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Cheers! CBC’s highly-anticipated taproom was worth the wait

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For Columbus beer nerds such as myself, it feels like Christmas. Columbus Brewing Company, the city’s oldest and most decorated brewery—boasting six medals over the past nine years at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup—has given us the gift we’ve all been waiting for: a taproom.

The long awaited pourhouse has finally come to the city after the 31 year-old company relocated to a larger warehouse with room to expand three years ago.

“We started brewing in a small space in the brewery district, so for a long time there simply wasn’t space for a taproom,” says CBC Operations Manager Tony Corder. “So once we moved into our new location [at 2555 Harrison Rd] several years ago, we were finally able to expand.”

Photos: Zane Osler

The taproom, which is physically connected to the brewing space, feels sleek and modern with polished wood chairs and exposed ceiling rafters. A nice interior touch comes in the form of a wrap-around mural bedecking the interior, depicting what serious CBC fans will recall as the different mythical beasts featured on each of the brewery’s Insane Wanderer IPA series.

The new space features 24 taps that combine tried-and-true favorites, such as Columbus IPA and my all-time favorite red ale, Uncle Rusty. With a slate of ambitious, exciting brews not available anywhere else, there’s sure to be an ale or lager available for every taste. Currently featured on the menu are a pair of sour ales from the brewery’s sour program, an initiative many likely aren’t yet aware of.

“We’re a few years into our sour program, and we’re doing things authentically,” says Corder.

While kettle-souring techniques allow for a quickly produced beer, the quality of sour ales aged on wood over longer periods of time simply o er better results. Corder also notes that while the brewery does have plans to bottle and distribute a select number of these sour beers, the CBC taproom is currently the only place they’re commercially available.

One of these beers on tap now is Crocodile Tongue, an oak-aged blonde sour ale with brettanomyces yeast that is aged on peaches. While this beer has never been distributed by the brewery, it did take home a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2018.

Also available is Somethin’ Tequila, a tequila barrel-aged sour with lime and grapefruit peel that took a year and a half of careful aging to peak. And if sour beer isn’t your thing but you’re still feeling adventurous, worry not, as the brewery also offers a rotating selection of beers from its barrel-aging program.

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One of these, Baggared, represents an under-appreciated style perfect for cooler: the scotch ale. Rich with a malty sweetness with a touch of peat to boot, Baggared sets itself apart from many big barrel-aged beers for one main reason.

“We aged it in scotch barrels instead of bourbon barrels, which are normally used. I think it’s unique, and it’s really exceptional,” says Corder.

Other big, barrel-aged beers perfect for the encroaching winter weather include Steel Dawn, an imperial stout featuring vanilla bean and coffee adjuncts, and Derailed Meeting, a hefty imperial brown ale aged on Weller Bourbon barrels.

Another interesting seasonal highlight at the CBC taproom is its voluminous slate of wet-hopped IPAs. These brews (another seasonal favorite of yours truly), can only be made once a year, as newly-harvested hops are overnighted from as far away as Washington state to create an impressive series of IPAs featuring single hop varietals. Different ales showcase fresh Cashmere, Citra, Simcoe, and Idaho 7 hops; there are a remarkable number of beers done in this style considering the costs of brewing them. The newly picked hops lend a bright, earthy flavor to the IPAs that is simply not achievable without a fresh harvest.

While no hot food is served from the space, the taproom hosts a rotating variety of food trucks each week. For the month of November, visitors can expect to see local favorites like Dos Hermanos on Nov. 9 and Nov. 23. Other food trucks include Paddy Wagon, Por’Ketta, and Blu Olive.

The taproom, which opened its doors on September 18, lets patrons select their pour size, with options for different beers ranging from 0.1 L to 0.4 L. A variety of perennial favorites and taproom exclusives can be purchased to go, in 32 oz. crowlers (large-volume cans sealed to order) or 64 oz. growlers.

And while you still have some time before the winter holidays roll around, why not treat yourself to an early present with a stop at the new Columbus Brewing Taproom? Chances are you’ve been waiting a while for this one.

The new Columbus Brewing Company is located on 2555 Harrison Rd. For hours and operations, visit columbusbrewing.com.

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Food & Drink

We Sheet you not, Sheetz is coming to Columbus

Mike Thomas

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Regional gas station chains seem to accumulate cult followings of loyal customers. While word of a new convenience store coming to town may not seem like a big deal at first, just ask your friends from Pennsylvania about Sheetz.

The popular chain of convenience stores and coffee shops headquartered in Altoona, Pennsylvania has announced an expansion into the Columbus market with this remarkable hype video posted to Facebook:

Sheetz locations offer fresh, made-to-order food options that set the chain apart from the usual gas station fare.

No open date for the Central Ohio location has been announced at this time. For more, visit www.sheetz.com/

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Raising the Steaks: Ruth’s Chris returns to Columbus with new Short North digs

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With no shortage of local competitors welcoming carnivores, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has opened its doors in the Short North. After shuttering its Crosswoods location in 2016 due to “market changes,” the Florida-based steakhouse is back in the Bus.

The new restaurant promises a fine-dining experience tailored especially to the Columbus market and its location.

Photos: Rebecca Tien

“Knowing that we are across from the convention center, this is one of our bigger locations to allow room for a larger bar, private dining rooms and main dining room,” says Maria Policastro, general manager of Ruth’s Chris Columbus. “We kept the Short North Arts District culture in mind during every step of the design process as well, making sure we included elements that incorporated the downtown skyline and ever-present Ohio buckeye trees.”

Indeed, the entrance feels homey and features local art on display to bring some “Columbus” to the space. The building was once home to a hotel, and while undeniably formal, the dinner-only restaurant nevertheless offers a warm and welcoming feel. The waitstaff has its service down to an absolute science. Hand-polished wine glasses top each table and every element of the dining experience is expertly attended to.

Regardless of whether diners care to indulge in one of its more than 250 wines or a vintage-inspired craft cocktail, the main event here is the food. Its extra-thick-cut, wet-aged USDA prime steaks are broiled in a trademark 1800-degree oven and served sizzling on a 500-degree plate so every last bite stays warm.

“From our food to our service, Ruth’s Chris really stands out on its own,” said Policastro. “Ruth believed in treating her guests and employees as family, so that’s how we treat them too—by being warm and welcoming and paying attention to every little detail.”

Ruth Fertel mortgaged her home in 1965 and purchased Chris’s Steak House, a 60-seat restaurant located in New Orleans. After a fire forced her to move locations and rename the restaurant, she settled on Ruth’s Chris Steak House, hence the somewhat strange moniker.

Fertel, who died in 2002 at 75, would likely be shocked to see the size of the private dining rooms in the Columbus restaurant that bears her name. “Our private dining rooms are some of the largest at any Ruth’s Chris,” says Policastro. “When designing our private dining rooms, it was important to us that we made enough space to accommodate our customers in this busy area, along with larger parties who choose to dine with us after visiting the Convention Center or coming from the Ohio State University nearby.”

The private dining rooms each have their own unique Columbus vibe, with names like the Goodale, Victorian and Buckeye Rooms. Which is fitting because, “we’re around the corner from Columbus’ historic Goodale Park, we’re part of the Victorian Village, and we are in the heart of Buckeye nation,” Policastro said. Ruth’s Chris Steak House Columbus is already seeing its private rooms booking up for upcoming events and holidays. “We cannot wait to host these special moments for those who live in and visit the Short North Arts District.”

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is located at 511 N High Street. Learn more at ruthschris.com/restaurant-locations/columbus.

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Easton’s “dramatic” rooftop bar and restaurant opens this week

614now Staff

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Heads up, Easton, a snazzy new concept is opening this week. Restoration Hardware, or RH, will open The Gallery at Easton Town Center and RH Rooftop Restaurant & Park and Wine & Barista Bar on Thursday, December 12, at 11am.

According to a release, The Gallery "represents the brand’s quest to revolutionize physical retailing," with "immersive experience features artistic installations of luxury home furnishings in a gallery setting."

The three-story, 55,000-square-foot space will serve as "one of the most comprehensive collections of luxury home furnishings in the world."

The "dramatic" Rooftop Restaurant will offer "a year-round, skylit garden escape offering a timeless, ingredient-driven menu beneath a soaring atrium with retractable glass walls, and sparkling crystal chandeliers.

The restaurant will open onto a landscaped park with outdoor lounge spaces and trellised London plane trees.

Situated just off the grand stair, the Wine & Barista Bar will serve craft espresso, fresh-baked pastries, and artisanal wines to enjoy in the Rooftop Park.

This development will act as the anchor for Easton's new $500 million expansion.

RH Columbus, The Gallery at Easton Town Center is located at 4120 Worth Ave., Columbus. For more information, visit eastontowncenter.com.

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