Deep and roasty, silky and smooth. This porter brewed with molasses will leave dark beer drinkers wanting nothing more.
  • Pale Ale - ABV 5.5% :: IBUs 46: Light in color but not in hop presence. The citrusy sweet hop presence makes this beer a gateway to the world of hops.
Drinking a slew of beers from North High Brewing

For those wondering, I did not finish all of these samples alone - I had help from my trusty sidekicks Matt and Jess (the same folks who went paddleboarding with me last summer). We were all rather satisfied by pretty much all of the beers here at North High Brewing and couldn't wait to learn more about how we could make our very own!

Making our own beer on site is high on our Buckeye Bucket List - and it seems like a ton of people had the same idea. In the back room, behind the bar, dozens of brewmasters in training were circled around copper vats, creating their beer by hand, with what looked like pretty in-depth step-by-step instructions. Because of how popular the brewing opportunity is here at North High Brewing, Matt, Jess, and I were not able to get our hands dirty that evening. Like all people interested in brewing beer, we had to schedule in advance so that we could reserve one of the kettles! That said, we will be reporting step-by-step later on this Spring when we have our turn!

If you are also interested in scheduling a brewing experience, visit the North High Brewing Calendar to find an open slot. 

To address some of the basics on the process: your brewing experience will yield around 15 gallons of beer (nearly a keg), which equates to approximately 140 12-oz. bottles or 80 22-oz. bottles. It takes about 2-3 hours for the initial brewing, which will then take 2 weeks to ferment (this "wait" time.until it is ready will vary depending on the type of beer you make). You then return and bottle the beer and label it! 

Stay tuned to learn more, and in the meantime, stop by North High Brewing to taste one of the 30 beers on tap, or to schedule your appointment! 

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