Sneak Peek at Midtown's Der Biergarten

photo 3 (4)By Laura Braden

I attended last night’s preview party/open house for one of midtown Sacramento’s most anticipated new restaurants: Der Biergarten (2332 K Street) (Facebook, Twitter).

This may be one of the longest, drawn out launches in Midtown’s history – going back to October 2012 – but the wait has well been worth it.

I definitely plan on going back, but what were my first impressions?

The vibe is friendly and casual – you’re essentially walled into this little urban oasis filled with picnic tables and flanked with two bar/food stations (made out of shipping containers) and a gated front patio. It feels modern and minimalistic, yet tradition and cozy. The wait staff were fast and ready to make a good impression.

I tried the Veltins Pilsner and pretzel, which were delicious. In fact, I’d wager that giant pretzel was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was fluffy, crunchy and chewy all at the same time (with the perfect amount of finely grated salt) and the sauces were amazing: Marion’s mustard and BierGarten cheese. Bonus? The beer garden is dog-friendly, and they’ll provide heaters and blankets on chilly nights.

They have 32 beers on tap, many of which are German/Belgian, but they included a few Californians: Lost Coast Brewing Company (Eureka), Hangar 24 (Redlands), Anderson Valley (Boonville) and New Helvetia (Sacramento).

The owners Sean and Erika Derfield (who also own the River City Saloon in Old Sacramento) haven’t had the easiest run. They had hoped to open in August 2013, but permitting issues and noise concerns made them change the original concept/design and adjust their hours (only open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays). They’re closed when it rains, which gives our drought a greatly needed silver lining. I also worry about competition with LowBrau, which has a similar concept,  menu and killer patio – except that LowBrau already has a cult following since opening in December 2012.

Bottom line? If they continue to provide excellent customer service and an innovative menu, I think there are more than enough us who love to day-drink-on-a-lovely-patio-with-fancy-comfort-food to keep our favorites (from LowBrau to the Porch to Tank House) in business.

Definitely add Der Biergarten to your regular rotation! Just go easy on the wait staff and be patient – all new restaurants/bars are bound to have a few kinks the first few months.

They let me try a few samples before deciding on the Pilsner.
They let me try a few samples before deciding on the Veltins Pilsner.
Special/limited menu for the preview party. Note the Belgies - definitely coming back to try these!
Special/limited menu for the preview party. Note the Belgies – definitely coming back to try these!
Gated front patio.
Gated front patio.

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