Regular readers know this column typically focuses on well-regarded beer bars, but for Columbus, Ohio, things got a little dirty ... Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, that is.
What makes a glorified hot dog stand worthy of What's On Tap recognition? A great beer selection, of course. Working with only eight draft lines, house manager Jeni Van Hemert ensures Dirty Frank's has a broad selection of American craft brews.
"We're a hot dog joint, but we have insanely good beers on tap," says Van Hemert, describing the Palace's general concept. "We want to be an affordable option," she continues. "We have beers that cost twice as much as the hot dogs but then we also have $1.50 beers." For that reason, one of her taps is always reserved for a cheap domestic like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Miller Lite.
For the remaining seven lines, though, taste is the focus. "I like a very flavorful, heavy beer," she explains, discussing how she chooses what to stock. From her experience bartending and homebrewing, Van Hemert believes she can be a positive force in educating the public. "I've gotten used to having really awesome beers around."
Dirty Frank's even offers beer and hot dog "food pairings," though these options also bring in brews from their extensive bottled and canned selection. Chicago-style dogs can be matched with Old Style, a beer with a long history in the Windy City. Pittsburgh's Iron City beer is suggested to go alongside "Lara's Pittsburgh Princess." And if someone seeks a meal sans-dog, the Cincinnati 4-Way is a great choice, paired with a Bürger Classic, a brew with a long history in southern Ohio.
Still, though serving a city's dog with its local beer can be fun, for most people the pairing of affordable food with insanely good beers should be reason enough to give Dirty Frank's a try.
Here are the eight brews Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace currently has on draft:
- Great Lakes Christmas Ale
- Brooklyn Pennant Ale 55
- Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
- Troeg Troegenator Double Bock
- Two Brother Cane & Ebel Hopped Up Red Rye Ale
- New Holland Poet Stout
- Stone Arrogant Bastard
- Pabst Blue Ribbon