Friday, March 28, 2003

Bier her! Bier her! In Newport? Ja!

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Hofbrauhaus Newport braumeister Markus Lohner removes a protective covering from a copper brewing kettle Thursday.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
NEWPORT - Cincinnatians of German heritage got an advance peek at a transplanted piece of the homeland Thursday.

Local German-Americans say the country's first official Hofbrauhaus opening here next month could become a top Midwest tourist attraction.

"It fits right in with the German heritage of the area," said Don Heinrich Tolzmann, president of the German-American Citizens League.

According to the 2000 Census, Greater Cincinnati is the third most German metropolitan area in America, trailing Milwaukee-Racine, Wis. and the Minneapolis-St. Paul regions. It's just slightly ahead of St. Louis.

Tolzmann's group was among 30 people to get a sneak peek at Hofbrauhaus Newport Thursday. Others represented included the Catholic Kolping Society and Munich Sister City Association of Greater Cincinnati USA.

The $5 million facility is modeled after the world-famous restaurant and brewpub in Munich, Germany, known for Bavarian hospitality, specialty German cuisine and its on-location brewing of hand-crafted beers.

April 29 Beer garden opens to the public to capitalize on the previous weekend's opening of the Newport Southbank Bridge, the purple pedestrian walkway linking Newport and Cincinnati.
May 14 Invitation-only grand opening benefiting local charities.
Officials could not be specific about other dates or hours of opening.
"I think it'll be a place where people get together and have a good time, just like the one in Germany,'' said Doris Wilke of Mount Healthy, a member of the Kolping Society.

"We're trying to make it as much like the original Hofbrauhaus experience in Munich as possible,'' said Eric Haas, who is developing the 13,315-square-foot, 740-seat facility with Nick Ellison, both of Fort Thomas.

The menus, in English, will have German subtitles. The beer hall, seating up to 268 people, will feature benches and tables, as in Munich, and German music.

Master brewer Markus Lohner, who was overseeing installation of the brewing equipment Thursday, will serve several authentic varieties of Hofbrau beer, plus a new light beer specially formulated for the United States.

The Regional Cultural Council, a 50-member Tristate group that encourages and develops multicultural activities in the Tristate, organized Thursday's tour, complete with hard hats painted in the black, red and gold colors of the German national flag.

Mark Gable, chairman of the Regional Cultural Council, predicted the Hofbrauhaus would become a regional tourist destination.

"People who know German culture will know this is about hospitality and graciousness when they hear the Hofbrauhaus name,'' Gable said.


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