Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant - Columbus, OH

The Gordon Biersch brewery restaurant is located in downtown Columbus near the Nationwide Arena, North Market, and Greater Columbus Convention Center (within walking distance of all of these).

The restaurant is clean, cozy, and slightly up-scale in appearance.  There is a large bar area with comfortable booths and tables in the back.

The menu features appetizers, flatbreads, salads and greens, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees.  The entree selection includes bistro steak medallions, beer-battered fish and chips, lobster and crab cakes, stuffed and baked chicken, New York strip and grilled shrimp, and more.

I visited the restaurant during the afternoon when there was virtually no crowd.  I ordered their artisan grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of lobster bisque on the side.  (It's pictured at the bottom of this post.)  The sandwich was everything you'd want it to be. The sourdough bread was slightly crispy.  The cheese layer was thick and flavorful from the combination of Grueyere cheese, smokehouse bacon, and avocado mayo.  It was delicious.  The lobster bisque was thick, creamy, and went down easily.  I didn't find much lobster in it, but the flavor was definitely there.

Every time I've been there, the service has been excellent.  The staff is always friendly and helpful, and seems to have almost a sixth sense about when you need a refill or some other assistance.  I've never had to wait for them to appear or flag them down.  (Then again, I've only ever been there at unusual hours when they're unlikely to be so busy.)

The centerpiece of the restaurant, for us craft beer lovers, is the beer menu.  As of this writing, the seasonal brew is a German Kolsch style beer they call Sommerbrau.  It's yellow with a slightly coarse white head that dissipates slowly.  It's a very easy and refreshing beer to drink. I also tried, and very much enjoyed, the Marzen.

The "regular" beer menu features the following:
I've had the Marzen and some of their other seasonal beers in the past.  I generally like all of them, as the brewmasters at Gordon Biersch haven't succumbed to the "how hoppy can we make this style?" tendency of many brewers.  Most of their regular beer menu comes in at under 21 IBUs, with the hoppiest of them being the Czech Pilsner, which clocks in at 36 IBUs (about the upper limit of my personal tolerance).  I know for some of you even the Pilsner wouldn't be hoppy enough.

When I last checked with the bartender (in 2012), there was one Wednesday each month when they tapped a keg of beer and offered it free (or at a minimum legal price) to everyone in the place until it was gone.  I'd recommend finding out if this tradition is still in place and learning when the next tapping will be.  The beer is definitely good and you'll want to try it.

If you like good food and (mostly) traditional German styles of beer, you'll enjoy Gordon Biersch's brewery restaurant.  Expect to spend around $20 per person for an entree and a beer, or more if you order appetizers, desserts, and additional drinks.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
401 North Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: 614-246-2900

Artisan Grilled Cheese and Lobster Bisque

The Main Bar Area (off hour)

Gordon Biersch Marzen

Gordon Biersch Summerbrau

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