Hofbräu Bierhaus had been open for three weeks when some friends and I decided to drop by for dinner and a few brews around 6:30 on a rainy Tuesday evening. The scene was already tumultuous: every cranny crammed with guys in a complete state of dishabille—ties flung over shoulders, elbows resting in puddles of beer, giving wild-eyed looks as they leaped up to offer toasts. Unable to make myself heard above the din, I whipped out my decibel meter—a phone app perhaps not perfectly calibrated. To my astonishment, the device caromed between 135 and 145 dBs (130 is often referred to as the "threshold of pain"). No matter how much you like the suds or the food at the Bierhäus, you'll never be able to get away from that unearthly noise, which is like being strapped to a... More >>>