Night creatures. Outdoor enthusiasts. Beer scientists. The employees of Powell, Ohio’s Nocterra Brewing Co. share a familiar love for adventure and exploration in both beer and recreation. The new craft brewery, located just north of Columbus, will open this Saturday, Feb. 2, as a gathering spot for similar beer adventurers and urban hikers coming together to enjoy the unexpected in wild sours and IPAs.
“Nocterra is a term we coined from Latin roots: Noct for nocturnal and Terra for earth,” explained James Knott, cofounder and sales and marketing manager at Nocterra. “When [cofounders and brewers] Bruce [Vivian] and Bryan [Duncan] first started brewing together they were young fathers and had to brew at night after their kids went to bed. They discovered they had a shared love of the outdoors. Our moth logo is meant to embody that — a cool creature of the night. You will see examples of our love of the outdoors in every aspect of our business. For example, the beer names are inspired by outdoor activities, like Beta Flash New England IPA, which is a term from rock climbing.”
Nocterra Brewing caught our collective eye for its great concept and its excellent location. While the majority of breweries in Columbus are located downtown — a little too far away for those outside the city to travel to on a regular basis — Nocterra will be one of the first breweries north of the city. It’s an ideal spot for Ohio folks in Worthington, Dublin, Powell, Lewis Center, Polaris and Westerville. It could become an important beer gathering point for Columbus communities that haven’t had great brewery options before now. Plus, some folks consider Powell one of the nicest communities in America. Of course it hasn’t been easy. It never is.
“Nobody was wrong when they told us it would take twice as long and three times as much money to get open,” said Knott. “It was a very complex and expensive process to get to opening day. The amount of capital needed to build a brewery we would be proud of was way greater than we originally planned. But now we are getting close to opening day, and you can start to see all the extra work paying off. We will hit the streets running with 10 tasty beers we are truly excited to share with the community.”
The brewery is located at 41 Depot Street in historic downtown Powell and will feature a full lineup of ales and lagers, specializing in bold IPAs and American sours, including Scioto Coast Double IPA, Beta Flash New England IPA, Terra Noire Baltic Porter, Trail Break Helles Lager, The Dan Dunkel Lager, a kettle sour and several other tasty options to create a well-rounded tap list. The taproom will be a family-friendly destination, with food trucks and hand-crafted sodas. There is also a porch and large beer garden that are perfect for enjoying a beer outside with friends. Normal business hours will begin on Feb. 3.
Also of note: The brewery will have the only canning line in Delaware County and looks forward to having its beer available in six-packs to-go and on store shelves in the coming months. Nocterra is also aiming to have an extensive sour beer program, with a separate barrel room dedicated to aging tart and funky beers that will challenge taste buds.
“Some of our beers will age for up to a year to develop complex flavor profiles,” said Knott. “We will have a lab focused on quality control and yeast propagation. And in the near future, we will use a cool ship to capture yeast from the night air to create a truly unique local offering. That being said, we aren’t just a sour brewery. We will place a large emphasis on lagers, which many breweries have shied away from because they take longer to make and can be a little trickier to get right. Our first three beers were lagers, a Baltic porter, a Dunkel lager and a helles lager. We think these crisp, easy drinking beers will be great for relaxing in our beer garden.”
Nocterra Brewing will hold its grand opening this Saturday, Feb. 2. You should probably be there.