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Five family-friendly breweries for the fall

Five family-friendly breweries for the fall

Jack McLaughlin

It might be time to update our opinion on bringing the family along to the brewpub.

Let’s face it, beer isn’t what it used to be. While craft beer has retained some of its edgy outsider appeal, there’s a reason craft breweries continue to grow: More and more people enjoy them. And just like the double IPAs packing face-puckering bitterness have given way to the popularity of lagers and even seltzers, breweries themselves are opening up to a wider audience. We’ve compiled a list of local spots that will keep everyone happy, whether or not they have a drink in hand.

Rockmill Brewery 

While this sprawling farm brewery is currently for sale, owner and founder Matthew Barbee intends to sell to an owner willing to continue its operation. From its idyllic setting on a historical Lancaster-area farm to its approachable but delicious food menu—with plenty of kid-friendly options—Rockmill is a haven for adults and little ones alike. Live music and acres of open space make sure everyone is happy.


While this brand-new Hilliard spot isn’t a brewery per se, it still makes the cut. Hilgarten, a chic, German-focused beer garden and eatery, finds the perfect balance between food that’s exciting and appealing and fare that pickier, young eaters will actually enjoy. Its lightly European-themed menu features a variety of gourmet bratwursts and sausages, in addition to classic Bavarian pretzels and more. You can even bring the family dog along.

DankHouse Brewing Co.

While there’s no denying DankHouse is a bit of a hike in Newark, it’s well worth the drive. This is in large part because the brewery is located on over eight acres of mostly open land for kids to enjoy. Specializing in delicious, ultra-modern IPAs, stouts, and kettle sours, the spacious spot also boasts an on-site kitchen Wednesday through Sunday, which is operated by the taco eatery MNCHS.

Nocterra Brewing Co.

Well-known for its spacious, outdoor patio, this craft beer hotspot is also family friendly. And due to its location in downtown Powell, Nocterra makes for  the perfect stop after a family trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium or Zoombezi Bay. Top-tier craft beers in a huge number of styles are available for Mom and Dad, with food trucks on hand for the little ones. Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome in Nocterra’s beer garden as well.

Henmick Farm & Brewery

While farm breweries are themselves an exciting novelty in the world of craft beer, Henmick is unique among them. This sprawling Delaware County spot is located on a historic family farm that’s served as such for more than a century. From its event space—which was built into a historical barn—to the actual horse barn onsite, Henmick is the real deal. Food trucks are often available, and kids can have a blast roaming the property.

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