bill bodkin features one of the coolest german beer gardens around
On a sunny Saturday afternoon when the beautiful people of Jersey City should’ve been taking up their summer shares in Manasquan, regaling in the sun-soaked beaches of Belmar and getting ready to pump fists and pop collars — over 300 strong were seen at The Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden located in the Liberty Harbor section of Jersey City.
The Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden is one of the most impressive bars I’ve stumbled across in the near-decade I’ve been covering the bar scene in the Garden State. Tucked away in a burgeoning corner of Jersey City, this place is an absolute destination venue — the drive or train from wherever you live in the New York/New Jersey area is well worth it.
The atmosphere of the Zeppelin is absolutely electric. Soccer matches were cheered as raucously and passionately as any Giants or Jets game would be in mid-season. Lines for beer were long, yet moved quick as the mostly female staff, dressed in faux German beer wench/lederhosen outfits, poured mugs and liters without stopping for a breath. Families, with children ranging from teen to still in the stroller, celebrated birthday parties while old-timers listened to live German music. It’s an experience to hang out here.
With the weather being so perfect we opted to hang out at the expansive outdoor patio area of the Zeppelin. The patio is massive, expanding the length of the huge beer hall. Long picnic tables were packed with people, beers in hand. If you’re outside, I recommend digging into the food served at the outdoor grill. Nothing says “awesome” like a German pretzel with spicy mustard followed by a rich piece of German chocolate cake. The menu at Zeppelin ranges from American fare like burgers to classic Bavarian fare like Schnitzel and Bratwurst.
And yes, the beer is what we all came for. Order a liter…yes a whole liter and you will not be disappointed. I must warn you, they do run out of the liters rather quick, so keep an eye out. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try some imports, I recommend the Hofbrau Original out of Germany — clean and smooth like any classic American lager, but with an exponentially better taste. Some other hard to find imports served at the Zepp include: Krusovice Dark, Radeberger and Aventinus. If that doesn’t strike your fancy you can always grab a Heineken, Stella Artois, Sam Adams or Blue Moon. Basically — any way you slice it, if you love beer, in big quantities, you will not be disappointed.
After one visit to the Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden, I am ready to go back and am envious of the North Jersey crowd for having such an amazing bar at their disposal. Regardless, I have become a big fan of the Zepp and look forward to my return, even if means strapping on some lederhosen and playing in an oompa band.
For more information on the bar check out their website.