The Brew Shop

Drink proud. Love local. Brew well.

Midwest Roadtrip (Part 1: OH-IO)

Julie and I began fantasizing about a “Midwest Roadtrip” well over a year ago when we were both working full time in the accounting world.  The premise of our Midwest Roadtrip:  A week vacation with your bestie in a beer mecca while visiting our old stomping grounds in Michigan and Ohio.  At the time we thought, keep dreaming…

A year later, our lives have changed and we have returned from our Midwest Roadtrip after logging in well over 1,000 miles, traveling through seven states and tasting more beer than we care to admit.  When it was all said and done, we brought back these souvenirs…

We're going to have some fun tasting these new beers over the next couple of weeks... or days.

I bet $50 that Julie will make some reference to Michigan looking like a lefthand when she blogs about our Michigan adventures, so it only seems right to admit that more than a few people have laughed at me when I tell them Ohio is shaped like a heart.  C’mon, it has my heart! 

Once the Midwest Roadtrip left Michigan (look for Julie’s blog post about Michigan coming soon!) we headed south to Oxford, Ohio – home of my alma mater Miami University.  No college experience is complete without beer, so we swung by the original Oxford dive bar Mac & Joe's for a round.  

Mac & Joe's:  The first place my dad showed me when I was kid visiting Miami's campus.  

Once we left Oxford we headed toward Richmond, Indiana.  Despite our next stop being Columbus, we couldn’t resist the urge to take a slight detour for another beer adventure.  Our mission, secure some Upland Brewing Company Dragonfly IPA and Coastbuster Imperial IPA for our architect Susan.  Oh, and maybe try to find some coveted Three Floyds.  It was a win all around. 

Our side trip to Indiana was worth it.  Three Floyds and Upland!

We timed our trip to Columbus to perfectly coincide with Big Brew Day at Columbus Brewing Company.  If you’ve never heard of CBC, you might want to check them out – they’re in the big league after most recently winning Gold at the Great American Beer Festival with their Creeper Imperial IPA (edging out some epic brews including Russian River Pliney the Elder).  Add that to your chase beer list. 

In honor of Big Brew Day, CBC was giving out free wort to homebrewers.  When we strolled up to the brewery to pick up our wort, at least a dozen homebrewers were gathered out back concocting their own homebrew using the pale ale wort.

Just your average Saturday at Columbus Brewing Company.  Homebrewers boiling away on Big Brew Day.

The guys at CBC were filling brew kettles straight off the line -- perfectly ready for the boil and hop additions!  

CBC dishing out free pale ale wort for Big Brew Day

Unfortunately our brewing equipment did not fit in the back of my sedan, so we took our wort to go in a food safe bucket.  The wort was about 180 degrees when it came off the line, so we had the perfect excuse to grab some CBC pale ale at the bar while we waited for the wort to cool down.  Stay tuned for the results of our double brew day using CBC’s wort! 

Our wort... is that gonna fit in the car?  YES!

Columbus also provided the opportunity to visit some great homebrew stores.  We headed to the north side of town to visit Barley Hopsters – a homebrew store and bottle shop.  We also headed to Buckeye Brewcraft in Westerville.  The owner Jim showed us around the shop and gave us a few pointers for The Brew Shop!   He also introduced us to a new base malt, Irish Stout, which was surprising light given its name.  Thanks, Jim!

One of the highlights of our trip to Columbus was visiting an old family friend, Peter Danis, owner of Figlio and Vino Vino.  My family has frequented Peter and his wife Laurie’s restaurants for the last 20 years.  I’ve always admired Peter’s wine list – approachable, affordable, and delicious!  But what sets Peter apart is the way that he describes wine.  Each and every wine on his list comes with an entertaining story.  Who wouldn’t want to drink a wine flight called Sexy Beasts!?  Thanks Peter for your insight and laughter! 

Sipping vino at Vino Vino.

We had a great trip to Ohio – Here’s the summary of what we tasted! 

·         Four String Brass Knuckle APA (My dad’s favorite local!)

·         Four String Big Star White IPA

·         Columbus Brewing Company Pale Ale

·         Rockmill Brewery Petite Saison

·         Fat Heads Sunshine Daydream

·         WINE (Let’s be honest, we went a little too heavy on the wine to list them all…)