A trio of beers at 1487 Brewery in Plain City (photo by Britt Lakin)
Food + Drink

1487 Brewery, Plain City

Inspired by a love for the brews and beer gardens of Germany, Ben King and Thomas Garbe have replicated that sense of community and authenticity in Plain City.

Tech company owner Ben King’s work regularly takes him to Germany, where he not only enjoys spending time in the communal gardens found there, but where he also developed an affection for beer itself.

“Whenever anybody asks why I started a brewery, I say, ‘It’s because I was thirsty,’ ” he jokes. “My dirty secret is I didn’t like beer. Truth be told, I was a wine snob. ... But I fell in love with beer in Germany.”

King partnered with Thomas Garbe to open Plain City’s 1487 Brewery in late 2021. The name hearkens to the Purity Law passed in 1487, which dictated that only water, malts and hops could be used to brew beer. This later became the Reinheitsgebot, a 1516 law adopted across Bavaria.

King and Garbe converted a former auto-parts store into a spacious taproom and restaurant that features a 200-seat outdoor beer garden. To create authentic German brews, they import hops and malts from Germany, even using a German-built brew-house. The beer garden furniture is from Germany, and the house bratwurst is made using a German recipe. Everything in the full-service kitchen is made from scratch, from sauces and dressings to fresh pretzels and schnitzel pounded out each day.

“Part of the concept is being able to see where your food and beverage comes from,” King says. “You can see into the brewery, see into the kitchen.”

The beer lineup leans heavily into German brews like hefeweizens, maibocks and dunkels, but it explores American and English brews as well. The King’s Bane New England IPA scored a bronze medal at the Ohio Craft Brewers Cup in 2021. It and the Citra’s Sunrise blood orange IPA are popular choices. King encourages first timers to try the Helles lager.

“It’s an extremely delicate German lager, super light on the palate,” he says. “If people say, ‘I don’t like craft beer, I’m a Budweiser drinker,’ I’ll give them the Helles.”

Because King wanted to create the sense of community he discovered in Germany’s beer gardens, 1487 Brewery offers games to play and hosts events like Oktoberfest the last two weekends of September. The brewery strives to fill the German concept of gemütlichkeit, which King describes as “the coziness, the community, the sense of belonging.”

“They have these massive, sprawling beer gardens in the center of the forest,” he adds. “They’re the heart of the community.”

7620 Industrial Pkwy., Plain City 43064, 614/536-1487, 1487brewery.com