Monday, October 6, 2008

Another opening date for the Pittsburgh Hofbräuhaus...

Saw this today at the WPXI website:

Long-Delayed German Beer Garden Coming To Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh will be home to a German beer hall in January, about two-and-a-half years later than investors had planned. The Hofbrauhaus is scheduled to open Jan. 20 in the city's SouthSide Works shopping and entertainment district.

The beer garden is modeled after Munich's Hofbrauhaus which opened in the 1500s. Two other Hofbrauhaus locations have already opened in Las Vegas and in Newport, Ky., a Cincinnati suburb. The $4 million beer garden will feature bench seating for about 450 and another 600 people outside. Nearly all the beer served at the Hofbrauhaus will be brewed on the premises.

The county's new 10-percent drink tax, construction, and regulatory concerns have delayed the project.


And all a friend can say is that it's about time! If you're wondering, like me, if this date is any more firm than the others, I did see actual work taking place at the site back in June. So...maybe.

33 comments:

---Guy said...

Hope they'll be serving Schweinshax'n

Will they be brewing on-site? Or serving imported Munich-brewed beer?

Let's start planning a road trip!

---Guy said...

Oops, guess I didn't read closely enough.....

shadow said...

The wooden framing for the faux-Bavarian roof was up when I got back from Munich last week and there's a banner hanging on the front wall announcing the place; A January opening date is entirely plausible given the state of the site today.

Lew Bryson said...

Oh, you are so right about a road trip. I think maybe we oughta look into a bus.

Shadow, thanks for the update!

Rich said...

Sorry, but this just doesn't appeal to me. Sounds like a giant frat party that is under control...1000 seats serving up macro swill in 1 Liter mugs? Yeah, that's cool in Munich because its cultural...its a thing to see and I saw it. But here, it just doesn't do it for me. I'll take a micro brewery over that kind of setting any day.

Lew Bryson said...

Wow, Rich..."macro swill"? That's not what I got at Hofbräu München at all. And if they can bring Bavarian beer garden 'culture' to Pittsburgh...much like Penn Brewing has...more power to 'em.

On the other hand, like I always say, this is all about variety and choice. I got no problem with anyone who'd rather go to a small brewpub. Cool by me.

JP said...

That place should be a lot of fun. I hope they keep it simple lots of tables 2 or 3 drafts on and simple menu.

JP said...

Rich that culture was also part of the heritage of places like Pittsburgh. This city used to have a lot of beer halls back in the day places like the Mannerchor still exist as does the Polish Falcons and other fraternal hall-type clubs. Philly had/has the same. NYC still has a couple of great bohemian beert gardens. Central Europeans who immigrated to this part of the country brought that part of their culture with them why shouldn't we celebrate it? Just sayin. As for macro swill? Did you manage to drink any beer when you where in Bayern? Do you think Hoffbrau would put their name on something that produces bad beer? Judging from the crowds seen at Penn brewery and the Church I am sure this kind of place owuld be very well recieved here in Pittsburgh. Ich bin Da fur!

Bill G. said...

Wow.......finally feels nice to see some GOOD Western PA news for a change, doesn't it? Even if it is a little delayed... (weren't they talking about a 2006 opening??)

Along with Tom Baker opening up (here's hoping his beers are registered off-premises so we can get an occasional keg out this way ;) ), it's a good week for beer!

pcyphers said...

Hey Lew:

Great news from my hometown. The hofbrau in Newport is a great one, but I really look forward to a road trip in spring, drinking Maerzen outdoors by the river.
The macro swill comment is a bit odd. Is it swill b/c it's in a liter mug, or do people really not appreciate a balanced helles or dunkel anymore? How many micros could you drink a liter of without having taste bud fatigue?

Steven said...

Macro swill? Wow. Hey Rich, HB isn't exactly A-B, ye know? And if you've never had freshly brewed Munich Helles or Dunkel, you've never lived.

HB opened a sanctioned tavern in Chicago and I couldn't have been more surprised and thrilled at how fresh the beer was. I have to think that they're getting special shipments direct from Munich just like the Vegas HB; malty, melanoidin goodness -- unlike any macro-lager you've ever experienced... probably unlike any micro-lager (even micro-ale) you've ever experienced, at least here in the U.S.

To coin a phrase, don't knock it till you've tried it. Good on Pittsburgh -- Prosit!

Rich said...

OK, let me eat my words here. I said macro swill in a bit of a rare form but I don't think thats whats going on here. Swill is strong words...but macro beer, maybe not so much.

When I was in Munich I was underage so I couldn't drink the beer. The idea I get from this is that it is something highly different from what I'm used to and maybe that is why I'm hesitant to like the idea. You know, on one hand you have Lew frothing about organizations like MADD and this is the kind of establishment they feed on...it just seems like it would be this giant drunken party at all times.

Not to say I wouldn't visit the place and try the beer, because I would. I'm just hesitant to accept the idea based on the idea as to what it is. There are plenty of good beer spots in Pittsburgh and if I got a chance to visit out that way this wouldn't be at the top of my list necessarily.

So...I'll take back that comment about macro swill until I try the beer.

Lew Bryson said...

Rich,

Let's put the "macro-swill" comment aside, then. In that case, you may well have a point: will the German beer garden model work in America? Or will it just turn into a drunken brawl? We don't seem to have the same governor on our drinking the Germans do.

Or do we? I've witnessed some pretty close analogs to the German beer hall here: Capitol's beer garden in Madison, Bohemian Hall in Queens, even the Sly Fox goat races. Pittsburgh has the Teutonia Männerchor, which, although it's a private club, has the atmo down solid; and, of course, Penn Brewing, where things don't get goofy.

Yes, the proposed HB is huge, but I think Pittsburgh is a good call for a location. Heritage, ancestry, and practice. Still, we'll just have to see. Me, I'm seriously considering a road trip, if not for the opening day, shortly thereafter.

Steven said...

"on one hand you have Lew frothing about organizations like MADD and this is the kind of establishment they feed on..."

Therein lies a completely different discussion -- you're correct that potential for abuse is there, but couldn't that really be said of all taverns (brew pubs, wine bars, Pizza Huts)?

Truth is, if we can prove the Neo Prohibitionists that they're wrong about we beer drinkers, more's the better, right?

Can you imagine how faint the NPs would get just stepping off the S-Bahn into Munich? And the Munchners have been doing it for centuries!

jp said...

This is one of the few bold and creative initiatives proposed for something in this city. Why not a huge beer hall here? I think it is a great idea. Hopefully we have the capacity to sustain it.

Mr. Steinie said...

Prosit!

Good idea, give it a whirl. No shame in copying a century old successful recipie. Much better than another sports bar or irish bar.

I just hope it doesnt take any business away from that great old establishment frank's place over in oakland.

Mr. Steinie said...

Hope they'll be pouring Liebotschaner Cream ale. That would be fitting since that's the beer that beat the germans on their own battlefield.

Lew Bryson said...

Actually, Mr. S., it is Hofbräuhaus München that's putting the place up, so they're not really copying the idea; it's their idea. But yeah, I'd certainly like to see a beer garden rather than JAFSB or another Irish pub.

Lew Bryson said...

Liebotschaner? Okay, now you're just being silly...

jp said...

Herr Steinie Du Spinst! HB will serve Bavarian-type beer.

DaveBee said...

I hit a lot of web-pages just now, including Vegas, Newport, and Munich sites, and I'm glad to see it'll be real Hofbrau beer in Pittsburgh. I've been to the one in Vegas, where all the beer is imported, and (since it's Vegas) it costs $12! (We dropped over $200 for five people!)

The Newport location brews its own under license, as will Pittsburgh, and I'd love to try it. Newport's menu says you can keep the Stein (which should be Mass!) for $15.89, but how much does just the beer cost? Does anyone know? (They can't give all their glasses away.)

I really want to know how much they'll charge in Pittsburgh, because I want to know if it'll be worth the trip. (Yes, I know a liter is a LOT of beer, but you're supposed to enjoy the Gemutlichkeit so much that you stay for more than one... and I'd like to be able to afford more than one.)

Barry McGuire said...

I was a little surprised to see on the H-B Newport website that they say that all of their beers are brewed under license. I was under the impression that the H-B lager, hefeweiss, maibock and oktoberfest were all imported from Munich and the seasonal beers were brewed on premise. I believe they were at one time. Nonetheless, they are NOT macro swill. It is NOT one big open room either. Plus,the fact that it is a restaurant (typically with a wait)and can be on the expensive side...will keep the frat-boy element away. I have been to the one in Newport (Cincinnati) a few times, and...being from Cleveland, I am envious that you are getting this fine establishment. The beer, food, music and surrounding are great, you will love it.

Filippe said...

Wonderful.

I can't wait to see how the Pittsburgh HB turns out. I had the best time of my life, hands down, in Munchen's original. It was absolutely phenomenal. What made it so wonderful? The atmosphere. I sat down with a friend and knew no one else there. However, I left with a full table of friends that I will cherish forever. Some even spoke languages I've never come in contact with. One word combined us all: Prost! Clank the bier, enjoy the pretzels, and breathe in Europe.

I am intrigued to see how well Pittsburgh can replicate such a historic venue.

Best of luck.

John C. said...

The Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh menu is online at http://www.hofbrauhauspittsburgh.com. It looks like a good menu and the prices aren't bad. The only beer price listed is a litre of any HB bier for $15.89 (and the customer keeps the stein).

Anonymous said...

New Opening Date...Feb 24 first official seasonal keg taping party April 1st. ALL beers including seasonals are brewed on site. Newport brewed a tad over 3000 barrels in 2008

HomeBrewer said...

Is the Feb 24 date confirmed? If so, I'll c u next Tuesday...

Anonymous said...

Just drove past the HB Pittsburgh building and it doesn't look like they'll be ready on 2/24/09. Muddy parking lot is full of construction vehicles and from what I could see of the inside there is still a lot of work going on. Anyone heard anything else?

Anonymous said...

Having just visited the Munich HB, and being from Pittsburgh but now living in San Jose, I am so terribly excited that they are building one in Pittsburgh. I prefer Augustiner to HB, but that's like saying I prefer the Fourth SuperBowl win more then the Fifth, or Sixth. It's all good. I doubt they will be served crispy ox knuckle or slabs of pork belly, but the menu looks like a nice hybrid between the German menu and what Pittsburghers will actually order. I'll be in town in May and they better have it open by then!!!

Anonymous said...

According to an article I cut out of the Tribune-Review a few weeks ago (I have it taped to my monitor), the "Soft Opening" was to be Feb. 24. The "Grand Opening" is not until April 1.

Anonymous said...

In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for 3/3/09, the new opening date is March 16. There are currently around 200 people in training with more to be added when the outdoor portion opens later in the spring. The official grand opening is now scheduled for April 29.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if it opened yesterday? I am flying into Pittsburgh tomorrow and would love to consume a little fresh beer for dinner!

Lew Bryson said...

It's open: take a look at the top of the blog.

brewboy said...

a friend went to the "soft opening" last night, so they are up and running!