Photo courtesy of Germania Brew Haus.

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ALTON - Local favorite Germania is spreading through the region with their canned cold brew.

The coffee shop, which has locations in Alton, East Alton, Godfrey and Jerseyville, is popular with Riverbend residents. But the canned cold brew will be sold at other local businesses, with goals to eventually expand into big box stores like Target and Schnucks.

“We were talking about, ‘What’s the future of Germania? What do we want to do?’” remembered general manager Ben Brynildsen. “We were like, ‘Let’s do some cold brew, but let’s do it in a way that other people haven’t done it before, which is, let’s infuse real ingredients and real things and make it fun.’”

These conversations happened in 2018. Brynildsen and his brother — Germania owner Jared Brynildsen — started “messing around with recipes.” After hundreds of taste tests, they began selling cold brew in the Germania stores in 2020.

In early 2023, they decided to take it a step further and start canning the cold brew. Working with the owners of The Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton, they perfected the recipe for their newest seasonal drink: maple and cinnamon-infused cold brew coffee.

“If you see someone who’s passionate and loves what they do, you know it’s going to be a good product,” Brynildsen said. “With this drink, we don’t want to just add syrup or add flavoring to it at the end. What we’re doing is we’re actually brewing it for the full 24 hour brew process — the beans, the maple and the cinnamon all together. And it’s wild, the difference in flavor.”

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The final recipe has four ingredients, including filtered water, coffee, cinnamon and grade-A pure maple from “the best farm in America for maple.” Brynildsen said the team is still deciding if this flavor will be seasonal or a mainstay product, but they definitely plan to also can their well-loved lemonade cold brew for the spring and summer seasons.

While Germania stores sell cold brew, the canned cold brew won’t be carried at Germania. Instead, the product is in different stores around the Riverbend. The price varies right now, but Brynildsen predicts the price will stabilize once they obtain bigger brewing equipment. One can will cost between $3.50 and $3.75 by the end of 2023.

“We don’t want to put it in our shops. We want to boost places locally that will carry it that hopefully our crew, our crowd will run over to their shops,” he explained.

In a few days, Germania will announce a full list of locations where you can find the canned cold brew. But until then, you can pick up a can at Mac’s Convenience Store and AP Cigar Co. in Alton. Check out Germania’s official Facebook page and other social media accounts to see the other locations. If your business is interested in carrying Germania cold brew, contact one of the stores to reach Brynildsen.

Looking forward, the Germania team hopes to eventually sell the canned cold brew in big box stores. Brynildsen said the cans have been “flying off the shelves” so far, and he noted it’s “a wild feeling” to see so many people enjoying the product.

Since 2017 when the first Germania store opened at 617 E. Broadway in Alton, the brand has gained a regional following. Brynildsen said watching Germania grow into what it is today has been “next level,” and he is excited to see what doors are opened through the canned cold brew.

“What really psyches me up is when I’m at Walmart or just walking or whatever, and I see somebody with a Germania sweater,” Brynildsen added. “I don’t know them, they don’t know me. I just see them and I’m like, ‘Nice sweater, I love that sweater.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, I love this place,’ and then they just walk away. That is the coolest part. There are just so many people that are supporting the brand, and it’s awesome.”

For more information about Germania, visit their official website at Germania will be hosting a taste test for their winter menu on Nov. 16 and 17, 2023. Follow their social media accounts for details, including how to purchase tickets.

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