Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Columbus is changing brewers. Chris Alltmont, who has been at the brewpub for nearly seven years, is leaving Feb. 3 to take a job at the new production brewery being set up by Fat Head's Brewery & Saloon in Middleburg Heights. Keith Jackson, 29, who had worked at Columbus Brewing Co. for several years, is taking over at Gordon Biersch, which specializes in German-style lagers. "It's going to be a great experience," Jackson said. "Chris is an amazing brewer and is doing a great job of showing me the ropes. It's exciting." Jackson, a Lebanon, Ohio, native and Ohio University graduate, started homebrewing in 2004. After college and before his entry into professional brewing, he developed GIS mapping in an office setting. He also lived in Seattle for about four years before coming back to Ohio. "Seattle is where my interest in beer really took shape and where I really started to think more seriously about getting into brewing," he said.
As for what beer drinkers should expect, Jackson replied: "Continue to expect some high-quality beer coming out of here." He added that he's excited that CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, which owns Gordon Biersch, is providing its brewers with a little more freedom. For example, Alltmont created a Belgian triple that is set to be released Feb. 2. And Jackson said he'd like to make a hoppy beer. Alltmont said he's exciting to be returning to Northeast Ohio, where he had been a professional brewer before joining Gordon Biersch. The Fat Head's production brewery remains a work in progress, he said, but hopefully customers will start seeing Fat Head's beer on store shelves in March. Alltmont noted that people can follow the brewery work on the Fat Head's Brewery Facebook page, where there are plenty of photos. "Things are moving along really well," he said.