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Das KaffeeHaus Launching Coffee Shop at Zauber Brewing

Rebecca Wagner Rebecca Wagner Das KaffeeHaus Launching Coffee Shop at Zauber BrewingPhoto by Das Kaffeehaus.
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Zauber Brewing Company has been making moves to nail a contemporary German aesthetic, most recently with the addition of a kaffee blitzkrieg.

That blitzkrieg (German for ‘lighting strike’) has materialized in the form of Das KaffeHaus von Frau Burkhart, a modern German coffeehouse. The original Das KaffeeHaus resides in Lithopolis, home of founders Amy and Joe Contino. The couple met in the military when both were stationed in Europe. While overseas, the duo discovered a love for European coffeehouses – German pub-style ones in particular.

“I’d walk in and there’d be this techno music blaring, and it’s like this techno rave bar coffeehouse,” said Joe Contino. “I was like, why the hell is no one doing this at home on any sort of level? And I just got it in my head, why don’t we do this at home?”

The opening of the Lithopolis store was met with success, and the Contino’s set their sights on expanding their wholesale distribution. Their coffee, a proprietary blend from Germany’s Aachen region, is served at various Columbus restaurants, including Milestone 229, Columbus Brewing Company Restaurant and Lomonico’s.

Zauber Brewing Company founder Geoff Towne was first to suggest the collaboration.

“Geoff’s original idea, when founding the brewery, was to emulate modern German beer halls, where you’ve got multiple, independent kiosks under one roof,” said Zauber head brewer Cameron Lloyd. “Explorer’s Club and Das KaffeeHaus, all these things fit the idea of that same vision.”

Das KaffeeHaus intends to be a breath of fresh air from the typical reserved, west coast-style coffee shop format. The atmosphere will be pub-like, with a European dubstep playlist and beer available starting at 6 a.m. The stand is located at the entrance of Zauber’s Grandview taproom.

The coffeehouse will serve a full range of coffee and espresso drinks, frostlattes and smoothies. Three to five German pastries will be served each morning, including cream puffs, strudel, schnecken and croissants. Several varieties of bagels from Canal Winchester-based Blystone Farm will also be available. Four rotating Zauber beers will be on tap.

In addition to the brick and mortar stores, the Contino’s have outfitted a former medic van with mobile coffee equipment. Aptly named the KaffeeWagon, an emergency kaffee unit, the truck makes appearances at food festivals and private events.

Zauber is in the midst of brewing a German altbier infused with Das KaffeeHaus brew. The coffee brings a subtle hazelnut flavor to the brown ale, similar to Zauber’s Myopic Red. A name is yet to be decided, but the inaugural keg is set to be tapped when Das KaffeeHaus opens.

In terms of expansion, both Zauber Brewing Company and Das KaffeeHaus von Frau Burkhart plan to make moves to the heavily German-populated Cincinnati if their collaboration proves successful.

“We have aspirations of taking this show on the road if it’s a success,” said Contino. “As a pair, we would like to be in Cincinnati. That was always our conceptual drive, from the beginning.”

Das KaffeeHaus von Frau Burkhart will open by October 15 at the latest, with expected hours from 6am to 4pm, at 909 West Fifth Avenue.

For more information, visit www.daskaffeehaus.us.

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