Brewhaus, Chattanooga's only German- American gastro-pub, offers more than just a taste of Bavaria alongside one of the most stunning views of home - along the restaurant's back wall is a roll-up glass door that exits onto Brewhaus' large second- story terrace. As diners sample schnitzels, they are afforded one of the best views of the Walnut Street Bridge against the Scenic City's cityscape.
"Yeah, it's really hard coming to work and having to look at that all day," joked Hunter Hart, nodding toward the skyline. Hunter co-owns Brewhaus with Mike Robinson.
"You know, this is the first place I got a beer after I moved to Chattanooga," I told Hunter. "My neighbor Steve brought me. Maybe you know him," I said, adding a vague physical description.
"Oh yeah!" Hunter said. "He drinks Heineken, right?" Indeed, he was right.
Brewhaus offers a wide selection of imported beers including, obviously, a variety of German imports such as Weihenstephan and the best-selling Krombacher, which comes from one of the largest privately owned breweries in Germany. There are a dozen beers on tap at Brewhaus and every one of them is either an import or a craft, which I learned means that the beers are produced by smaller breweries in smaller batches. "With typically more care put into it," Hunter added.
The craft "bier liste" includes the popular Green Flash Imperial IPA, Foothills Carolina Blonde nd Chattanooga's own CBC Brewhaus IPA ... at least for the time being.
"We rotate our beers frequently. Sometimes every day," Hunter said. Because Brewhaus buys only two to three kegs of each beer at a time, there is no guarantee how long those beers will last. "What we have today may or may not be what we have tomorrow." Both Hunter and Mike are particularly passionate about beer, but I wondered what inspired the restaurant's German infusion.
"Well, nobody else was doing it," said Hunter.
Brewhaus' menu features a variety of German-American dishes as well as more traditionally American fare such as the popular halfpound Hamburg Cheeseburger topped with tomato, lettuce, pickle and the customer's choice of American, cheddar, pimento or blue cheese. Its German counterpart, the Glockenspiel Cheeseburger, prepared with a dash of sauerkraut and sweet pickled beets, is also popular. anther favorite is the Class Schnitzel - breaded and fried veal cutlets served with any one of Brewhaus' many topping that include a variety of cheeses, bier cabbage, grilled onion, sautéed peppers or cherry ale mustard.
"Chattanooga is a great place for local small business," Hunter told me. "It's all about supporting the community, not the corporate machine."
Smaller business means more time for more personalized service, like knowing your customers and what they like to drink. Like its craft beers, Brewhaus knows that higher-quality ingredients yield a higher- quality product.