Don’t Go to the Standard Biergarten

This the season my friends. The season where we all break out of our tiny apartments, our winter hibernation, and drink alcohol in outdoor spaces! Whether it be on the beach, in a park, or up on a roof there really is nothing better than imbibing in the open air. And we’ve got the ultimate guide to maximize your outdoor drinking experiences here at the Nobler Experiment…so get to it, and Drink Outdoors…

Confession: I know this is going to make me sound like a crotchety old man, but I cannot think of anywhere worse to spend a beautiful spring day than at the Standard Biergarten. I know, I know. The Standard is the day-drinking destination in Manhattan.  What could be better than spending a day drinking steins of beer outside under the High Line?  Everything, it turns out – especially if you’re older than 25.

Perhaps I’m being a bit too harsh. I’ve definitely spent some fun afternoons at The Standard; and it’s one of the first places that pops into my mind to bring out-of-towners.  It’s hip, it’s trendy, and it’s definitely a scene.

But isn’t that the problem?  When I think of a fun day of drinking outside, I don’t want to go to a place that’s packed with the same clientele as a Vegas pool party; tourists, frat guys, bridge and tunnel-ers, creepy old men in graphic t-shirts (yes, this is absolutely painting with a broad brush, but it’s not necessarily wrong).  Day drinking should be a leisurely activity – it’s what separates day drinking from night drinking.

I also don’t want to spend my entire afternoon waiting in line; and trust me, at The Standard you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time waiting in line.  If you’re not there by 2:00pm, you’ll wait in line to get in.   Then once you get in, you’ll likely wait in a short line to buy beer tickets  (like Disney Dollars, or more accurately, Paddy’s Dollars).  Then you’ll definitely wait in a line to exchange your beer tickets for, you know, actual beer.  The step of purchasing beer tickets sounds good in theory because bartenders aren’t busy ringing up tabs or swiping credit cards, but the reality is the demand still far outweighs the speed in which bartenders can fill up those giant steins.

Once you do get a beer (make sure to get the Kostritzer dark lager, because it is quite delicious), you’ll find yourself fighting to carve out some real estate to hang out with your friends.  Odds are you won’t get a seat, so you’ll be standing with your 7 pound stein, which you’ll definitely drink too quickly because a) it’s beer, b) it’s hot outside, and c) who wants to hold 7 pounds of beer?  So it won’t be long before you repeat the waiting process.  While you’re standing you’ll also likely be neurotically surveying the limited amount of bench seating, praying a group will vacate and you and your friends can swoop in before anyone else. This is about as fun as circling the same block 10 times hoping to find a parking spot.  And if you do get a seat, they’re about as comfortable (and as crowded) as the ones on the Santa Maria.

But hey, other than that, it’s a lot of fun.

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One thought on “Don’t Go to the Standard Biergarten

  1. I second this perspective. The only time I’ve ever enjoyed the Standard Biergarten was when I showed up deep enough into an outdoor drinking excursion that I wasn’t dying for drink after drink. On all other occasions, I found the lines, the process, and the people to be the opposite of relaxing. Maybe that should be their tagline…The Standard Biergarten – The Opposite of Relaxing…

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