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.
WineMakers Guild's wine on premise process gives customers an opportunity to craft their own palatable wine creations away from home, avoiding disastrous wine spills that coat carpets and living-room wildlife in rose-colored speckles. In as little as 30 days, visitors can create their own personalized conversation-propelling elixirs with quality juice sourced from around the world. Over 100 tasty wine varieties are available to make, with 30–40 available for tasting at any given time. Your Groupon is good for 15 bottles of Green Apple Riesling or Blackberry Cabernet, or it can be applied toward the price of making any other varietal. A knowledgeable staff of vinologists assists customers at every step, ensuring a tasty blend that is ready to sample in four to eight weeks. Fermentation, racking, stabilization, and filtering all take place on-site, bypassing the need for purchasing winemaking equipment, messy clean-up, or complicated grape-squashing dance steps. The stress-free process yields 15–30 custom-labeled bottles of high-quality wine unsullied by sneaky fairies and even sneakier roommates who keep "mistaking" your wine stash for the Kool-Aid they store in a wine bottle next to it.
Greg Lehman found inspiration to start a distillery in an unlikely place—a volleyball court in Switzerland. While playing there professionally, Greg was struck by the commonness of locally distilled spirits. It resonated with his upbringing in Ohio, where distilleries once thrived before Prohibition made malt liquor America's classiest drink. Upon returning home, Greg and business partner Dave Rigo founded Watershed Distillery, joining the state's heritage of microdistilleries.
Today, the pair mans a 66-gallon and a 250-gallon custom-made copper still to craft the signature Four Peel Gin, infused with eight botanicals, as well as a vodka that's quadruple-distilled from Midwest-grown corn and a bourbon aged in American oak barrels. Greg and Dave also open their distillery for tours, taking guests through the facility and letting them watch everything from mashing to barreling, depending on the stage of the current batch. A tasting room enables patrons to sample spirits.
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.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
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.