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Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg AG

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Leyergasse 6 69117 Heidelberg

When it comes to beer, Heidelberg has a handful of options.  Found in numerous restaurants, bars, and cafés on tap, Heidelberger beer is probably the most recognizable as the local Heidelberger Brauerei bottles it for distribution worldwide (particularly the Heidelberger 1603 Pilsener).  But there are also individual brewhouses around town that feature their own unique brew.  In addition to Brauhaus Vetter, there is a brewery east of the Old Bridge called Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg AG.

 

With its long history, Kulturbrauerei (translated: cultural brewery) is a cultural experience in itself.  The establishment is gigantic.  Not only is it grounds for a brewhouse, but it’s also a hotel and restaurant.  There are multiple options for seating here – inside, at the massive dining hall, next door in a cozy, quaint dining room, upstairs in the gallery overlooking the brewhouse, or outside under the warm sun at the beer garden.  Each offers a different dining experience.  Inside the rustic dining room, located adjacent to the large hall, guests will find old wooden tables with small, cozy chairs.  The décor in here makes reference to historic times – black and white framed photographs of the old city buildings conjure up memories of days gone by.

 

 

The menu will not bombard you with a large selection of dishes, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  Diners will find a decent number of regional as well as national German dishes on the paper menu, including Leberkäse and Pfälzer Bratwürste, as well as Schweinebraten and Sauerbraten.  Vegetarians will only find one main dish on the menu – Schafskäse – but there are also salads and soups.

Highlighting the list of drinks is, of course, the house brewed beer.  Three different types of the beer, named Scheffel’s, are available: Kräusen naturtrüb (naturally cloudy), Hefeweizen, and Bier der Jahreszeit (seasonal beer).  A large glass (0,5 liters) will set you back 3,60 €; a small (0,3 liters) 2,70 € (Kräusen costs 2,50 €).  Also on the list are a few red and white wines, along with a small number of hot drinks and alcohol free beverages.  The listings aren’t extensive, but why order anything else besides beer at a brewhouse?

One of the hearty entrées out of the oven is Großmutters Schweinebraten mit Rotkraut und Semmelknödel (Grandma’s German pork roast with red cabbage and bread dumplings).  In this dish, two slices of roasted pork are served in a thick brown gravy with two Knödel dumpling balls.  Red cabbage is also served on the side.  The pork and the accompanying gravy sauce are merely okay.  However, the red cabbage is overwhelmingly tart.  Instead of a balance of sweet and sour, the cabbage dominates the saltiness of the pork and the neutral flavor of the dumpling.

Though red cabbage and dumplings are traditionally paired with German pork roast, the flavor combination here just doesn’t seem to work.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste, but the cabbage hampers any development of flavor as you progress through the meal.  Moreover, the quality of the protein just isn’t up to par.  The pork roast lacks the ideal level of tenderness.  Quality isn’t consistent throughout in the meat.  Although the Knödel includes pieces of bacon, it still maintains a dull, neutral taste.  Even when soaking up the gravy sauce, it just doesn’t do much aside from providing a slight bread-like texture and taste.  Grandmother can’t be pleased with the way her pork roast meal is turning out…

 

Unfortunately, guests looking for something sweet will only have two options here – chocolate mousse or apple strudel.  Each dessert is unreasonably priced at 6,80 €.  Apfelstrudel is a snore.  The dessert is uncreative, unappetizing, and uninspiring.  The apple filling appears dry; the pastry jacket humdrum.  While the apple strudel is warm, it doesn’t taste fresh.  That is, it’s easy to tell that it hadn’t been baked the same day.  Although the vanilla cream sauce and the scoop of vanilla ice cream, as well as the dusted powder sugar on top, try to inject life into the dish, the flavors simply don’t justify the extravagant price tag.  Such a disheartening finisher.

The service at Kulturbrauerei is a little bit shaky.  Despite having multiple workers on staff, getting a server’s attention may take some effort.  Keep in mind the various seating areas, so the staff will be all over the place.  Food out of the kitchen also requires a moderate waiting time.

Kulturbrauerei is one of the few breweries located in Heidelberg.  It’s not a bad place to go to relax and enjoy a taste of local brew and enjoy the pleasant weather outside.  Tourists and locals alike can be seen at this establishment, particularly for said house brewed beer.  But the food remains stuck in the beer’s shadows.  Even with its limited menu selection, the dishes at Kulturbrauerei aren’t executed as well as one would expect.  The flavors don’t shine, the portion sizes and prices don’t match, and the quality just isn’t there.

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Summary:

Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg is a German restaurant, hotel, and brewhouse located on a narrow street off of the Heidelberg Hauptstraße, featuring its own Scheffel’s house brewed beer.   Limited selection of food items on the menu.  Spacious and open dining area.  Plenty of seating options.  Beer garden available outdoors.  House brewed beer available for purchase in 1 or 2 Liter containers.  Prices moderate.  Credit cards not accepted.

Hours: Monday – Thursday, Sunday: 7:00 AM – 1:00 AM
            Friday, Saturday: 7:00 AM – 3:00 AM

 

Overall – 2.5 stars

  • Großmutters Schweinebraten mit Rotkraut und Semmelknödel – 3/5
  • Warmer Apfelstrudel mit Vanille Eis – 1.5/5
  • Service – 4/5

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http://www.heidelberger-kulturbrauerei.de/

Written by geschmack

June 11th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Brauhaus Vetter

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Steingasse 9 69117 Heidelberg

Simply put, Germany is notorious for its beer.  Ask anyone in the world what they associate with Germany and German products and beer will surely be mentioned.  So what’s a trip to a historic city such as Heidelberg without visiting an old, local brew house?  Brauhaus Vetter, steps away from the historic Old Bridge passing over the Neckar River and the famous Bridge Monkey, is one such brewery known for its own home brewed beer and traditional German cuisine.

 

Take a step inside this old Heidelberg brewery and you will instantly become aware of the two sizeable beer brewing kettles next to the bar area.  The dining area is completely open and spacious, with several large wooden tables and old benches.  The tables are quite large and enough to accompany a total of twelve guests, with three on each side.  In fact, it’s sort of reminiscent of family community seating.  Hence, small groups or solo diners may need to share the table if the restaurant gets packed with patrons.  Floors are also made of wood.  Décor isn’t spectacular, but there are beautiful green plants decorating the ceilings.  American pop music plays from the speakers.  Of course, the prime seats in the house are those looking out of the windows as you have the opportunity to people watch.

The menu, offered in both German and English versions, features an abundant number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as an extensive list of entrées, ranging from the typical sausages and schnitzels to various combinations of breads and cheeses.  Naturally, the home brewed beer is featured at the very beginning of the menu.  There are also menu choices for large groups, including an entire platter of around fifty sausages.  Interestingly, during certain months, Brauhaus Vetter features daily specials.  For instance, throughout the months of February, March, and April, Monday revolves around sausages, Tuesday is schnitzel day, Wednesday is Haxe (Pork knuckle) day, and Thursdays are all about liters of beer.

 

Today being a Wednesday makes it is a perfect time for a German delight – roasted pork knuckle (Schweinehaxe).  An entire pork knuckle, served with Treberbrot (spent grain bread), and a dollop of mustard on a single leaf of lettuce costs a mere 7,80 Euro.  Half a pork knuckle will set you back only 4,90 €.  A warning though: Schweinehaxe is definitely not for the faint of heart!  There are so many deposits of fat – unhealthy layers hiding under the crispy skin and attached to the meat – that people really need to be careful while eating it.

 

Aside from the fat, the meat is moist, tender, and full of flavor.  Eaten in combination with the bread and the mustard, the dish tastes wonderful.  Where was this mixture when mother made sandwiches for lunch?  The skin is probably the best part of the dish.  Mmm, pork skin!  Simply scrape off the extra amount of fat (or eat it if you so desire) from the pork cracklings and enjoy the heavenly crispiness that is pork skin.  Surely a guilty pleasure!  Just don’t tell your doctor you ate it, though!

 

Knödel, large round bread (or also traditionally potato) dumplings, are huge spheres of disappointment.  An American equivalent would probably be dressing eaten on Thanksgiving, except Knödel is shaped into balls and prepared without the various herbs.  The flavor of the Knödel at Brauhaus Vetter is simply lacking.  Although the side order to the Schweinehaxe is accompanied by a brown gravy sauce and topped with fried onions, the dumpling is missing that special kick.  As is, it merely tastes doughy.  As a side dish to the roasted pork hock, it is simply an afterthought.

Brauhaus Vetter isn’t the most innovative or unique restaurant in Heidelberg.  After all, it is first and foremost a brewery.  Don’t expect trendy, fashionable dishes in this touristy part of Heidelberg.  But the chefs here at Brauhaus Vetter dish up hearty, delicious German food that will surely keep you satisfied throughout the entire day.  And, of course, the home brewed beer is always an excellent accompaniment to wash it all down!

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Summary:

Conveniently located steps away from the Old Bridge in Heidelberg, Brauhaus Vetter is a German brewery and restaurant offering a wide selection of home brewed, unfiltered, natural beer and an extensive selection of German cuisine.  Moderate prices.  Special selected discounted days (see website).  Known for its ‘Vetter 33’ – the strongest beer in the world.  Beer kegs and bottles available for purchase.

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 11:30 AMMidnight
            Friday and Saturday: 11 AM – 2 AM

 

Overall – 4.5 stars

  • Ganze Schweinehaxe mit Treberbrot (Roasted Pork Hock with Grain Bread) – 4.5/5
  • Knödel – 3/5
  • Service – 5/5

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www.brauhaus-vetter.de/

Written by geschmack

February 24th, 2010 at 8:08 pm