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Review: North High great for browsing, brewing and bottling

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Craft beer and microbreweries are an ever-growing industry nowadays. Columbus boasts many of these small-batch breweries. North High Brewing is one, located right on High Street, that has done well in Columbus, but still likes to stay true to its roots.

Blaze Burke, a manager at North High, highlighted what makes the place different, citing the roots of their purpose as brewers and the way that they brew beer and conduct business with customers.

“There are two sides to our business really: the taproom and our brew-on-premises side,” he said. “The taproom is where we have a bar setup that (offers) our beers that we brew on draft. The other side is what makes us different.”

North High is one of the only places around where one can brew a batch of beer and be a part of the process every step of the way. The brewers are paired with a group and appointments usually last about three hours. The customer picks the ingredients, mixes them all in and then leaves the fermentation process to run its course for about three to four weeks. Then customers come back in for the final process of bottling their own beer.

The brewers are there to make sure that the brewing is all done correctly and assure that the beer will actually come out well. Up to 40 kinds of ales can be brewed at North High and people from all over Ohio come to brew their own beer for recreation, as a gift or part of a larger party from corporations to private gatherings.

“I drive two hours from Woodsfield, Ohio, just to come to North High Brewing,” said Dan Selmon, a patron of North High. “ It’s just a fun experience and while it isn’t dollar pitchers like I know college kids like, it is still a viable option. Especially if you’re in a group that really appreciates craft beer.”

North High loves the history of brewing and Burke made sure that was clear. He explained how during the brewing process the brewers paired with the groups not only inform the customers on how brewing works, but also on the history of it and why things are the way they are now.

“We focus on the pre-Prohibition era here. It was really, you know, the ‘golden age of beer’ and then Prohibition wiped all of that out. So we try to reclaim as much history from then as we can,” Burke said. “The building we’re in is even from 1917 — it was a Ford dealership. Our wooden shutters are from the original Ohio Stadium when the bleachers were wooden and we have history of brewing and the Prohibition hung on the walls around the bar.”

Their vintage-looking chandelier of rope, sporting 21 different light bulbs that represents the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition. The bar is dim and made to look like the old-time liquor joints of the era it draws its inspiration from. It is an enriching experience for beer newbies and connoisseurs.  

North High Brewing is located at 1288 N. High St. and is open from 2 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

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