By blogger Paige Harden, posted January 2013

I will be the first to tell you that I am not a beer snob. In fact, I don’t know much at all about beer, but I do like to drink it on occasion. Luckily for me, and everyone else who likes beer, Columbus is the perfect place to taste a wide assortment of beer. In the last decade, Columbus’ craft beer scene has exploded. We now have four microbreweries in Bartholomew County, which is second only to Marion County when it comes to the number of microbreweries in a county.

Let me explain why I am so excited about this new beer culture in our county. Since I had my first taste of beer, everyone has explained that “beer is an acquired taste.” I don’t despise corporate light beers, but taste isn’t the problem. Corporate beer has hardly any taste at all in my opinion. None of them have any outstanding flavors that make me want to “acquire a taste” for them. A few years ago a friend introduced me to craft beer. I was amazed at the overwhelming flavors in each craft beer I tried. It wasn’t watered down alcohol. It was a combination of fresh and flavorful ingredients.

I won’t lie and say that I love all craft beer, but what I do love is the character and creativity used to create each beer. There are fruity beers and bitter beers and malty beers. Each glass is an entirely new experience. Before ordering a full glass of any beer, I prefer to order the microbrewery’s sampler. These small samples help me get a sense of the variety of beer that is offered and gives me a glimpse into the inventiveness of the brewer.

I admire microbrewers for the time and effort they put into each batch of beer. Half of the enjoyment is trying to determine which unique ingredients the brewer used to create a particular beer. Each glass is like enjoying a local work of art. Not only are some of ingredients local, the names of the beers reflect Columbus’ unique culture. For example, Columbus Bar features Diesel Oil Stout and Jack the Bum Pale Ale. Hawcreek Brewing Co. features Chaos IPA. While I may never understand what AAU, ABV, BAC or IBU mean, I will continue to raise my glass in support of the passions of our local microbrewers.