Zaubertrank, Thornbury

MELBOURNE | Familiar faces from Thornbury craft beer institution Carwyn Cellars, Ben Duval and Alex Schulz, have teamed up with Carwyn Cellars owner Ben Carwyn to open a new bar just a few metres up from Carwyn, and it’s very good.

The bar is called Zaubertrank, and it’s inspired by a quirky apothecary of the same name that Duval and Schultz used to visit when they were living in Hamburg, Germany, as exchange students. The space is small, with two communal tables in the centre, smaller tables and seating around it, a colourful mural on the back wall, and an eclectic music playlist.

The focus is on German and Austrian wines, and Aussie versions of varietals from the two countries. Expect interesting wines you might not have heard of, ranging from funky to easy drinking. It’s a small list, but there’s something for everyone. To round things off, a few local craft brews, digestive, and quality non-alcoholic options that are more than an afterthought. Keep an eye out for the boys’ own wines, made in collaboration with Fin Wines.

On the food front, the menu isn’t what you might think. It’s Malaysian inspired bar snacks, riffing on the kind of things that Schultz encountered working in the the bars, hotels and country clubs of Kuala Lumpur. Think Ikan Bilis, butter and egg floss fried school prawns, and fried on-the-bone ‘boxing’ chicken. The one German thing on the menu is curry knackwurst. Similar to currywurst, it’s a fried north German sausage sliced and served with a curry-mustard mayo. It’s very addictive.


881 High Street
Victoria 3070

Telephone: n/a
E-mail: n/a

Wed – Sat: 5:30pm to 11:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 5:00pm

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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