Louisville-Based Brewery to Open First Ohio Location in the Arena District
A brewery will once again inhabit the space vacated by Gordon Biersch in the Arena District.
Louisville, KY based Goodwood Brewing & Spirits will make its Ohio debut at 401 N. Front St. early next year.
The last few years have seen major growth for the brewery which traces its beginnings back to 2005. It was known as Bluegrass Brewing Co. then and continued to license the name for a decade. 2015 brought the rebrand to Goodwood Brewing and 2019 the expansion into spirits and food service.
Goodwood Brewing opened its first brewpub in Frankfurt, KY, then added food to its Louisville taproom. Owner Ted Mitzlaff says coming out of COVID, they were able to acquire several other facilities to expand their beer empire – a Mellow Mushroom in Lexington which opened under the Goodwood name in January, a RAM Brewery in Indianapolis which they converted and opened in July, an Owensboro, KY location that’s in the works, and finally, the shell of Gordon Biersch in Columbus (which actually closed just before the pandemic).
The capital city is not an unknown quantity to Mitzlaff. He says he loves Columbus, has been many times – and had many an OSU game day experience – and been looking for a possible expansion location for some time. The nearly turnkey facility that the Arena District address offered was too good to pass up.
It’s the city’s sports culture that was also attractive to Mitzlaff for a Goodwood expansion. The proximity to the Convention Center and Columbus’ professional sports teams, as well as the city’s rabid Ohio State fandom, make for an attractive environment for a brewery.
With 13,400 square feet indoors and an additional 900 square feet of patio space, plenty of eating, drinking and brewing will be happening on-site.
Goodwood Brewing’s menu will have some southern flair that goes beyond typical bar fare. There are brewpub staples like burgers and wings, but also mains like shrimp and grits, bourbon glazed salmon and chicken and waffles, plus other starters and sides.
In the beer department, Mitzlaff says Goodwood hits the full spectrum of beers, from lagers and ales to double IPAs and imperial stouts. Historically, the brewery has also made a name for itself through its barrel aging program. Smack in the middle of bourbon country, access to barrels is abundant – and not just bourbon, but wine, rum, tequila and more.
In Columbus, Mitzlaff says they’ll be focusing more on edgy, funky, beer-nerd type brews, and supply their core lineup from Louisville. They’ll also look for opportunities to bring on guest taps and collaborate with other local breweries.
The brewpub is the first taste Ohio will get of Goodwood’s beer. The brewery previously didn’t distribute in Ohio, but is now interviewing distributors to take its product statewide.
It’s not the only product Goodwood is hoping to introduce to the buckeye state. The brewery added an “and Spirits” to its name in 2019 with the release of its first bourbons. Goodwood offers three varieties of bourbon aged in their used beer barrels: Goodwood Honey Bourbon aged in brandy barrels that held honey ale; Goodwood Stout Bourbon which is finished in stout barrels; and Goodwood Rye aged in barrels that previously held the brewery’s English mild; plus a handful of collaboration spirits with other distillers. The spirits are working their way through Ohio Liquor Control.
Goodwood Brewing is aiming for a mid-February opening. The brewpub will be open daily at 11 a.m. – earlier if there’s a big game – and serve brunch on the weekends.
For more information, visit goodwoodbrewing.com.
All photos provided by Goodwood Brewing