12 February 2009

Cheers! and Prost!

Water makes up 55 to 60 percent of the human body. In me, at least half of that water is in the form of German beer.

Like so many others, my ethnic heritage is made up of bratwurst and sauerkraut, polka bands, and invading France. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Rathskeller in downtown Indianapolis became my first better beer bar of choice with Warsteiner Isenbeck in big frickin' mugs being my first better beer of choice.

Over time, my tastes have diversified. Beers from Belgium, England, and Ireland, plus plenty of American craft brews, take up plenty of beer fridge space. The number of "pubs" in Indianapolis have grown, providing English, Irish, and Scottish themed foods and booze.

During the past couple of months, I have re-discovered Broad Ripple Brew Pub. I have made five different trips to this granddaddy of Indiana microbreweries in the past six weeks. And I don't even live in Broad Ripple. I love the beers that come out of here. And the food is great. The Scottish egg pizza is my new favorite pizza.

But what I love the most is the pub snug, a small area near the bar that warm and cozy and exactly what you imagine when you think of English pub. The wood panels and trim, the dark paints, the metal ceiling, the booths. It is intimate and communal and a wonderful experience. It had become my favorite place to be when I'm drinking.

Or so I thought.

This week, I met up with some college buddies at the Rathskeller's Kellerbar. I dined on German sausages and Ochsenschwanz Suppe. I drank beers with names like Warsteiner, Weihenstephaner, Spaten, Schneider, and Klosterbrauerei. And despite the 70's music channel being pumped in through the speakers, Johann Strauss and son were ringing in my ear.

My German blood was flowing. Even though I really enjoy the quaint and quiet style of an English pub, my heart belongs to a long room with high ceilings where the wooden beams soar and hunting trophies stare at you begging for a drink as you clink your steins together. And the recent stretch of warm weather is making me itch for the biergarten's spring opening.

Where does your soul desire to drink?


  1. Just a few days ago I was up in Muncie at The Heorot. I'd love to be able to drink there at least once a week.

    Great atmosphere and an amazing selection of beer on tap and in bottles! It was the owners (Stan) birthday when we went up and everything except a few brews on-tap were $2 a pint! I indulged heavily upon Double Trouble (tasty), Founders Porter (silky) and Ommegang Rare Vos (stellar). They also had $2 Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza's, which coincidentally tasted like $2 pizza's.

    I plan on making some trips back to The Heorot in the near future. If anything to try and convince Stan to show me his cellar.

  2. I'm also a Rathskeller girl. If it wasn't for the Rathskeller, I wouldn't be in Chicago now. The kindness of Wayne, Chad and Mike makes the experience even better if you're sitting at the bar by yourself.

    Maybe if the HBG love me enough, they'll let me tell my Rathskeller How I Met My Boyfriend story sometime. :)

    I do love going with my sister to Irish pubs during Lent on Friday nights. We'll split fish and chips and drink Guinness .. just us girls. Once we ran into our dentist at Claddaugh and though it was weird, he bought us each a pint.

    It's not just the place, it's the people I share it with.

  3. Man, I haven't hit the Rathskeller enough this winter. It's such a popular spot during the summer but the interior just seems right during the winter.

    One of my new personal favorite bar/restaurants is Chatham Tap. The interior is nice, though I think a makeover of the tables and chairs could really add to the charm of the place. But when it's nice out, what I really like is sitting outside in the back by that brick alleyway. It's a nice tight space with all the buildings really close to the alley. Very cozy. And there's cornhole.

  4. It used to be BW3, before it was Badaboomz and J-Gumbos. Not becuase it was a warm, inviting English pub, or even that it was an eloquent, pristine place, but because of these things: I knew the bartenders, the waitresses were pretty with nice hooters, they had trivia (that was always a throwback to college), they had lots of TVs and of course the big reason was that 7 or 8 years ago (oh my God it really has been that long), they had more craft beer on tap that ANYWHERE in town. Long before people actually gave a crap (if you can consider them giving one now -- it's marginal).

    Hey, I won a television at a Monday night football drawing too -- it's still my main TV.

    Then life happened with the wife and then the kid and for now, the barhopping is a distant memory, which has turned into more family friendly entertainment: homebrewing. Those were the good old days.

    Oh, to answer the question though, I've always really enjoyed the basement at Rock Bottom.