Our next review is a two for one: the first review from a brewery in Ohio and the first with an international flavor. One caveat I must give: I debated even reviewing this one due to its size and multi-national distribution but since it is still technically an independent brewery (albeit based in Scotland), I decided to give it a go. This review pertains to their Franklinton location in Columbus, Ohio, one of three BrewDogs in the city.
- Beer – I ended up trying almost their entire menu while I was there (I had a designated driver, we were there for quite a while, and they were taster glasses, so no judgement) and I enjoyed almost all of them. They have a wide variety of styles, including less common offerings such as a sour beer, providing ample variety for all palate styles. While none of their offerings ventured into the super wacky and creative realm, they still experimented with different flavor combinations and all their brews were solid in construction. My favorite was their milk stout with the red ale a close second, but you can’t go wrong with anything you choose. Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – The brewery is a gorgeous, industrial with a touch of rustic, building. They have ample seating indoor, outdoor, and even a rooftop section. The bar is massive, displaying the wide array of taps to choose from. I loved the wood accents on the wall that was mirrored in the tables and stools. Large roll-up doors that faced the patio kept it bright and airy, making the space seem even bigger. The only critique I had was how the acoustics inside made it difficult to carry on any conversation when the place is packed. Otherwise, hats off to whomever designed this building. As for food, the menu is limited and features mostly your standard pub fare. The prices are a little on the higher side for what I would have expected but not exorbitant, while their hours allow you to stay late into the night celebrating with friends. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance – Definitely more of a bar/restaurant feel here than a brewery, but it works for what it is. There is not a lot of value-added features, such as televisions, board games, or outdoor activities that define a lot of more traditional breweries. Still, the place had more of a celebratory, rowdy atmosphere and everyone around really seemed to be enjoying themselves. According to their website they do have occasional events hosted at the pub, but it would be nice to see more things like live music or trivia nights to help build a sense of community. Score: 2.5/5
- Location – Not being familiar with Columbus, I was not sure what to expect when looking for BrewDog. Across the river from downtown, the area looks like it has roots in manufacturing and industry that is undergoing a revitalization (read: gentrification) of sorts. Old historical buildings being restored mixed with new construction like this place. Parking was somewhat limited to small lots and street parking, so be prepared to drive around some. I saw a few surrounding bars and restaurants that give you some options should you wish to explore. This is what I would consider a commuter brewery with limited ability to use means other than a car to get there. Score: 2.5/5
- Customer Service – I want to give a special shout out to our server, who was on his third day in the job. He was incredibly attentive, friendly, and helpful, despite it being a busy night. Our orders were taken quickly and delivered with the same speed. We were never long with an empty glass or needing a refill. Even at the bar, despite how many people were around, we still had fast service. From what I could tell, many of the other servers had similar customer acumen so they get high marks here Score: 4.5/5
Total Score: 17/25
Final Thoughts: While not truly a local craft brew joint, BrewDog has still been embraced by the people of Columbus, if the size of the crowd here was any judge. I enjoyed my visit to their brewpub and would certainly recommend stopping in at least once if you are in town. The food is good, and the beer is quality so you can’t go wrong if you are looking for a place to spend an evening with friends.