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The Bier Garden

Not Rated.
The Bier GardenThe Bier Garden
BA SCORE
97
world-class

45 Ratings
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 10.91%
Taps: --
Bottles: 350
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

438 High St
Portsmouth, Virginia, 23704-3622
United States
phone: (757) 393-6022

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: avylover)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TAMU99:
Photo of TAMU99
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

WORTH A TRIP if you're in the area. Read on....

Hidden away between an antique dealer and it's own gift shop is an excellent beer-lover's getaway.
The Bier Garden is truly amazing when it comes to beers. Over 250ish beers available, 14 on tap - and god ones! Oh, there's also top shelf German food too...but more about the beer.

Beer: I really can't even begin to describe the number or vast variety of beers. You'd be reading all night. Suffice it to say you'll be in heaven. The've got tons of them. Some of the best/most pricey beers in the world are on tap there. They are all served at the right temp and in the right glass. They are all poured corectly and brought to you right away. It really was just perfect.


Overview:
I was lured by the rumor that they had Chimay...on tap!
I found a cozy german family restaurant with a truly impressive bber list. The best from all over the world and the prices weren't very expensive. Beers like Aventinus, Westervelteren, Chimay - (these are just some of the highlights from Belgium). Easily 20 countries are represented, Germany and Belgium being the most heavily represented.
There are so many beers that picking one just becomes a drop of the finger. No matter what you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Food:
Medium sized selection of Wurst, Schnizel, and other German gradoo. All of it tastes fantastic. Very authentic. Food was delivered hot, just as I asked and tasted great. It took a while but was worth it.

Atmosphere:
Small, but cozy, basement-type setting with many photos and such on the wall. The owners "mom and pop" (and a couple kids - I think) wander around asking how things are. Very welcoming.

Service:
I was impressed with the waitstaff's knowledge of the beers. They had either sampled the beers themselves or memorized a lot of info. My beers always came in the correct glassware for the type. I noticed this was true for other customers as well.

(caveat - the rest only applies if you plan on eating there either a) in a hurry or b) with children in tow)

Relaxed...very relaxed. Really the only negative. I had two or three waiters/waitresses, so I was repeating myself a lot. I once had to track down one waitress because she was busy hitting on someone at the bar...(but she was having a beer, so it was ok).

CONCLUSION
Great place to sit and enjoy the worlds finest beers. Great place to eat darn good German food. Be prepared to sit and enjoy a relaxing evening with friends and your true love...beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of feak22
4.76/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of ChrisFu
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Insanely good selection of beer, and the single solitary place I have found in the USA that stocks Augustiner. If only I had a checked bag to return home with...

Having recently returned from Oktoberfest and a week in Munich, this place was just what the doctor ordered for satisfying my craving for more of the great cuisine and Munich Helles I loved while over there.

Photo of Hrodebert
5/5  rDev +13.6%

This is only regarding the beer here, because we did not eat.
Decent tap selection, and great bottle selection.
Sat at the bar and had a very enjoyable time talking beer with the German gentleman behind the bar.
Both the staff and the regular customers in the bar made this a very enjoyable stop.

Photo of Wasupmx
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Wonderful restaurant. HUGE beer menu. Amazing German food. Great family staff. Bar is also amazing.

Photo of Brycehuben
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of BoilerUpNavy
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Pabst82
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of RonJeezy
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of thebiergardeninc
5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of EvilBambi
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Hanzo
3.74/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

I have mixed feelings from my recent trip to The Bier Garden. The hostess that seated us was terrible, we stood at the "Please Wait to be Seated" sign for five minutes and then just decided to walk in to find the hostess just standing there, she said "well, we tried to put that sign where people would actually look at it"....ok, we did, and we waited, why didn't you come out to get us?

Then she said we had to leave our stroller outside (it folds very compactly but whatever, sure we will). Then two other couple brought theirs in while we were eating...guess the rule doesn't apply to everyone.

Looked at the beer menu, what's that, you have Cantillon Classic Gueuze? Sure I'll take that. "Let me check if we have that"...."nope we're all out". Ok, well Cantillon doesn't come in very often, how about taking a couple minutes to notate the beer menus?

So I order a Vitus and had that with my meal which was good. Waitress was nice enough. Overall their selection was solid and the food was good, but I really don't get the huge draw of this place. I mean if I were in the area I could see going back, but I wouldn't make a special trip. And their draft list is pretty small, a lot of the bottles could be found locally. Meh, I just didn't "get it" I guess.

Photo of Cyrano41
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

I've been going here for several years now. It's a little bit expensive, so it is an occasional treat rather than a hang out. Beer selection is outstanding; the servers are very knowledgeable and ready to make recommendations with a little guidance about your likes. Most of the brews are bottled vice on tap but you can count on the right serving glass. The food is classic German fare meets classic pub fare. I personally love the spatzle with just about anything. Looking forward to meeting some friends there tomorrow!

Photo of BanjinTsuki
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I was on a business trip to Portsmouth VA when I saw the Bier Garden and its claim to serving over 350 beers and, of course, had to give it a go. The results were pleasing, even for my vegan teetotaler friend who was with me.

Atmosphere - um, imagine a German Bier Garden. Seriously, the place is quaint with a German decor on the inside with appropriate ambiance decoration and character, without going overboard. I've only been to one other German restaurant (Cumberland MD - now closed) which beat this place out on decore. Though we didn't get to sit outside, the garden seating area looked very welcoming and pleasant. The only drawback to atmosphere is the restaurant suffers a bit from being a little overcrowded. But with 350 beers and decent food, it is easy to understand why and look the other way. Oh and sorry - no beer maid dresses for the waitresses - but I was there for beer, not cleavage.

Quality - The Bier Garden has few peers. At least when compared to the restaurants in the local area, you certainly wont find better (though the pizza joint down the street had better than average pizza and beer). But the food is authentic, well varied (remember my vegan friend), and they obviously pride themselves on being the best in the area.

Service - Exceptional. The waitresses knew the beers. I bet if I quizzed them on all 350, they would pass. They even chased be down to give me the beer glass I left behind - it was buy a draft keep the glass night.

Selection - 350 beers, 'nough said? Sure they were out of the first brew I picked, but complaining of that would be obnoxiously picky. So, I went with a New Holland Dragon's Milk Oak Barrel Ale (more a stout really) and a draft dark unfiltered wheat Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock. Both are excellent and when can you say you followed up a bourbon barrel stout with an unfiltered dark wheat? When can you say you drank the milk of dragons? Consider both questions a challenge by the way. No go do it!

Food - Traditional German fare. I had the brats with red cabbage, squash, and potato soup. Nothing I couldn't make at home, but it was well made. I mean, squash is squash - there is only so much you can do with it. It would be unfair to complain that their squash wasn't stellar. Again, they are vegetarian friendly and my vegan friend had no trouble having a decent meal too. If you go, you must try a pretzel. That is not a challenge, it is an order. Don't get all "you can't order me around you pretentious jerk!" It is the best damn pretzel you will ever taste so you must try it. Period. And a $3 (might have been $2), it is foolish to not try this divine treat.

Value. 2 brats, red cabbage, squash, soup, bourbon ale (at 10% ABV), draft unfiltered wheat, and a tip for just over $35. Seems pretty reasonable.

Enjoy when you go; and don't forget the pretzel.

Your bro in brew,
Banjin Tsuki

Photo of antique
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Whenever I'm back in my hometown, I MUST go to The Bier Garden at least once.

It's a German restaurant (despite "garden" over "Garten") with plenty of very good German dishes, and as such it functions well as a place to take the whole family or an intimate group of friends. The decor is a bit tacky, but I've heard a few native Germans contest that it actually feels like a German cafe or something, so that's probably a good thing. Also, most of the appetizers are a godsend. Especially with beer.

So let's talk about their beer. Quite simply, their selection rules. Over 400 on demand, so the menu claims, and I've only twice (been there maybe 20 times) asked for a beer they were out of. It's overwhelming in the best way possible. All the beer they serve is well-kept, at a good temperature and their taps are always insanely fresh tasting. The bartenders--specifically this one guy who knows me by name--are supremely knowledgeable and friendly, and whenever I sit at the bar exclusively (and even a few of the times I haven't) I'll end getting a drink or two for free, making some visits quite the value for the beers I'm ordering.

If you wanna go to the restaurant part on really any day you should call ahead if it's around dinnertime, because this place gets packed quickly and stays packed until the restaurant closes. The bar is open till 2 (sometimes even a bit later) daily, which is dangerous, and all in all it's a wonderful place to be.

Some of the beer, specifically the bigger craft names that you can often find in your local grocers, can be a bit pricy, but for the deeper, more micro stuff the prices are right on par with what you'd expect usually. Food entrees can also test price limits now and again, but the menu has plenty of good and cheap choices too (including a number of snackier platters that go really well with beer and groups of drinking friends).

Anyway, it's a great place overall, and if you ever happen to be in Portsmouth (for whatever godforsaken reason) you owe it to yourself to visit here at least once, as I guarantee you'll find tons of stuff you haven't had before.

Photo of ash111
4.28/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I haven't eaten here in years, but I've been for beers a bunch of times. The menu is impressive. Most beers are served from bottles, although they have a good number of beers on tap (between 10-20). Selection is impressive from all over the world, and they recently redid the menu so it's now organized by style instead of country.

The prices are reasonable. Domestic craft brews seem to be best deal (compared with other restaurants), and things get expensive as you get into the exotic and hard to find. But if you are looking in the $5-7 dollar range, you will have so many choices that it's almost overwhelming.

Finally, I would say that the bartenders/servers know beer. I've asked specific questions and gotten informative answers that have proved right based on an order. So I have to give them credit for knowing their products- even beyond the tried and true.

Photo of KeithStolte
5/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Bier Garten is a local favorite of mine where I bring visiting friends and family that enjoy German Cuisine. Consistently the food is exceptional in quality and maintains a great selection of brews from around the world.

Atmosphere is like a small german bier garten with a patio surrounded by flora and trees. Very beautiful during the spring, summer, and fall. During the winter it can get on the chilly side. On the inside it is modeled after a traditional Bavarian county home with wood flooring and features. Very warm and cosy feel to the interior. There is also a bar also has a nice atmosphere particularly fun and enjoyable during the FIFA games.

Servers and Tenders are well informed and always have a great pairing with the food that you are getting or are planning to get. I personally find it amazing that they are able to keep track of the 100s of beers that they have.

Selection is widespread, with the beer menu being divided by what country they were brewed from.

Food is authentic german cuisine and are highly regarded in the area for being the best food of its kind.

Photo of CourteManche
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, Virginia is a godsend for beer drinkers and connoisseurs and should not be missed if you're traveling through Southeastern Virginia. It is located in downtown Portsmouth and is surrounded by historic landmarks, breath-taking vintage homes and the hip High Street.

Tucked between a corner tavern (Longboards) and the Court House Galleries Museum, you'll find a small, humble establishment that offers huge beer selections and authentic German foods. Bier Garden encompasses a cool, air-conditioned indoor dining area (with an expansive outdoor patio) and quaint bar located in the rear of the property. Bier Garden also has an off-premises license, so feel free to stop in at the bar to pick up a Westmalle Dubbel or Ayinger Celebrator to-go!

Expect a large beer menu, quick service, knowledgable bartenders and waitresses, great food, reasonable prices, beautiful decor, quality surroundings and an overall experience that's second to none.

Photo of jporf911
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

In all of the 7 Cities of Hampton Roads, the Bier Garden is the best place to go for a combination of truly delicious beer and food. Although many of the available brews could also be obtained at one of the nearby Total Wine establishments, Bier Garden offers the benefit of a traditional restaurant atmosphere; however, the actual architecture of the place is rather odd. There are three main dining rooms that do not resemble one another in the slightest, yet each are comfortable in their own way. There is also outdoor seating and a bar that stays open once the restaurant closes. Given its location, it's a pleasure to take the ferry from Norfolk across the water depending on where you live (which also eliminates the problem of needing a designated driver).

As for the beer itself, I have sampled a wide variety of what they have to offer. From macros to craft beers to high-quality imports, they seem to have it all. They are the only place around here aside from the aforementioned Total Wine that sells Gulden Draak, Delirium Tremens, and a number of other brews that are difficult to obtain in this area. They also offer a number of beer samplers in case you want to experiment before settling on a beverage for the evening.

Having been to the Bier Garden with a party of 9 last time, everyone seemed satisfied with the food, both in terms of taste and portions. The cost is not overly prohibitive, and the selection generally seems to compliment the beers being served.

All in all, a wonderful experience that is not offered anywhere else in Hampton Roads.

*Note: for a list of their beer selection, check here: http://www.biergarden.com/beer.phtml

Photo of timtim
2.6/5  rDev -40.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 3

nice location in very old, very civil warish downtown Portsmouth right next to the memorial for fallen confederate soldiers. the atmosphere is what drew us in here, but it all went downhill from there. outdoor seating on the main drag with a contrived euro dive-bar feel. kind of cool. plenty of seats on a tuesday night, and not many customers, so i thought our waitress would be happy to have us. she wasn't. we asked if we could sit wherever we wanted and she said, "I guess". We asked if we could look at beer menus and she said they only had a few for the whole place and we'd have to wait until someone was done with one and that we would only have one per table. what? when we did get the large menu of mostly mediocre bottles, i was happy to see foret. i ordered one and she said, "i don't know if we have that. i could go check or you could order triple karmeleit on tap and i won't have to go look". i ordered the foret anyways and about ten minutes later she came back and said they were out, pushed the karmeleit again, and then rolled her eyes when i asked if they had saison dupont... ten more minutes. "We're out of dupont". you get the picture. food was okay, prices were okay, service and selection were terrible. one of my worst beer bar experiences in quite some time. tell you the truth, I will avoid Portsmouth as best I can. not so sure they were into us "Yanks", being from the "North" (DC that is).

Photo of BZero007
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Stopped here for my BDAY dinner after the Beer Fest this year. I have to say we left extremely satisfied and carrying to go boxes of Goulash. The atmosphere was nice and cozy, we sat in the outside garden area and had lights and trees around us. Other people were around and enjoying them selves as the weather was great. Service was very good and extremely friendly as soon as we arrived we were sat. We made reservations but were abit late and called ahead and they held our table. The waitress were very prompt and helpful about the beers and food. When I asked about the Brooklyn and Schneider and sons collab they hooked it up quickly with the story of each beer. Beers and Aptz were brought out quickly and they brought the right glass for everyone's beers. Most of us ordered the Aventinus on tap which was brought out in perfect Aventinus glasses. The beer menu was a little hard to find what we wanted but was fine. Food was extremely delicious and served well. The prices were good for a dinner plate as well as the beers. Would highly recommend this place to eat and drink. Again I loved this place.

Photo of Onibubba
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Just moved to Portsmouth for a job, so I was super happy to find this restaurant in the area. What you need to know: CLOSED ON MONDAYS! . Food - German faire. The sauerbrauten is my favorite dinner, the schnitzel bites are a great app. but I generally come to drink, not to eat. Beer selection is about 12 - 14 taps. They just finished up their supply of Duchesse on tap shortly after I arrived, and I have seen ABT 12 on tap here, so they keep things changing.

Bottled beer selection is great, limited only by what they are able to bring in. What the did NOT have that I would like to see: Fantome, Dupont, Jolly Pumpkin. They did have a few De Proef bottles, an assortment of geuze and lambics, a great lineup of nearly every DFH and Stone product available. Many, many domestics and imports, but I was really only looking for favorites. A bit pricey? Sure. Will I be back? Weekly.

Photo of clayrock81
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

First off, a great vibe is to be had whether you sit inside or out despite the fact that it can get a little crowded inside. The service is nice and helpful and the bartender knew his stuff. The food is superb and I'd eat at this place even if they didn't have a great beer selecion. Thankfully it does and this is what you're reading this for. Over 300 bottles in terms of quantity, but the quality is also exceptional. A large chunk of those bottles is Belgian and German imports, emphasis on the Belgian (which is odd since it is a German restaurant). Not as many German styles as I was hoping for and they do lean to heavy/dark beers on the beer menu but this is just me nitpicking. Having a few beers and dinner will hurt your wallet a little but it's worth it.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Recently got to make a second trip back to the Bier Garden while on a mini vacation in Va Beach. Went here for dinner and a few solid beers on a Thursday night.

The food is top notch authentic German cuisine. I had schwine braten (I think) as an entree and we all split an appetizer. A great meal.

The beer list is pretty incredible. They had everything including an excellent selection of German, Domestic, and Belgian, right in any beer drinkers wheelhouse. The bartenders and waitstaff are very knowledgable and were able to offer recomendations and even nailed a few "surprise me" beers right on the head with minor directions.

I had an Aventinus Eisbock and Jever, a hoppy little pilsner.

This is definitely a must go to bar. When coupled with the excellent food, there really isn't much better out there.

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The Bier Garden in Portsmouth, VA
97 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.