Beer Garden Open for Business
Not typically seen this side of Munich without a pair of lederhosen, Fairfield is home to a new beer garden at Firehouse Deli. The shop, owned and operated by the same group that runs Centro Ristorante & Bar across the Sherman Green, is not just a hot spot for sammies anymore.
Opened only a few weeks ago, the side brickwalk is now peppered with tables, flourishing flowerbeds, and a German menu. Bratwursts abound with a swish of a Heifeweizen.
While the deli not only carries German beers, they also have a host of American microbrews as well as some other European lagers and ales. What makes this interesting? Unless you want to make an hour’s drive, there isn’t another traditional German biergarten within 20 miles of here.
Bobby Q’s in Westport opened a rooftop beer garden last summer, but they carry mainly American microbrews. The next best place to get a hot pretzel and a stein is Old Heidelberg in Bethel.
This little gem is completely authentic due in large part to its owner, Dunja Klemm. She took over the restaurant in 2007 after her husband died. Originally from the Rheingau region in Germany, she wanted to represent her home country with a true biergarten. They have a few beers on tap: helle, dunkel, and heifeweizen, which means light, dark, and wheat.
They have an extensive bottled beer list and a hefty menu to go with it. Sauerbraten and wiener schnitzel, anyone? And not for the faint of heart, they also have schweinshaxe on the menu. That’s a gigantic pork shank, which is the perfect meal if you’re a hungry caveman.
Aside from heading into the city, the only other place to find authentic German hospitality is East Side Restaurant in New Britain. They have a rooftop biergarten and an extensive four-course menu. Run for the last 70 years by families devoted to the German tradition, the current owners renovated their space to include the biergarten in 2009, which was modeled after the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.
So if you can’t make it to Bavaria any time soon, stop by any one of these places for a true German experience. Prost!