A Look Inside the Doghouse, Brewdog’s New Brewery Hotel
Brewdog’s much anticipated new beer hotel is open, and we’ve got a look inside and full review of the property!
Even non-beer-nerds might have heard about Brewdog’s crowdfunding campaign for the Doghouse hotel, with epic plans for shower beer fridges and an IPA hot tub. Sadly the IPA hot tub didn’t come to pass, but you will find those bathroom beer fridges, along with many other cool touches…
The Doghouse Beer Hotel
The Doghouse is part of Brewdog’s larger brewery complex located just outside of Columbus, Ohio in the suburb of Canal Winchester.
It’s less than a mile off the highway, and close to the usual suburban sprawl of fast food and big box stores. However, thanks to its setting just past the bustle and back from the road abutting a wooded area and bike trail, the property does manage to feel fairly private.
The Doghouse hotel (linked to Expedia booking–worth checking out for the lower room rates) is located at the back right of the brewery complex, and you’ll need to wind through the restaurant patio to get to the hotel entrance.
Check-in is at the hotel bar. A staff member greeted us promptly and asked us to sit down while he finished with another group.
We didn’t have to wait long before he came over and sat down with us, quickly completing check-in on a tablet. He explained important details about the hotel, and pointed us to the stairs up to our room, as the elevator was temporarily not working (it was back up and running by that evening).
The entire place has an upbeat vibe, and you can immediately tell that the staff are truly happy to be there and as excited about the place as you are!
Rooms at the Doghouse
The Doghouse offers 4 room types: King rooms that are pet-friendly, and can be booked with ground floor private patio space, Double Queen Rooms, Punk Suites with wet bars and courtyard views, and Brewmaster Suites with wet bars and Overworks views.
We booked a Brewmaster Suite for its cool roll-up garage door with a view of the Overworks sour brewing facility.
All rooms feature beer fridges with Brewdog beers and a selection of curated guest beers, along with their custom made Grapefruit & Elvis Juice toiletries.
The beers in the fridges aren’t included in the cost of the room but they’re reasonably priced. And for an extra fee, you can have your in-room tap filled your choice of beer–does anyone actually turn this down?
Our Brewaster suite was generously sized with a separate sitting area, wet bar with our choice of Brewdog beer on tap (we chose Hazy Jane), and comfortable king size bed.
The design of the rooms is cohesive with the larger property, fun and on-brand without feeling overdone…and of course there’s ample selfie opportunities in all of the cool touches like the neon signs over the beds.
There’s fast and free WiFi in rooms, though you won’t find a phone to call staff. If you need something, you’ll have to head down to the bar to ask, which was fine with us, as nowhere in the small hotel is that far from the lobby. When I walked down to request more towels, they were quick to send someone up with a stack of fresh towels.
The rooms are arranged in an L shape around the Overworks facility. The suites each have a roll-up garage door window overlooking the barrels, while the standard rooms doors face the Overworks (see to the right in the photo above). The roll-up window has a blind that can be pulled down for privacy.
The large seating area with a sectional sofa and table, along with wet bar make the room a nice space for entertaining or just hanging out and making use of your private tap.
The Overworks is separate from Brewdog’s other brewing facilities on-site. If you’ve ever taken a brewery tour and were expecting to see the same stainless steel tanks and bustle of staff, be forewarned, that’s not what you’ll find here.
Instead, your room overlooks wooden barrels quietly fermenting Brewdog’s sour beers. The barrels do make for some nice photo ops, and you’ll appreciate the distance from the rest of the brewing facilities when you’re trying to sleep in (also I have to assume this setup is significantly easier to pass by the health department).
The bathroom was spacious and clean, and the much anticipated shower beer fridge was stocked with Brewdog beers. Granted, it’s not actually in the shower, but you won’t have to reach far to grab a beer should the mood strike mid-shower.
With everything brand new, there wasn’t much to criticize in the room. We did wish there was a luggage rack, and I didn’t love the bed linen configuration of a just a sheet plus heavy duvet that was too warm for the summer.
I did notice that while the Doghouse website’s description promises local Stauf’s coffee in-room, there was only beer to be found in our room. We were most assuredly not there for the coffee, and there’s coffee available every morning with breakfast, so no real loss there. I’m assuming all of these minor faults will be sorted out as the hotel finds its footing.
A continental breakfast is included in the room rate, served every morning at the lobby bar. Breakfast features the usual suspects like coffee, juice, fruit, granola and pastries, as well as a couple hot food options.
I grabbed a fruit cup, croissant, and the hot breakfast of roasted potatoes and a sort of casserole version of huevos rancheros.
The croissant was surprisingly good, which made up for the mushy huevos rancheros misadventure. Still, the offerings were decent for a free breakfast, and I had the quiet patio all to myself.
One of the nice things about staying at the hotel is that you’re there before the locals show up and after they clear out. While Brewdog is required to stop serving alcohol at 2:30 in the morning, the beer stocked in your room’s mini fridges is fair game at any hour, and can be brought down to public spaces if you wish.
Doghouse Hotel Features
In the buildup to the hotel, there was quite a bit of hype, with news articles touting features that were part of the original plans that didn’t pan out (sorry, no IPA hot tubs), and perhaps some that just materialized out of beer lover’s imaginations. Major publications were announcing everything from a free beer on check-in, to a spa with malted barley massages, and three course meals.
Not all of those hyped features came to pass, so here’s what the hotel does have (in addition to the room features I talked about above):
A spacious lobby with views into the Overworks brewing facility, a bar where breakfast is served and snacks are available for purchase, a game room with a ping-pong table, and a gym.
Of course, there’s plenty more on-site, just outside the hotel, including the museum, brewery, and restaurant, which I talk about in the next section.
Regarding some of the other features, Brewdog may have actually meant to implement the free beer on check-in, though we weren’t offered any, and I didn’t see anyone else being served beer on check-in. I wasn’t particularly hung up on it as we had more than enough waiting for us in our room.
When I asked about the spa that I’d seen mentioned in other publications, staff said that it didn’t pan out due to lack of space, but that there’s always the possibility of expansion. They’re also apparently trying to work out an IPA hot tub substitute for a generous donor who was especially excited about it.
It seems like Brewdog is always dreaming big, and even if all their plans don’t work out, you have to appreciate the enthusiasm and creativity behind it.
The Doghouse hotel is part of Brewdog’s larger brewery complex on site that includes the DogTap restaurant and bar, a beer museum, gift shop, and dog park. Brewdog has packed plenty to do into the space, and you won’t find yourself wanting for entertainment if staying a night or two.
The DogTap restaurant is a large open restaurant and bar with ample patio space. They serve Brewdog beers, along with a curated selection of other beers.
The food is solid brewpub fare, with burgers and pizzas, along with some more creative options. Despite the large space, they’re frequently packed, so I recommend making a reservation, as waits can be long, especially on the weekends.
The patio is a nice space to hang out day and night, and you’ll also find shuffleboard and a couple arcade games in the back of the bar.
The bar is open till midnight on weekends, with the kitchen closing an hour earlier, so it was easy to grab a late night snack–and of course if you’re staying at the hotel, you can bring down the beer from your room’s fridge to enjoy on the patio past closing time.
Brewdog is dog friendly: dogs are welcome on the restaurant patio, as well as select rooms in the Doghouse hotel. There’s also a dog park situated just off the bike/ walking trail with picnic tables nearby to hang out and enjoy a beer while your doggo plays.
And of course there’s a beer museum! The free, self guided museum playfully takes on the process of brewing, along with Brewdog’s history. And yes, beer is allowed in the museum!
Waiting for a table at the restaurant and bar? No worries, there’s ample space to hang out by the second bar just outside the restaurant. You can also browse the gift shop for Brewdog merchandise, purchase six packs to take home, and gawk at their LEGO brewery model:
Employees were consistently friendly and helpful, and seemed legitimately happy to be working there. We had no negative experiences to note, just a few instances that seemed like normal working out the kinks in the first couple weeks of being open.
Brewdog has done a nice job creating a playful atmosphere that envelops you in their brand (minus all the soulless corporate connotations of branding).
I would like to see Brewdog offer more formal activities for hotel guests, as just two brewery tours a week, plus a couple “Beer Schools” a month are likely to leave some guests without the full experience they were hoping for.
With two additional bars in Columbus, Brewdog has an obvious opportunity to bus guests between all three properties. Some additional formal events in the hotel lobby, even something as simple as guided tastings, might help hotel guests to feel more immersed in the experience. And while it’s not a beer activity per se, they could also take advantage of the nearby bike path by providing free bicycle rentals for hotel guests.
With employees who are clearly so passionate about the company, I doubt I’m the first to suggest these ideas, and I won’t be surprised if they add more activities in the near future.
I’ve written reviews for hotels in places ranging from Japan to Mexico City, and while the Doghouse’s location is certainly not as exotic, it’s quite simply a fun experience.
Tips for Visiting the Doghouse
If you’d like a brewery tour, or to participate in special events like beer yoga while you’re there, be sure to check the schedule (scroll down to see tours and dates) and/or give them a call before you book your hotel room to see what’s offered on your preferred dates. Currently, brewery tours are only offered a couple times a week.
Booking – Brewdog has opened up room booking to third party sites, so I’d recommend taking a look at The Doghouse on Expedia first to see if they’re offering cheaper rates for your stay. At the time of this update, rooms were about $20 less per night on Expedia.
By Car – The Doghouse is easy to get to, so those driving in from outside of Columbus shouldn’t have any difficulty navigating there.
There’s plenty of parking in front of the brewery, though spots are shared with brewery visitors, so if you arrive during a busy time, you may want to unload luggage closer to the building before heading to park in the overflow lot.
By Air – The Doghouse is approx 25 minutes from John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH). Uber and Lyft are both readily available at the airport.
However, if you’re planning on exploring more of Columbus during your stay, renting a car is likely to be more economical option. Columbus is not a dense city, and public transport is very limited.
There’s not much to do in the immediate area of the Doghouse, but if you do need to go down the road to the Wal-Mart or find yourself craving fast food, be forewarned that there aren’t sidewalks along the busy four lane road.
By Bike – If you’re nearby, or an especially ambitious cyclist, The Doghouse is situated right off a section of the Alum Creek bike trail. See the connecting trails here (you’ll need to zoom into the Columbus area, and look for Canal Winchester to the Southeast).
More in the area:
- If you’re a diehard Brewdog fan, be sure to visit their two other bars in the Columbus area, one in up-and-coming Franklinton, and another in the trendy Short North area near downtown. The stunning Leveque Hotel in downtown Columbus makes a good home base for visiting both, and there’s plenty of vacation rentals in Columbus as well.
- Visit more craft brewers on the Columbus Ale Trail