Five year old Rockmill Brewery, located on a former horse farm near Lancaster, sits on a gorgeous 20 acre property approximately 30 minutes from downtown Columbus. The farm was built in the 1870s and once was owned by Ohio Governor Thomas Worthington. The barn was recently refurbished and expanded and now serves as the brewery’s tasting room and dining room. The stables house the brewery. The idyllic grounds also include a pond and a small chapel.
Owner Matthew Barbee was really a wine guy. He wanted to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps as a winemaker so began training with a sommelier in Chicago. He learned all about the rules of pairing fine wine and food – how wine balances salty flavors (a crisp Sauvignon Blanc balances salty olives and feta cheese) or that wine should be equal to or higher in sugar than the dish (roasted pork with apple glaze, for instance, pairs beautifully with Riesling). Upon his return to central Ohio, and his mother’s farm near Lancaster, he discovered that the water running through the property (at the headwaters of the Hocking River and its watershed) had a mineral composition similar to that of the famed brewing region of Wallonia, Belgium. That discovery led to his idea to brew a variety of Belgium-style beers, including his first batch, a saison (according to All About Beer magazine, ‘a saison is a light, refreshing ale originally brewed in farmhouses in the French speaking regions of Belgium for field workers. It’s a complex style with a mix of fruity aroma and flavor, some spiciness and even a hint of tartness.’)
Craft beer aficionados and foodies from all around central Ohio have made their way to the farm in Lancaster to enjoy, among others, Witbier, Saison, Dubbel, Tripel, Cask Aged Tripel and even a new gluten free saison called War on Wheat. Matthew is excited to launch a new variety, Cask Aged Noir (a saison noir aged in whiskey barrels from another local business, Columbus based Middle West Spirits distillery), which will be released in mid-November. Hoping to serve food in the future, Matthew currently encourages you to bring your own food to enjoy with their brews. Suggested cheese plate pairings are available at Katzinger’s Deli in German Village and dessert pairings from Pistacia Vera with locations in both German Village and the North Market.
Rockmill Brewery is available for private events, like outdoor weddings or corporate outings. Guests can enjoy the farmhouse tasting room, patio, full kitchen, chapel, and barn space. Brewery tours are also offered. Please visit their website www.rockmillbrewery.com for more information about facility rentals.
When Matthew needed a strong financial partner, he turned to Heartland Bank. “Heartland went above and beyond and helped us take over the mortgages on the farm house and made sure we had everything we needed. They came at a strategic time for us,” he said.
Do you have financial issues that ‘ale’ you? Come on over to Heartland and we’ll help you to ‘brew’ up some financial success!