It seems fitting that on the 77th anniversary of the day when beer was sold legally for the first time in this country since the beginning of Prohibition, I get to discuss an obscure beer now available only in one of our very own New York bars.
Zum Schneider, the indoor biergarten in the East Village, recently imported brews from a small brewery located in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps: Hofbrauhaus Traunstein. The German food and brew destination is now the sole U.S. provider of the HB Traunstein beers.
Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the restaurant’s new brew launch party where I had the opportunity to try several of these new selections. After feasting on a soft pretzel, I ordered the Zwickel, an unfiltered and unpasteurized beer brewed in a very old tradition. Crisp and hoppy, the beer balanced out with a bready malt as well. It was a great beer to enjoy at our outdoor table.
Next up, I enjoyed the Dunkel with dinner (I ordered the schwammerlragout — yum!) and was impressed with the brew’s caramel and malt flavoring. It was very refreshing for a darker beer and, while not all that unique when it comes to your average dunkel, it certainly hit the spot and easily complemented the meal without overpowering.
Finally, the Helles, Traunstein’s pilsner, came to our table. While very fresh and crisp, the beer lacked the power of the Zwickel or the flavor of the dunkel. I was by no means disappointed with the brew and it was fine for quenching a thirst but I preferred the other brews I’d imbibed through the night.
Either way, I encourage all Bavarian beer fans to make their way to Zum Schneider to order up one of these brews. Keep in mind that Zum Schneider gets crowded early and they tend not to be too fond of people sitting at a table only to drink so be prepared to order up dinner — you won’t regret having lunch or dinner at this fantastic corner spot.