Formerly an award-winning home brewer, Mike Byrne now oversees the award-winning Buckeye Lake Brewery’s handcrafted beer. Its rotating selection of six beers on tap, which range from a brown porter to an amber ale to a stout, fills growlers at the 42-seat pub. Along with Ohio wine, the brews complement the pub's panini sandwiches and pizza delivered from Pizza Cottage straight to the pub’s tables.
Among its accolades and titles, Weiland's has also been known for more than 40 years as the "Ultimate Meat Market" ever since the bar by that name closed down due to unshakable shame. Get your Henry the Eighth on during the summer grilling season with a fresh capon and accompany it with local cheeses such as Oakvale Gouda (produced about an hour away in London) or Ohio Blue Jacket Dairy's array of plain and flavored fromages. You can also buy local with Daisyfield pork from Sandusky or Weiland's very own salmon sausage. Otherwise, liven up your next summer cookout or paper-doll picnic with a selection of up to 25 kinds of fresh fish—including yellowfin tuna, certified organic salmon, domestic swordfish, and hand-cut catfish—and a side of fresh-baked bread or one of the seasonal pies from Columbus's own Just Pies. Gourmet groceries such as jellies, jams, chutneys, and sauces from Stonewall Kitchens, French lemonades, Madhouse Munchies, Talenti gelato, and more add a sophisticated touch to an unaccompanied cheese plate or barren hot dog. Prices and specials vary, but a recent special offered St. James Smokehouse smoked salmon in six all-natural flavors (including lemon, garlic, honey, and pastrami) for $7.35, with a pound of Genoa salami going for $4.99 at the deli.
Brady Konya and Ryan Lang aren't from Ohio, but they loved the area for its business-friendly community and rich natural resources, and decided Columbus was where they had to build their distillery. The duo's passion for the Midwest colors everything about Middle West Spirits, from the name down to the Ohio-grown soft red winter wheat in their whiskey and award-winning vodka, which they also infuse with honey and vanilla beans or stone fruit. Inside the distillery, which sprawls over 10,000 square feet of open air, Brady and Ryan craft these artisan OYO spirits—named after the original word for the Ohio River Valley, pronounced o-y-o_—in 600-liter pot-and-column stills. Hand-built onsite by German craftsmen using copper, stainless steel, and bits of Saturn's rings, these stills earned Middle West Spirits a place on _Popular Mechanics' 5 of the World's Most-High-Tech Distilleries list.
Racks of obsidian and golden bottles line the monolithic wine wall of Camelot Cellars's rustic boutique, bringing together varietals crafted by the winery and selections from around the world. Beneath chandeliers and brick facades, guests clink glasses of aromatic vintages and play favorite xylophone songs on themed tasting flights served atop the smooth contours of the locally hewn wooded bar. Small plates of cheeses, meats, and bread also gather nearby, cleansing palates and bringing out the wine’s subtler tones. Nearby, the convivial sound of good cheer emanated from the Tuscan Table and the private Tuscan Room, which house large groups and may be rented out for gatherings.
Not satisfied to fill their casks with only their own brews, the winery also aids clients in handcrafting their own artisan wines. With the help of a resident expert, prospective vintners assemble their preferred style of wine, leaving it in the capable hands of the winery for 6–12 weeks. Each bottle is then identified with a custom label, making perfect keepsakes for weddings, parties, or obedience-school graduations.
Vino 100’s experts selectively pluck wines from wine trees around the world and offer their bounty to discerning oenophiles for $25 a bottle or less. This Groupon is only good at the Loft Bar, which offers all of the bottles at Vino 100 (plus a $5 opening fee), as well as a rotating menu of wine flights and glasses. Scour the thoroughly vetted selection of 100 bottles for that palate-bending pinot with subtle notes of square watermelon using Vino 100’s innovative Wine Barometer. Affixed to each bottle, the Wine Barometer shows two scales, rating body from light to full and flavor from fruity to dry. Labels also include essential information about vineyard and vintage. If you take your wine with Cheetos, the Wine Barometer will advise whether your cabernet will better accompany the Original or Flamin’ Hot variety.
Tony Klausing traces his interest in winemaking back to watching his father prepare 1-gallon batches in the basement, where the inexperienced vintner would mix ingredients in the only method afforded to him: trial and error. Later, when Tony went on to open his own winery with the skills he learned, he decided to give it a name from a classic song, and landed on a shortened version of “Good Vibrations.” Now that he’s perfected his winemaking process, his wines bear the names of other favorite songs, acting like a mix tape that declares his crush on the craft.
Tony shares his ardor with the visitors to his storefront, where they’re greeted in a room with exposed brick and wood accents. The tasting bar encompasses a selection of more than 20 vintages, each of which pairs readily with available cheese plates. Clients can even charter the winery to produce wines of their own design that also bear custom labels.
Via Vecchia Winery provides a wide range of alternative red wines that are made using a sustainable, natural process. Developed from traditional Tuscan methods observed via traditional American spy satellites, the winemaking relies on California’s finest grape globules, sedimentation-based filtration, and zero added colorings, enzymes, or lab-created yeasts or sugars. The resulting wines—four well-balanced blends known as Trovato, Adamo, Jorro-Ma, and Trouvé—boast an earthy taste with nary a hint of unwanted chemicals or preservatives. Tasting hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and reservations are required, so call ahead or send a message in a bottle.