Grunauer Getting it Right

Stella and I hit up Grunauer for dinner the other night. We'd never eaten there but we'd been to the bar a couple of times for drinks. We were all duly impressed with the food to the point of raving about it to my brother who was deployed in Germany for a year and loves the food of that region. If you've never had Austrian food, you should definitely go to Grunauer, it's fabulous, but you should go hungry and maybe consider sharing entrees because you get a lot of food.

But, this is a beer blog, so the beer should be mentioned. Grunauer does a great job carrying German beers on tap. It's the first time I've ever seen some of those beers on tap anywhere and that's neither good nor bad*, but the fact they're on at Grunauer shows that Grunauer really cares about all aspects of being authentic and carrying quality products.

*The guy sitting next to us at the restaurant was the epitome of a douchebag. Apparently he was going to get married soon and I could tell just by everything he talked about all night he was one of those guys that's going to cheat on his wife, if he's not already like Allen Covert in "The Wedding Singer". Anyway he'd ordered a Stiegl after much deliberation with the waitress. When it came and he took a drink and seeking to sound cultured, because I'm sure he was hitting on the waitress, said this is like a cross between Stella Artois and Peroni". I almost choked on my schnitzel.

I've run into this conversation a couple of times in the past couple of weeks; why do Japanese and Chinese restaurants only carry the Budweisers of their respective countries. You go out for sushi or the Japanese grill and you're stuck drinking a Sapporo. You wouldn't drink Sapporo in any other venue, why would you drink it there? Why don't they carry some Hitachino Nest or at the very least some Great Divide Samurai.

Italian or French restaurants, for the most part, focus on the wine from the region, but beer is an afterthought. It shouldn't be. You can get many great French or Belgian beers to carry. At the risk of making the guy who hates Chimpotle mad, I'm not so sure about Italian beers, but just having Peroni on tap doesn't cut it.

It's true that the vast majority of people coming into a French, Italian, German or Japanese restaurant have never had a beer from those respective countries and have probably never heard of most of them. But, if your restaurant is seeking authenticity, chances are you're challenging your diners with menu items they've never had nor heard of, you're certainly doing it with your wine list, why not do it with your beer list as well.

Grunauer does it right. More places should.

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