The Great Franziskaner & Spaten Drought of 2012 is Now Over
On September 9, 2012, German-beer bar Feierabend (part of Chris Navarra’s German-pub network) announced on Facebook that it had pulled its last pint of Franziskaner. The circumstances were a little mysterious. All Feierabend would say was, “This is the last week we will have Spaten Pilsner and Franziskaner. They are no longer distributed in Washington.”
Then, on September 23rd, Franziskaner was back, suddenly. I’d never gotten whiplash from beer before.
I had spent the intervening time trying to figure out what actually was going on, going so far as to contact the national distributor for Franziskaner and Spaten, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Their media person promised to look into it, and then told me I should get in touch with Columbia Distributing.
This seems a good time to mention relative newcomers Ravenna’s Heidelberg Haus and SLU’s The Wurst Place. Both appear to be offering down-home German libations, though the Seattle Times’ Tan Vinh notes that Wurst has beer from all over: “23 taps including craft beers from the West Coast, imports from Belgium and Germany, and always four IPAs on tap because, well, this is Seattle.” Essen-wise, you’ve got bratwurst and fries.
Heidelberg Haus, run by the Henke family, offers a genuine Gasthaus sit-down meal. They have a few taps at their cozy bar, one of which had Spaten Pils when I was in over the summer. It’s not inexpensive–the Jägerschnitzel mit Spätzle set me back $20–so it’s authentic in that way as well. That said, the mushroom cream sauce generously poured on the fresh-made spätzle was so good I finished every bite, and had to save the Black Forest Cake for later. Providence Cicero at the Times was similarly impressed.