Overview: The Barrel & Bottle (henceforth B&B) is located within the North Market complex- an indoor market with various vendors, serving ice cream, pretzels, cheese, hot sauce/BBQ, coffee, cookware, fresh flowers/veggies as well as food vendors specializing in Belgian, Indian, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine, among others. So, on it’s own, North Market is a pretty rad place in my book. We parked in their pay lot (more on that later) and B&B was easily found a few paces left as we entered. Really, this space is only a couple hundred square feet, I’d guess. The bar/cooler area is near the front of their space; a small amount of seating is available at the bar and in the area. Besides the cooler, there’s additional wine/beer on a warm shelf near the back of their space.
Service was prompt, even while turning through a good number of customers; I was happy to see that their eight taps featured all Ohio beer. While pondering my purchase, a young man came up and wanted a recommendation for a beer that "wasn’t overly hoppy... maybe something like a Saison?" and was told simply to select from the menu based on the descriptions; I thought this was a lost opportunity for the bartender, who pretty much gave her job to a piece of paper. As stated previously, a good OH emphasis on tap, and a good mix of classics/new craft on the warm shelves and in the cooler. I had some sushi at a vendor nearby and thought it was average, but many of my samples from around the market were delicious. My 16 oz. pour was $6, but there were options for smaller/cheaper pours available (5 oz., I believe).
PROS: Well rounded selection and plentiful food options. CONS: Indifferent service. OVERALL: Not sure I’d visit just for this place, but an OH ticker would do well here if they are visiting North Market. The parking in the area appears to be all paid... if you park in the lot, it’s $1 for the first hour, $2 for two hours and $2 each additional hour, so you might not want to spend all day here. They also purport to tow anyone who is not a North Market customer who uses their lot, so you’ll have to move your vehicle if you plan to visit elsewhere. Bummer.
Nice selection in a small area in North Market. Several Alesmith, lots of locals, some good lambics and sours. I got an Evil Twin bomber and a mix six pack. The people were nice, but it was crowded. Read that they were expanding and affiliated with Seventh Son. Overall pretty nice. Will definitely check back in the next time I’m in town.
We stop here every time we are in C-bus. It’s simple and usually supplied very well. A bit crowded but nice selection. Value is what it is... state minimum. Nice people too. Always somebody to ask questions who are knowledgeable.
Very small place in the North Market. It has more wine now than beer, with two taps for growler fills. Small selection but well thought out and most of it chilled. If you are at Barley’s Ale House No 1 it is a quick walk across the parking lot to check it out.
So happy to stumble upon this place. It had the Alesmith beers that I was looking for on my trip to OH, plus a couple of other thing that I was happy to grab. Its in a farmers market, so there are tons of food options. The market was very busy on a Saturday afternoon, so parking was a chanllenge. Still, so glad to find it.
Located in Short North where Grapes of Mith was. Their selection has slimmed down as well as the service. They seemed to be more of an order taker and not really interested in talking to their customers. They seem to be more interested in selling wine, which is fine, but don’t go out of your way if your looking for beer. Shorth North is the reason you should stop.
Not sure how its possible but this place seems even smaller now than when it was Grapes of Mirth. Its not, its just clustered. A few big beers available, and the taps are a neat little addition, yet the service and selection seems way more geared towards wine now. Still, not a bad place to stop by when checking out the North Market which is always fun, but the selection here is now much smaller.
(Visited 06/2011 and a few times since): Barrel And Bottle is located in downtown Columbus in the North Market on Front/Spruce Street. It is now in the space formerly occupied by Grapes Of Mirth. North Market parking consists of a pay lot out front and metered street parking.
The space is small like most proprietors in the North Market. There are shelves devoted to wine and beer and a few in front of the store. An addition to the Grapes Of Mirth days is a tap system comprised of 2 beers, available to take home in growlers. In recent months they have had beers like Lake Erie Monster and different Brew Kettle and Jackie O’s brews. The bottled selection numbers around 100 with Ohio breweries like GLBC, Hoppin’ Frog, Thirsty Dog, Brothers Drake and CBC represented. Other domestic craft brewers such as Stone, Troegs, Bells, Rogue and others. Imports from Belgium, Germany, UK and others too.
Service is decent. The folks running the place are consistently friendly but don’t seem overly passionate in talking about beer.
Overall this is a good store to visit for downtown Columbus visitors, especially with the chance of scoring a great Ohio beer to take home in a growler.
The main reason to come here are for two breweries - Jackie O’s and a local one from Lancaster, OH. Only the latter were available and at $20 per bottle a bit steep for my blood at the time. However it is the only place that I know of to get Jackie O’s besides Athens.
You won’t find a great selection otherwise as it is a very small storefront. If your goal is diversity you are better off going to some of the suburbs. However if you have to be downtown you could do worse. Just be prepared for slightly expensive markups compared to other stores.