Bierleichen opened its doors in Ridgewood two weeks ago and is definitely turning heads on an otherwise chill block filled with barber shops and bodegas. Heavy metal blasted out onto the sidewalk as I approached the bar. The namesake literally translates to “beer corpses,” a reference to the people who pass out in public during Oktoberfest, which is well-worth a Google Image search.
I spoke with Olga Haines, Bierleichen’s manager, who filled me in on what the new bar has to offer. She explained they’re still working out the kinks, for instance the current menu is only a temporary one and will be expanded once they have their kitchen up and running to full capacity.
The bar has a lot of what you might find at any German beer garden: beer boots (1.5-liter ones and 2-liter monsters for the crazies out there), foosball tables, pretzels, and a Hofbrauhaus flag. But there are some surprises. The decor is a little darker than most, the soundtrack is decidedly lacking in accordions, and the presence of sizable bones nods to the metal theme.
Olga described the current fare as “German festival food” including bratwurst, smoked sausage, obatzda (a Bavarian buttery cheese dip with a hefty dose of beer), olives, as well as cheese and meat plates. Brunch is on the horizon and will include Dutch babies (a puffy, popover pancake which are seriously divine).
Bierleichen offers a decent selection of standard German brews served in .3, .4, .5, and full liters: Jever Pilsner, Hofbrau Hefe Dunkel, Gaffel Kolsch, Erdinger Hefeweizen, and Kostritzer Schwarzbier among other tap selections, all priced at $7 per half liter. For the less adventurous there’s Coors Banquet on tap for just $5 a half liter.
There’s also an extensive Shnapps list including one local blend, Five & 20 Bierschnapps ($10)and selections from Schladerer including cherry and raspberry liqueurs ($9) as well as a pear brandy ($10).
There’s a two-for-one happy hour (Coors only) every day from 4 to 7 p.m. and a daily lunch special from noon to 4 p.m. where for $10 you get a bratwurst and a pint of Coors. Olga reminded me that the bratwurst alone is usually priced at $9.
There’s a garden area out back, but skylight and communal seating give the interior an outdoor vibe as well. We can’t wait to see what they do with the two organs.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Bierleichen did not have an outdoor seating area, but the bar does in fact have a garden with picnic tables in the back.
Check out the full menu below.
Bierleichen, 582 Seneca Ave, Ridgewood; (718) 366-5381