Jackie O’s Opens for Curbside Pickup, Taproom & Brewery to Follow in 2021
Jackie O’s is bringing a little bit of Athens to Columbus – at least in curbside spirit.
The Athens-based brewery is now offering curbside pickup from its retail storefront at 171 N. Fourth St. In October, the brewery announced it had purchased the former home of Elevator Brewing Company Downtown, with plans for on-site brewing, a taproom and retail presence.
General Manager Johnny Clift says Jackie O’s had been waiting years for the right place, right time to expand to Columbus. While the time might not be quite right, looking at you global pandemic, the place was.
Not only did they want an older, historic building, but the location puts them on the same street as a number of other Columbus craft breweries, from Wolf’s Ridge, to Hoof Hearted, to Seventh Son.
Clift says they’ve found great connections in the Columbus craft beer community, and they’re excited to now play a larger role and grow their presence in Central Ohio.
Columbus has two distinctions for Jackie O’s: it was the first place they sold their beer outside of Athens, and is now their largest market.
“The first place our cans sold outside of Athens, Ohio was here in Ohio at Weiland’s Market,” Clift says. “Since then we’ve grown with Columbus into a deeper craft beer community.”
Clift says they have already seen many familiar faces through their curbside pickup operation. While build out on the retail portion of the project is complete, the brewery decided it just wasn’t a safe time for folks to shop in-person.
There’s no shortage of beer – and other Jackie O’s goodies – to discover, though.
“We are selling a very diverse portfolio of our world class beers including mixed fermentation sour projects, bourbon barrel aged stouts and barleywines, along with our classic 6-packs of Mystic Mama and Ricky,” Clift says.
Imbibers will find cans, speciality bottles and crowlers with one-off, draft-only pours from Athens. There’s no beer production in Columbus yet, so everything comes from down south.
There’s another coveted item that’s making the trip from Athens – bread from Jackie O’s Bakeshop. Sourdough loaves are available periodically for curbside pickup until they sell out.
Rounding things out in the retail department are Jackie O’s hoodies, t-shirts, hats and glassware.
The next phase of the buildout to open will be the taproom. The first step is to work on a larger patio, Clift says, anticipating that when they do open, potentially in the spring if it’s a healthier environment to do so, customers may still prefer to be outside.
They’re still finalizing interior plans, but are aiming for a mix of paying homage to the aesthetics of the building and instilling some Athens charm. Clift says while they can “never recreate a visit to the mothership in Athens,” they want to impart the city’s culture and vibe.
The taproom will have at least 20 beers on tap, and there will eventually be some sort of food element, but whether that’s Jackie O’s-run or someone else is to be determined.
Work on the brewery will take a little longer, with production slated to begin in late 2021. Clift says they are still finalizing what styles and what direction they’ll head with brewing in Columbus. It will take time to adjust the brewing system to match as closely as possible with their process in Athens.
Clift is excited for not only the jobs that expanding to Columbus will create both locally and in Athens, but to really bring the two cities together for the brewery.
“As someone born in Athens and raised in both Athens and Columbus, I’m extremely thrilled to be directing a project that culturally tightens the bond between Athens and Columbus,” he says.
For more information, visit jackieos.com.
All photos by Walker Evans.