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What is a Bierstube?

Oktoberfest, bierstube, beer
(Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

You know the weather in Evansville is getting warmer when you start hearing about upcoming bierstubes. But what the heck is a “bierstube” anyway?

Having German blood coursing through my veins courtesy of my Mom’s side of the family (we’re part of the famed Steinkamp / Nurrenburn clan on Evansville’s west side), I always enjoy a good bierstube. I mean, come on, surrounded by friends, family, and gallons upon gallons of ice cold beer, what’s not to enjoy? But having attended my fair share of bierstubes (with plans to attend more), I’ve never really known how the tradition started.

To be completely honest, even after exhaustive Googling (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?), I’m still not exactly sure where the tradition began. Simply typing in “bierstube” gives me results for a number of different restaurants called “The Bier Stube”, or just “Beir Stube”. I had to dive a bit deeper if I was going to get the answers I was looking for. I learned the word loosely translates to “beer hall” in English. Beer halls originated in Germany and were pretty much what the name suggests, a large room or hall where people gather to drink beer. Hence the reason most bierstubes in the Evansville area are nothing more than large areas filled with tables and chairs surrounded by taps pouring that sweet liquid gold.

Speaking of which (shameless plug in 3…2…1), we’ll be hosting the first bierstube of 2013 with Killian’s Irish Red at Old Chicago on Saturday, March 16th (the day before St. Patrick’s Day. Coincidence? Uh, no). The one and only Gonzo’s Toy Box will provide the evening’s entertainment, and there will be plenty of cold beer to go around.


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