While some of the local microbreweries are collective efforts, Geoff Towne of Zauber handles both the brewing and business aspects for his brewery. With a degree from University of California-Davis’ Master Brewers program and experience working at Great Lakes Brewery and the Boston Beer Co., Towne can handle it all.
Zauber currently operates as a pilot brewery in a Grandview warehouse.
“I’m building two breweries right now,” Towne said, speaking metaphorically. “The one I have now and the one that I have to come. Phase two is to add a 15- or 20-barrel-size brewery and start out with keg production and add bottles shortly thereafter.”
One of the ways Zauber is building buzz for its brand is the tap room, where growler sales are available from 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Towne is impressed by the city’s food truck culture, and he asks at least one to be on site during his growler sales hours.
Currently, Zauber has five beers that offer a little something for every taste. The Vertigo Hefeweizen is a refreshingly crisp summer beer, the Buxom Blonde is a full-bodied, sessionable Belgian, and the Magnum Opus is a copper Belgian. The Myopic Red is a solid German ale, and the Stodgy Brown is a hoppy twist on the German style.
When a regular customer came to get his growler filled, it became obvious how excited Towne is to be in the beer business. The friendly, knowledgeable discussion the two had represented the approach all local microbreweries need to take to become sustainable businesses collectively.
“We’re all passionate voices that are on the same side. We’re all talking about craft beer and raising the conversation, which is really what the whole point is,” Towne said.