Leave your lederhosen at home: These watering holes are all-American interpretations of traditional German biergartens and bierhalls.
DENVER | Lowry Beer Garden
7577 E. Academy Blvd., lowrybeergarden.com
Adjacent to an airplane hangar, Denver’s sleek but convivial new beer garden’s designed in the German tradition (pay-as-you-go, fetch your own food, kid-friendly). And those long communal tables? Made in Munich. What the Germans don’t have: a radiant-heated floor for when the prost!-ing gets chilly. DRINK: The born-to-session Bavarian Helles from local newbie Copper Kettle. EAT: A locally made brat (traditional veal, or be adventurous with elk or pheasant) done up Coloradan-style (melted jack cheese, roasted poblanos and chipotle mayo). TIPS: Play a game of Ping-Pong while you wait for your food; the kitchen texts you when your order’s up.
PHILADELPHIA | Bierstube
206 Market St., mybierstube.com
A giant list of beers from Germany (Augustiner Edelstoff helles), inspired by Germany (Round Guys Berliner-Weister) and having nothing at all to do with Germany (Cigar City Jai Alai IPA) anchors a menu of schnitzels and wursts. That it’s born of the folks behind the world-famous Eulogy Belgian Tavern a block away makes visiting a no-brainer. DRINK: The hard-to-find Arcobrau Zwicklbier, a clean, bready pint fresh from the old country. EAT: “Deutch Dim Sum” plates: the sausage platter, potato pancakes and pierogies with paprika cream. TIPS: Don’t feel guilty ordering the Tsingtau Buffalo Wings in a German place; they’re an homage to Bierstube’s original, pre-World War I location in China.
CHICAGO | Prost!
2566 N. Lincoln Ave., 773.880.9900
This beer hall re-opened in spring with steins lining the ceiling and benches that look fresh from a German monastery —and a couple dozen flat screens to keep things in the 21st century. Chef Ian Flowers reimagines German classics for a menu that pairs perfectly with the 24 all-German taps. DRINK: A Köstritzer Oktoberfest served in the 3-liter Das Boot. EAT: The soft pretzel that arrives bigger than its plate, accompanied by garlic-, onion- and smoked-paprika-spiked beer cheese. TIPS: Nearly 300 revelers can fit inside; bring friends and make your own Munich.