Dining and Drinking at – Hofbräuhaus By: Suz Pisano
With Oktoberfest fast approaching, Nightwire would be remiss if we failed to tell you about some of the great things about the Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh. Its Pennsylvania’s first authentic Hofbräuhaus, modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany. The fun and friendly atmosphere in the Bier Hall, with live music and about 350 soon to be close friends is the perfect setting to enjoy great food, great service & awesome authentic German bier. A quiet dining room for those who want to simply come and enjoy the delicious Bavarian fare is also offered. Many dishes are prepared with ingredients specially made for the Hofbräuhaus or imported from abroad. I can’t wait to tell you about the bier & the pairings!
The heritage of Hofbräuhaus is definitely the bier. Over 500 years ago the first Hofbräuhaus bier was crafted. Hofbräuhaus has a Brew Master from Germany supervising the production of their four varieties plus Seasonal Specialties of the authentic Hofbräuhaus bier. For those of us accustomed to American brews, Munich has even developed a recipe for Hofbrau Light. The bier you drink here is brewed right here. The tanks you see at the entrance are real, almost everyone asks. We met the Asst. Brew Master who was nice enough to join the Nightwire crew to talk about the unique nature of the biers he brews.
Our first beer served was the Hofbräu Premium Lager (5.2 %) A simple, full flavor Lager with a crisp finish. This is the bier Hofbräuhaus has been famous for since 1589. We had the Hofbräuhaus Pretzels and Bier Cheese ($8.99) their famous imported German soft pretzels with a side of signature homemade bier cheese. I love soft pretzels with a German beer when there’s bier cheese around! We even got to try the Oktoberfest Giant Pretzel ($9.49) A Bavarian Favorite as served at the Oktoberfest and the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl. One large pretzel served with Sweet Bavarian Mustard, Obazda, and the signature homemade bier cheese. I’m looking forward to Oktoberfest & lots of pretzel eating & dipping!
The Hofbräuhaus Würstlplatte ($13.99) Grilled Bierwurst, Bratwurst, and Frankfurter. It’s the go–to sampler of Wursts, the best of the wursts if you will, served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. The Hofbräu Hefe Weizen (5.4 %) a specialty, born in Munich – loved by the world is a rich, fairly sweet old-style wheat beer, brewed to create a taste of a wonderful combination of banana and clove flavors. The flavors are subtle so don’t be afraid that this tastes like a “flavored” beer. It’s a nice accompaniment to any of the wursts. There are plenty of sampler plates from which to choose, the menu is quite extensive so take your time.
The Hofbräu Light (3.8 %) has less alcohol but is full in taste. This Premium Lager has been brewed lighter in body and flavor to respond to the American taste and is similar to American light lagers, but much fresher and more flavorful. At the opposite end of the beer spectrum at the Hofbräuhaus is the
Hofbräu Dunkel (5.5 %) For centuries Munich’s favorite bier. This dark lager has a light body, is easy to drink, with simple roasted malt flavor and slight caramel undertones. The Dunkel was the favorite of the Nightwire crew and paired with a Hofbräuhaus specialty the Oktoberfest Schweinshaxe ($24.49) slow roasted pork shank with crackling, sauerkraut, and potato dumpling. This house specialty is only available after 5 pm, and quickly sells out. The tender pork shank covered in crackling is a masterpiece of German cooking. It takes hours and hours of precise roasting with a specialty process to create this dish. People have been known to call ahead to make sure it’s available. If you’re hungry, try it with a Dunkel on the side. It was so delicious, I felt like I was in Germany at a bier hall! Lookout Oktoberfest, we’ll be there soon. I’m looking forward to pretzels, bier cheese, good biers, friends & fun right here in our home town. The Bier Garden view of the waterfront with the Pittsburgh skyline as its backdrop is a nice place to relax as we enjoy the end of summer.
All biers are brewed under license and supervision of Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München. The beers are brewed on site strictly according to the German Purity Law “Reinheitsgebot” using only hops, malt and water. Keg tapping celebrations of their seasonal biers take place the First Wednesday of each month at 7pm.
Hofbräuhaus biers imported from Germany are available at your local distributors, so when your not dining, drinking or singing at the Hofbräuhaus in the South Side Works, you can still enjoy and savor authentic German Hofbräuhaus biers at home.
Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh • 2705 South Water St • Pittsburgh, PA 15203 • (412) 224-2328 • www.hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com
The Bier Garden view is of the waterfront with the Pittsburgh skyline as its backdrop.
A gift store is stocked with gifts, clothing, and novelties from Munich to commemorate the experience