Beer in a Wine City

Location:Hofbräu am Steinertor
Address:Südtiroler Platz 2, A-3500 Krems an der Donau
Status:Open (last checked on 27 April 2024)
Eaten:"Hofbräuribs," mixed salad, three beers (Hofbräu Dunkel)

No one sane would go to Krems to look for beer. Like the Wachau Valley, at the end of which it is located, Krems is firmly associated with wine, Grüner Veltliner in particular. However, for those who for some reason dislike wine – or simply have had too much of it for one day – Krems offers a viable alternative, Hofbräu am Steinertor, which serves several types of beer from a Munich brewery and has a huge, mostly shady, garden.

The menu of Hofbräu features plenty of dishes that go well with beer, including spare ribs. I am always suspicious of ribs that get delivered to my table within a few minutes of the order, but in Hofbräu’s case, I don’t even know what to think, for the dish was in front of me in less than a minute. No microwave can possibly warm the ribs at such a speed, yet they were really hot and tasted quite fresh – fresher than many other ribs I had tried in my life.

Despite the freshness of the meat, the first bite was disappointing, however. The problem was, the ribs were not at all salty and hardly marinated. Instead, they were unevenly covered with some sweet and slightly spicy sauce. In the parts not touched by the sauce, the taste was extremely bland, but once I thought of spreading the sauce over the ribs, the taste improved significantly.

The dips improved the experience even more. To be more exact, one of them did. The garlic dip was thick but not strong and not very different from garlic dips elsewhere. The so-called BBQ dip, however, was quite elaborate, mixing the flavor of tomatoes with some hard-to-identify spices, while being refreshingly light.

While reasonably priced at under 17 euros, the ribs unfortunately did not come with any sides, so the mixed salad that I had ordered in addition was a good idea. It is, of course, possible that hunger and three beers made me more lenient towards quality, but at the end, I did not regret going to Hofbräu and can even see myself coming back. If you are in Krems, like beer and do not have any high expectations, give it a try.

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