Castore joins F&W as new First Draft columnist

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GARY SEMAN JR./THISWEEKNEWS
Collin Castore.

Collin Castore has made a career out of his hobby.

And in what would seem to be a dream job to a lot of thirsty men and women, that pastime is beer.

Castore is applying that knowledge -- plus a background in creative writing from his days at Ohio State University -- as the new First Draft columnist for Food & Wine.

His journey into the business started in 2004, when he co-founded Bodega in the Short North, which was regarded as a pioneer in the local craft-beer movement.

"I feel we were one of the first craft-beer restaurant bars in the city," Castore said.

"We genuinely love beer, other than what sells or what is trendy right now. We help people explore the world of craft beer."

Then, in November 2010, Castore and Jen Burton opened the Barrel & Bottle, formerly Grapes of Mirth, in the North Market.

"It's a different side of the industry and it's helped me learn more about wine and the relationship between wine and beer," he said.

Completing the trilogy, Castore and Burton opened Seventh Son Brewing Co. in Italian Village last December. They started brewing their own beer in April and have six to eight house-made brews on tap at all times.

"I like the beer industry overall," Castore said. "People are easy to get along with. It's competitive but in a healthy way. It's a fun place to be."

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