Despite Stone Brewing decision, Columbus continues casting lines for well-known microbreweries.
In October, the California-based Stone Brewing Co. chose Richmond, Va., over Columbus for a new brewery east of the Mississippi, but it's not game over.
Officials are casting more lines to other well-known microbreweries, hoping to lure them to this region. In particular, the Value Recovery Group, which owns the 60-acre Central Park of Gahanna, has earmarked nearly 19 acres of its land, which sits within a conservation ravine, and dubbed it Brewer's Pointe.
"We own much of the undeveloped land near the airport, which is of great value to the central Ohio business community and redevelopment," says Jordan Fromm, of JNF Creative, who represents the landowners. "We started targeting breweries and put together marketing materials."
Central Ohio is a region ripe to attract a nationally known brew company, says Bart Wassan, an economist with the National Brewers Association.
"Columbus is still growing and a little behind the leading markets," Wassan says.
Some areas of the country are experiencing water quality problems, and for West
Coast brewers who sell product to the East Coast, shipping costs can be prohibitive, Wassan says.
Water quality is not an issue here and, as noted in the Brewer's Pointe promotional material and often cited by Columbus 2020, the region has easy access to multiple methods of transportation and is within 500 miles of 50 percent of the nation's population and the Ontario market.
"We've mailed our information to two dozen breweries across the country," Fromm says. "We are starting to build relationships with those breweries."