Fat Head's -- the award-winning brewery in suburban Cleveland -- is interested in opening a brewpub in Columbus. Partner and brewer Matt Cole confirmed the interest Friday, saying they are looking at the Short North, German Village, Brewery District and Polaris areas.
Cole said he'd like to open a brewpub with a seven-barrel brewhouse that could produce a "massive variety of small-batch beers."
Fat Head's would enter a Columbus market that is seeing huge growth in the number of craft breweries. Over the last several years, the state capital has seen Neil House, Four String, Zauber, Seventh Son, Bru (now apparently going by North High) and a second BJ's location open. There also are others planned and set to join mainstays Barley's, Gordon Biersch, Elevator and Columbus.
Fat Head's, which started out as a restaurant in Pittsburgh in 1992, opened a Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in North Olmsted in 2009. Last year, Fat Head's opened a production brewery in Middleburg Heights to start bottling and distributing its beers. The brewery has received national acclaim for its brews, especially its Head Hunter IPA. Despite being open for only a few years, Fat Head's has won five medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Meanwhile, Fat Head's also is working on opening a tasting room at its production brewery. Cole said they are shooting for the end of February. The production brewery will produce about 7,000 barrels its first year and is already adding new equipment to keep up with customer demand and to add new markets, he said.
There are some other Fat Head's developments in the works, too, but Cole declined to discuss them publicly. "2013 is going to be a busy year for me," he said.