There are a lot of places to drink in Ann Arbor, and I don't mean sports bars or university meat markets. Though these places do exist in abundance, I refuse to step foot inside them. No, my boyfriend Greg and I prefer to haunt the Main Street area and do our drinking in slightly more sophisticated environs where drinking is serious business.
Take the relatively newly opened Old German Bar and Bierkeller beneath the already popular Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. located at the corner of Ashley and Washington. (A bierkeller is "a public house decorated in German style, selling German beers," though it literally translates to "beer cellar" from German.) My first impression of Old German was that is was dark. Very dark. I could barely see two feet in front of my face and as we made our way to an open table, Greg smacked his shoulder against a pole that neither of us had realize was there.
As my eyes adjusted, however, I realized the interior is very, very cool. Sadly, it was too dark to take pictures. Imagine a dark cellar - but not a dank one!- with wood furniture everywhere and smoky lanterns swinging overhead. Greg and I agree that one day we would like to have just such a cellar as part of our home, hopefully with the same giant vats of beer behind the bar and pleasing array of spirits on the shelves.
The food is German. Very, very German. There is a lot of pork, so my choices were limited. I decided to play it safe with a chicken brat that turned out to be stellar in the taste department. Greg ordered the bacon and beer brat, which he quite enjoyed. Both came with a side of German potato salad, which I don't often like because it is warm and lacks mayonnaise. This one was more than tolerable, and I ate most of mine. (The vinegar-dense potatoes at the bottom proved to be too much for my tastebuds.)
But this is a bierkeller, so onto the drinks! I didn't actually get a beer. I got a Snow Weiss, "Berentzen Apfel Schanpps, Absolut Citron, Bacardi Melon Rum, Sour Mix." Mmmmmm..... I loved it. I could have ordered probably three glasses, it tasted so good, but I would have definitely been stumbling. All of the spirits looked pretty amazing, especially the Hasselhoff, which has a lot of blue in it. Greg enjoyed the beer selection, as I am sure any beer-loving person (especially of the German variety) would.
If you enjoy German food and/or German beer, Old German is a real gem. I would absolutely hang out there with friends, and it is totally a bar I would bring friends to who are visiting from out-of-town. I wish Old German all the best! And I might be seeing it again soon.