Drink: Central Ohio Spirits 2.0

Much like the local brewing scene, Central Ohio distillers are poised for rapid expansion. In recent years, Watershed Distillery and Middle West Spirits have spearheaded growth by introducing small-batch craft spirits to a wider audience and pushing for legislative changes that loosened restrictions on distilleries’ ability to own restaurants and serve directly to customers. As a result, a wave of nascent distillers are crafting traditional spirits and testing original ones, opening tasting rooms and even restaurants. We checked in with the newcomers, both already open and on the way.

Dayton distillery to expand operations, serve craft cocktails

A Dayton distillery will expand and begin serving craft cocktails this summer.

Belle of Dayton Distillery, located at 122 Van Buren St. in the Oregon District, will be permitted to serve craft cocktails on its premises as a result of the passage of House Bill 351, which allows Ohio distilleries to serve spirits and other alcoholic drinks by the glass onsite...

Local micro-distillery picks up impressive haul at annual spirits awards

One of the best bourbons in the world is made right here in Columbus.

Amid the six-medal haul for Middle West Spirits at the 2018 American Distilling Institute’s annual International Judging of Craft Spirits was the panel’s awarding of Best in Category Bourbon to the Columbus micro-distillery’s Oyo Sherry-Finished Bourbon Whiskey, Double Cask Collection. That spirit also received a gold medal...

Regional distillers are taking a shot at success

Tom Lix wasn't exactly motivated by market trends when he launched Cleveland Whiskey in 2009. He was more interested in disrupting an age-old industry by making whiskey with a controversial new technique. That said, his expectations for his company — which sold its first bottle in 2013 — have been bolstered by strong consumer interest in spirits...