Hofbrauhaus Chicago brings German beer, dining and hospitality to the Windy City

Of Notoriety

The Village of Rosemont has earned a decades-old reputation as a destination for large entertainment and convention spaces conveniently located adjacent to O’Hare Airport. But in recent years, Rosemont is now also enjoying a new identity prized for smaller exciting and entertaining dining highlights with an appeal that reaches near and far. Standing proud with continued growth all around the mecca’s familiar blossoming rose water tower, Rosemont is celebrating a 60th anniversary this year since it first incorporated in 1956.

On Jan. 21, 2013, Hofbräuhaus Chicago in Rosemont opened its doors to the public showcasing 26,000 square feet plus an outside beer garden.

Besides the signature pairing of beer and soft pretzels at Hofbrauhaus Chicago (5500 Park Place, Rosemont; 847-671-2739 or www.hofbrauhauschicago.com), there’s a wide selection of specialties to appeal to every palate.

Located in MB Financial Park, I was ready to be skeptical about the surrounding atmosphere and authenticity of the experience since I’ve visited the original Hofbrauhaus beer hall in Munich, Germany. But the warm and inviting hospitality, thirst-quenching array of satisfying beers and the trays brimming with good eats makes this an affordable irresistible international nod to a good time.

And there’s plenty of history to devour with the delicious dishes served. For example, the centuries ago events that led to the creation of the first Hofbrauhaus.

According to the restaurant’s history shared with guests: “In 1589, Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria (1579-1597), had a thirsty and demanding household. They were dissatisfied with the beer brewed in Munich, and so beer had to be imported from the town of Einbeck in Lower Saxony. Wilhelm ordered his retinue to think of ways of reconciling cost and pleasure, and on September 27, 1589, his chamberlain and counsellors Ch. Strabl, A. Amasmeyr, S. Prew and G. Griesmair submitted a suggestion: why not build a brewery? Wilhelm was delighted with the idea and on the very same day (!) recruited the brewmaster of Geisenfeld Monastery, Heimeran Pongraz, to plan and supervise the construction of Hofbräuhaus (the “ducal brewery”), and to be its first master brewer.”

From the various sausages, cold-cut meats, cheeses and kraut to the wide selection of beers and luscious layered desserts like Black Forest Cake, all of the prices are affordable and the service is friendly.

Philip Potempa is a 25-year veteran journalist and published author. He can be reached at philip@ofnotoriety.com.