Saturday, November 21, 2015

Actual Brewing Taproom Visit

Actual Brewing's Taproom Entrance
Actual Brewing's Taproom is located near the Greater Columbus International Airport in an industrial park.  The signage is confined primarily to the windows and doors, and a small "Actual Beer" sign on the end of the building.  If my wife and I had not been actively seeking it out, we would probably have missed it.  The lighted "BEER" sign in the window was our first clue we were at the right place.

Step through the right-hand of the two doors in the picture, and you'll walk right into the taproom.  To your left, you'll find the bar and beer taps.  In front of you, tables and chairs to sit and enjoy your Actual beers.  To your right, a second room with seating.

The main bar offers 5 taps.  Four of these serve Actual Brewing's beer.  The fifth serves a non-alcoholic root beer.  The bar is clean, nice looking, and pleasantly decorated.  The server is friendly and engaging, knows the beers on offer, and can help patrons pick out one to their liking.

Actual Brewing's Taproom Counter/Bar

Once you have your beer, the taproom offers some fun and interesting options.  The room adjacent to the bar has a shelf full of books along with tables and chairs.  Music is also being played over a stereo system.

Walk past this room and you'll find a room with a single table and chairs, a shelf filled with interesting board games, an old-school video game console hooked to a television (for visitors to play on), and a number of old 80's style video game arcade machines.  Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac Man, Dig Dug, a bowling game, and Galaga were there.

Video game console and Donkey Kong machine in the back room

Board games available for patrons to play
Whiteboard in the back room of the Actual taproom
I found the Actual taproom to be a comfortable, welcoming space.  There were certainly enough entertainment options (reading, music, video games, board games, and of course the company of good people enjoying good beer).  That being said, some of the furnishings have a "thrift store" feel to them.  There are dingy ceiling tiles, and it feels a little like you're hanging out in a friend's basement.  I can imagine some people being put off by the fact that it's not a gleaming, brightly-lit space loaded with designer furniture and so forth.  As I said, I personally like the space and felt very at home in it.

Enough about the taproom itself.

While there, we sampled the Photon Light Lager, Saison Du Poincare, and Fat Julian beers.

The Photon Light Lager is bright and clear pale gold with a nice balanced aroma and flavor.  It's a great example of the light lager style and a beer I can imagine being popular with the macro brew set while still having a good enough flavor to entice craft beer fans to drink it.

Saison Du Poincare is a very nice beer as well.  It's closer to amber in color with a white head.  The aroma has the usual Saison "funk" to it and a hint of fruitiness as well.  The flavor and aroma are perfectly matched.  Hops bitterness is present but subdued, as it should be in a Saison.  I would rate it as one of the better Saisons I've had.  I'll be sure to watch for this one on tap or in bottles.

My wife and I split a glass of Fat Julian, Actual's Imperial Stout (dispensed with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide).  This is a very impressive beer.  The aroma is chocolatey, with hints of coffee and roasted malt.  It's slightly sweet, but in no way cloying.  Hops bitterness is present but doesn't dominate.  The 10% alcohol content is well hidden.  The use of nitrogen ensures that the head is present from the minute it's poured until it's finished, and helps to keep the chocolate aroma alive.  It's an excellent stout.

Actual Brewing Company
655 N. James Road
Columbus, OH 43219

1 comment:

  1. I still can't get over this great place I recently visited! This isn't only a good convention center. It is also one of the best around here. There isn't a listing of the unique offerings, although there should be! This place was magnificent!