When BrewHaus opened on September 15, they inherited one heck of a piece of real estate. (The location at 224 Frazier Avenue has been one of my favorite spots since I first moved to Chattanooga.) One problem, though, is the crowded environment—there are quite a number of eateries in the area.
The solution? Do something no one else does…like serve German food, for instance. Thinking of BrewHaus as a German restaurant does it a disservice, though. Co-owner Mike Robinson described it to me as a “German brewpub,” and that’s a pretty good start.
As the name implies, they take their beer pretty seriously here. Their ten options on tap include craft beers as well as authentic German selections, all served by the half or full liter. A large bottle inventory includes German choices, too, not to mention more craft brews and the usual domestic options. The drafts rotate, so you can always get a taste of something new. (Depending on how often you visit, of course!)
The menu provides evidence of why BrewHaus just isn’t a German restaurant. It draws from German cuisine, sure, but it’s inspired just as much by Southern food and American classics.
Take appetizers, for instance, Bluff View Bakery pretzels are served up with a trio of German-inspired mustards, and BrewHaus pulls out a whole new take on fried pickles, using German spiced cukes instead of the more standard dill.
One of the more popular entree choices, perhaps due to geography, is the pecan chicken salad sandwich. Then again, maybe the fact that they sweeten the pecans and add beer-soaked cherries to the mixture is what keeps people coming back!
A new menu is forthcoming in the next couple of weeks, partly in response to patrons looking for “more German” menu items. I decided I would choose from items that, with certainty, are to be included on the new menu.
First up, I had the kraut balls, a surprisingly familiar taste, given that I had no idea what to expect. You know those awesome sausage balls your aunt always makes for family get-togethers? Imagine those, and kick them up to the next level. Bratwurst, cheese, and sauerkraut are amalgamated, dusted with seasoned flour, and deep-fried to perfection. A cherry-ale mustard made for an ideal complement, cutting the richness with a sweet, slightly bitter hint. They were absolutely spectacular, and worth a visit in and of themselves.
The menu includes a section, amply self-descriptive, called “The Sausage Lineup.” Choices include the by-no-means standard grilled brat, a spicy brat, a veggie brat, and a smoked sausage. Regardless of your decision, it is served on a lusciously soft pretzel bun, and topped with your choice of three accoutrements.
I gave myself over to the chef’s whims, and received a flame-grilled brat with cheese, bacon, and pickled beets, with a side of their spaetzle—chubby little egg noodles, mixed with sautéed onions, garlic, and mushrooms, and coated in a rich pepper cream sauce.
Once again, I was overjoyed at the flavors. The bratwurst was everything a brat should be—each bite snapped off was savory and opulent. The crisp bacon only added to that flavor profile, which was excellently counterbalanced by the sweet (but not overwhelming) beets. The spaetzle was a great side selection, its creaminess working hand in hand with the brat. A half-liter Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest was, again, a perfect accompaniment to the rich flavors on my plate.
It’s not all about the bites and brews, though they are each great reasons to visit in their own right. The environ itself is another great incentive. Friendly servers abound, and light-hearted music wafts lightly out to the patio. BrewHaus has started trivia on Tuesday nights, drawing in yet even more good-hearted souls. I can think of few better ways to spend an autumn evening than enjoying an evening under the watch of the Walnut Street Bridge.
“Good food is simple when it’s done right,” Mike told me. Add good atmosphere, good times, and a good view, and I’d say you’ve got a German-flavored recipe for success.
BrewHaus, 224 Frazier Avenue. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call (423) 531-8490