Friday, July 09, 2004

Family-Style Pub Crawl

What a nice, long weekend! Our Saturday kind of went like this:

  • Picked up tired Viktor early (10 AM) in the morning and left Mannheim heading towards Wiesbaden (where I was stationed for three years from 1994-97).

  • Meshell hit the Marktplatz (kind of a farmer's market) in Wiesbaden and dropped us off at the Rathaus ("city hall") where we used to hang out.

    Note: They call this tradition Fruehschoppen (literally translated "early shopping") and it normally happens on Saturday mornings or on Vatertag (Father's Day). Distinguished gentlemen, such as my self, meet at a local pub for a beer or two, some traditional grub and a nice sense of gemutlichkeit (roughly translates to a warm, easy, friendly environment). American's could learn alot from the social and mental benefits from the occasional beer-related event, like this...

    This place used to be a nice brewpub, but now it's an Andechser restaurant / biergarten. [pictures] Normally this wouldn't bother me since Andech's is one of my top 3 breweries in the world and making several of my favorite beers in the respective styles. But in this instance, I was disappointed. The character that the old Ratsbrauerie had, with its dark walls, old wood and cave-like ceilings had been replaced with a well-lit dining area with new furniture, white and yellow paint and poor service. Forunately, the beer on tap redeems this place, barely.

  • We met up and went across the river, to Mainz, in search of a brauhaus we used to like to hang out at - even before we had kids. It took Meshell about five minutes (and no wrong turns) to find it, the Eisgrub Brauhaus. After a great lunch, tired Viktor was beat (and stuffed - after a plate with two big pieces of schnitzel). [pictures]

  • Meshell had one more stop to make - at the American Army base in Mainz-Kastel to pick up some bicycle gear for Lindsey's bike. This base is right around the corner from *another* old favorite hangout of ours, the Castel Brauhaus. I couldn't resist, so I took some of the kids to the biergarten and had a couple of biers. [pictures] Viktor rested his eyes in the car...

    This was the first time I've been to three (or even two) brew pubs in a single day and I don't know if I'll do it again. I was overwhelmed by the good (and fresh) beer. I didn't think that was possible!
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