Central Ohio has undoubtedly been changed by the arrival of BrewDog in recent years. If we can call a 100,000-square foot production brewery, a restaurant, a hotel, two taprooms, plus a host of large-scale events an “arrival.” More like a takeover.
BrewDog is never one to do anything small, and after settling their North American headquarters in Canal Winchester, they quickly added a taproom in the Short North, a taproom and restaurant in Franklinton, then expanded the CW structure to include a sour beer facility (OverWorks) and – wait for it – a beer hotel.
We’ve made multiple visits to all of their spots, and late last year Beth and I were hosted for a stay in the DogHouse for a short feature I wrote for Ohio Magazine.
Our stay in the hotel was fun, especially as a quick couples getaway. You could easily spend your whole time there without leaving the premises: there are multiple bars (of course), indoor and outdoor areas to lounge, a full service restaurant, a beer museum, and tours. Oh, and did I mention there are multiple bars?
The hotel’s main entrance is a little difficult to find. If you park in their main lot and approach the primary entrance to the restaurant, you either have to walk all the way through it or you have to pass through the outdoor patios to find the front door.
The spacious lobby features multiple seating areas and a view into the sour beer facility. Credit goes to BrewDog to taking the beer-drinking experience and pushing it to the nth degree. When you check in, for instance, you’re promptly offered a beer. Because it wouldn’t be BrewDog if you didn’t have a beer in hand at all times.
The hotel includes 32 rooms, eight of which are luxury suites. We were put up in one of the suites; these rooms feature garage door windows that roll up to offer a direct view of the barrels and foeders.
BrewDog carries their light industrial, neon-tinged theme throughout every aspect of the design. And despite the largely concrete and metal construction, the room does manage to feel comfortable.
But lest you forget that beer is the focus, you’ll find beer constantly at- or in-hand: soaps and shampoos infused with beer, a cupholder attached to the bathroom mirror, a small fridge with beers accessible in the shower, another fridge with a curated selection of international brews, and – if you arrange it before check-in – a mini keg of any BrewDog beer of your choosing. They’ll fill a growler, plug it into the fridge, and let you dispense at your leisure. (FYI: you do have to pay separately for the mini keg and fridge beers, if you drink them.)
And even the decor throughout the building reminds you of the brewing process and BrewDog’s branding.
To keep their building from being a large, gray slab on the Canal Winchester landscape, BrewDog has commissioned artists to create a series of bright murals on the walls.
There’s ample outdoor space as well, from patios to a bar fashioned from a container to dog park. And, yes, the DogHouse is dog friendly – there are dedicated rooms for your furry friends.
Inside the main building sits DogTap, their on-site restaurant and bar. When you visit, be sure to check out the giant Lego model of the brewery and restaurant near the front.
The waiting area includes a gift shop loaded with swag and canned beer, plus…. you guessed it, a full bar.
You can also step inside the BrewDog Beer Museum – it’s free – with a background on the brewery and detailed exhibitions about the history and science of brewing.
The restaurant is giant, naturally lit from the plentiful windows (which are opened onto the patio in nicer weather), and includes bar/booth/table seating, a small mezzanine, a collection of pinball machines, and views into the brewery.
You’ll find no shortage of BrewDog’s wares on tap, from staples like their Punk IPA and Elvis Juice grapefruit IPA to sours, stouts, and crazy one-offs. I shouldn’t be surprised, given the sheer scope of their brewery, but I’m always taken aback by the wide variety that spans everything from non-alcoholic ales to 16% ABV barrel-aged stouts.
The food has generally been good on our visits. Naturally, it’s designed to pair with their beers, and it succeeds at that. We’ve often started with a hot pretzel, served with mustard and beer cheese.
We’re especially fans of the buffalo cauliflower.
We’ve sampled our way through burgers, tacos, Scotch eggs (nicely done), and the fried chicken sandwich. I would keep an eye on the DogTap website for the latest menus. Kudos to them for offering plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.
But don’t forget the beer. You can collect a Columbus Ale Trail stamp there, too!
And naturally, breakfast is included in your stay in the DogHouse. The continental-style meal is served casually at the bar. I’m sure the offerings vary, but we had bowls of cereal, croissants, coffee, “epic” yogurt, and a huevos rancheros-style breakfast bake.
Oh, and would it surprise you if I told they also served us beer? Although it was Hazy Jane IPA mixed with orange juice.