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Local Brew Review: Columbus Brewing Company’s Bandit

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Local Brew Review: Columbus Brewing Company’s Bandit
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There are few things more enjoyable in the hot summer months than sitting on a patio, or in your backyard, basking in the sunshine, and sipping on an ice cold beer. Indeed, most fun summer time activities demand potable accompaniment, and so at this time of year, there is no shortage of seasonal brews for just the job.

Columbus Underground is celebrating Local Beer this week, brought to you by our friends at Savor Growl. All this week we’re featuring articles on breweries, beer shops, tastemakers, growler fill stations and more!

Enter the Bandit – a 7.5% ABV dry-hopped IPA from Eric Bean, brewmaster at Columbus Brewing Company. This latest summer offering carries itself as an IPA – hoppy, citrusy, with a clean, malty flavor – but don’t be fooled by this sneaky brew.

It’s served in a pokal glass. The color is straw golden; the head is creamy and slow to evaporate. The aroma is bright and intense. The first sip is where things get really interesting, as depending on how you prefer your IPA – straightforward and classic or imaginatively twisted – the Bandit will either satisfy or send you completely over the top.

It has what I call a “grapefruit bitterness” – pungent, yet sweet, and ultimately, refreshing. It’s lighter than expected, and even though the finish is acerbic, it’s attractive. Each sip leaves you wanting another, a surprising facet considering this beer is brewed with chinook, a decidedly aggressive tasting hop, that lends its distinct pineyness and spice to popular Stone Brewing offering, Arrogant Bastard.

The Bandit is much more nuanced however, especially when paired with the right bar snack or meal. At Columbus Brewing Company, the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, with its vinegary punch from house-made buffalo sauce, and earthy creaminess from Gorgonzola crumbles and ranch dressing, is the perfect dish to savor the subtle grassiness of the Bandit. It’s tangy, but not too much so; rich, but not overwhelmingly.

It’s also worth ordering the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, which is finished with a CBC key lime BBQ sauce and a delightfully acidic spiced slaw. The pork on its own is too sweet to stand up the bold character of the Bandit, but when combined with the rocking slaw and a thin slice of red onion, both sandwich – and beer – will be gone in mere moments.

The Bandit is only available for a short time, although customer demand may force its return sooner than expected. You can purchase a 15 oz. pokal for $6 ($1 off during happy hour) or a growler for only $16.95 (cost of growler is $5 or bring your own!)

One can only hope this beer follows the path of the Bodhi, the outrageous 8.5% ABV double IPA that began as a summer seasonal and is now a permanent part of the beer lineup. Columbus Brewing Company currently also carries their Pale Ale, Fools Gold, IPA, and Summer Teeth varieties.

In addition, to commemorate the upcoming Columbus Summer Beerfest, a Beerfest Ale, a 5% ABV summer pale ale made with zythos hops, will be available for a short time.

Columbus Brewing Company is located at 525 Short Street in the Brewery District. Their hours of operation are Monday to Thursday, 11am – 10pm, Friday to Saturday, 11am – 11pm, and Sunday, 11am – 9pm. For more on CBC’s seasonal sippers, visit www.columbusbrewingco.com.

Photos by Ayana Wilson.

From August 12th to August 18th, Columbus Underground is Celebrating Local Beer Week, brought to you by Savor Growl. Stop by their shop at 2991 Indianola Avenue on Thursday, August 15th to get 50% off your growler container purchase and 10% off all growler fills between 6pm and 9pm!

You can also follow Savor Growl on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.

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