Harry's Hofbrau

Your Rating: None
23 Ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

390 Saratoga Ave
San Jose, California, 95129-1324
United States

(408) 243-0434 | map

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Added by Aleesmith on 07-08-2011

View: Place Reviews
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of BigMatt408
5/5  rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
4.1/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of Erik-P
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.25

Photo of mayorQuimby
3.93/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Photo of chrisjws
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

30 or so taps, 50ish bottles. Mostly high quality craft beer and a handful of German imports.

This place is huge, there's tables all over and its a seat yourself kind of deal. Low lighting, lots of flags, paraphernalia and random beer signs all about. Medium to low noise levels depending on where you sit. Great place for conversation with friends. There's a private backroom for larger groups.

Quality is fantastic. Any given day there's lots of quality beer on tap. Once or twice a month they do tap takeovers of high quality breweries. They serve all the beer in the right glasses. Ding them slightly because they serve all beers extremely cold, so if you get a giant stout or something like that you'll need to warm it up for quite a bit.

As mentioned before, selection is excellent. They always have something worthwhile on tap, and often have harder to get or even rare beers. In the bottles you can get things such as FW Parabola, ET Imperial Biscotti, and lots of other great brews.

Food is standard german pub food that you order away from the bar. It won't blow you away if you're a huge foodie, but its good and it hits the spot if you like German style food. Lots and lots of meat. Carvery style setup where you order your food.

Prices vary, but in general both food and beer are fairly priced. Definitely a good place to go to get your craft beer fix in San Jose.

 1,382 characters

Photo of ThirstyHungryLife
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of CJNAPS
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Great food. Vibe is always cool here, it seems like they have a beer event ever week. That would make sense because their tap list is always great. about 25 taps and a cooler with 100 bottles

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Photo of Fremont897
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Japsican23
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

Photo of LakerLeith
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of brywhite
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of glf60
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

first day in cali-first bar we visited; was NOT disappointed!
Food: average...we came for the beer!.
Beer selection: AWESOME: draft and bottle
Friendly and helpful staff; fantastic first impression of cali hospitality.
If nearby, do stop in and visit Andrew for suggestions at the bar

 287 characters

Photo of JesseLara
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Solid place for some solid beers. I would never have thought Harry's would be the place to go for craft beer in my area, but if you just want some craft and not all the extras that usually come with it (overpriced, beer snobs, hipsters, etc..) then this is the place.
Solid bar-tending and solid food make this place a no brainer on a Thursday night (Pint night!)
Stop by and say hi!, I'm the guy that's drinking a beer!

 421 characters

Photo of rowbow
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of smitty5245
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of bouncepass
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Matt_Ortiz
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Afty
3.93/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Harry's Hofbrau is an interesting place. On the one hand, it's a cafeteria-style carvery that serves, frankly, a lot of old people. On the other hand, it's an incredible beer bar that serves lots of crazy beers at surprisingly cheap prices.

For food, Harry's serves things like roasted turkey, roast beef, pastrami sandwiches, etc. It's cafeteria-style, which means you wait in line, order at a counter, and point to the things you want. The line can be long, and it's a bit annoying to wait instead of being waited on. I'm not a huge fan of the food, but it's fine.

The beer is served at a separate bar on the other side of the restaurant. There's a big chalkboard that lists everything available, and the selection is great, with an ever-changing list of interesting beers. The pours are large and surprisingly cheap. The bartenders are great -- they know their beer, and they are super friendly. They are also happy to give samples to help you choose a beer.

A note for parent BAs: this is a great place to take your kids. It's a family restaurant, so you're not going to get the dirty looks you might at a hipper place like Original Gravity. The space is large and loud, and other people can't hear your kids over the din of the restaurant. They also have these life-sized sculptures that my daughter loves to check out.

 1,328 characters

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Harry Hofbrau has been a fixture in the South Bay for a long time. However, when I recently got into craft beers two years ago, I found out that they have a great selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles, along with their hearty food. I forced the family to go during this year's SF Beer Week.

Atmosphere: Big and spacious. Cafeteria style serving and table seating, along with a nice bar section. All ages and sizes.

Quality: Everything is good. You go to Harry's for the combination of selection (roast beef, turkey, sausages, sandwiches, lasagna, etc. They have close to 30 taps and at least as many bottles. Stone, Lost Abby, Firestone, North Coast, etc are just some of the beers.

Service: The bar staff is knowledgeable and friendly. As far as the food, they hand it to you and you pay for it!

Selection: Covered above in the quality. You will find something here to eat. No problem.

Food: This is primarily a meat and potatoes kind of place.

Value: Good food at a good price. Add craft beer and you have a "go to" place.

 1,040 characters

Photo of bayareahustla
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.75

Awsome place to go after baseball/football/soccer games with the family.

Large, very spread out.

The crowd is usually older, but come 6 oclock especially on thursdays and it transforms into a great mecca of beer.

Tons of taps of at least one style of beer that you enjoy. Sometimes multiple!!!

Very nice and knowledgable staff if i recall correctly, (got blasted last time i was there)

pretty damn good place. Been going to Harry's for 25 years now, and i highly doubt that will ever change.

PS. The Pastrami on Dark Rye, with Sourkraut, Cheese Tomato and Yellow Mustard is where its ATTT!!!

 599 characters

Photo of adsomers
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

San Jose, CA hasn't seen the level of excitement around craft beer that you can find in San Francisco and Oakland. Harry's Hofbrau is changing that with their recently installed new tap system and a passion for bringing craft beer to the South Bay. When you go to Harry's for beer, you are witnessing a microcosm of what's been happening in the last decade all across the U.S. I think it's ironic that this is happening so late in game, as Northern California is so well-known as being one of the birthplaces of the American craft beer industry. Ironic as it may be, Harry's has finally seen the light, and they are the first to do so. In my opinion they are doing an excellent job leading the charge in these parts.

- They host 'pint nights', featuring a particular beer or brewery. Often representatives from the breweries show up, free food is served, the beer is discounted, and glassware is given away.

- They host festivals, such as the recent Double-IPA festival where a lucky few, myself not included :(, were able to get Pliny the Younger among dozens of other hard-to-find hop bombs.

- They have many rotating taps and it seems their beer menu is constantly evolving with some the best-chosen selections you can get anywhere in the Bay Area. They're the ONLY joint on BeerMenus.com right now and the selection is fantastic.

So what's not to like about Harry's? Well, it's a classic hofbrau, and if you aren't already familiar with this kind of atmosphere it might be somewhat of an acquired taste. Many of the best beer spots are "gastropubs" and this place is certainly nothing like that. But the food is tasty and inexpensive, and the place is HUGE with ample, comfortable seating. The bar itself is vast and very comfortable, and the staff is friendly.

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Photo of Philousa
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Harry's Hofbrau is going through a massive overhaul, and it's good news for fans of craft beer! A new bar manager was hired a few months back and he switched out a lot of taps. Now they have a ton of craft beer on tap, both domestic and imported. Tap highlights from my visit include Speakeasy Betrayal and St. Bernardus Abt 12.

I was there for their weekly tasting, which features a 'rare' beer from the featured brewery. Pizza Port Brewing was featuring their Mongo DIPA and Anniversary Ale. It's not a true tasting of what the brewery offers, but you get to keep your glass if the distributer has enough glassware to give out.

I overheard that Harry's has standing orders for limited brews that are coming out later this week, so this might be the place to go in the South Bay for rare, local beers.

 804 characters

Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose, CA
Place rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 23 ratings