Hofbräuhaus in Rosemont: Chicago Welcomes Bavaria

"Chicago Welcomes Bavaria" was the headline on the debut Good Times newspaper that was handed out to those attending Monday's press preview and VIP event at Hofbräuhaus Chicago in Rosemont, which opened yesterday. Having married into a German family, I'm fond of lively German music, Hofbräu lager and specialties of German cuisine.

I've had many a green bottle in my hand with the Hofbräu label indicating that it's the "original" and brewed in Munich. At Hofbräuhaus it's a whole different ball game. It's not the bottled stuff, good as it may be. It's on tap and brewed right there on-site. Doesn't get any better than that -- unless maybe you were at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich enjoying a stein.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago has gotten its brewing underway with the help of Ben Zollenkopf, the technical dierctor of international brewing for Hofbräu Munchen. Born in Bavaia, he studied in Weihenstephan, Vavaria and worked in Chile for three years before being coming technical director for startup breweries around the world.

The recipes have been handed down from the Duke of Bavaria in the late 1500's and on tap you'll find the Premium Lager, Dunkel, Light and Hefe Wizen. I've had the light and premium lager varieties and am not a big fan of dark beers, so I tried out the Seasonal Brew Winter Hefe Wizen. I sometimes have a hard time describing beverages and since I gravitate toward the lighter and milder flavors, I sometimes think I'm doing my taste buds a disservice. This was proof that I have. There's so much out there I'm missing! :) The Seasonal Brew Winter Hefe Weizen was just bitter enough and a notch above my preferred wheat beer, Blue Moon, which I just can't seem to enjoy without that slice of orange.

It was perfect along side the Bavarian pretzel appetizer with mustard and the sausages and kraut and I could have enjoyed it all on its own, even absent of a slice of citrus fruit. That Duke of Bavaria and Zollenkopf definitely know what they're doing. Oh, and by the way, it tastes a little better when sipping it after holding it in the air while standing on your seat as you belt out German beer chants along with an accordion. I've never been to a beer hall in Germany, but Hofbräuhaus is pretty much just how I've picture one. The fun never stops and the beer never stops flowing!

More on the Hofbräuhaus opening and the food in an upcoming post!