A long-anticipated brewery on the edge of the trail system in Fayetteville makes its debut with a grand opening Saturday.
Columbus House Brewery at 701 North Street is situated steps away from the Scull Creek Trail crossing, in a building from the 1970s that the owners renovated. Being near the trail was important to them, co-owner Carey Ashworth said.
“We fought for this location,” she said. It “was something we really wanted.”
But the name of the brewery was inspired by a different location.
“Jason [Corral, who originally had the idea and developed the beers] has a house on Columbus Boulevard,” Ashworth said.
Co-owner Sam Morgan says the house is one of those places where you can just drop in and hang out, and that’s how they wanted the brewery to feel as well.
“We worked really hard to produce a good product and a great atmosphere,” Ashworth said. They used words like “open” and “chill” to describe the mood they want to set, and said it will be a place where people can hang out and do homework (all three are graduates or current students at the University of Arkansas) and bring their dogs.
The room is dominated by the shiny wooden bar, but there are also painted metal tables and chairs and a few wooden tables with wooden bar stools matching those at the bar. The company’s logos – designed by CJRW – are inspired by sports, with a bike chain on their main logo and beer names like Yellow Card Golden Ale and Weekend Warrior India Pale Ale.
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Columbus House began as an idea in the fall of 2013, when Corral and a couple of friends started talking about opening up a brewery. While it didn’t work out with the original group, Corral and Ashworth teamed up in early 2014, and Morgan came in earlier this year.
He built the bar by hand out of three cross sections of red maple. He has experience with home brewing and thought he would work as a server but ended up becoming a partner, he said.
The brewery has four beers that they say will always be available: a Nut Brown, an IPA, an Oatmeal Stout and a Golden Ale.
The Golden Ale, Morgan said, is “for people who are used to domestic beers…but it’s a little different.” He noted that it has more hops flavor than domestic beer lovers might be used to. Ashwood jokingly called the brew “beer water” but says she encourages people to try it because “it’s really easy to drink.”
When asked to name favorites, Morgan said the Oatmeal Stout and Ashworth picked the IPA.
“Hopefully it’s a wide range, very different, very distinct,” Ashworth said, noting they have a hoppy IPA as well as offerings for “people who aren’t into craft beer.”
So far the reception has been warm. They had “about 80” growlers ordered for preselling before the grand opening, and they sold out in two and a half days.
“No way I could have predicted that,” Ashworth said. They intend to order more soon and should have them in a few weeks.
Empty growlers, when they’re available again, will cost $5. A pint of IPA or Oatmeal Stout will run $5.50, while the Golden Ale and Nut Brown will cost $5 a pint. To fill a growler with Golden Ale or Nut Brown will cost $15, while the IPA and Oatmeal Stout will be $16.
The brewery does not plan to offer food but said they may partner with their neighbor, Fayetteville’s Funky Yard Sale, to have food trucks in the parking lot in the future.
Other plans include a Friday evening group run on the trail and other events involving the trail.
The grand opening happens at noon on Saturday. Once they’ve gauged customer interest they’ll set firm hours, but they will be open seven days a week.
Columbus House Brewery
701 North Street