The Craft Beer Issue

By Joy Walker, Catering Specialist

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Hello! I’m Joy. Another member of the Together & Company Sales Team. I was recently asked to participate in the 20 Years Fresh blog and I have to admit, at first I was really hesitant. What story do I have to share that would be fun and fresh for our readers? Then I heard my suggested topic — craft beer — and I relaxed. I got this! 

Although on a complete side note, I can honestly tell you that some of the stories I could share about my times at Together & Company could range anywhere from being a bride, a server, an operations team member, a Food Truck fixer, and a sales team member. Yes, I have actually served in every single one of those roles over the years with Together & Company, but that’s a story for another day.

Today I take on the role of Together & Company’s craft beer advocate and guru!

As a person whose life is about selling food and curating memorable moments in others’ lives, getting to know more about the craft beer movement just made sense for me. No, I am not a brewer (yet, anyway, but I am sure Angela would be interested in adding a TC brewery down the road *smiley face*), but ultimately I love good beer and

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My own history with learning to love a good craft brew, really stemmed from my love of supporting and learning more about local businesses in Columbus, Ohio. When I first moved to Columbus in 2001 for college, my friend group and I made it our mission to support local restaurants. In venturing out into the city on evenings and weekends, I soon discovered Elevator BrewingBarley’s Brewing, and Columbus Brewing Company. (These were the microbreweries that were in existence in the early 2000s).

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Did you know that our very own venue High Line Car House use to be home to the Hoster Brewing Company’s Brew Pub back in the 90s???

It was one of the last breweries surviving in the Brewery District area of Columbus. A few quick and fun facts to go along with the history of our venue:

  1. It was included in Michael Jackson’s (not the Michael Jackson, but the great American Beer Hunter Michael Jackson) epic “Great American Pub Crawl” in 1990, with favorable comments. 

  2. Brewmaster Victor Ecimovich III, who was recognized as one of the nation’s best in the book "Beer Across America,” was hired by the Brewing company in the 90s to continue its growth.

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Anyways, to get us back on track, the craft beer movement has really taken off over the last 10 years. It has been amazing to see the breweries that have developed in Columbus. We are not just talking a dozen or so, we are talking 30+ microbreweries have opened up and more are still in the works. Many of the explanations that go along with “why the explosion of microbreweries” has a lot to do with why and how I fell in love with craft brews — supporting local! 

Makes sense, as you know here at Together & Company, we definitely believe in cultivating relationships with others. You have already read that in numerous blog posts, this just goes to show you that we believe in doing that with our local vendors too!

One of my favorite memories as part of the Together & Company sales team was the opportunity I had to plan the first (and so far only) Craft Beer Tasting here at High Line Car House and I am proud to say it was a great success!

The goal of the event was to get local breweries in our space and talking about their beer and pairing it with our great food.

The breweries we hosted were North High BrewingSideswipe BrewingRockmill Brewery, and Four String Brewery. If I am being honest, my most favorite part was recruiting the breweries to join in the event. I got to tour the facilities they worked in and taste the beer prior to the event. Always one of my favorite activities. We asked each brewery to send 3-5 beers to share with the crowd and send a representative who would be willing to talk about the beers. Feedback was great! We had close to 100 guests attend the event and many of them wanted to stay and continue the evening well after the event had ended. I look forward to curating another tasting again with some of the new brewery additions to the Columbus craft beer scene.

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It’s been a true compliment that I’m known among the rest of the sales team as the “beer guru”. I love that my own personal interest adds value to the team and makes me better at my job. Needless to say, as the local craft beer scene changes in Columbus, you can be reassured the Together & Company team will change with it. I think you are just seeing the beginning of what Together & Company can offer clients in well informed suggestions on great food pairings with local brews.

Two of our company values comes to mind as I wrap this up; Love what you do and Have fun doing it….

And on that note, here are a few of my favorite pairings with local brews!

  • Together & Company homemade chocolate bark  & Rockmill’s Dubbel

  • Firecracker Shrimp Crostini  &  North High Life Sparkling Ale

  • Brie and Raspberry Tartlet or our Ohio Cheese Platter  &  Columbus Brewing Company Bodhi (Double IPA)

  • Cinnamon crusted Porkloin with apple-cider demi-glace  &  Wolf’s Ridge Howling Moon IPA

  • Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto  &  Land-Grant’s 1862 Kolsch