Tag Archives: COLUMBUS OH


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On the outskirts of Columbus in urban village, Grandview Heights, BARLEY’S SMOKEHOUSE & BREWPUB retains a friendly roadhouse atmosphere with its genteel blue collar feel and signature hickory-sauced barbecue entrees. Just minutes away from the initial downtown Barley’s brewpub, this casual highway-sidled joint proved wholly impressive. A yellow advertising sign and silver grain silo welcome hearty beer and food lovers to the green-windowed yellow stucco retreat with large license-plated beer garden and metal-furnished covered patio.

An L-shaped bar with 20 stools, one TV, Edison lamps and three separate tap stations serves four booths, several metal-wooded tables and a huge backroom dining area. Exposed ducts mark the ceiling and olden brewery trays cover the walls. Excellent guest drafts include Epic Big Bad Baptist, Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree IPA, North High Hefe, Rhinegeist Panther Porter and Rhinegeist Dinghy Pale Ale. Thirty bottled beers, specialty martinis, wines and bourbons also adorn the menu.

On April 2016 sojourn, shared hearty Combination Platter (rib tips, wings, sauerkraut balls, fried cheese curd, shoestring onions and pickles) with long-time friend, Dennis, while quaffing eight reliably well-balanced in-house brews boasting Scottish and British stylistic roots.

First up, flagship wee heavy, McLenny’s Scottish Ale, placed caramel-spiced malts alongside sweet floral fruiting atop a dewy peat base. In comparison, Robert Burns Scottish Export Ale saddled dewy peated malts with sweet n’ sour cherry-plum-fig conflux and sticky toffee spicing (as well as Band-aid-like beechwood-smoked astringency). Another UK-styled moderation, Red Molly, an Irish Red Ale, draped toasted caramel malts and citric spicing above mild pine hop resin.

Brit-styled Centennial IPA brought stylish dewy earthen mustiness to brown tea herbage, wood-dried hop foliage, musky grain bill and moderate grapefruit-orange bittering.

Blending Centennial IPA with Robert Burns Scottish Ale, Barley’s Smokehouse creates Highland Hammer, a meandering ESB-like “peated bitter” with spicy dried fruiting, piney grapefruit spell and resinous hops that never fully coalesces.

Hopped-up pale wheat ale, Hoptopus, possessed yellow grapefruit-peeled bittering, ancillary orange-pineapple tang, light floral accents and mineral-grained herbage.

Prestigious Alexander’s Russian Imperial Stout, a creamy mocha-bound full body, let its peat-smoked dark chocolate roast outdistance vanilla-spiced caramel and coffee notions to its oats-toasted spine.

Another fine dessert treat, Woody Haze, honors legendary Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes by barrel aging Robert Burns Scottish Export in a Woodford Reserve cask. Its silken soft-toned Scotch whiskey nip sweetened caramelized rum spicing, oaken cherry tones and red wine esters, leaving Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey illusions in the wake.

When visiting Columbus, there are many fine brewpub choices. Anyone with a taste for British Isle-modeled brews or great barbecue will enjoy Barley’s Smokehouse. As we left, the lunch crowd grew to a full house and the sun came out of the clouds. Cheers.




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Within walking distance of Barley Brewing, historic former speakeasy, ELEVATOR BREWERY, located in the Columbia Building (built 1897), featured antique ballroom ceiling and religious pane glass windows, July ’04. Its rustic interior perfectly duped old pre-Prohibition atmosphere and the beers flowed from large right side bar with eloquent marble columns.

Quaffed fruit-hopped caramel-coated Vienna-malted Prohibition Amber Lager; ashy soft-watered raisin-chocolate-y Procrastinator Doppelbock; fruity-hopped Necessity IPA; spicy tea-hopped Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale; chocolate-y stout-like Dirty Dick’s Nut Brown Ale; and wood-smoked cherry-dropped chocolate-coffee lightened Coal Porter during initial visit.

On quick two-hour stop on the way to Wheeling-Pittsburgh in August ’06, tried dry medium-bodied 13th Floor Pale Ale, with its wort-like waft imbuing sour wheat frontage, toasted oats spine, minor spruce hint, and acidic citric accrual. Followed that up with cotton candied Belgium Wit, a spicy lemon pith-y mandarin orange-licked banana-snipped softie.




Near the campus of Ohio State University, North High Street’s downtown BARLEY’S SMOKEHOUSE & BREWING bettered local competitor Columbus Brewing but not Elevator Brewery, June ’04. Also got to attend Spoon show at garage club up the street that evening for perfect beer-and-music nightcap.

Over two-hour late afternoon period, I quaffed summery yellow-fruited barley-hopped Pilsner; lively dry-hopped whiskey-malted red apple dabbler Mac Lenny’s Scottish Ale; frisky fruited prickly-hopped Pale Ale; cherry-toned whiskey malted J. Scott Francis ESB; and light pale-bodied American-styled grassy-hopped Wheat.

Best bets: creamy caramel-malted Grand Marnier-liqueured orange-bruised fervency Glenlenny’s Scotch Ale (and its tremendous cask conditioned version) and alcohol-induced, overripe red-black cherry-sweetened, coffee-caffeine-daubed Anastasia’s Russian Stout.




In June ’04 mid-America excursion, found Ohio Capitol’s Brewers District on South High Street, which houses Victory’s, High Beck Tavern, Barrister Hall, Metro Bar & Grill, and Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.

Nearby, Short Street’s choice COLUMBUS BREWING offered prickly-hopped wheat-dried low-carb Short Street Sabre; mildly citric-soured summer softie Kolsch; sourdough pumpernickel Golden Ale; tropical mango-melon-fruited wheat-honeyed Apricot Ale; pliant citric-metallic Pale Ale; wispy lemon-wedged Wheat; coffee-toned hop-roasted stout-like Nut Brown; and black chocolate-sweet coffee-burnt 1859 Porter.