No, I didn’t take an all-nighter and all-dayer flight to Munich, Germany, for 40/40, to hoist a brew at the historic Hofbräuhaus. Instead, it pretty much came to me in Pittsburgh.
The Munich Hofbräuhaus is the grand-daddy of all brewhouses (founded in 1589), a veritable Opa of Beers. The Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburg is one of the three Hofbräuhaus grandkids in the United States and the similarities to the German progenitor papa are striking. I have been to the Munich Hofbräuhaus…way back in the day several times. That was during the time of Kaiser Wilhelm’s reign. So, I have some frame of reference, faded as it is.
Here is a shot from the outside at PBHBH:
And the inside:
The long tables are a Hofbräuhaus staple. Kind of deserted….it was around lunchtime so it wasn’t like I came in at 9:00 AM.
But, boy, was it crowded out back in the Biergarten!
Yeah, right. It was so hot in Pittsburgh on Friday that if this many people had been there, the Pittsburgh Fire Department would have had to hose down the masses periodically to prevent heat stroke.
I was a little concerned that the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh was going to be a hollow fake…a plastic version of the real thing, designed to suck capital out of the pockets of dopey tourists like me. “Hey, Mildred, Ooom, Pah-Pah.” I am glad to report that the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh rang true as authentically German-like with some American enterprise and advertising techniques.
Case in point, on the American advertising influence. Check out these German Hofbräuhaus beer-chugging Fraulein:
Let us say that these posters, and several others like it, were placed strategically in the men’s lavatory. Looks like Hofbräuhaus has decided to take a page out of St. Pauli Girl’s Beer’s playbook. Or Bud’s “Babes and Beer” strategy. I am hoping that Microbreweries don’t go down this advertising route. Just make great beer.
Fortunately, the beer at the Hofbräuhaus is decidedly better than St. Pauli Girl or Bud.
Speaking of the beers….here they are in all of their beauty:
The flight (sampler) was quite reasonable at $ 6.50….no tourist trap inflation on the beer at least…very affordable, very legit German. Das Gut! I did not have the food so I cannot speak to its quality and price. Because it was such a warm day, my tastes went to the German Pilsner. Here is a listing of all of the brews with a brief description. It looks like my German-American dad could have used that flight holder as a spanking paddle, too.
As a destination, I would recommend the Hofbräuhaus in Pittsburgh for a visit. It does a good job bringing the zeitgeist of the original location in Munich to life at considerably less costs and travel time. Yet, it is well worth to visit the original. Here is a little history.
A couple other factoids not on the website link “About” but which I did read about when on my visit there Friday. The Munich Hofbräuhaus used to be open only to the German aristocracy. King Ludwig opened it up to the commoner. In a little more recent history, but still quite some time ago, future U.S. president John F. Kennedy was busted at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich trying to steal a mug in the 1930’s . It was probably the reason why the uppity-ups wanted to leave the rabble out.
Well, speaking of all things German, I am heading to a German-American Day Festival in Warminster, Pa. today.
Just one last note. Since I was in Minneapolis for five days, I was not able to visit Pa. microbreweries in that time. I still am sticking to the one post a day as to allow each place to stand alone. At the conclusion of 40/40 July 4th, there will still be several other posts following daily for a spell. Plus, some additional thoughts and reflections on the experience. Today is number 36…four more to go!