Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Fredericksburg, Texas: Bratwurst and Beer

Das Bier, Fredericksburg Brewing Company

I traveled to Texas to photograph wildflowers and taste wine, but ended up into brats and beer. Not to say I didn't spy a few bluebonnets, even with drought conditions, and sip some vino, but Fredericksburg taps into authentic German food and ale. And das ist gut.

Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas
The small town in the desirable Hill Country dates back to 1846. A group of German immigrants bought land packages and settled into what became a planned community. Today, the Germanic heritage retains a strong influence over lifestyle in  the region. As you might expect, the streets and shops pass the white glove cleanliness test and events run with uber- precision.

You'll find over 70 restaurants from fine, elegant dining to Tex-Mex, BBQ, Italian and other ethnic varieties and, of course, German specialties. I first stopped at Der Lindenbaum restaurant on Main Street for a late lunch. I ordered a Reuben which arrived with sauerkraut on the side, not on the sandwich. Hmm? I promptly opened it up and placed the cabbage topping inside the rye bread along with the corned beef and melted Swiss cheese. A meaty and tasty afternoon treat.


Dinner found me at the friendly Fredericksburg Brewing Company, also along Main Street and in the heart of the historic, downtown shopping district. The on-premise micro-brewery claimed a gold medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival Competition, the largest beer competition in the United States. The establishment has twice been proclaimed the Best Brewpub in Texas, by Texas Monthly, and won silver and bronze medals for their Porter and Red Ale.

The menu features beer samplers and I was ready to raise a stein. (Faithful blog readers may recall it took two trips to Germany to convert me from a wine devotee to a robust bier enthusiast.) I tried a three-flight series named: Not So Dumb Blonde, Enchanted Rock Red Ale and the Pioneer Porter. The golden blonde ale tasted too light for my preference- like a Kolsch that I tasted in Cologne. I thought the Red ale was divine with a full, rich malty tang. The Porter sipped smooth but I preferred the Red. 
Three Sausage Sampler

When in Fredericksburg I wanted to try honest Bavarian fare, so I chose the Sausage Sampler of knackwurst, bratwurst, and pepperwurst while a dining partner ordered Jager Schnitzel - a breaded pork cutlet topped with Bavarian-style mushroom sauce. Both smelled homey with a warm spiciness and proved very filling. While we needed no dessert, we nonetheless ordered a peach cobbler to share. 

An atmosphere of frolic fills the brewpub, a Biergarten stands ready at the rear of the building-- sometimes with a German ohm-pa band-- and the brew tanks shine in the open bar arena. The aura of Munich prevails.  Prost!

And, one more terrific tip about Fredericksburg: sidewalk consumption is allowed so you can take your cold brews on your downtown stroll. Now that's Texas hospitality and German ingenuity.
Dick Estenson, Owner, Fredericksburg Brewing Company
Read this and other food blog articles posted on Wanderfood Wednesdays.

Fredericksburg Visitor Information: 1-888-997-3600
www.VisitFredericksburgTX.org 

Fredericksburg Brewing Company: www.yourbrewery.com
Hours of Operation
Monday - Thursday 11:30AM - 9PM
Friday & Saturday 11:00AM - 10PM
Sunday 11:30AM - 7PM

2 comments:

Wanderluster said...

That's some good, hearty Texan/German fare!

Kristen said...

What a quaint town. They often have the best hidden treasures. That meal looks wonderful. I would have loved to have dug into those brats, too.