Teamwork and Beer Coming Together for Columbus Craft Beer Week

by Abby Hofrichter

In honor of the ever-growing craft beer community in Columbus, Columbus Craft Beer Week is featuring a number of exclusive collaboration beers. Throughout the week, nine beers will premier and be featured on taps across the city showcasing the talent and teamwork of seventeen central Ohio breweries.

All of the collaboration beers will be available at the kickoff event May 1 at Market District Grandview Yard and once again at Six Pour One: The Ohio Craft Beer Fest Saturday, May 9.

Outside of these events, different beers will be tapped at one of the participating breweries each day of Columbus Craft Beer Week. During the week, one collaboration beer will be featured at a specific location or locations each day in addition to a tap takeover and growler station at different spot. Locations and details can be found the Columbus Craft Beer Week website.

The event was created to highlight the talent and creativity of Columbus breweries, beer bars and restaurants, so the collaboration beers serve as a testament to the overall quality of Columbus beers. Nine unique beers were created as a result of this project, as a few of the teams did two varieties of similar beers. It seems the common strategy was to pick a style of beer and then find ways to work in the style of each brewery. For groups like Seventh Son and Homestead Beer Co. and Smokehouse Brewing, PigSkin Brewing and Zatfig, this resulted in two unique brews that build on a single recipe.

According to Lenny Kolada of Smokehouse Brewing, the breweries decided on collaboration teams by drawing names out of a hat. The teams began working in early 2015.

“We all agreed that it should be a beer that was outside of our comfort zone,” he said of his team. “In other words, if it could possibly be a beer that none of us would ever brew individually, all the better.”

Smokehouse, Pigskin and Zatfig will be showcasing their Galactic Pale Ale on Monday, May 4 at Pigskin Brewing Company from 3 p.m. to midnight as well tapping its cousin beer, the Oak Skyhopper, at Smokhouse Brewing Company from 5 to 11 p.m. Pigskin Brewing, who received their brewing license a few months into the process, chose to make another beer with the same recipe using different yeast.

“We put a little twist in the collab as we used our house Westcoast ale yeast,” said Mike Rockwell, one of the owners and brewers for Pigskin Brewing Company.

For some groups, the idea for a beer stemmed out of mutual admiration. Actual Brewing Company and Barley’s Brewing Company paired up in the process of making their Simplicity, a Belgian golden strong ale.

“While I enjoyed all their beer, Temporal, their Belgian Abey Ale, really impressed me,” Angelo Sinorino Jr., brewmaster for Barley’s Brewing Company, said. “I asked if we’d be able to brew with that yeast and suggested a strong golden ale.”

Simplicity will be featured on Sunday, May 3 at Brother’s Drake from 6 to 10 p.m.

Other teams include Four String Brewing, Land-Grant Brewing and Sideswipe Brewing; Homestead Beer Co. and Seventh Son; Buckeye Lake Brewery, North High Brewing and Zauber Brewing Company; Elevator Brewing Company and Wolf’s Ridge Brewing; and Gordon Biersch and Weasel Boy Brewing.

Columbus Craft Beer Week will span from May 1-9. Detailed information on tap takeovers, growler tap takeovers and beer spotlights can be found on the Columbus Craft Beer Week website.

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