The brewery opened Nov. 29 at Easton.

Standing in the middle of Easton Town Center’s $500 million expansion, a short walk from Nordstrom, is a large A-frame structure that looks like an Aspen ski lodge. It’s the new home of Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery, a newcomer to Columbus with a back-to-nature attitude.

The brewery, with only one other location in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, was founded three years ago by “rootmaster” Robert Finkel. His business partner, “alchemist” Randy Mosher, is the brand’s resident beer expert and, yes, its mad scientist.

Forbidden Root is one of the country’s emerging botanical breweries, likely one of the next big trends in brewing. Though you may have never heard of botanical beers, they actually go back thousands of years to a time when an herbal mixture called gruit was used in flavoring and bittering beer, long before hops, yeast, barley and water became the de facto ingredients. Today’s botanical beers typically build flavor around ingredients like roots, bark, flowers, herbs, spices and other items found in nature. “No ingredients are off limits,” Mosher says.

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