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Drink614: Sideswipe proves Cbus craft beer hasn’t maxed out

Out of all the brewers in Columbus, Sideswipe is the one of most interesting.

They don’t have a great location, or a strong social media presence. The brewery didn’t launch on the strength of a successful crowdfunding campaign. Owner and Brewmaster, Craig O’Herron is a nice guy, but you can tell he’s an introvert who still struggles to handle the public relations responsibilities that come with being a craft brewer, where hosting brewery tours, and attending craft beer events is important. When Sideswipe first opened, you wouldn’t have bet they’d one day be celebrating their 4th anniversary because they were so small, but this Saturday you can swing by the taproom at 2419 Scioto Harper Drive, and see what makes them successful.

Sideswipe has grown steadily since Craig kicked things off. Originally intended to be a production brewery, their taproom, despite being tucked away from high traffic areas, has become a regular hangout for a diverse and friendly crowd.

This year’s anniversary party will be special because it marks a new commitment from Sideswipe. Last year, Craig acquired some whiskey barrels from Middle West Spirits, and two Oyo aged beers will be on tap: Mastermind Imperial Stout, and Defaced Imperial Red. Sideswipe plans to expand on this barrel program in 2018, and depleted barrels will be reserved for sours, once additional space can be allocated. That’s a big step for a brewer who is best known for crafting extremely drinkable beers. An inside joke at the brewery is that their tag line “palate-punching beers” is not remotely the case.

If you haven’t checked them out, Saturday’s party is a great opportunity to see what they’re all about. Since this anniversary party represents a coming of age, of sorts, with the barrel program debuting, it’s an indication that the craft beer market in Columbus still hasn’t maxed out. Sideswipe continues to prove that great beer is the name of the game.

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