This past weekend I had the pleasure of a weekend getaway to Fairfield County, Ohio.
Fairfield county is just southeast of Columbus in the foothills of the Appalachians. It’s a lovely place full of rolling hills and small towns, lush with green grass and tall trees on a summer weekend. It offered the perfect weekend getaway from busy city life in Cleveland, and my country born and bred husband who was along for the ride was completely thrilled.
This post was sponsored by Visit Fairfield County. Some of the experiences described were complementary, though all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support The Mexitalian.
We drove down to Fairfield county from Cleveland on Friday night after work and spend were able to enjoy a full day exploring on Saturday. We spent our time visiting the breweries on the Route 33 Brew Trail that goes right through Fairfield Country and was initiated just last month. Along the way, we walked through historic towns, ate delicious local food, and stopped to see some of Ohio’s famous covered bridges. Here’s a recap of our trip.
We arrived on Friday evening and our first stop was Double Edge Brewing Company located in historic downtown Lancaster. We sipped flights of beer and watched the rain roll in from the large garage-door style window. The brewery was fairly busy, yet still relaxed. I loved that they had a huge pile of board games for anyone to grab. My favorite beers were both coffee infused, the Rustic Sunrise, a golden ale infused with Tanzanian coffee and on the other end of the spectrum, the Macchiato, a milk stout infused with Costa Rican coffee. Can you tell I like coffee?
After Double Edge, we headed to the nearby Holiday Inn Express where we stayed the night. I haven’t had cable in years, so I was thrilled to end our night watching live HGTV in bed. Anyone with me on this?
Saturday morning we had planned to hike up Mount Pleasant in Rising Park in Lancaster, but decided not to after a heavy night of rain. Instead we visited the McCleery Covered Bridge next to Lancaster High School then headed downtown to visit the farmer’s market and take in some of the lovely historic architecture in the daylight. I highly recommend a stop at Keller Market House, a little market that sells local produce, meats, dairy, and artisan goods. We also loved the gorgeous historic homes on Wheeling street downtown.
Of course, no stop in Fairfield County is complete without a stop at the counties best donut shop – Donut World. They even have a drive-through open 24 hours in case you need a middle of the night donut fix! We tried a couple of the cake donuts, but I would skip the regular donuts completely because the apple fritter is out of this world.
Most of the breweries on the Route 33 Brew Trail open at 12 pm on Saturday. Our first stop of the day was at Rockmill Brewery set in a rural area of Lancaster. We loved the open space, huge patio, and lovely pond at Rockmill. This was our favorite ambiance by far, and others were enjoying a picnic with their dog in tow, or the delicious wood-smoked bbq made on-site. Rockmill is definitely a place I could see us hanging out on weekend afternoons if we lived closer. Their bottles were also really cool with stunning horse-centric designs. We took home a big bottle of the whitbeer.
Next up we visited Loose Rail Brewing in Canal Winchester. Now I will note that I regret we didn’t swap Loose Rail in Brewdog Dogtap in our order because I was starving the whole time we were in Canal Winchester, so plan accordingly! Loose Rail was another favorite. From the brick exterior, to the music, to the friendly service, everything about this place was comfortable. They also served some of our favorite beers for the day, including the Full Steam, a saison with flavors of tangerine and their signature IPA, Dead Man’s Throttle. This was another spot you could hang out at for hours, either inside or on their patio.
Loose Rail is located downtown Canal Winchester, which was my favorite of the towns we visited. There are several local shops that offer a blend of artisan, vintage, and antique home décor and clothing. The stores all had such unique wares, that even Joe who doesn’t care for boutique-hopping, enjoyed visiting.
From downtown Canal Winchester we headed to Brewdog Dogtap, just outside of town. As I mentioned, I was so so hungry by this point, and we sat down in the full-service restaurant for lunch. Now Brewdog, if you’re not familiar, is huge. While the beer is made in Ohio, the flagship is in Scotland, where two young guys and their dog started brewing beer that grew into a craft brew empire the world over. Their story and style are fascinating, and their beer is darn good too. We loved that Brewdog had so much to offer, their food was delicious (get the sweet potato burger!), and their patio is extensive. They even have a dog park on site! We hope to go back with Paisley our Australian Shepard soon. My favorite beer was the Pina Playa, a perfect summer beer with a touch of sweet pineapple flavor.
Our final stop of the day was downtown Pickerington. Joe was excited to visit at many an NFL recruit have come out of the Fairfield County town. We walked a bit, and checked out the several antique stores in the small downtown. While we rarely buy anything, Joe and I enjoy visiting antique shops together, it’s always fun to see what you come across! I was also impressed to see that free yoga is offered every Saturday morning in the summer in one of the town parks, what a great way to begin the day.
Pickerington is home to Combustion Brewery and Taproom, located in a historic building that was once the famous local creamery. They have a large bar and large open-windows to bring the outdoors in. We really enjoyed both of the ciders on the menu and the creative names of their brews, such as Wanderlust and Blueprint (a blueberry beer). Combustion was the perfect place to end such a wonderful day on the Route 33 Brew Trail. As we headed out of town, we could see the Columbus skyline in the distance across the rolling hills of Fairfield County.
Where do you want to go first when you visit Fairfield County?
A Few Tips & Thoughts:
-You can pick up a brew trail passport from any of the six breweries on the trail. With a stamp form each brewery you can redeem your passport for a free pint glass in Lancaster.
-Six is quite a lot of breweries for one day! If you can’t split your trip into more than one day, you might try doing just have of the breweries. Based on location, I would recommend Brewery 33 Hocking Hills, Double Edge Brewing Company, and Rockmill Brewery together, and Loose Rail, BrewDog, and Combustion together.
-You might have noticed that we only had it to 5 of 6 of the breweries on the trail. Brewery 33 Hocking Hills is about 20 minutes east of Lancaster on the border of Hocking Hills. It was a bit too far out for us to fit in into a quick trip but would be a great spot to stop when you’re vacationing or hiking in Hocking Hills.
-You can learn more about the Route 33 Brew Trail and plan your own get away at Route33BrewTrail.com and visitfairfieldcounty.org. Don’t forget to tag #rt33BrewTrail and @visitfairfieldcounty on social media!