I had already read about The Republic Bier Halle on the net so, when doing a spot of Christmas shopping in Glasgow, I was thinking less about 'The first Noël' and more about 'Bush Noël' (it's a beer). The Republic opened in October 1999, a welcome change to the usual, ubiquitous, trendy bars in central Glasgow and is going from strength to strength. Recently the owner, Colin Barr (now there's a name to suit a chosen occupation!), opened a new bar in Glasgow's south-side called The Bier Stube. He has plans to open another in Sauchiehall St., and one in Edinburgh (can't come soon enough) with more to follow. The bar can be hard to find but it needn't be. It is situated at 9 Gordon St., just a few metres off Buchanan St., Glasgow's main pedestrianized shopping thoroughfare. It could be easy to miss as there's only a doorway on the street - this leads down a dangerously dark flight of steps to a cavernous, basement bar. Rather than a typical Czech Bier Halle, I was reminded more of an underground car park, especially with the stark lighting, lack of decoration and general abundance of bleak concrete everywhere. There are long, heavily chunky, wooden tables which run the entire length of both sides of the pub, and bench type seating which doesn't seem to be designed for comfort. Of course, there are hundreds of bars in Glasgow that have that 'Central Perk' decor with comfy sofas etc., if that's what you're looking for. What makes the Republic different is the vast range of beers on offer - at the last count, over 130 bottled beers from all over the world, as well as quite a few on draught. Beers from such diverse places as Mongolia and Uganda; beers from Argentina to Vietnam; Cyprus to the Ukraine; they even have some from Scotland but strangely, none from the Czech Republic. I'm kidding, they have a dozen or so Czech beers. All the beers are stored, and
served, at their respective, correct temperatures, all come in the appropriate glass and prices vary between £2 and £4 for a 330ml bottle. Not cheap, but quality comes at a price. Of course, it's not just beers that are on offer. There are around 50 different vodkas available at around £2 a go, and more than 100 types of schnapps at £1 for a 25ml shot. They also serve a large range of spirits, liqueurs and wines from around the world. As you can imagine, all this can be a bit daunting but luckily enough, there are menus on the tables listing everything, and as it's waitress service, you can sit back and drink your way around the globe without leaving your seat. This might be a problem later when, after sampling a few global delights, you rise to visit the toilet. You may find that the nerve highways between brain and legs seem to be disconnected. Naturally, this never happens to me as I drink responsibly.....ask if I want a beer and YES will be my response. As for food, well they have quite an extensive selection on that front as well. Choices range from: hearty, home-made soups , goulash (meat & vegetarian), Italian panini sandwiches, ciabattas, pizzas, hot dogs and salads. There are lots of speciality sausage dishes and a wide range of finger food platters, as well as fish dishes, stews, a myriad of little nibbly bits and plenty of desserts. Prices are average at £2.50 for the soup and ranging from £4 to £7 for most of the meals. Food is served from 12-22.00, seven days a week and there are special lunch deals from Mon-Fri for £5.00. To read more about the bar visit: http://www.republicbierhalle.com/about.htm We had already eaten before we popped in so our visit was more for liquid sustenance than anything else. It was relatively quiet in the main bar but there is another room through the back and that seemed to be a bit lively. With all those beers on offer it can take a bit o
f so ul-searching before finally deciding on what to have. I was like a kid in a sweetie-shop, but at the end of the day, I'm a huge fan of Belgian beer so I opted for a Chimay Red to get me started. I followed that up with an Orval and......no, I won't tell you any more as I should be able to squeeze a review or two out of those! Obviously 130 beers was going to take a little while to get through so I quickly abandoned my plans to test everything on offer, decided discretion was the better part of valour, and bought a few bottles to take home. No doubt you'll hear about them in due course (if you haven't already). My verdict on the Bier Halle Republic? - VYBORNE! (excellent) Anywhere that has so many great beers to choose from can't be bad. So my advice is.....If yer in Weedgie-land and you fancy a peeve --- nash doon the Republic fur a pivo. Thanks for reading, Na zdravi ©proxam2003
Munich beer halls come to Glasgow. Situated at 9 Gordon Street, this basement level bar is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. It’s doorway leads you down a set of stairs into a dimly lit room which at first glance seems to be a cross between a goth’s bedroom and a building site. Don’t let the decor put you off though – this bar is a beer drinker’s paradise. With over 130 beers available (some bottled, some on draught), about 40 types of Vodka and a wine list which runs to double figures your hardest job here is deciding what to drink. Bier Halle Republic have thoughtfully created a menu detailing all the drinks available, their country of origin and alcoholic percentage. It’s tempting to take a menu and try to work your way round the world of drink before you collapse on the floor. With waitress service you don’t even have to leave your table. The tables are worth special mention – long wooden benches run the length of one of the walls and this can be a wee bit uncomfortable. There are cushions available but it’s not exactly cosy. Add to these long wooden tables that you will end up having to share with strangers and it can be a wee bit off putting. Maybe I’m just too used to comfy chairs in the bars I usually drink in but the seating arrangements are definitely a negative in my book. I assume this is designed to give the feel of a Munich beer hall. Well I guess I’m not a fan of beer halls. Which is a pity because I definitely a fan of the beers. Food is also available until 7pm and is reasonably priced and the portions are huge. Students can get a lunch and a beer for a fiver. This leads to a good mix of punters with the lunchtime office workers mixing with students and shoppers. Overall if you have a passion for different beers and are looking to get a right good bevvy in you then this is the place to go. If you want an intimate bar for a quiet chat then
I would look elsewhere.