Who we are..
Big Beers—they’re what we do!
"Zaftig" comes from the Yiddish, zaftik, which literally means “juicy.” While more commonly used to describe a full-bodied, curvaceous woman (without any of the negative connotations), we feel this definition can also apply to beer. We have been striving to create well-balanced, full-bodied ales since our inception in 2013.
At Zaftig, we brew beers we love to drink. Over the years, we’ve taken the phrase “full-bodied ales” and applied it to all of the varieties of ales and lagers we make. Beer itself is simple, consisting of only a few components. With careful attention to detail, high-quality ingredients, and an artistic approach to beer-making, Zaftig provides a well-rounded (see what we did there?) and cleverly-crafted drinking experience, full of complex flavors and textures.
As we grow, we remain steadfast in our search for exciting new styles and flavor combinations. There’s a Zaftig beer for everyone. Let us help you discover a new love of craft beer, and the perfect beer to fit your taste.
How we got started..
Back in 2010, I started getting together with a small group of neighborhood friends. Each person would bring a mixed six-pack of craft beer from around the country and we would sample them throughout the evening. For most of that first year, I was not a fan. I’m a country boy at heart and preferred my Busch Lattes and whiskey. Then, sometime late summer or early fall, a friend’s brother-in-law brought home Dog Fish Head’s World-Wide Stout. It’s a big beer with high ABV and tons of roast-y, sweet notes, loaded with complex flavors. We all fell in love. Next, we tried the 120-Minute IPA, also from Dog Fish Head. Same experience.
We began dabbling in home brewing. A friend of mine did the first two batches on his own and then I jumped in. For the first partial grain batch of beer, we made what is now known as Too Cans Imperial IPA…on a stove top! Our small kitchen setup quickly evolved in to a pretty nice garage setup, regularly turning out 5-gallon batches. We’d brew two or three batches and then invite friends over to give it a try. That small group of neighborhood friends quickly grew to co-workers, friends of friends, and relative strangers. Our last party in 2012 topped out at approximately 150 people. One of those people was my now business partner, Jason Blevins.
A month or two later, Jason approached my friend about starting a brewery. He quickly said yes and we set up a time to discuss details. One January night in 2013, we sat around my kitchen table and decided that we would open a brewery.
In the beginning, we brewed a few different beers and spend a lot of time taking samples into downtown Columbus restaurants and bars to see if we could drum up any interest in what we were making. As fate would have it, there was more than enough interest. We were in business. We found our initial space in May of 2013 on Schrock Road, built our first brewery space, and received our permit to brew beer in the state of Ohio.
All three of us were still working full-time jobs at this point. We’d take turns brewing over weekends or late into the night. While it was fun and exciting at first, it wasn’t sustainable. By the summer of 2015, we reached a point where we had to decide if we were going to continue and expand the business or shut it down altogether. With massive support from our families, friends, and customer base, Jason and I took the leap and set out to grow the business.
And grow we did! We found a 6500 square foot building right around the corner that was available and we moved the brewery into its new home at 7020 Huntley Road. In winter 2019, we opened our sister location, Zaftig Brew Pub, in Italian Village and in 2021, we more than doubled our size with the expansion of the Worthington Brewery location. The spaces and incredible communities that we have found have helped us grow in to one of the best breweries in the area. We cannot wait to see what’s next for Zaftig!