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Columbus, you’re going to have a hard time beating 2017 Ale Trail turnout

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Did you finish the Columbus Ale Trail?

If not, that’s okay because 2,370 other Cbusers pulled your weight.

According to Columbus Business First, the orchestrators of the Columbus Ale Trail (Ohio Craft Brewers Association, Experience Columbus, Columbus Brew Adventures, The Ohio Taproom, Drink Up Columbus and Blue Label Digital Printing) only expected about 1,000 participants to finish.

But the beer guzzlers of Columbus were determined to impress—in the last 16 days alone, 1,110 completed the trail.

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In the first two years of the program when there were just 20 and 28 participating breweries respectively, there were only about 500 redemptions.

This year, there were 37 stops across Columbus and the turnout more than quadrupled—a testament to the ever-growing popularity of the craft beer scene.

Folks who completed the Ale Trail can redeem prizes including an Ohio-crafted Columbus Ale Trail tasting glass (available for pickup at the Greater Columbus Visitors Center or The Ohio Taproom) and a locally crafted reclaimed wood flight tray to hold five tasting glasses (available for pickup at The Ohio Taproom).

The fourth Ale Trail adventure kicks off May 11, coinciding with the start of Columbus Craft Beer Week.

Here are a few brewery release parties.

Pick up your passport at any of the participating breweries.

Visit CBF for more information. 

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Food & Drink

Kick off the weekend with Barroluco’s block party

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Need Friday lunch plans? How about a latin-inspired block party?

Now that warm weather is upon us, downtown Argentinian concept Barroluco is celebrating its grand opening with a block party this weekend.

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Known for South American favorites such as empanadas and paella, Barroluco’s first brick and mortar location opened back in December at the former location of El Arepazo Latin Grill at 47 N. Pearl St. Barroluco’s original food truck also remains in operation.

Photo by Emma Kate Low

The alley behind Pearl St. will be closed off for a ribbon-cutting ceremony today (Friday) at 11:00AM, with a block party to follow. Specials and giveaways will be available through Saturday, April 27 in honor of the opening festivities.

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Food & Drink

North Star Short North getting a whole lot bigger, boozier

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The Northstar is growing! No, not the sky’s biggest star, but rather, Short North’s organic New American kitchen.

This year marks the restaurant’s 15 anniversary, and owners Kevin Malhame, Katy Malhame, and Darren Malhame have decided that it’s high time to update. Conveniently, the Malhame’s have held a lease at 945 N High St.—right next door to Northstar at 951 N High St.—for some time now and are ready to put it to use, reports Columbus Business First.

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The space will allow for an additional 1,000 square feet of dining room and, more excitingly, a full bar with wine, spirits, and dozens of Ohio beers on tap.

Work is slated to begin this summer. The restaurant will remain open during the expansion.

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Beer for Breakfast: Start the day at 4 Columbus breweries

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Is there such a thing as “too early” for a beer? We would humbly submit that no, there isn’t.

While everyone else is waiting until noon, raise a toast to the sunrise with these breakfast-themed creations from some of Columbus’ top breweries.

Note: always drink responsibly. We don’t want any angry calls from your boss saying you showed up to work completely tossed. Check yourself before you wreck yourself!

Wolf’s Ridge |215 N 4th St

The brewmaster at Wolf’s Ridge is clearly a strong believer in popping off in the AM. “Cinnamon Toast Brunch” – a cinnamon-infused twist on the brewery’s staple cream ale, is delicious at any time of the day. Need something with a little more kick to get you moving? Wolf’s Ridge cellar reserve bottle offering, “’17 All The Breakfast,” is an imperial breakfast-style ale that clocks in at 10.8% ABV.

Homestead Beer Co. | 811 Irving Wick Dr W, Heath

Columbus Beer Week is a celebration of the many, many great beers available throughout central Ohio. If you stand any chance of sampling them all, breakfast brewskis are a must. Luckily, Homestead Beer Co. has you covered with a Beer Week concoction that will take you back to the days of Saturday morning cartoons and rainbow-colored milk. Prepare yourself for Homestead’s Cocoa Pebbles porter, “Yabba Dabba Brew.”

Hoof Hearted Brewing | 850 N 4th St

Like their neighbors Wolf’s Ridge up the street, Hoof Hearted offers a sudsy take on cinnamon toast crunch. At 10.5% ABV, “Miracle Toast” will either start your day off on a strong note, or send you back to bed until noon.

Though not explicitly marketed as a breakfast beer, Hoof Hearted’s “Fitness Freak,” an imperial stout with coffee, vanilla and maple syrup added, has all of the morning-time flavors you crave. At a whopping 14%, it’s also a surefire way to transition from brunch to nap time.

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Platform | 408 N 6th St

If you don’t think a peanut butter cream puff from Schmidt’s qualifies as a breakfast item, what are you doing with your life? Cleveland-based Platform pays homage to a Columbus institution with the release of their “Schmidt’s Peanut Butter Fudge Puff” brew. This maibock style beer boasts a respectable 7.1% ABV – just enough for some AM fun without derailing your whole day.

What’s your go-to morning brew? Let us know in the comments!

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