Tasty Discoveries at Columbus' Zaftig Brewing
Updated: Dec 29, 2018
This is an archived copy of what was originally posted on Facebook.
Friday night the Great Brewery Tour returned to Columbus, OH, this time stopping at Zaftig Brewing Co.. Zaftig is technically in Worthington, which is a suburb with a lot of business parks, etc. (and and a big Budweiser brewery, if you're into that sort of thing) on the north side of the city. Like many others, the Zaftig brewery utilizes a sizable warehouse type building for brewing, with a taproom and patio area that runs the legnth of the building. The taproom is friendly, stocked with board games, darts, and so on, and a combonation of bar seats, hightops, and picknic tables ala a beer hall.
Zaftig was founded around five years ago, but has only been in this location for a couple of years.
Zaftig Brewing Co - Worthington, OH (just north of Columbus)
Beers are available on tap and to-go at the taproom, as well as at many establishments throughout the Columbus area.
Beer was available in at least 15 varieties, from samples all the way up to 64 oz growlers and six packs. Being rather thirsty upon arrival, I went for their their thirst quenching and long standing customer favorite the Hazy Miss Daisy (7%), which as the name hints at was a hazy IPA in the New England/East Coast tradition. An almost orange hazy pour, a fuity aroma is followed by a somewhat tart citrusy start provided by the Mosaic and Amarillo hops and a malty middle, and a slightly bitter finish. Well balanced and medium carbonation made it a very refreshing start.
From there the night went much darker, as I swayed towards the deep selection of stouts and darker ales (tis the season!). Nuttin 2it w/Coffee (10%) was next, which was Zaftig's fantastic Pecan Brown Ale with a kick of Crimson Cup Coffee. A nice thick tan head, a wonderful coffee aroma, and then a light coffee flavor up front, with a light nutty back end, all hovering nicely over a robost brown ale. Fantastic, and this is what I sipped on throughout my first set.
At set break I moved to the BamBaLam (10%) breakfast stout, which also had hints of Ghiradelli chocolate, Crimson Cup coffee, in a lightly carbonated yet creamy stout. This coffee/nut theme was repeated a few times throughout the night, but I would say this one drank more like a stout with the flavors lightly implied. I should also mention that as everything on the menu looked fantastic on paper, I relied on the direction and expertise of the fellas behind the bar, who did not let me down!
For my second set I sipped on the Shadowed Mistress (9%) American strong ale, which was a really well balanced dark ale with touches of roasted malt and citrusy fruit. It was a nice switch after the stout, providing a drink that was a little lighter, but still dark and bold enough to be interesting.
There were two brews that I had decided early to save for the end of the evening: Tropical A-Crop Blacklight (9%), which was a stout with pineapple and coconut mixed in; and Nuts For You (8%), Zaftig's Peanut Butter Stout. Tropical A-Crop was a small batch and they were on their last keg, and I literally got the very last (half) pour, as the keg emptied during my pour. I've had some other coconut related brews lately, and the results were always interesting, although often not really my bag. This one was equally interesting... the coconut aroma hits you right away, and the pineapple, coconut, and malt flavors all seem to hit at the same time on the sip, which is stimulating, confusing, and leaves you continually taking little sips as you try to figure out what the hell is going on in your mouth. It was enjoyable, and I'd probably need another one to really determine whether I loved it or was just confused by it... but that's moot, as the keg is dead, the beer is gone, and unless they bring it back at some point there isn't any more to be had.
Finally, that Nuts For You peanut butter stout. My one word review would be DAMN! This is not an obnoxiously sweet peanut butter brew that like Sweet Jesus juice stuff. No, this one does an amazing balancing act of smelling like peanut butter and chocolate, and then blending chocolate, coffee, and a bold yet NOT overdone nuttiness over a bold, heavy stout. Creamy, delicious, not sweet, yet rich... it was the perfect note to finish on. I grabbed a growler so I could share it with a couple of friends who HAD to try it. I think Nuts For You has become my favorite of what I call “dessert beers”... which means just an amazing, satisfying heavy pour that is perfect at the end of the night to sip on while others eat their cheesecake or whatever, and this would be my dessert.
Friendly crowd at Zaftig, a lot of families, young kids and doggies running around. Also a great food truck on this night serving pierogis (I sampled their short ribs and pierogi... unbelievable!). Sophies Gourmet Pierogi was the food truck vendor. Not far from I-71, so if you're in Columbus or just passing through, it is definitely worth the stop, and they have growlers and six packs to go!
Next stop, Brink Brewing Co in Cincinnati....