One of the most popular Portsmouth gastropubs, the generically-named BIER GARDEN offers authentic German and European food plus 25-plus taps and hundreds of craft beer bottles (listed in an intense cardboard notebook). Right in the heart of Olde Towne’s High Street just a few blocks from the Chesapeake Bay, this family-owned Bavarian restaurant opened during 1997 and quickly developed a loyal fan base.
A trellis-flowered front deck just down from the entryway patio leads to an open-air dining space sidling a covered outdoor deck and exquisite left side dining area.
The home-styled Bier Garden’s red brick foundation, bright blue window trimming and ever-present green plants immediately capture the eye.
An aged-in-the-wool accordionist plays Oktoberfest oom pah music as well as polka and Italian ballads for outside diners.
My wife and I chow down on vegetarian-styled Kase Spatzle (a German-noodled, Havarti-cheesed, onion-fried dish) and Jagerschnitzel (mushroom gravy-sauced pork-loin) this gorgeous Saturday afternoon, August ’17.
Since I’d already tried every German draught available today, I imbibe one terrific Kentucky ale – Goodwood Bourbon Barrel Stout (a creamily oak-toasted full body with dark-roast chocolate and silken vanilla sweetness fully reviewed in Beer Index).
All journeying beer lovers will enjoy this unique Bavarian-flavored destination.
Inside a historic white stucco Town Hall featuring exquisite wood furnishings, Old World architecture and large Gothic archway columns, LEGEND BREWING DEPOT sits prominently alongside Portsmouth’s famous seawall. While the original Legend Brewing in Richmond built a solid reputation as one of Virginia’s longest lasting modern brewpubs (since 1993), its well-established brewmasters wanted to expand and hit the jackpot operating this refurbished “Olde Towne” Chesapeake Bay crown jewel.
Situated 90 miles east of Richmond and overlooking Norfolk, Legend’s satellite site sticks out like a rounded castle at the prime Portsmouth pier. Its pristine maroon-beige interior offers simple elegance and the spacious pier-side deck couldn’t be more majestic on this sunny Saturday afternoon in August (just days after the establishment opened).
I’d tried everything on the menu on a few Richmond trips, except one easygoing dark ale and a sassy li’l seasonal offering.
Sweet bourbon-whiskey wisps gathered subtle hazelnut-almond-praline illusions and tingly citrus-spiced hops above caramelized chocolate malting for dainty dandy, Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale (very popular amongst deck-bound quaffers this day).
As for crisply clean Z-Dam Summertime Ale, its zesty lime adjunct, refreshing ginger snap, distant lemony orange tang and fluttering chamomile subtlety created a bright sunshiny glaze for the lightly honeyed pale malt backbone.