History

Originally opened in 1939 as The Columbus Bar, we are one of Indiana’s oldest continually operating restaurant/bars, and Columbus, Indianas first brewery since the Civil War. In addition to our own craft brewed beers we offer several “guest taps” of great craft and imported beers from around the globe and close to home. Menu items are prepared fresh to order with many ingredients procured locally and made in house.

1890 Built by Dunlap construction, the building was initially a blacksmith’s shop and was registered as “The Custer Building.”

1920 After 30 years of operation, the blacksmith’s shop closed due to pressure of nearby shops and the introduction of the automobile

1921 Albert Bozell opened a soft drink shop in the building. The house specialty was a new drink invented by an Ohio man named Hires: it was called “Rood Beer.” The Volstead Act of 1919 (Prohibition was then two years old. The soft drink shop changed ownership three times between 1923 and 1931.

1934 The building became “Bill’s Consolidated,” and auto parts outlet. No major modifications had been made to the building since construction.

1936 Bill’s Consolidated closed. C.C. Piercifield opened a new restaurant anc called it “Piercifield’s Restaurant.”

1938 John B. Green took over the business renaming it “J.B. Green’s Place,” which was granted the first liquor license for the premises.

1939 Green sold the establishment to Harry Truit who renamed the restaurant, “The Sanitary Café,” which operated for less than a year.

1939 Philip R. (Sap) Essex purchased The Sanitary Café, and promptly renamed it “The Columbus Bar.”

1940 The Columbus Bar was one of the first restaurants to have a telephone. The phone number was 1436.

1941 Sap Essex remodeled the building, putting in the first real floor. The horseshoe bar was built and the business grew. Sap Essex joined the military to serve abroad.

1946 Essex returned from the service with an idea for a new business, and “Sap’s Doughnuts” were born. Because of his involvement with his new venture Essex hired his friend George Nentrup to manage the bar.

1955 George Nentrup bought Sap Essex’s interest in The Columbus Bar.

1967 Horn’s Fish Shop, located one door east of The Columbus Bar closed, with the demise of its proprietor. George Nentup seized this opportunity for extra space by opening a doorway between the two buildings, expanding his operation to include a family dining room.

1981 George sold the establishment to his son Greg and his son-in-law Al Monica. Greg and Al remodeled the interior, featuring mirrored walls and soft lighting.

1991 Hutch Schumaker, Buck Ritz and Jane Davee purchased The Columbus Bar and carried on the tradition of this historic downtown landmark.

1998 Bob and Lisa Neff Purchased the Columbus Bar from Hutch, Buck and Jane. They added the famous Mile High Fish Sandwich to The Columbus Bar menu.

2001 Lisa and Glen Spinks and Kevin and Pamela Murphy purchased The Columbus Bar.

2006 Doug Memering and Jon Myers formed Power House Brewing Co. in 2005. After discovering The Columbus Bar was available for purchase in 2006 they decided this was the perfect location for the pub side of the Brewpub they had been planning. After purchasing the assets of the business and with the help of the Custer Foundation Power House Brewing Co. restored the old Columbus Bar, updating the kitchen and restrooms and brightening the bar and family dining with lively colors and new lighting. They also added twenty draft lines and updated the equipment. We are proud to carry on this Columbus tradition.

2007 Power House Brewing Company released White River Brown Ale their first commercial release

2012 In response to increased demands the brewing operation expanded outside of the Columbus Bar. It was moved from its home in the front window of the CB to its present location just outside of Columbus at the Junction of State Rd 9 & 46 making it possible to brew twelve times the beer and allowing us to begin statewide distribution.