DogHouse - The BrewDog Hotel
As a native Ohioan (woohoo!!!) living in Massachusetts (ehhhh...), I am always ready to go home for a visit! Fortunately this was our year to spend Christmas with my family at home in Columbus. My husband is from Maine so we rotate every year...one year in Ohio, one year in Maine and one year just the two of us on a trip (so far we’ve done Paris and Quebec City...next time we are thinking New Orleans or Santa Fe...suggestions are welcome!). This way is fair and we get to create our own traditions too. In addition to our trip home this year, we decided to check out the new DogHouse hotel, courtesy of BrewDog, a Scottish Craft Beer Company, which in the past 10 years has exploded on the craft beer scene as a profoundly innovative and passionate company committed to brewing the best possible beer.
We first stumbled across BrewDog in London and were immediately struck by the sheer amount of beers available - not just IPAs - and the friendly, laid back attitudes of the bartenders. When we heard BrewDog was opening their first brewery stateside right outside my hometown of Columbus, we knew we had to check it out. Side note, if you don’t know about how hip and incredible Columbus is - do yourself a favor and visit. Amazing breweries (including two BrewDogs in the city proper), distilleries, insanely tasty local food (it is not just chain restaurants and cows, people!), ethnic food options from Somali to Russian, traditional German to old world Italian, gorgeous architecture and some of the best neighborhoods in the country, like German Village and the Short North, and the best shopping in the Midwest await you. No wonder Columbus always ranks among the most liveable places in the United States!
Back to the DogHouse...BrewDog’s brewery is located an easy 12 mile drive south of Columbus in Canal Winchester (and per the brewery is 500 miles from 50% of the population of the United States). The exit for the brewery is peak suburban Ohio - Donatos Pizza, Skyline Chili, Bob Evans and the Waffle House are there to tempt your tastebuds - the downtown area though is quite charming and worth a visit. But drive a little further to the epically decorated BrewDog brewery and DogHouse. In addition to the brewery, a giant taproom and restaurant with merch, video games, shuffleboard and a museum await you. Tucked in the back, in the sour beer facility is the DogHouse, the only hotel in the world located INSIDE a brewery.
Industrially decorated with warm leather, wood and glass, the lobby houses a beautiful bar (obviously) and neon pops of color from the graffiti inspired art of Fisher, BrewDog’s resident artist (as a hotel guest, take a free brewery tour to see some more amazing murals inside the facility - and spoiler - a can of Punk IPA awaits you at the end!). Filled with games, books, a ping pong table and cozy places to curl up and enjoy a beer, the lobby acts as welcoming and relaxing lounge. An easy check in was followed by a complimentary beer of our choosing - if you aren’t sure, ask for assistance. The incredibly friendly staff (Midwesterners are the most genuinely nice people) insisted my husband try the flagship Punk IPA - which for two people who aren’t big IPA fans - we definitely enjoyed. I was thrilled to see the DogHouse also has gone out of its way to use local companies for many of its products too - cheese, coffee and in room soaps are all from the area.
Our room was on the third floor and as soon as we stepped out of the elevator, we knew we were in a brewery. The lovely hoppy, yeasty smell was immediate and wonderful. There are a few different room categories, including suites with windows which directly open onto the sour beer aging floor (similar to a garage door, you can open and close them). Others have small patios leading to the pond and dog park and are dog friendly. The 32 rooms are unique and spacious, named after the plethora of beers BrewDog has made over the years. BrewDog labels and art decorate the walls. An actual room key, not a plastic card, led us to our room, Hinterland.
With complimentary beers in hand, we explored our space for the next couple of days. Every DogHouse room has two stocked curated coolers - including one in the bathroom for those necessary shower beers, the other in the bedroom. Every room also has its own mini kegerator and before your arrival you can notify the hotel of your preferred beer for the tap. (Side note, there are charges for all of the above but they are reasonable - beers were only $4 each). In room coffee with locally made Stauf’s Coffee is also available. Books on brewing, a variety of BrewDog glasses to enjoy your in room selections and locally made Elvis Juice IPA soap products await you. The soap and lotion smelled great - the hoppy, grapefruit combo really works and I was bummed they didn’t sell it - make this happen BrewDog! The king size bed was comfortable, although a couple more pillows would have been welcome and the industrial chic room made me feel way cooler than I am. The spacious bathroom has ample counter space, an enormous, luxurious glass enclosed rainfall shower and a beer koozie attached to the mirror - all necessary bathroom essentials!
The lobby bar becomes a breakfast bar every morning from 7-11 and is included with your hotel reservation. Every morning includes a different hot, locally made option - mushroom and asparagus strata one day, caramelized bread pudding another. Muffins and croissants also rotate. Do yourself a favor and treat yo’ self to the muffins - they tasted like tiny vanilla cakes - one day stuffed with juicy blueberries and the next, sweet chocolate chips. My husband could not get enough of these - apparently the recipe went through quite a bit of tweaking until it was finally deemed perfect. You might want to stuff a few muffins in a napkin for later too! Cereal, local cheeses and meats, yogurt, fresh cut fruit and granola are also available. To round out this amazing spread, beer infused mimosas are also on the menu!
If you feel the need to pry yourself away from all the food and beer, there is a workout facility off the lobby and a beautiful, flat (it is Ohio, after all) running/biking trail nearby. An expansive patio with firepits and outdoor seating areas are located outside the front door. Definitely make time to visit the small beer museum too, not only for a global and local history of beer but to see how BrewDog has expanded over the past decade. Be aware, because the DogHouse was built after the Brewery, the entrance to it is decently far from the parking lot and you might have to awkwardly drag your luggage through the patio to the entrance. But no worries, once you make to the lobby, a fresh and tasty brew and an ‘only one place in the world’* experience awaits you! Cheers! Salute! Prost!
Full disclosure: I am an equity punk and have invested in BrewDog. I definitely recommend looking into it...depending on how much you can invest, you can receive discounted or free DogHouse stays, free brewery tours, online and bar discounts and a year of beer, just to name a few! Also, we were told that if enough people from a certain area invest, they will consider building a BrewDog bar there...get your friends to sign up! Also, equity punks are the only ones who can fly on BrewDog Airlines...seriously!
*Another DogHouse is being constructed in Australia. However, we were told that this will be the only brewery built in the United States.