401 N Front St #120
Columbus, OH 43215
Taking root in the recent surge in interest in better beer in the United States, Gordon Biersch is a different take on the modernized German beer hall. While a little bit less communal then the long table variety, this restaurant has expanded to a few locations in many major cities around the country, most of the time finding a place close to sporting venues and cool neighborhoods. Generally, wherever people want to hang out. The menu offers a fresh perspective on some of those heavy German foods as well as the standard pub grub you would hope for while watching a game.
As with other things in the concept, the menu is a blend of traditional German food and standard modern sports bar. Things to try:
- Burger: The classic. An enormous patty cooked to order with veggies on top. This greasy handful is filling, messy and delicious. The meat lover can nosh on it with buddies. For best results, avoid this one if you’re hoping for something that isn’t too much of a mess.
- Pretzel: An appetizer that is meant to be shared. An enormous, salt-covered pretzel with a little bit of mustard, thick and creamy beer cheese, and a distinctly bitter bite. This dish comes with the added bonus of sausage skewers for an extra snack. Best for two or three.
The chain also brews its own beers and serves them alongside the standard complement of taps:
- IPA: Not a German variety, but of course this brew is just a sign of the company adapting to its audience. Not too hoppy, though, which is a nice balance, and an easy summer drink.
- Hefeweizen: Probably the best traditional German beer on the menu, this one is refreshing, just a little sweet on the front end, and an easy drink for a first beer or two.
- Citra IPA: A hybrid light beer but still one well worth a sample. Probably best when you’re really in the mood for something a little more strong on the citrus.
- Golden Export: Easily the lightest beer on tap here, and this one takes a fresh palette to enjoy I think. Light body, slight citrus finish, and otherwise very drinkable.
The bar is big, and in that regard it does retain some of that feel of a German beer hall. But each location tends to be in a place where a lot of people gather to watch sports and other big events so it’s really built for a surge crowd and then much of the rest of the week is much more open. The people working these occasions are great, the bar manages a crowd well.
It’s a modern take, but one that is executed well.
- If you can come here during the weeknights, you’ll find it a much easier experience because the bar is far less empty.
- The appetizers are great and this is a good place for a quick happy hour.
- Light beers abound on this menu, a good place for afternoon porch sitting or spending some time.