The Forst beer is, deservingly, a big thing in South Tyrol, and it really shows that the Forsterbräu in the center of Meran tries to sell you more beer than food. All the food they offer is appropriately heavy and greasy to make you ask for more beer.
The spare ribs (or the Schweinsrippeln, as they call them here) are no exception; they taste heavily of the underlying animal and the oil they have been cooked on. There is a subtle taste of a marinade, but mostly it is the taste of pepper. The sauce is ketchup-like, but with more vinegar and a bit of chili – not bad overall. The meat is on a slightly dry side and is quite attached to the bones, but does not make the impression of coming out of a supermarket or some warehouse. It is not especially good, but one can appreciate a bit of effort behind its preparation. The fried potatoes are fully acceptable.
I am not sure that ordering spare ribs at Forsterbräu was finally a great idea. Most of the people at neighboring tables were crunching pig legs (Stelzen) and appeared quite content about that. The spare ribs obviously required more effort than the Forsterbräu’s team was willing to devote, but as something to accompany the rather excellent beer they were just good enough.