Alle ist güt in das haus
Being a no-nonsense beer aficionado (who needs wine?), when my friends suggested we check out the Bavarian Beer House on City Road, I jumped at the offer. Although I was excited enough by the prospect of downing golden draughts of premium German ales and lagers, I definitely was not expecting a one-of-a-kind sensory experience that would leave me wondering if I was, in fact, still within the limits of Shoreditch.
At first glance, the Beer House does not seem like it has anything particularly exciting to offer. Housed in the basement of an unassuming building on City Road, it can be quite easy to miss if you’re not actually heading there, being adorned only by a simple, white and yellow Germanic-style sign high above its doors. As well, the fact that there it has literally no windows gives passers-by even less of an idea as to the party that’s going on down below. Luckily, however, these friends had dared to venture into the Beer House, and lived to tell the tale!
Upon entering the Beer House, one is immediately faced with a flight of stairs that lead to a set of closed doors on the left, and restrooms on the right. Using the tried and tested process of elimination (as well as following Toucan Sam’s advice to ‘follow my nose’), I opted for the doors on the left, and was instantly transported into what seemed like a stereotypical scene from rural Germany.
With its stoic appearance devoid of any embellishments whatsoever – windows included – the immediate impression one gets on arrival is that the place is all about substance, as opposed to style. With a wooden interior laden with communal mess-hall tables, the Beer House looks as if inspired by the back catalogues of Ikea. Truly, this is an establishment that is serious about the food and drink it serves its clients, and is in turn appreciated by die-hard foodies (I wanted to add, ‘and drinkers’ but that would be sending the wrong message!).
Apart from the delicious-smelling food – which, apart from the beer-battered fries I did not touch, being a staunch vegetarian – and the wide variety of German beers served in both traditional pint glasses and oversized German mugs fit for a Kaiser, another thing that makes this place unique is the staff. Aside from the sparse number of men pouring the draughts ‘behind the scenes’, the waitresses are all blonde, blue-eyed damsels clad in traditional Bavarian garb, though whether they are all German is questionable. Undoubtedly, the Beer House makes no claims to being a diversity employer!
Altogether, this is definitely the place to go to if you’re looking for serious German grub and beer (notice how many times I’ve used the word ‘serious’?). As well, the communal tables make for excellent sharing and conversation, and can also serve as a tool to meet new people, for those who decide to go on their own. The prices are also quite reasonable (think around £4 for a pint, and £8 for a dish), and the staff are all very friendly, constantly ‘doing the rounds’ to check for top-up requests from the myriad tables they serve.
The verdict? Über-güt!
190 City Road
London, EC1V 2QH