German roots call my family back to the Old Country at least once a year, so I was thrilled when Zdenek Srom opened the Bohemian Biergarten in downtown Boulder this spring. Srom, a native from the Czech Republic, gutted the space that used to be home to Shug’s Low Country Cuisine, Trilogy Wine Bar, and many others, and replaced it with an Old World beer hall.
High-rafted ceilings, hefty hand-built community tables, century-old antiques, and stuccoed walls complete with painted graphics in German-style font set the scene. Meanwhile, the shared and small plates menus are spot-on (think goulash and pork schnitzel) as they mimic the time-honored flavors of the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, and Austria.
The pretzels (pictured) aren’t just good, they are the epitome of the perfect twist. Local baker Brad Lappin dips the knots in lye adding the ideal soda-like bite that’s missing from nearly every pretzel in town. A slight crisp on the salted crust, just the right tug on the interior, and three house-made mustards make this snack a must-order.
Pair the pretzel with a frosty stein of German Paulaner Hefe-Weizen or a Czechvar Premium Czech Lager from the strong list of European favorites, or go with a Trilogy IPA from Shine Brewing Company next door. Add a platter of weisswurst, knackwurst, beer brats, sauerkraut, fries, and braised red cabbage, and the only thing you’ll be missing is a Lufthansa boarding pass.
2017 13th St., Boulder, 720-328-8328
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