Special brews, burgers keep Bier Garden of Encinitas buzzing

In the two years since it has opened, Bier Garden of Encinitas has blossomed into one of the most popular gastropubs in town.

The T-bone-shaped eatery — which was Tyler’s Steak House, back in the day — is often hoppin’, as patrons gather around the bar taps, nosh on beer-friendly foods, and embrace the laid-back atmosphere.

The main focus is the craft brews, of course. And even though it has a German name, Bier Garden’s selections are heavily local. There are 32 taps, and all the beers (except one) are from breweries within a 65-mile radius.

General Manager Angie Jacobsen noted that Bier Garden acquires brands that are popular and fit with the latest trends, but that are not necessarily varieties that everyone else is offering.

“The vendors always try to hook us up with smaller-batch beers,” she said.

The suds come from establishments such as Belching Beaver, Karl Strauss, Coronado Brewing, Mission Brewery, Green Flash, Mother Earth, Latitude 33, Societe and Ballast Point, plus a number of others. And there’s always something new being offered, as about 30 percent of the beer list is rotated on a regular basis. This allows brewers to introduce their latest creations.

“There is so much good beer out there,” Jacobsen said.

Naturally, where there are brews, there are usually burgers. Bier Garden obtains its beef from Hamilton Meat Co., and serves up the juicy patties in several combinations, with a choice of salad or golden waffle fries. Meat lovers may appreciate the Pork Belly Burger, topped with candied bacon slices, crispy shallots, barbecue sauce and the BG “secret sauce.” Other popular choices are the Cheese Burger 101 and the BG Burger.

The menu has other types of entrees, from the Baja Fish Tacos (grilled or “bier-battered”) with El Nopalito tortilla chips, to the Chicken Schnitzel, featuring a parmesan-crusted chicken breast. Customers who prefer lighter fare may opt for a salad, such as the SoCal Chicken and the Cobbish.

Discounts on beers, other drinks and small bites are offered during happy hour, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and all day Wednesday.

While Bier Garden places an emphasis on craft brews, it’s also known for its Bloody Marys. It’s common to see people on the patio nursing one of these classic brunch drinks, concocted with house-made mixes and infused liquors, along with their choice of a “bier chaser.”

The Hearty Bloody Mary is almost a meal in itself: Made with bacon-cheddar vodka, the beverage is garnished with a pickle, bacon, a celery stalk, beef stick, cheddar cheese cube, pepperoncini, onion, lemon, lime and an olive, all in one glass that’s rimmed with celery salt.

There’s also the Seasonal (with roasted red bell pepper-infused rum); Herbal (basil- and rosemary-infused vodka); Spicy (serrano- and habanero-infused tequila); and of course, the Classic (horseradish-infused vodka).

Also during brunch — served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays — guests can order $15 bottles of house champagne to accompany dishes such as Huevos Rancheros.

Bier Garden is at 641 S. Coast Highway 101. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Call 760-632-2437 or go to biergardenencinitas.com.

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