On Tap: East End Biergartens Emerge
by darrell hartman
Beer gardens have been sprouting up all over New York of late—most notably Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Birreria on the rooftop of Eataly and The Standard’s Biergarten beneath the High Line. This season the trend is taking root out East in a pair of buzzy new bars inspired by the Germanic ale venues.
The first is a direct transplant from Manhattan’s East Village to Montauk: Sylvester Schneider’s festive Bavarian beer hall, Zum Schneider. “Bavaria produces the best beer in the world,” says Schneider, whose drink menu boasts plenty of Zwickel, the unfiltered lager that’s currently popular in the Bavarian beer scene. With 14 lines in operation, Zum Schneider’s bar can keep an impressive percentage of its bocks, wheats, and pilsners on tap and is the only spot out East to offer the exclusive German Hofbräuhaus Traunstein. The bar stays true to the traditional biergarten from a culinary perspective as well: revelers will find authentic wurst, pretzels, and Bierhaus Gulasch (beef stewed with peppers, onions, and red wine with spätzle—the German answer to pasta). Inspiration from the Old World is also present in the blue and white swaddled décor (the colors of the Bavarian flag) and the oom-pah-pah rhythms of a lively polka band. With a nearly 3,000-square-foot cavernous space, Zum Schneider will be the place out East to watch Euro Cup soccer this summer.
In East Hampton, the polo- and equestrian-themed Hamptons Players Club offers a more modern, preppy take on the beer garden concept, with a 1,500-square-foot backyard featuring a pergola-covered stone terrace and plushy banquettes in the club’s signature colors of royal blue and forest green. Sixteen beers are available, the majority of which are small-batch domestics, as are cocktails and wine from the East End’s best vineyards. The kitchen, helmed by executive chef Hector Diaz (formerly of East Hampton’s Le Flirt), has created an alfresco dining menu featuring healthful, summery small plates— including lobster avocado bruschetta, scorched Shishito peppers, and fish tacos—plus multigrain thin crust pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers. Sunday ping-pong here is destined to become a summer tradition, with a lively weekly tournament scheduled in the garden.
photography by eric striffler