There is a new microbrewery opening at 265 Bowery, but don’t expect to find scrappy, Warby Parker-wearing brewmasters hanging by the tap. This brewery makes real German bier, and it comes by way of an international brand: Paulaner Brauhaus & Restaurant NYC may be the first Paulaner International brauhaus in the United States, but it joins a line-up of 25 locations around the world–including outposts in China, Spain, and Brazil. But don’t get your hand-crocheted undies in a bunch over the fact that this is a chain.
For Rudy Tauscher, the microbrewery’s owner, the business is more personal–this is a long-awaited dream project. He comes from a family of German beer-makers, and an old family photograph hangs on the restaurant wall. And he’s no novice when it comes to running a business, either: Tauscher served as general manager for both the Trump International and the Mandarin Oriental hotels.
Head brewmaster Andreas Heidenreich also hails from Germany, and he comes with a rich brewing background; for the last nine years, he opened Paulaner branches around Asia. He walked us through the staple Paulaner beers, which are always on tap: the Hefeweizen, a low-hop wheat beer; Munich Lager, which is malty and hoppy; and Munich Dark, an intense roasted barley brew. Depending on the time of year, the brauhaus may also have a seasonal brew on tap, including the double bock Salvator, springtime Maibock, or fall Oktoberfest. And every Paulaner beer adheres to the German bier purity law instated back in 1516: Known as Reinheitsgebot, the law restricts-beer makers to four ingredients–water, hops, barely and yeast. Anything else, and it’s no longer a German beer.
Every brew will be mashed, fermented, and stored in floor-to-ceiling copper and steel tanks, most of which are perched against the original red brick walls of the space. Smaller tanks lead directly to the bar taps, and you won’t find bottles here.
The brauhaus is meant to be a gathering spot for crowds, where friends can share a few drinks and talk about the day. If you’re hungry, a Bavarian-style menu will supplement the beers, and it will deal in appetizers, soups, salads, and entrees ($6-$28) along with a “From the Fire” section offering ten different grilled sausages ($9 each) plus six types of cabbage accompaniments ($6 each). So chain or no, between the lagers, spaetzle, bauerwurst, and Bavarian cream, you may think you’ve disappeared into Deutschland.
Look for a debut later this fall.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 11, 2013