With the Columbus Brew Festival coming up on March 28, I thought it would be a good idea to share a wee bit of my beer knowledge with you folks. Listen, I got nothing against PBR. The thing is, Columbus has way too many high-quality brews for you to be getting lit on Wisconsin beer. I understand we all don’t have the money to be trying out different beers every day, and that’s where I come in. Too worried about making a bad brewski decision? Don’t worry, be hoppy! I will show you the ways of the haze, starting at beers that are easy to tap, all the way to beers that will tap you out.
These kinds of beers are at the lighter end of the beer spectrum. They are crisp, carbonated, and the most popular beers in America. They’re usually the beers you’ll find at tailgates, frat parties or your dorm’s mini fridge.
Our favorite brews: Rhinegeist Brewery Cheetah Lager, Bellwoods Brewery Paper Tiger, Land-Grant Brewery Urban Sombrero
If you want to kick your tastebuds up a notch, blonde ales are a safe bet. They’re my go-to summer beers. Like lagers, they’re clear and crisp. However, they’re also dry and have a slight bitterness to them.
Our favorite brews: Columbus Brewing Co. Petite Blonde, Lineage Oscura Obscura, Land-Grant Brewing Ra
Hefeweizens are very German sehr gut. They’re wheat beers, meaning they have a yeasty flavor. (I will not make a joke about this ‘cause I’m an adult.) They’re refreshing, but have a bold taste, so they may not be for everyone.
Our favorite brews: Rhinegeist Hugh, Columbus Brewery El Hefe, Barley’s Blood Thirst Wheat
Pale ales are very popular. If you’re getting started experimenting with new beers, I would start here. They have the malty flavors of darker beers, but they’re still light and relatively chuggable.
Our favorite brews: Brewdog Cannon Blast, Land-Grant Brewing Co. All-American Pale Ale, Seventh Son Humulus Nimbus
IPA OR INDIA PALE ALE
We’re entering sipping territory here. IPAs get a bad rep for being the drink of choice of douchey craft beer bros. Granted, they’re not for everyone. They’re usually on the bitter side. They’re very hoppy, and they can have fruity undertones. The world of IPAs is one I could spend a whole article on, but I won’t bore you. I highly recommend you give them a chance and keep an open mind.
Our favorite brews: Brewdog Elvis Juice, Columbus Brewing Co. Go-Kart Ghost, Sixth Sense Brewing Murk Juice
Amber ales are relatively bitter and malty. They’re very much a sipping beer, as are basically all beers from here on out. Amber ales have a lot of character. They have a strong taste, and they kick your ass, but in the best way.
Our favorite brews: Land-Grant Brewing Club-Trillion, Great Lakes Brewing Co. Independence Ale, Columbus Brewing Co. Citra Noel
IRISH RED ALE
Irish Red Ales are very interesting in their flavor profile. They’re not bitter, but they’re very malty. They also have caramel undertones. They’re honestly not my favorite, but if you like a beer with character, while low on the bitterness, red ales are for you.
Our favorite brews: Buckeye Lake Brewery Dublin Style Irish Red,
Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. Irish Setter Red, Columbus Brewing Company Uncle Rusty
PORTERS AND STOUTS
The best example I can give you for one of these is a classic Guinness. Porters and stouts are dark and have a rich flavor with notes of coffee and chocolate. Although they’re more sipping beers than anything else, they will get you lit quick.
Our favorite brews: Brewdog Jet Black, Seventh Son Brewing Fox in the Stout, Hoofhearted Mom Jeans Double Milk Stout