Zauber Brewing won’t be Zauber Brewing much longer

Written by on June 5, 2017 in Beer, Beer from Here, Taprooms - 13 Comments

zauber brewery

There will continue to be a brewery located at 909 W. 5th Avenue in the Grandview area, but it won’t be known as “Zauber” for much longer — local equity group Cebada is in the process of purchasing the assets belonging to the brewery with plans to make some big changes.

“We are going to be releasing a new brand this summer,” said Cebada partner Scott Talmage. “We’re really excited about what we’re going to be doing. A lot of what’s been holding us back, I think we no longer have those situations.”

Geoff Towne, who founded Zauber back in 2011, will no longer be involved with the brewery at 5th Avenue, but will retain rights to its brand name.

“We wish him the best,” said Talmage. “He may at some point revive the Zauber brand, that’s his option to do that if he chooses to down the road.”

While Talmage declined to share the brewery’s new name, which will be rolled out later this summer, he said it will be based on ‘global inspiration.’

“The idea is that this has been an expedition, this has been a great adventure,” said Talmage. “Many of the people involved here are very in touch with other parts of the world, so we’re going to pull different beer recipes inspired by different cultures together into one portfolio.”

To handle the production of these new worldly brews, Talmage and his partners brought back Cameron Lloyd, who had been Zauber’s head brewer before he was let go last year.

“We’re taking a big differentiation from Zauber and will no longer be just German and Belgian focused, although that’s certainly an area of the world that I draw a lot of inspiration from myself, and a lot of my favorite styles come from there, so there will be a fair number of German and Belgian styles within the wheelhouse but that’s not going to be the exclusive focus,” said Lloyd.

New beers from The-Brewery-Formerly-Known-As-Zauber will be released in advance of the full rebrand with some hitting the Grandview bar’s taps in early July. Talmage says they plan to involve the community for focus group tastings and naming input for products in the new portfolio.

The taproom will remain open during the transition from Zauber to the new brand, with possibly only a day or two of closure later this summer for repainting and other minor cosmetic updates. Talmage says the bar will continue to support the soccer community, and the bar’s in-house Explorer’s Club kitchen, which ceased operation in May, will be replaced by a rotating schedule of food trucks and pop-up kitchens.

A note for those working on the Columbus Ale Trail: the new brewery will take the place of Zauber in the book. Either a Zauber stamp or a stamp from the new brewery will count towards finishing the trail.


full disclosure: Zauber is a former client and I am a founding partner of the Columbus Ale Trail

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Geek of the craft beer/board game/sci-fi varieties. Fan of patios.

13 Comments on "Zauber Brewing won’t be Zauber Brewing much longer"

  1. NewMicrobrewery June 5, 2017 at 6:50 PM · Reply

    This sucks! I like Zauber brews! Doh. I have an idea for a local microbrewery….haha. I might be serious though…..hmmm.

  2. Debbie June 6, 2017 at 3:06 PM · Reply

    Stopped by there today around 1:45 and no one was there to serve beer. I yelled in the back “hello” and no one came out. A few other people were there, as well. We waited 5 or 10 minutes and then left.

  3. Dee June 6, 2017 at 8:38 PM · Reply

    I’m so sad, Vertigo is delish!

  4. Geoff Towne June 6, 2017 at 9:36 PM · Reply

    Lead is very misleading. Zauber is moving away from fifth Avenue location, but will still exist… stay tuned

    • Cheryl Harrison June 7, 2017 at 10:36 AM · Reply

      The lede, the first sentence, is actually very clear on this point, although most people would consider the bar, brewing equipment and staff collectively to “be” the brewery, hence the headline. The name Zauber may be transferring to another location in the future, as the article makes clear, but what people think of now as “Zauber” is going to be called something else soon, and there were no plans shared for Zauber’s future with me.

  5. Geoff Towne June 7, 2017 at 1:52 PM · Reply

    I apologize for misspelling lede. I disagree with just about everything else you just wrote in your response. From several people I’ve talked to since your article was released. That’s not the consensus impression they get from the lede or the article.

    Consensus is the article misleads all to the conclusion that Zauber is done, no one is clear that Zauber is moving in the near future. The irony is that the deal is not done yet, 5th Ave for now is still Z Brewing Co (Zauber) for now and not gone yet. The deal is not ‘closed’ yet. We have a deal in place, and are hopeful, but again not done yet.
    ~\_(“~)_/~
    Zauber Brewing is a brand. 909 W. 5th Ave is a building. I think most people get the difference.

    • Cheryl Harrison June 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM · Reply

      When you have concrete plans on a new Zauber brewery, I’ll be sure to share those as I shared plans for changes at the 909 W Fifth brewery.

  6. Kelli June 7, 2017 at 4:54 PM · Reply

    Yeah, I gotta agree with the other guy. The article makes it sound like Zauber as a brand and company is closing, and then you read the comments and see it’s really just leaving that location?? So it’s more like “the current location of Zauber is being sold and rebranded as a new brewery.” Very unclear writing and a kinda snotty response from the author when it’s brought up.

    • Cheryl Harrison June 8, 2017 at 9:33 AM · Reply

      When I spoke to Geoff on the phone, he did not have any corrections to this article (a conversation which I have recorded), so forgive me for being mildly annoyed that two days later he’s claiming this article is untrue. There are currently no plans for “reviving” Zauber in a new location, at least that that have been shared with me, and I’ve asked, so I’m not sure what else I could have added to this article so make it “more true.”

  7. Geoff Towne June 13, 2017 at 6:27 AM · Reply

    There are plans to revive the brand, I’m not ready to discuss yet.

  8. Jim June 13, 2017 at 1:13 PM · Reply

    I have to agree with Kelli…. this article sounds like Zauber is folding! And it doesn’t have a quote from Geoff Towne? I’d like to know more about it’s future!

  9. Creamerica June 14, 2017 at 2:23 AM · Reply

    I believe the author is acting as professional as possible. And she is too polite to say the truth is the former owner, Geoff, got bought out by his investors for years of foul business decisions(rumors of alienating vendors, partners, local business owners and former key employees) and allowed him to save some face in the form of keeping the zauber brand name. I have to assume the original investors didn’t want to keep the Zauber brand name anyways in order to differentiate themselves from the failed business concept). Just my two cents, Zauber, but best wishes in future endeavours. Hopefully for your loyal fans, you might be able to attract a new team of investors eagerly willing to hand you some more money while you prove they will receive their proportionate ROI.

  10. chris in zanesville August 19, 2017 at 7:53 PM · Reply

    Ok, It’s August. Any news?

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