Two years ago, Steve and Matt tag teamed sharing their favorite Columbus area breweries that are also family friendly. Given it's been two years, and beer is very synonymous with our platform, we brewed an updated list for summer 2023. Let us know what you think!
My wife and I have a three-and-a-half-year-old son and one on the way. So, I’m looking for places that are toddler approved and it’s not frowned upon if he’s a wild man. I’m also looking for a spot to take a future little one, which means comfortable for my wife and easy parking options too.
First off, I’d be a bad Dadvocate if I didn’t give a special shout out to Taft’s Brewporium Columbus and Honest Friend Brewing for adding changing stations to your men’s and gender-neutral restrooms in part with our Changing Station Accessibility Grant with Columbus City Council.
Edison Brewing Company (Gahanna) continues to be our son’s overall favorite place to go to in Columbus because of the airplanes. I love their traditional European style beers, and my wife loves their signature cocktails, but it’s all about the planes landing at John Glenn. The brewery has a huge outdoor area with an impressive stage. Most notably, it sits directly between both runways, which allows for optimal airplane watching when playing games that they offer.
Coffee, beer and proximity to Columbus’ best Metro Park, Highbanks (IMO), make Olentangy River Brewing (Lewis Center) a clear contender. I have survived both morning hikes with dad friends and kids that needed a dose of caffeine afterwards and sizzling summer day hikes that called for a Belgian Aloha. This is a great spot with a lot to do around it.
Full disclosure, I am the Executive Director of the Worthington Area Chamber and have to give a nod to one of our businesses. Outside of my bias, there is a great collection of light and full-bodied ales at Zaftig Brewing Co. (Worthington), complimented with great bourbon cocktails and wine. What makes this special for families is the friendly, local bar vibe, well respected 90’s alt rock playlist and a fantastic picnic table set up easy for games, Matchbox car races and easy clean up with spills. Plus, if the little ones are acting out, try the Big Barley Wine. It is the perfect medicine for that.
Although Fattey Beer Co. (Westerville) is not a brewery, it holds its own to be on this list. Visit Uptown, head to a public park or Westerville Library across the street or just bring in your own food from the surrounding restaurants. This is in an ideal location (with parking) and the vibe is fun and loud, so kids can be themselves. Our son’s is especially grateful that they offer juice with PJ Masks and Paw Patrol characters as the straw. They offer beers on tap, hundreds by styles in marked fridges, wines, ciders, NAs, and beers to go.
I basically echo everything Matt listed above. I couldn't agree with his sentiments, and I've had similar experiences at each location.
One brewery we have yet to shoutout in this series is Land Grant (Franklinton). We've been taking our kids there for years, and as I shared in March, the winter season, much like every season, offers something unique to do with your family. This time of year though, the patio is bustling. Live music is frequent, and it's a great destination to watch soccer matches. Before you know it, football season will be upon us, so don't rule it out for Buckeye Saturdays.
This is slightly off topic, given they are a distillery, but both High Bank locations are tremendous for children, especially the Grandview spot with it's games. I'm a big fan of their whiskey and of theirs in general, as they are friends to the podcast, but their food is unique and as good as anything you can find in central Ohio.
CBUS Dads is a community of central Ohio area dads balancing an active lifestyle with being an involved parent. A Saturday for us may involve enjoying morning t-ball, lunch at a new local spot and an evening at a summer festival with our families. We may live downtown, in the suburbs or somewhere between, but our common thread is that we continue to experience the community we love - now as parents.