Overview: Hofbrauhaus Newport (henceforth HbN) is Kentuckyís answer to the German bier hall. Until this visit, I wasnít aware that this Hofbrauhaus was the first American location for the well known Munich landmark. Located in the Newport on The Levee tourist entrapment area, HbN offers two spacious dining areas and a very large biergarten out back. Many of the tables are of the long, communal type, though some booths are available along the perimeter of the largest dining room. Seating mainly consists of large, backed benches. The decor is exactly as youíd expect for a German bier hall- lots of old photos, banners and other items of historic interest, including some that celebrate the areaís brewing tradition, such as the Wiedemann brewery. As mentioned by many reviewers, accordion polka-style music is featured near dinner time.
Service was Leo, who was friendly and efficient, serving many other tables including ours without skipping a beat. He seemed to know their beer well, and was comfortable comparing their beers to other comparable styles to find what Iíd like best. The selection is small, but Iíd say that the quality of what is offered is to be regarded- Besides the original (Helles); Dunkel and Hefeweizen, the Hopfen Spezial, a red lager (Urbrau) and a Radler were also available. Everything I tried- the hopfen spezial, original and hefeweizen- all seemed brewed with a high attention to detail. Yesterday we (my family) shared a few pretzels with our beer ($9.99) which was very delicious and included two beer cheeses and a sweet mustard. I thought the prices on food were all a bit high, which is to be expected in a touristy area. Iím happy to report that flights of beer are now available alongside the half liter and liter pours.
PROS: Authentic bier hall feel, Professional, well informed service; quality beer selection; good food. CONS: A bit expensive all around. OVERALL: Iíve needed to re-rate this place for sometime, and Iím glad I was able to make a return visit. Near the beginning of my craft beer journey, I gave this place a very poor review; at that time, only places with a massive selection and flights would have garnered anything near a worthy score to me. Yet, I feel that places like HbN better represent where I am now on my beer journey- a high quality place where Iíd be happy to return with family, friends or both; a place where ticking takes a backseat to companionship and community. Unfortunately, all parking in the area is paid, unless you are willing to walk from the city center away from the levee (around 20+ minutes). Thereís a parking garage across the street towards the river that has $3 parking. The Hofbrauhaus lot was $5; Iím not sure if thatís everyday, or for the weekend...still cheaper than parking in many metropolitan areas. If youíre into coffee, Carabelloís in town is more than worth a stop. Oh, and Hofbrauhaus Newport is now ***A NON SMOKING ESTABLISHMENT! YAY FOR BREATHING!***
I suspect this might be the oldest building in the area, and the pic here partially confirms that. From the angle shown there are three new buildings in the background! Visited kinda late on a Tuesday and the place was mostly deserted but the live polka band was still playing so that was cool. I thought food prices were a little high for the quality. My jager schnitzel was under-seasoned and oddly sweet. 5 x 5 oz. flight was $7.50, not bad. The beers are all decent and drinkable. Not a tickerís paradise, but probably worth it to have some fun with friends.
If this place had a bit more of a selection, it would be rated a LOT higher. I absolutely loved this place. This has some of the best German food Iíve ever had. They only had five of their own drafts on, which was disappointing, but I understand it. I did have their dunkelweizen, which was tapped the day before, and it tasted great and fresh. The ambiance was awesome - the waitresses were in the German outfits, there was a German polka band playing, it was a huge hall, and really a lot of fun. Really glad I stopped by.
Stopped in on a Saturday shortly after they opened with drsilverworm. The parking lot was pretty open, but Chris said that is out of the ordinary and that later in the day, they would be so full that the parking lot becomes a pay to park types situation. Thatís no good. The place has a huge dining area with a lot of woodwork. Thereís a bar toward the back of the dining area. Brewing equipment is visible behind the bar as well as in a room off to the left. The manager gave is a quick tour of the brewing equipment and talked shop with us. The bartender serving us took our order and had it to us pretty quick. Fairly attentive. I ordered a sampler of all their beers. It came out slightly out of order, but the beers are all different enough I could easily tell what was what. They had four regulars and a seasonal on. There is food available, German fare mostly I believe. I didnít see anybody eating, but Chris says he has heard good things. This is a pretty cool place with a nice atmosphere. I would come back here for sure, but I would definitely want to come here before the masses show up. Iím not really willing to pay to park in a parking lot.
Ambiance: A typical Hofbrauhaus but in a good way....german hall, flags and breweriana everywhere, long picnic tables, L shaped bar that can seat about 20 patrons
Service: The bartender was friendly, prompt and knowledgeable
Selection: 6 in house beers on tap, typical good Hofbrau quality but always a small selection
Food: Had the schnitzel sandwich with the beer cheese soup on top....decent
Value: Two beers and the sandwich was just under 21 bucks. Decent for the quality
Overall: This was the last of the US Hofbrauhaus that needed to visit....consistent quality and service at all
The atmosphere is solid Geramn beer hall, but the selection of five taps, although authentic, is limited. The brews skew toward the malts rather than hops, which is expected. Service was so-so, even for a Wednesday. Food is good Geramn fare, bujt a little on the pricey side (Címon, $9 for a hot dog? Where are we? Reds stadium?) Good for session drinking and partying.
This place... I have stopped here maybe a dozen times throughout the last 4 years. Usually Cincinnatians gather here on weekends to get a little silly and have giant liter-sized mugs and get weird out in the biergarden after their 9-5s. A great place to gather, have fun, and meet up with old friends I grew up with... Thatís 90% of my experience here, someone I havenít spoken to in a year tells me to get my ass down to hofbrauhaus and I do. Usually itís loud and rowdy on weekends, not my style, but usually a fun time and a very unique experience ... Thereís a type of person that loves that kind of thing, but itís not me. Iím here now at 6pm on a rainy monday to try their new IPL though, and itís much more chill. Music is totally german biergarden style, but itís at a reasonable volume today (though it can get loud on weekends when they bring in live bands). Bar is not packed at the moment, Iím here in relative peace. One thing that always wins at Hofbrau Newport is the beer. Yes, itís brewed on-site and itís much better than even the Hofbrau Munich bottles are. Always fresh and delicious, unless you order the Light beer. That one is fresh but not delicious. 5 taps at any time, 4 flagships and 1 rotating seasonal. I came here today to try the brand-new IPL and it rocked my socks off. Portions are a half-liter or a liter. No pansy snifters here. Selection is limited but whatís on tap is very good for the most part. These mugs are built for clinking. Bartenders and waitresses wear classic german outfits, which is fun. Theyíre used to local assholes though, I donít blame them for their brevity. Overall, I donít mind stopping by here to meet up with old friends and to try new seasonals whenever they become available. My half-way beer geek friends have already grown tired of it, though, they wouldnít even meet me here to try the IPL again with me. They "could only take so much german music" was the excuse I got.
Has a authentic German feel to the place. Wide selection of German foods - all the dishes we have were excellent. Beers obviously all German styles but maintain the same quality as they have in Germany. I was pleased and will return.
Best time to visit is when the reds are not in town because otherwise parking is $5. Nice terrace with view over Cincinnatti downtown. Beer selection is limited but the seasonal black beer ( Schwarzbier) was excellent. The food is reasonable but the smoking was a negative. The german music in the main hall was not our taste.
Place is a big beer hall, with loud polka music, and nice German Style decor. Parking is a little difficult and will run around $5. My biggest beef with this place was the amount of smoke (I didnít know you could smoke at inside restaurants still). Busy for a Saturday.