This winter we were invited to the Grandview High Gravity Hullabaloo by our friends at the Grandview Craft Beer Alliance. For those who don’t know, they’re a great group of people that are really supporting the eat/drink/shop local movement in the Grandview area of Columbus, especially where craft beer is concerned.
Hullabaloo was promoted as a “celebration of strong beers and smoked meats” and they didn’t let down on the strong beers part; not that it wasn’t great to see a whole smoked pig, but you all know I’m a smoked meats fiend, so I was hoping to enjoy more. Nevertheless, shout-out to Barley’s Smokehouse for doing a hickory hog right!
12 different Grandview-area breweries brought their best and were present with their strongest (and in some cases, rarest) brews. We tried a variety of stouts, IPAs, and scottish ales ranging from 8% to 12% ABV and also enjoyed some fun finds like North High Brewing‘s super secret firkin with real bacon bits.
This event was definitely geared towards a very specific heavy-craft-beer-loving crowd and it created a much more intimate space (especially with the lights and dark warehouse) than, say, some of the larger scale beer fests we’ve been to in the past. Just as it surprised the organizers, we found that people weren’t really chatting and mingling as much as expected. One of the things we love about beer gatherings is the chance to talk with drinkers and brewers alike, but it was still a great opportunity to play some old video games and discover a few new local Columbus breweries (we had a great chat with Geoff from Zauber Brewing), so we were very happy to be invited by the Grandview folks; thanks all!
After Hullabaloo, we stopped by this spot called Mikey’s Late Night Slice because we’d been hearing so much about it, especially on Twitter. I have to say, hands down, it was the best pizza I’ve had since NYC. The crust was crunchy but elastic, it had the perfect amount of sauce (with just a little bit of sweet), and they’re using a real solid cheese too. That might not seem like a big deal, but one of the common problems with pizza is people use a cheap cheese and it gives you that greasy, oily, tasteless product; lucky for us, we didn’t have to worry about oil running down our arms while chowing down on Mikey’s.
I had their signature special called the Cheezus Crust! It’s basically two slices of pizza with a piece of American cheese in the middle. It gave the pie a creamy, grilled-cheese-esque taste that really hit the spot after an evening of drinking heavy brews. Jess is sometimes a traditionalist, so she went with the cheese and basil (which didn’t disappoint either).
The dudes hanging out and working the line were jamming out and really seemed like they love what they do, which makes me happy to see. I can’t speak for the other locations, but the Short North spot was hopping. It was cool to see all kinds of people stopping by, from groups dressed to the nines to people like Jess and I just hanging out in jeans and sneakers. I liked the fact that it was just a little spot in an old parking lot and yet somehow, with the brick and lights and open seating, it was a cozy (almost romantic) spot to grab a slice so late in the evening.