10 Ways to Enjoy a Beer Vacation at Columbus' DogHouse
BrewDog, the Scottish beer with a cult-like following, has just opened what is billed as the world's first beer hotel, with 32 guest rooms next to a state-of-the-art sour brewery and taproom in Columbus, Ohio.
Beer. You love it, you live it. You hit all the new craft breweries and debate the merits of IPAs vs. APAs. You tick off the locations on your beer trail passport. You'd sleep in a brewery if you could. Well, lucky you-now you can! BrewDog, a Scotland-based multinational brewery and pub chain, has opened DogHouse-a 32-room hotel inside its 42-acre North American headquarters and brewery in Canal Winchester, Ohio, a suburb just south of Columbus.
Here's how an overnight beer vacation flows at DogHouse.
1. Check in at the bar. Conveniently, the check-in desk at this hotel is also the lobby bar! Get your room key (yup, real keys here) and order a BrewDog staple like Hazy Jane (a New England IPA) or choose from several local and international guest beers. Wine and spirits are offered too, but really, why would you?
2. Sleep in a brewery. The two-story, 32-room DogHouse surrounds and is open to the OverWorks sour brewery where beer ferments in over 600 oak barrels and several massive foeders (tall wooden casks). Step off the elevator and breathe in the musty perfume of fermenting beer. Rooms (from $162 a night) sport an industrial-hip style with concrete floors, simple wood and iron furniture, over-the-bed neon art, Edison bulb lighting and beer-themed art and books.
3. Pour from your in-room beer tap. Each room comes with its own beer tap, actually a growler inside a dispenser/chiller. Guests choose a beer from a list of BrewDog classics like Punk IPA or Elvis Juice (grapefruit-infused IPA) ($16-$20, based on beer choice). A small refrigerator holds guest beers chosen by BrewDog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie.
4. Shower with beer - #1. Built into the wall next to the white-tiled, walk-in shower is the "Shower Beer" fridge with cans of BrewDog's finest. Go ahead, no one's looking.
5. Shower with beer - #2. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion are all infused with grapefruit-scented Elvis Juice courtesy of Columbus' Glenn Avenue Soap Company.
6. Tour the brewery. DogWalks are offered several times a day ($10 per person, free to hotel guests) and include a tour of the entire state-of-the-art, 100,000-square-foot facility, from the grain room to the canning line.
7. Pair beer with food. Serving lunch and dinner: DogTap, a light-filled, two-story restaurant where pub fare like burgers and pizza pair perfectly with BrewDog's signature or seasonal suds. DogTap's spacious lobby holds another bar and a shop filled with BrewDog beer and merchandise. Hotel guests enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast at the lobby bar. May we suggest a Jet Black Heart oatmeal milk stout with those eggs?
8. Get a Beer Museum education. Recently added off the lobby of DogTap is the Beer Museum, where interactive displays include a hop aroma tutorial and a taste test between tap water and the purified-for-beer version.
9. Drink beer with Mother Nature. Picnic tables dot the patio outside DogTap, where a small, duck-topped pond and a tree-lined vista await al fresco diners and drinkers. Fire pits warm cool nights, a pond-side gazebo holds more seating and strings of festive white lights illuminate the dark.
10. Bring your furry friend. Fido is welcome at DogHouse's four dog-friendly rooms and on the patio outside DogTap, where bowls of water are almost as ubiquitous as beer mugs. A fenced dog park gives pups a chance to exercise and socialize.