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Zum Schneider – You Put Me in a Contemplative Mood

July 9, 2010

The Germans may not be the best at football right now, but they damn well know how to make a fine drinking establishment.  I visited the Lower East Side’s Zum Schneider yesterday evening to enjoy some good times with some good friends.  Zum Schneider is your run of the mill indoor beer garden complete with long wooden tables, some smaller ones, and some enjoyable outdoor seating.  The indoor décor as expected is rustic and traditional.  The crowd is unpretentious and entertaining with people from all walks of life.  Hey, it’s the Lower East Side.

The beer is wonderful and I managed to drink a Spaten Optimator and two half liters of the Hofbrauhaus Munchen Lager.  Offerings include the typical German beers like wheat beers (Schneider Weisse), pilseners, lagers, and your bocks.  I’ve always perceived German beers to be the least ostentatious of sorts and have always been baffled at their level of brewing quality.  I guess it’s that German engineering, isn’t it.

The food offerings were outstanding serving typical things like potato pancakes, sausage, and lots of meats in dark gravies.  All, of course, can be ordered using the German language.  I did order the Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes with applesauce) and the Wammerl Rollbraten (pork belly).  Both were exquisite, and yes I did eat two entrees.

This place got me thinking about this so called craft beer movement that the good old USA is going through, especially since I’m betting on the industry to succeed.  It’s intriguing to see how beer has been embedded from the bottom rung of society up in most countries.  It is considered the common man’s drink and in places like Germany and Belgium, the common man drinks phenomenal beer.  In the case of the USA, according to people who don’t like lighter beers, this is not the case.

So how do we expect this top down approach, where the demographics of the craft beer drinker seem to be quite different than the common person in this country, to infiltrate the typical beer drinker?  I frankly don’t know, nor have the expertise to address a societal change.

And, that’s all I have to say about that.

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