About the mission and the author

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Greetings surfer of the World Wide Web, and welcome to BierHallCrawl.com. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Stermer and I like bier. Well in truth I’m not a fan of all beers. Budweiser is not beer, and for god sakes it’s not even American anymore, its Belgian, and Belgians make far better beers than that, so what are you thinking?

Anyway. What’s all this about now, you ask? Well, last year I made a New Year’s resolution. Unlike many people’s resolutions which involved drinking less, or eating better, mine involved drinking more and having a constant supply of baked bread (ie pretzels) and meat (aka wursts and bratens). I decided to take on all the german biergartens, bars and restaurants in the five boroughs and surrounding counties of the tri-state area. All this in the course of this year. To counter the possible massive weight gain this might cause I have also made a more standard resolution to run at the gym more. That was 2010.

I didn’t do so well with this resolution. Yeah I started brewing my own bier, and learned how to make a real bavarian pretzel with wild yeast, but I also only made it out to 7 bierhalls on my list. Maybe a few more than that, but I didn’t even write those up. I think I ended up taking the second resolution to be healthier more seriously. To that end, I started running more and ended up loosing a lot of weight. Also, 2010 became the year of the biergarten craze in NYC and Brooklyn, with several new ones even opening within the year. But fear not! This only means I failed on one level, and that the purpose of this site is only slightly shifting. I still plan on going to all of these, I’m not not in a rush. I also am not limiting myself to just the Tri-State NY area.

So what does this mean? How many biergartens are there? Are you an alcoholic? Where’s Middle Village? How long are kniebund lederhosen? What’s a dunkel? Is it different from an altbier? What makes a braten a braten? Yes. I’m sure those are exactly the questions the previous paragraph brought into your mind (knie what now?). And I know you have many questions, and that is what I am here for.

Partly as a way to hold myself to my to some part of the old resolution, and partly cause of my utter disdain for “Julie & Julia”, I have decided to create this blog in order to document and review said biergartens, bars and restaurants (and a cart or two). Now, I’m not a food critic. I’m not a artisan beer brewer (although I am trying to be a competent homebrewer, notice the underlined word, ask any of my friends about the failed root beer brewing attempts I have made). So I’m more doing this as a way to document local bierhall history, and this moment in time. I’m a big fan of local history, and come from a family originally of german immigrants to brooklyn and queens. Some of these old german neighborhoods still exist. Some are just ghosts of what they once were. Some of these places are new entries onto the food scene filling a gap that’s existed since the loss of Lüchow’s, the Hofbraü and the lost NYC bierhalls of years past. Point of this being, I will be including historical info as well as recipes for some of german fair, and whatever else I can think of

I will be rating bierhalls on a combo of the the following items:

  1. bier selection. perhaps this is the most important one
  2. food
  3. waitstaff
  4. decor/atmosphere

I’ll give them two meter ratings:

    ★★★★★

A bier stein rating (out of 5) for the beer and over all feel of the place (this one will be used all the time, since bier is a requirement to be part of the crawl). The other meter will be a pretzel meter (also out of 5). This will only be for the places with food, or that I actually get food at. As a start off, I’ve also added some reviews for bierhalls I went to while in Munich, one of which I’m sort of using as a measuring stick to measure the tri-state areas locals (although I am also looking for some local ny flavor in my general crawl).

Here’s my master check list I am using right now. If you know of any place I have left off this list, let me know! There are a few austrian places I also know of that I will hit only if I have time, but german bierhalls/restaurants take precedence. You can still Wish me and my belly luck, but I’ll most likely just run off the hangover and the extra pretzel and wurst weight now.

  1. Heidelberg Restaurant, Yorkville – manhattan been there done that(bierhallcrawl #1)
  2. Hallo Berlin, Hell’s Kitchen – manhattan been there done that(bierhallcrawl #2)
  3. Schnitzel & Things, varies – manhattan (this mobile truck might not have beer, but it does have schnitzel, and it parks near my work on wednesdays, so it’s made my list)been there done that(bierhallcrawl #3)
  4. Zum Schneider, Alphabet City – manhattan
  5. Lederhosen, West Village – manhattan
  6. Loreley, Lower East Side – manhattan
  7. Rolf’s Bar & Restaurant, Gramercy – manhattan (reserved for december when their lights go up)
  8. Chalet Alpina, Forest Hills – queens
  9. Zum Stammtisch, Glendale – queens
  10. Manor Oktoberfest, Middle Village – queens
  11. Von Westernhagen Restaurant, Glendale – queens
  12. WunderBar, Long Island City – queens
  13. Studio City, Astoria – queens
  14. Bohemian Hall, Astoria – queens (yes i realize this is Czech, but its a true beer garden)
  15. Anna’s Place, Rego Park – queens
  16. Radegast Hall, Williamsburg – brooklyn
  17. Loreley, Williamsburgbeen there done that – brooklyn (coming soon)
  18. Schnitzelhaus, Bay Ridge – brooklyn
  19. Der Schwarze Kölner, Fort Greene – brooklyn
  20. Berry Park, Willamsburg – brooklyn (only german in beer, not in food)been there done that(coming soon)
  21. Nurnberger Bierhaus – staten island
  22. Killmeyers, Charleston – staten island
  23. Koenigs Restaurant, Floral Park – nassau
  24. The Oak Chalet, Bellmore – nassau
  25. Plattduetsche Park Restaurant, Franklin Square – nassau
  26. Pine Grove Inn, Patchogue – suffolk
  27. Bavarian Garden, Middletown – orange county, ny
  28. Zeppelin Hall, Jersery City – new jersery
  29. Black Forest Inn, Stanhope – new jersey
  30. Fritzy’s Restaurant, Howell – new jersey
  31. Alphorn Bistro, Danbury – connecticut
  32. East Side Restaurant, New Britain – connecticut
  33. The Alphine Inn, Honesdale – pennsylvania (yes this is most likely the furthest place in the list, being out in the pocono’s, but it’s right near where my parents now life)been there done that