26 E. 5th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43201
Brothers Drake Meadery was one of the first American mead producers of the modern craft alcohol movement when it opened its doors in 2007, and as the industry has risen around it, this name has stuck to its guns, largely retaining its local emphasis even as it has opened taprooms in Columbus’ Short North and Polaris areas. But in the production area, they still use Ohio honey in the process, bottle the properties largely by hand and distribute them mostly around Ohio. And that’s where it belongs.
Brothers Eric and Woody started with a relatively simple set of meads but as time has gone on, and more variety has been introduced. Some of the options I liked:
- Wild Ohio: The original and simplest flavor of mead here. It’s sweet right on the nose and there’s a subtle floral aftertaste. It’s sweet and light and perfect for a first try.
- Blackjack: This one has something like a merlot, it’s dark and deep and has this wonderful blackberry base. Probably more like a wine in how you’d treat it.
- Bourbon Barrel Apple Pie: The sweet and cinnamon apple pie has the extra kick of bourbon flavor that adds both a smoke and an edge to the otherwise sweet tone to the mead.
- Bergamont Blue: Sweet and blue. Bergamont flowers produced in Worthington combined with Ohio honey make for a memorable taste. Strong and leaves you with a blue smile!
- Ginger Verve: Mixed with vanilla, ginger, lavender and chamomile. Probably my least favorite, the ginger has a sharpness that overwhelms the other flavors.
- Peach Rush: This one is a little more mild, unlike the above fruited flavors, peach plays second fiddle to the sweet and honey flavors.
- Battle Axe: More aggressive with cranberry and juniper berries in the front, and a mild vanilla throughout. It’s tart and got a strong body.
The bar has kind of this easygoing feel, most evenings especially on the weekends it is filled with concerts and live music. The open area of the bar allows for people to gather and there is a patio, but this spot is much more of a laid back bar aimed at a relaxed feel than a large or energetic gathering place.
Brothers Drake has aged so well with time, even as new and flashier places have opened, and it has been pretty good about not straying from the original ideas while layering on a few new ones. Still worth an evening trip.
- The bar often has food trucks out on the side of the business. Otherwise doesn’t serve much food of its own.
- Consider the tastings or a tour on the weekends if you want a chance to learn more about the different kinds of mead.
- The shop does sell bottles and they’re to be found in limited quantities around town, too.