Sunday, 12 September 2010
Beer Gardens Re-Visited
Several weeks back I wrote a piece that asked the question "Would Bavarian-style beer gardens work here in the UK?" Despite my arguing strongly in their favour, the general consensus seemed to be that the concept would not work here. The main reason against the idea seemed to be the vagaries of the British climate, which doesn't exactly guarantee wall-to-wall sunshine. Another major point against the concept though seemed to be the inability of a small, but significantly vocal section of the drinking public to behave in a decent manner after they've had a few beers. Anyone that has been to Germany and drank in the beer gardens there, will know they are civilised, family oriented places, where drunkenness and loud, lurid behaviour just isn't tolerated.
Despite all this I still believe the concept could work here, and it seems I am not alone. Not only that, but someone has had the courage to put the idea into practice. I chanced upon this brave venture whilst trolling through various Beer Blogs. On Boak & Bailey's site, which I always find an interesting and entertaining read, I came across this post about a Bavarian-style beer garden in Richmond of all places.
The place is called Stein's, not the most imaginative name I know, but check it out by clicking on this link. The beer range appears to be confined to Paulaner Helles, plus a light and a dark Weiss Bier from Erdinger, but the menu looks authentically Bavarian. Stein's has been open since 2004, so presumably it must be doing something right. The website states that there is a large ex-pat German community in the area, so this may have something to do with the garden's popularity, but it is encouraging to see that someone has made the concept work successfully over here.
With autumn fast approaching it is unlikely I'll get the chance to visit Stein's before the bad weather sets in. Come the spring though I'm determined to give the place a try, but in the meantime if anyone else gets the opportunity to pop in, then do please let me know.