Zauber beer officially on tap
For two years, Geoff Towne and his team at Zauber Brewing have been crafting small-batch beers on a one-barrel system. Fresh brews went on tap every Thursday morning, and the kegs almost always ran dry by 8 or 9 p.m.-and remained dry until the following week. This changes tomorrow, when the Grandview brewery unveils its new 20-barrel brewing system to the public.
Zauber will now turn out 200 half-barrel kegs every month, or about 1,200 barrels annually. This means the brewery's four mainstays-Vertigo hefeweizen, Berzerker IPA, Kitschy Kolsch and Myopic Red ale-will always be available at the West Fifth Avenue taproom, in addition to rotating special and seasonal brews (like the forthcoming Oktoberfest).
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in the brewery at noon tomorrow, Aug. 21, followed by a formal tapping of Myopic Red at 4 p.m. (The other three beers are already on tap, if you can't wait until tomorrow to try a pint.) Towne will also be handing out free Zauber glassware to the first 15 customers at the tapping.
In the coming weeks, look for fresh Zauber brews at a number of restaurants and bars around the city, including The Market Italian Village, Z Cucina di Spirito, The Ohio Taproom, Bodega and Bar 145.
Here are my notes from last night's preview tasting:
Berzerker IPA: A hoppy, floral aroma draws you into the glass, and the fruity, not-too-bitter flavors keep you there. At 6.3 percent ABV and only 60 IBU, this is a balanced, accessible IPA, which Towne attributes to the Belgian-style yeast used in the brewing process. It pours amber with a medium off-white head.
Vertigo hefeweizen: This is one of the most flavorful locally produced wheat beers I've tried. It's brimming with bright banana, vanilla and clove notes-none of which are overpowered by the wheat malt. It pours a cloudy yellow with a frothy white head.
Kitschy Kolsch: This Cologne-style ale is crisp and clean, coming in on the high end for a kolsch at 5.3 percent ABV. It would make for a refreshing palate-cleanser if served with a hearty meat or veggie dish. It pours a pale yellow with a thin off-white head.