Quaint, German restaurant Checkers Old Munchen held a good, old-fashioned bier tasting this past Friday night that saw the joint packed. A sizable crowd turned up and shoehorned in to the August installment of the restaurant's monthly beer pairing. There was barely any standing room to be had, but the restaurant accommodated everyone, serving shot-sized samples of German draft beer throughout the night. The crowd size and the cozy nature of the restaurant made it feel less like a formal tasting and more like someone was buying drinks for the whole bar.
There was a good spirit in the air for sure. Comers sampled eight
beers from the motherland and noshed on a German buffet full of
bratwurst, sausage, sauerkraut, liverwurst, and sautéed spaetzle with
onions. Guests got a yellow printout with a beer list, a poll for best
brew, and a raffle ticket attached. The staff shimmied through the
tight crowd to pass out beers, often with a friendly "your lager, hun."
Some of the revelers even took to storming through the cramped aisles to
pump their fists and shout a German toast, "Zicke, Zacke, Zicke, Zacke, Hoi, Hoi, Hoi!"
the beers we sampled, most were available on draft at Checkers. We
started with a tart Ace Apple Cider to get things going before working
into two light lagers from Warstiener and Bitburger. I liked the
slightly hoppy pilsners just fine with the great, house-made German
food. But I far preferred the darker, more flavorful brews we got to
toward the end of the night. Franziskaner Dunkel, a caramel-colored
wheat brew, and Spaten Optimator, a malty 8 percent bad boy, were two of the
best beers I tasted.
The restaurant itself has a great vibe. It's lined with beer bottles and decorative steins and anchored by a copper-topped bar. All around, people were sharing plates of food and belting out toasts together.
Meanwhile, the wait staff kept calm and joked around with the crowd.
They raffled off T-shirts and beer mugs at the end of the night, which
had everyone pretty excited too.
Checkers holds the beer
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event once a month. The cost of this one was $17 a head -- not bad for eight beers and all the German food you can cram down your gullet. To find
out when the next event is coming, follow Checkers on Facebook. Oh, and make a reservation. You may need it.
Checkers Old Munchen
2209 E, Atlantic Blvd.,
Pompano Beach 33062