“I Feel Great!”
Three simple words you’ve probably uttered hundreds of times before; maybe after a good night sleep, or a nice long run. But for me, the most consistent source of this exclamatory saying includes a liter of beer, sausages and pretzels, and a whole lot of noise: Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg is indeed my Happy Place.
Opening in late 2007 in then reasonably affordable and hipster-lite Williamsburg, Radegast immediate caught the attention of the New York City drinking scene. There was a bit of a Biergarten revolution taking place at the time in large part because New Yorkers crave large open drinking spaces, preferably offering a cultural theme that supports an over-indulgence of liquor, wine, or beer. But also because at the time, the most popular Biergarten in Queens was in fact in Queens. Radegast smartly filled a void in a neighborhood that was on the verge of exploding and has remained packed ever since. Now the streets directly surrounding Bedford Ave are flooded with hipster-zombies paralyzed at the thought of shopping at Duane Reade. But don’t let them stop you. Keep your head down, make zero eye contact, and walk swiftly to open halls of Radegast.
Explaining why this place belongs on the list of Nobler Hangs is probably not 100% necessary. Liters of German Beer and an amazing sausage grill station with all sorts of delicious mustards just about seals the deal for me. But unlike some of the other Biergartens I’ve been to, Radegast manages to nail the ambiance to the millionth degree. Even on the busiest days, when finding a table is almost as difficult as finding flight 370 (sorry), the crowd and the noise somehow work in favor of your experience. It feels like the whole place is there celebrating life together; like you are all the last humans on earth, and you just so happen to have ungodly amounts of beer to consume to soak it all in.
My go-to beer at Radegast is the Hofbrau Dunkel which is a German lager that manages to be equally complex as it is easy to drink. Two we had the other day that were also quite delicious were the Blanche De Bruxelles and the Dunkel Weiss. But each beer comes with a pretty good descriptor so fear not in making the proper choice if you are a bit of a German beer newbie. My last piece of advice, is please be wonderful to the waitresses at Radegast. I’m always amazed how well they run the place with all of us screaming drunkards crushing liter after liter. I have found if you show a little patience and a lot of appreciation early on, you’ll be taken care of quite nicely.
Okay, enough talk…I’m heading back to my happy place. See you at Radegast!