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Chicago-Based Brewery Opening First Ohio Location at Easton

Susan Post Susan Post Chicago-Based Brewery Opening First Ohio Location at EastonImage via Forbidden Root's Facebook Page
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Easton is getting in on the craft beer scene. Chicago-based Forbidden Root Brewing Company will open its second-ever location and first in Ohio as a part of the $500 million Easton Town Center expansion.

The brewery opened its doors in Chicago in 2016 offering a lineup of botanical beers. Rootmaster & Founder Robert Finkel and Senior Alchemist & Partner Randy Mosher are inspired by nature and passionate about using ingredients outside of just hops, grain and yeast.

“It’s all about the ingredients first,” Finkel says. “We call it flavor first and we design the beer around that.”

It’s led to beers like their Strawberry Basil Hefeweizen, Forbidden Root’s biggest seller. Mosher says a straight strawberry beer didn’t seem interesting enough so they tried a few flavor combos until they landed on basil. Other brews start with a concept. The Sublime Ginger was designed to take the tastebuds on a trip to Key West with flavors of key lime and ginger.

It’s this process that makes Forbidden Root different from most breweries. Finkle says they will create the flavor profile, then reverse engineer and pick the traditional beer ingredients that support that taste.

As for the decision to bring their botanical beer to Columbus, Ohio was on Forbidden Root’s radar, but it was a national search for an anchor brewery and restaurant tenant that landed them at Easton. Finkel says they were attracted to the urban planning approach of the project and the curation of best in class retailers and restaruants that will fill out the expansion. Forbidden Root will join the likes of previously announced tenants including RH Gallery, Arhaus Furniture, True Food Kitchen and Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce Cafe and Speakeasy.

Forbidden Root sees the expansion to Ohio with a physical location as a better fit for the brand. Mosher says they have quickly learned that there’s not always enough room on packaging to adequately explain their botanical brews. The brewpub allows customers to get immersed in the full story.

Forbidden Root’s Easton location will span 12,000 square feet across two levels and feature plenty of outdoor seating. There will be 12 beers on tap that rotate regularly, including a few lines they will leave open for guest beers from Ohio.

Their brewing operations will also feature one facet unique to Columbus. Forbidden Root is setting up a foeder – a 20 barrel wooden tank used to age beer. Typically used for sours, Forbidden Root will instead stick to traditional lagers, turning out about six foeder-aged beers a year.

Finkel describes Forbidden Root’s food menu as urban, rustic American cuisine – or familiar food with an innovative twist. He says they’re always innovating in Chicago and plan to do the same in Columbus, sourcing local ingredients when they can.

The menu will be similar to the flagship location. Diners can expect a lineup of bar snacks, with dishes like BBQ Sweet Potato Chips, House Spiced Beef Jerky and Chicken Skins. Small and large plates offer everything from salads and soups, to a Pork Schnitzel Sandwich, Duck & Dumplings, and a burger that is consistently ranked one of the best in Chicago.

Forbidden Root is on track for a November 1 opening at Easton.

For more information, visit forbiddenroot.com.

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