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Ale to the chief; There's a room with a brew and cans in your shower on this crazy craft beer tasting trip.

Byline: GEOFF HO

We boarded the world's first craft beer-branded plane for a tour of US pubs, bars and breweries billed as the ultimate trip for beer monsters.

And each night the stateside visit included bedding down in a boozethemed hotel where you can help yourself to beer in the shower.

This may sound like a pipe dream, but Aberdeenshire-based craft brewers BrewDog have now made it a reality.

The destination - Ohio state capital Columbus, where the beer punks set up their US HQ a couple of years ago.

Getting there, via BrewDog Airlines, provided a taste of things to come.

Passengers, all Equity Punk brewery investors, on its inaugural flight from Stansted sampled limited-edition BrewDog beer, Flight Club, adapted to the reduction of taste and smell sensitivity at altitude.

And all 1,600 cans on board were downed during the nine-hour flight.

Touching down for the four-night stay at BrewDog's American beer utopia, there was no chance for a hangover to kick in.

ULTIMATE

At its new on-site DogHouse hotel, thirsty guests head to the bar where staff serve a selection of guest craft beers during check-in. The first one is on the house. The loft apartment rooms have polished wood, leather seating and grey soft furnishings. Each has its own BrewDog beer tap as well as a beer fridge in the shower room.

From the 32 guest rooms, the brewery can actually be seen, heard and smelled.

In the mornings, there's a beer-paired breakfast. Or, perhaps, hair of the dog? As well as the ultimate craft beer bolthole, BrewDog USA runs tours of the brewery and has its own interactive beer museum. It was America's vibrant craft beer market that inspired the Scottish brewers to take the plunge in the US.

The business has gone from strength to strength since founders James Watt and Martin Dickie began making beer in Dickie's mum's garage in 2007.

The BrewDog Columbus beer tour includes a trip to one of the best breweries in the area - the picturesque Rockmill a few miles south east of the city.

Set in a converted farmhouse with a backdrop of a river, lake and a small chapel, it's an ideal place to drink beer and contemplate life.

We also headed into downtown Columbus for a crawl around its ale trail and to check out BrewDog's three bars in the city: DogTap, Franklinton and Short North (you can expect to pay $6.50 to $9 for a beer, plus local taxes and a tip).

When sustenance was needed, we dropped in for a bite to eat at the historic North Market's food stalls.

Determined not to let any beer go untasted, we headed back out on the ale trail - this time in Cincinnati, where brewing dates back more than 200 years. We popped to Urban Artifact, a renowned craft brewery with taproom, bar and live music venue.

Then it was on to Mad Tree, an industrial-looking bar with 32 craft beers, wood-fired pizzas and beer garden, before a final round in Rhinegeist at a historic bottling plant.

Following the success of BrewDog's first beer trip, holidays are about to get a whole lot hoppier.

In October the beer punks are set to fly ale fans back to Columbus from London. They will also run a simultaneous trip from Columbus to their Scottish HQ, where they are working on another branded hotel.

Along with their plans to open another hotel in London, they are also launching a new brewery in Berlin.

I'll raise a glass to that.

TRAVEL FILE

BOOK IT The next BrewDog trip for investors (with a minimum PS25 stake in the company) to Columbus, Ohio, will run from October 31 to November 5. From

MORE INFO Go to experiencecolumbus.com and cincinnatiusa.com

CAPTION(S):

PUMPED UP Columbus welcomes responsible drinkers

STARS N BAR Franklinton is one of three in Columbus

LARGE ONE Geoff's takeout

FLIGHT PUB BrewDog jet takes party to the US

AIR BREW Hop aboard
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:May 26, 2019
Words:663
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