Clintonville has a complicated history with alcohol. Parts of Clintonville are wet and other parts are dry. Some places can serve a full range of boozes, while many others are limited to beer and/or wine. Aspiring restaurateurs and bar owners have had to show signed leases before they could get a permit…but who in their right mind would sign a lease if they didn’t know whether they could get a permit? Needless to say, if it has been this hard to even serve alcohol in Clintonville, there probably haven’t been a lot of people lining up to brew beer there.

Lineage Brewing Beer Wall

Luckily, Lineage Brewing said screw all that and opened Clintonville’s only brewery. The results have been fantastic. Lineage has a beautiful space – it’s hard to believe this used to be a car wash. There is a light and airy feel about the tap room. The bar top and table tops are a light-colored wood and the chairs around the tables are all painted white, while the walls are white and a pleasant sea foam green, all of which contribute to the sunny feel of the space. The entire front wall is glass, as is the large garage door on the left side of the room, both of which allow sunlight to pour into the space. The back wall is dominated by a herringbone-patterned pallet wall of three colors of wood. Behind the bar are large chalkboards listing Lineage’s ever-changing list of house-brewed beers, as well as a large window through which you can peer into the brewery.

Lineage Brewing Beer Samples

The beer at Lineage has been consistently satisfying. These guys keep you on your toes, as every time you visit they have a bunch of new beers, and you never know what you might find. On our latest trip, we split a sampler of eight different beers, several of which really stood out to me. The Going Ham DIPA was one of the best DIPAs I’ve had in some time. It had a prominent hoppy bitterness, but a juicy fruit blast that balanced it out and kept the hops from blowing out my taste buds. The Vilkati Baltic porter has a satisfying chocolaty sweetness to complement the roasty flavors. The Utah English mild is full flavored, despite only being 3.7 percent ABV. There is a pleasant biscuity sweetness. The Kimmy Gibbler is a California common (think Anchor Steam), a style you don’t encounter very often. It’s a smooth, mild, slightly malty beer that you could drink all day. Every time I’ve been to Lineage, I’ve been impressed not just with the quality of the beer, but also with the breadth of styles they’ve covered. There have been three percent beers and ten percent beers, light beers and dark beers, sour beers and hoppy beers. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next.

Lineage Brewing Food

As if the beer weren’t enough, now Lineage is a dining destination as well. Lineage has served a limited menu ever since they opened, focusing primarily on hand pies. The hand pies are still there and are still delicious, but now they are complemented by a full menu that features sandwiches, salads, sides, and appetizers. We split the baked Camembert fondito, which is basically a big warm wheel of cheese baked inside a pastry crust with a ton of garlic. I mean a TON of garlic – I counted at least six whole garlic cloves, which was intensely delicious. I can’t wait to get another one.

Lineage Brewing Herringbone Wall

Maybe Clintonville is getting its act together with alcohol. The neighborhood has several great bars and restaurants, as well as most of Columbus’ great bottle shops, so it seems like the old restrictions are loosening up. It’s a good thing, as it would be a crime if we couldn’t enjoy Lineage because of some dumb old laws.

{In our efforts to spotlight each Columbus-area brewery, we’re sending Doug Oldham to visit every brewery’s tap room. In the coming months, he will attempt to regale you with his experiences. Doug’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the CCBA.}