Beer.....good. Lots of beer.....better.
I like the biergarten's relaxed atmosphere. If the inside gets too crowded or loud my friends and I usually go outside to play a round or two of corn hole with liters of beer in hand. The food is pretty good and I like the selection of beer they have. I have to say out of all the bars in Charleston biergarten probably has the best outside section since they have plenty of space to hang out.
Was really looking forward to this place for so long. I've been for lunch and an early afternoon beer, and it is tolerable then. The lunch food I thought was great and pretty affordable. Service at night, though, is pretty terrible (especially if you're a dude). Good luck getting a drink at the bar...and paying a little too much for it. I would just ignore the beer card thing if its not for you...
To borrow and paraphrase a comment from a friend: If you want to be a sports bar or a frat bar serving buckets of bud light, that's your prerogative and seems to be the business that is carrying you. But don't call yourself a biergarten just to use a hip term when you truly don't cater to the Charleston beer connoisseurs. That's like Taco Bell calling itself authentic Mexican cuisine.
if you are a mindless zombie who follows fads while neglecting quality, you might like this place. if you have even a whisker of taste, you won't waste your time. the food is terrible, the beer is overpriced, there is NOTHING german about it. the only thing they have going is the fact that it is new. it is located next to the projects so don't get jumped while you walk back to your car since there isn't adequate parking. actually, you might be better getting a colt .45 and hanging out on the corner. at least you won't wast too much money. i'd give them some credit for the decor, but it looked the same before the joint was purchased by the current owners. basically it will be one of those places where anyone local will stop going to within a month, and anyone still caught there will be made fun of. look at any of the reviews of this place, google, tripadvisor, etc. they all say the same thing.
P.S. i thought the point of going to a bar was having someone else pour your drinks
if you're rich this place is okay. if you're not rich, go to The Craftsman. or Gene's. or The Griffon. or anywhere else, really.
Had great beers but spent $40 bucks on 4 beers...and I poured my own beers... don't volunteer to buy a round at this place...
This bar is just plain great! Very relaxing
My husband and I stopped in to Cypress for a cocktail and an appetizer prior to our reservation at Blossom for Restaurant Week, the bartender had no problem expressing his negative opinion of restaurant week. I understand the discontent at having lower total sales therefore lower tips, but for the hour that my husband and I were at his bar we were the only customers so due to Restaurant Week, the bartender made a bonus $10 tip ($35 check) off of people that would not have been there on a normal Sunday evening. Every dollar counts, not just for those receiving the tips, but for those giving the tips as well.
Restaurant Week gives us a chance to try something different, and a good reason to treat ourselves. If you feel that the restaurant is not being properly showcased with the special menu, speak up. I have to believe that the star chefs of Charleston do not want their Restaurant Week menus to be their dirty little secrets. Restaurant Week is a chance for locals to get out and try something new, why not showcase your best dishes on these menus? I would not find a smaller portion of your award winning dish unreasonable when the special three course menu is the same price as a regular entree.
I will be interested to see what the comments are in a few months. But when folks take the time to write reviews, and they are not so good, maybe the owners will take note and make some immediate changes. That place has been a number of restaurants in the past, and all have failed. Unless you have something that is unique and affordable, folks will go once, and then return to their original haunts. The parking has always been a problem down there, and won't improve....ever. Where does the staff park? And if you get a reputation of being overpriced, that is an immediate stab in the heart. I'm going to try it out this weekend, and will write a review of the experience. I am looking forward to seeing how these guys have tried to be different.
Easy does it...
Do in it easy...?
I will stick with Arizonas
I went to the Biergarten on a Saturday for lunch. I ordered the Pimento cheese roll appetizer (recommended by the server), Pork Schnitzel, tried two different beers, and my dining companion had sweet tea and a salad. The pimento cheese rolls lacked any discernible taste other than 'gooey cheese', could have been Velveeta for all I know. The pork schnitzel was as tough as shoe leather and tasted about the same as one would expect shoe leather to taste. Proper schnitzel, when prepared correctly, has been pounded thin, and could basically be cut with a fork. This was certainly not true of the Biergarten's version which was a carved piece of meat, that was then egg-battered and dredged through flour. Thankfully we passed on the 'beer card'. $50 for lunch that was not very tasty? I do not think so. My lasting impression is that if you desire a large space to hang out and drink beer, this is probably a good option, but I would skip on the food. Parking, as mentioned in several others post is a major problem.
Bay Street Biergarten Review
If you're looking for a great selection of craft beers (mostly offered directly at the bar) or just want a large venue for socializing with a group of friends, this is a great spot. The table taps can be a little difficult to get to when crowded, but still a nice addition that bings a different style of service Charleston has been missing out on. With regards to food, there is pretty decent menu, but quite honestly most people go here for the beer selection, so its generally what you expect (the giant bowl of tattertots with cheese and gravy still always fun at any age). The staff has been friendly and accommodating as well.
The only issue I see is with parking around the area can be a llittle bit sketchy, since the lot always get full. However there is a giant lot that is open on the port terminal road that runs parallel to E. Bay.
The bier card was a golden opportunity to set BSB apart from the pool of comparable establishments. If anything, that should have been focused on for success only. Otherwise when you come down to saying that outside of the bier card, you are just like everywhere else, that really hurts in promoting your brand. If you are just like everywhere else, why don't I just go everywhere else?
I will cut some slack on the servers and their lack of knowledge since that takes time for most new places to overcome. I may try BSB again in a couple of months to see if they have improved. But if they are either no different or if what makes them different is not better, then I don't expect this to be a true and successful biergarten for the many in Charleston who are well-versed in beer.
We want to show some love to Bay Street Biergarten as they showed us love when allowing Bison Branding to vinyl wrap their truck.
I'll have to agree with the naysayers—I think the self-service aspect is a novelty that may be fun to play with once or twice, but I wouldn't be shocked if they start to gather dust once the initial wave of interest dies down a bit. I'd recommend The Craftsmen on Cumberland St. if you're looking for a wide selection and don't want to be punished for not wanting to play bartender. That said, brunch chicken waffles are outstanding and it's a good spot to catch a game.
General FYI: For those of you that aren't a fan of the bier card and/or don't want to learn how to use it, Bay Street has all of the amenities of a normal restaurant/bar. All of the beers at the the tables are in fact available behind the bar. The only beers that require a bier card purchase are those at the craft beer tasting wall (which consists of 6 rotating unique and harder to find craft beers). Additionally, the non-communal tap tables do not require a card and are "activated" by a server. The staff is always eager to help those that want to learn how the system works and learn how to pour their own beer. The card and tap tables are meant to be an educational tool but it is obviously not for everyone. For those that aren't interested in the tap system, there is food, liquor, wine and a huge beer selection that you can easily order the "old fashioned way." PS: the "get a life" comment was not an inside job... but this is :) We hope this clears up some confusion. Prost!
It's frustrating because if you want to order a beer from the taps throughout the restaurant you have to use a prepaid card which charges you by the oz even if only foam comes out. Also hard to view the selection of taps when the restaurant is busy also feels like you're intruding on other customers dinner if you want to go get a specific beer. Then if you want to order from the bar or waitress you only have 13 beer options total. I see what they were trying to do but didn't quite enjoy the experience.
I enjoyed Bay Street Biergarten's beer selection but have to agree with the others that the prepaid card is a scam. Watch out for the free pour, the get you by charging you for half of a glass of head each time a keg is changed. I paid 60$ for a card and was denied my Bombay Sapphire gin martini at the bar, which is unacceptable. And also, what's the deal with the community tables and the fact that one person has to pick up the whole tab? That's not how a community table operates. I like how the poster 'easydoesit' gives the restaurant 5 stars in order to bash a fellow reviewer. That smells of an inside job. Hilarious! In other news, the beef jerky was great!
I agree with the previous commenter about the prepaid cards. For such a vast selection of beer, why am I only limited to 13 options when there is probably 100 other drinks they can make behind the bar. If I’m going to pay you $40 without having a single drink, I’d appreciate you giving me a heads up next time.
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