850 N 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Cheeky is the word you’d have to use to describe Hoof Hearted, the brewery that has become an anchor to a growing area of Victorian Village in Columbus. Just think about the name a bit. It’ll come to you.
Nonetheless, the brewery will surprise you once you step in the doors. The food is smart, higher end than you might expect and overall makes for a delicious experience. Make a point to give the food a try while you’re here because there’s a real chance of missing out on that for the high-profile menu of beers that are otherwise a rare find in taps around Central Ohio.
The menu of beers is probably the best known locally. I’d say this spot specializes in hoppy and sour beers in the mid-ABV range, often with light bodies and good for sipping. Some to try:
- $60 Nachos: Classed as a double IPA with a steady 8 percent ABV, it’s got that perfect punch of hops up front. The bitterness, though, does not overwhelm the senses.
- Z Man: Sour, sour, sour. Of course if you like these kinds of brews there will be an appeal. But as far as casual drinking, it’s a bit too much.
- SaiZzurp: A trio of hops give this saison a distinct, strong and citrus front. The body is thin and that’s wonderful, which gives way to a more sour finish. Still a good, steady sip.
- LOL’D Bong Hair: Another sour variety, this one distributed to local brew shops. Not as sour and a bit more floral on the palette.
The food is too easy to overlook. Because it’s the best part! Some things to like:
- Bayou Bitez: These crispy strips are in face fried alligator. The fennel and a bit of curry gives them a bright flavor with a spicy aioli to top it off. Good to much, and a good sample of alligator meat if you’ve never tasted this delicacy.
- Meatz: A charcuterie board featuring a sausage made in house, with a thin and salty cured duck meat as prosciutto, chorizo and foie gras. Salty and wonderful with a beer, and best when shared.
- Spring Ballzs: Croquettes made of a ground sausage and sauerkraut mix balled together and fried, topped with a green and bitter mustard-based sauce. This one is hot! But no less delicious.
- Grilled Salmon: A lightly grilled salmon topped with a white wine sauce, deceivingly deep in flavor. Potatoes, peas and asparagus gives it a full meal complement.
Unique among the many breweries in Central Ohio, this one was deliberately planned with kind of a decentralized feel. While there’s an expansive bar area, there are plenty of tables for a more intimate experience too.
I really like this place. What comes off kind of quirky and over-the-top is an extremely well thought-out place where all of the beers have a great depth to them and all of the food is so often packed with rare foods you can’t often find in other restaurants.
Give this place a go.
- The beers are canned and can be taken to go, so if you like them.
- This is a good bar for IPAs and sour ales, especially. In fact it has some of the best brews of this type in the city.
- If you like rare meats, duck and alligator are both on the menu here.