The Seventh Son tap room is arguably my favorite bar in Columbus. It’s always the place I want to take out-of-towners from big cities to show them that Columbus is just as cool as their town. And every time I do, they agree that Columbus seems pretty damn cool, so mission accomplished!

Seventh Son Brewing Bar

The atmosphere of the place is just great. For me, the thing I love the most at Seventh Son is the exposure to sunlight. We tend to be day drinkers and visit during the early afternoon on weekends or at happy hour during the week, and every time we are there we are bathed in light. There are two patios, including a huge patio in the back that is one of the nicest places in town to sit all spring and summer. You can catch a soothing summer breeze and work on your tan while drinking some of Columbus’ best beer. It was a cold, rainy day when we visited last week, so there was no patio sitting, but that was just fine because the inside is a wonderful space as well. The entire front wall of the tap room is made of glass garage doors, which are open at every opportunity and even if they are closed, they’re still great for letting in light so you feel like you’re outside even when you’re at the bar. Even on the gross, cloudy day we visited, the inside was brightly lit with natural light and no artificial lighting was needed.

Seventh Son Brewing Bar

There’s a real industrial vibe to the space, which fits the building’s history as an auto garage. One wall is a window into the adjacent brewery, which is growing increasingly crowded with tanks as production has increased over the years to meet the city’s huge demand for their beer. The bar is made of concrete, as are the floors. The walls are primarily simple brick. The seating at the bar is simple metal stools, the kind you had in art class in school, and the floor seating is composed of simple benches and long tables. One of the kegerators behind the bar is an old refrigerator converted to serve beer. There’s not a lot of fancy stuff in here. It’s just simple. That way everybody can focus on the beer.

The beer! The beer is consistently among the best in town. Always a wide selection with a number of unique choices, and always satisfying. This most recent trip I started with the Brother Jon Belgian Blonde. It was relatively dry and hoppy for a blonde. It had a hint of fruitiness and sweetness, but it was restrained—a delicious and different twist on a blonde! The Scientist (Version 9B) had a little fruitiness to it, and was hoppy but not overwhelmingly so. The Ladies and Gentlemen barleywine is probably my favorite barleywine anywhere. Most fresh barleywines are a little too intense for me, being both too hoppy and too sweet, but not Ladies and Gentlemen. It has a peachy, subtly sweet flavor that tastes like a peach pastry in my beer. It’s one of my winter favorites. I finished with the Oceania DIPA, which was nicely balanced with hops and malty sweetness.

Seventh Son Brewing Bar

Everyone is welcome at Seventh Son, and you see a wide range of patrons ranging from total hipster types to families with small kids to old guys in business suits. Everyone seems fine with everyone else, which creates a diverse, eclectic vibe you don’t find in most bars. It’s not unusual for kids and dogs to be running around on the patio in the Summer, and for everyone to be totally cool with it. A great music selection ranging from Roxy Music to Curtis Mayfield provides the soundtrack for drinking. The taproom cat is often lounging in the corner. Everyone is drinking great beer and involved in lively conversation. Damn, this is just a great place to drink. If you can find a tap room anywhere with a better vibe, then let me know, because I’d need to check that out immediately, but I’d be shocked if you can.

{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.}