ZwanzigZ Pizza in Columbus has expanded with additional brewing tanks and bottling and labeling machines that will make six-packs to be sold to pizza customers and eventually in retail stores.
Six-packs of the Triple Z India Pale Ale and the honey wheat are available. All five beers to be bottled — including the Polished Hippie Porter, 525 Nut Brown Ale and Fulcrum Imperial Stout — should be available in about a month, said Kurt Zwanzig, who owns the eatery with his wife, Lisa.
A sixth beer, the new Columbus Indiana’s Pale, will be added in about two months.
The six-packs will extend ZwanzigZ’s ability to sell beer on Sundays. The business already sells its beer daily — including Sundays — in growlers. Unlike liquor stores, which are barred from selling alcohol on Sundays, breweries and wineries can sell their product any day, although they can deliver the beer only six days per week. On Sundays, patrons have to buy the alcohol on the premises.
Kurt Zwanzig said that the six-packs, available for $8.99, initially will be sold in the restaurant and delivered with the pizzas. Eventually, the couple hopes to wholesale the six-packs to local and regional liquor stores and later through a distributor.
During a recent afternoon, Kurt Zwanzig stood in the building’s brewing portion and explained how the new machines work. The bottling machine grabs six bottles at a time to be sanitized, then fills them with beer, caps them and feeds them into the labeling machine at a speed of 24 bottles per minute.
He said the new investments will allow ZwanzigZ to bottle up to 400 cases per week.
To prevent reducing the available supply for the brewpub, the Zwanzigs also added fermentation and storage tanks.
Lisa Zwanzig said the additional tanks and machinery required the removal of a wall on the building’s eastern side.
The bottling and labeling machines are on wheels and can be moved into the brewing area and set up within 10 minutes.
The couple added the brewery about a year ago, doubled the seating capacity and the number of pizza ovens and created an additional 15 jobs.
Kurt Zwanzig said the most recent expansion will include the addition of a full-time and two part-time brewing assistants.
The couple started their business 11 years ago on Jonesville Road, with Kurt making the dough and Lisa adding the toppings, with both mopping the floors after hours.
Since launching the brewery, ZwanzigZ has crafted nearly 30 beers, rotating five of 12 available beers depending on the season.
Brewmaster Mike Rybinski concocted a chocolate-flavored beer for Valentine’s Day and recently added a Rauch beer. The beer lives up to its name (Rauch is German for smoke), as it submerges the palate in flavors of bacon.
Kurt Zwanzig said the couple want to expand slowly to make sure they can continue to focus on quality.
“We’ve been very careful about growing in an appropriate way,” he said.
If the six-packs prove popular, the couple will consider adding a production facility in a different location, possibly coupled with another restaurant unrelated to the pizza place.
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