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New NYC Beer Hall: Reichenbach Hall

Michael Donato, July 11, 2013 -   

In Midtown Manhattan, on 37th street in the heart of the bead district, a new German beer hall has opened up called Reichenbach Hall. This place is modeled after a traditional beer hall and serves a full slate of German beers. They have the liter sized Maß that’d you’d find at Oktoberfest, normal pints, and boots for you really get your drink on. They also have beer skis, which are skis with holes in them for shot glasses and you and some of your buddies slowly tilt the ski to take the shot at the same time. If you're into that sort of thing.

I work nearby and decided to have lunch there one day. The chicken schnitzel sandwich was delicious, but as this is a beer blog, not a chicken schnitzel blog, that's all I'll say.

It’s laid out like a beer hall with a couple of long benches in a large wooden hall. They’ve got two bar sections and plenty of standing space. The place wasn't crowded at all for lunch, and I sat at the bar and ordered a Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Rauchbier is one of those styles that doesn’t really lend itself to a “It’s okay” type rating. Either you enjoy the smokiness of the beer, or you very much dislike it. This one isn’t particularly gentle with the smoke either, but it’s complemented by a nice rich beer underneath the initial taste, and smell, of smoke. I thoroughly enjoyed sipping and enjoying this one.

Their full list of beers available is pretty nice. I’ll have to get back and try a couple more, but let’s take a look at the BAR, woBAR and Untappd rating for the complete list, as of the day I was there.

Brewery

Beer

Style

Check-Ins

Rating

WoBAR

BAR

Brauerei Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - Weizen

Rauchbier

114

3.680

0.231

1.438

Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei

DAB Original

Dortmunder / Export Lager

199

2.917

-0.101

-0.563

Schöfferhoffer

Grapefruit Hefeweizen

Hefeweizen

8

4.250

N/A

N/A

Staatliches Hofbräuhaus München

Hofbräu Original

Helles Lager

772

3.497

0.341

2.552

Spaten

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest/Märzen

460

3.604

0.288

2.244

Bitburger Braugruppe

Köstritzer Schwarzbier

Schwarzbier

686

3.650

0.336

2.784

König Ludwig Schlossbrauerei Kaltenberg

König Ludwig Dunkelweizen

Dunkelweizen

57

3.711

N/A

N/A

Paulaner

Salvator

Doppelbock

649

3.666

0.112

1.070

Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu

Heller Bock

Bock

10

3.850

N/A

N/A

Reichenbach Hall

Reichenbach Pils

Pilsner

1

N/A

N/A

N/A

Brauerei Veltins

Pilsner

German Pilsner

184

3.220

0.057

0.328

Warsteiner

Warsteiner Premium Verum

German Pilsner

1055

3.303

0.180

1.410

Weihenstephaner

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier

Hefeweizen

1993

3.921

0.503

5.106

Clearly the house lager, Reichenbach Pils, is their offering to those that only drink American light lagers. It doesn’t have many check-ins just yet, but I’m sure it’ll get there. Another interesting beer is the new Schöfferhoffer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. It doesn’t even have a BAR rating yet, and was only added to Untappd in May. From the descriptions, this is basically a grapefruit radler coming in at 2.5%. If you like grapefruit this is probably a delicious beer to drink at a picnic.

The rest comprise a very nice list of German beers. I don’t totally trust Untappd yet for foreign beers, since it doesn’t seem to have the same use overseas that it does in America. German beers in particular have a long rich history of being well-crafted, but it’s not always obvious next to some of the big bold American brews we’re used to and that dominate the leaderboards here. König Ludwig is world-renowned for their wheat beer, and when I drank it over in Germany I understood why. Their dunkelweiss is definitely on my short list of beers to try next time I see it.

Manhattan is an expensive place to live, eat, or drink and Reichenbach Hall is no different. A pint of beer is around $8 and if you want one of the liters, it’s $15. The boot, which is two liters, is $30. All that is without tip. Still, if you’re in Manhattan and drinking you’re going to be paying for it, and you could do a lot worse than this German-style beer hall.

And for a treat that's coming soon, Benedektiner Hefeweisbier is going to be added to the tap list soon, according the Reichenbach’s Facebook page. It’s a Hefeweizen brewed at a monastery in Germany.

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