This past weekend, I adventured down south to Fairfield County (OH) to experience their brand new Route 33 Brew Trail. Announced during the recent National Travel & Tourism Week (May 6 – 12), Visit Fairfield County launched this trail which features six craft breweries (with taprooms) along Route 33. Read all about my experience below!
Pin this to save for later!
*Please note: While some of the below experiences were complimentary, all opinions are 100% my own.
My Experience on the Route 33 Brew Trail
The six breweries included in the Route 33 Brew Trail are BrewDog, Brewery 33 Hocking Hills, Combustion Brewery and Taproom, Double Edge Brewing Company, Loose Rail, and Rockmill Brewery. If you’re coming from Cleveland, it makes most sense to start at Combustion Brewery since it’s the farthest north. (FYI: Fairfield County is located southeast of Columbus.) The drive from Cleveland to Combustion Brewery took about 2 hours and 30 minutes, so be sure to pack some snacks and good tunes for an enjoyable road trip!
Stop #1: Combustion Brewery & Taproom
This brewery is located in small-town USA, Pickerington, OH. You almost feel like there’s no chance there’s a brewery in this town…but that’s wrong! Combustion is a relatively large brewery with ample indoor and outdoor seating, as well as event space on the second floor that seats up to 200 people. The staff is extremely friendly and shared a bit about the building’s past. It use to be the Pickerington Creamery which churned A TON of butter each year and employed most of the city. One of Combustion’s milk stouts is named after the creamery. The owner, Keith, is the only person that brews the beer and he does an excellent job! My favorite was the Blue Print (it tasted like a blueberry muffin), but my favorite beer name was Wanderlust. Get the cheeseboard and a flight here!
Tip: You might consider visiting some of the covered bridges in the area before moving onto the next brewery. Also, don’t forget to pick up a brew trail passport at either the Fairfield County Visitor’s Bureau or one of the participating breweries. When you visit the breweries and make a purchase, they will give you a stamp. Collect all six stamps to earn free swag when you complete the Route 33 Brew Trail! Who doesn’t love swag?!
Stop #2: Loose Rail Brewing
Loose Rail Brewing is housed in a rustic, old barn and has a patriotic feel to it. There is seating available on the first and second floor, but it is not a big venue. One feature I appreciated was the various pour sizes (4 oz, 10 oz, 16 oz, 32 oz, 64 oz)….perfect for sampling! My favorite sip was Search Light Shandy, tasting just like a Peachy Penguin. For all you non-gummy lovers, that’s a sweet, peachy flavor. Park on the street outside Loose Rail and once you’re beered out, walk down the street to peruse downtown Canal Winchester…it’s ADORABLE! Be sure to stop in my new favorite store, Sticks and Stones Studio.
Downtown Canal Winchester is TOO CUTE.
Be sure to stop in Sticks & Stone Studio…aka my favorite store!
Stop #3: BrewDog
Be ready to have your socks knocked off! BrewDog is absolutely humongous and the size of the building alone will blow you away. This craft brewery actually started in Scotland and is the best selling craft beer in the UK! Who woulda known?! Walk in to find a replica of the building in Legos, tons of apparel, a tasting area, a large restaurant with an extensive menu, funky art, an outdoor seating area, games and more! Seriously, this brewery was overwhelming in all good ways. Be sure to taste the PBJ Stout.
Stop #4: Rockmill
Warning: When you visit Rockmill Brewery, you will discover that you never want to leave. This brewery has old farmhouse vibes and the inside is cozy and quaint with lots of nooks and crannies to relax in. The beautiful outdoor setting is complete with lots of patio & green space, a BBQ food truck, a huge pond, a small chapel and more. While I was there, a family was celebrating a birthday party, a couple was letting their dog swim in the creek behind the pond and folks of all ages were relaxed and enjoying each others company. Go here if you are stressed and need a day to unwind.
Is this real life? So so SO pretty here.
The pond behind Rockmill Brewery
This delicious BBQ food truck will be at the Rockmill Brewery for most of the summer. Get the pulled pork!
View from the patio of the brewery looking out to the backyard. You can see the pond and the tiny chapel in the background of the photo.
Stop #5: Brewery 33
Brewery 33 is the smallest brewery that I visited and is located about 10 miles away from Hocking Hills State Park. The owner, Dave, was super friendly and is happy to explain the history behind the naming of each beer. He’s a huge advocate for the area! A unique feature of this brewery is their cocktail beers. I LOVED the Mingo Mango which, as you might have guessed, has mango juice in it. I would recommend going on a hike in the area and coming to Brewery 33 afterwards for a beer cocktail!
Stop #6: Double Edge
Double Edge Brewing Co. is located in the town of Lancaster and was the most lively brewery I visited. It’s open late (until 11 PM on Fridays/Saturdays) and I could tell this was the local hot spot. Be sure to grab a bag of their yummy gourmet popcorn for purchase while you sip on your flight of beers!
- If you’re coming from Cleveland, I would recommend following the same or similar order that I followed.
- You might consider doing the first four on Friday or Saturday and the last two on Saturday or Sunday depending on your travel. It was quite a lot of beer tastings for one day!
- You can get flights of beer at every brewery.
- I would recommend eating a meal at BrewDog as they have a restaurant as a part of their brewery.
- Growlers and apparel are available at most of the stops…great souvenirs or presents!
If you have time, stop at Mount Pleasant located in Rising Park in Lancaster for a short, yet steep hike. The views won’t disappoint!
- Visit Fairfield County Ohio website: Be sure to check out the interactive map to help you find other areas of attraction in Fairfield County (think coffee shops, museums, covered bridges, etc.).
- Route 33 Brew Trail website
- Places to stay: If you plan to stay overnight, I suggest staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Lancaster. It’s a good middle stop between the first three breweries and the last three breweries.
If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway this summer, I would highly encourage you to check out Fairfield County’s Route 33 Brew Trail! Be sure to use the hashtag #Rt33BrewTrail on social media to share your own experience.
Question: Creating food or drink trails seems like the current trend for tourism bureaus to gain visitors in their area. What other tourism trails have you experienced? Share in the comments below!