Microbreweries are a hot trend in Columbus. Existing breweries are expanding and new breweries are popping up around town. The Born Brewing Company falls into the latter category, and is expected to be up and running within the next six to eight months. We recently spoke to Collin Castore, co-founder of the Born Brewing Company, to find out more.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the history of your brewery project?
A: Travis Spencer and I started talking about a brewery almost three years ago and I became interested enough in the idea that I decided to take a class about it at The Siebel Institute in Chicago, which is one of the oldest beer technical colleges in the US. We worked on the business plan for a couple of years and also began to think about adding another partner into the equation. Jen Burton seemed like a natural choice because of her personality and connection to the Columbus art community from her years at CCAD and her time spent at ROY G BIV. We have also all stayed good friends since the 8th grade and know each other well enough to argue together and well enough to work together.
Q: So it sounds like opening a brewery is something you’ve wanted to do for awhile now?
A: The obvious and simple answer is I, like most any other person in the world, love beer. To be a little more specific though, my time at Bodega and recently with the Barrel has given me a sincere appreciation for the craft beer community and industry. You rarely encounter an industry where “competitors” really help each other and where everyone is looking out for the greater good. Craft breweries also have a direct impact on their communities through charity contributions and fundraisers and most often locate in transitional industrial neighborhoods that can use a positive tenant. It is hard to find a business like that and I feel lucky to be becoming a part of it.
Q: With operating Bodega to serve beer, and Barrel & Bottle to sell beer, does the brewery complete the trifecta?
A: I think that having a perspective from each of the businesses will help each of the businesses run more smoothly and ultimately become better outlets for our customers. The Barrel has already taught me some great lessons about the wine business that will be a great help for Born. It will also be nice to have direct customer feedback from different sources. It will be important when we start to really listen to what people think of our all our beers and especially our small batch experimental beers.
Q: Why did you want to bring back an old name with the historic Born Brewing Company, rather than create something new?
A: I really enjoy learning about brewing history and think that there is a lot of valuable insight to be gained from the localized nature of the turn of the century beer market. Columbus actually has some fascinating beer history too so it seemed like it would be fun to reference something old while doing something new; and what could be a better name for that idea than “Born”.
Q: Did you have to go about any special rights to secure the name of the old Born Brewing Company?
A: No, we are registered with the state and in the process of securing a national trademark but we have not had any issues. Born has not been used as a trade name for brewing for over 100 years.
Q: What type of beers will you be focusing on at launch?
A: Right now we are focusing on developing two “flagship styles” — one with a lighter malt base and one with with a darker malt base — both with a bold and unique flavor profile. Bold and unique are kind of generic terms; but I guess we just want to emphasize that we want to start off with different styles of beer than are available from Columbus breweries now. For instance, Columbus Brewing makes such a great IPA and The Elevator does so well with their dark lager that we thought we would try something different. We also have the flexibility of having the 1bbl blickman and the larger 15bbl premier so we are going to fully utilize the smaller system to consistently brew experimental limited release small batches and when we fall in love with a recipe we will scale up to the Premier for wider distribution.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the Brewery’s location?
A: We consider the intersection of 4th Avenue and 4th Street to be the center of the universe by virtue of its name. It’s also a great old building with cinder block construction that has been a garage for decades. It has enough ceiling height and square footage to allow for future growth and the outdoor space offers some interesting opportunity for a seasonal patio and community garden.
Q: What attracted you to that specific location in Italian Village?
A: We all really liked the idea of being in the Short North, but not directly on High Street. The building at 1101 North Fourth allows us to do the event rental space (like Smith Brothers hardware down the street) along with the brewery. It also has great outdoor space we can use for a patio, a community garden and ample parking. We also like the fact that we can positively effect the strip of North 4th that we are on. The St James has been a great anchor for that part of the neighborhood and we are hoping that bringing more activity and bustle to the area will continue progress in that vein.
Q: What’s the timeline on getting production up and running and when can we expect product to be available?
A: Six to eight months is a realistic timeline. But we would love for things to move more quickly.
More information about the Born Brewing Company will be coming soon over the next few months.