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An Open Letter To Hofbräuhaus: State College Needs A German Biergarten

Who doesn’t love a good German beer?

State College has one of the best bar scenes of any college town in the nation. From giant sports bars with TVs on every wall to dive bars in basements, there is a bar for everyone. Well…almost.

Americans are very proud of our beer and bar culture. I’ll admit, it’s one of the most iconic in the world, but you have to give credit to the Germans. They’re the blueprint for global drinking culture.

The Germans do it right. They’ve got good music, large steins of delicious beer, and a communal atmosphere and energy that’s unmatched. There’s a reason that millions of tourists flock to Germany every year for Oktoberfest.

So, I think it’s time that State College gets its own German biergarten. It would stand out from the rest of the bars in downtown State College as a completely unique atmosphere that could fill the Germany-shaped hole in Happy Valley’s bar scene.

I’m not just proposing that any old biergarten should pop up downtown. When it comes to matters like these, I believe it’s best to leave it to the professionals. The Hofbräuhaus is the most well-known and iconic beer house in Munich and possibly in all of Germany.

When Americans visit Munich, the Hofbräuhaus is the top spot to visit on most recommendation lists. It’s historic, lively, and has a great selection of German beer. It’s so popular, in fact, it’s opened 10 franchise locations in the United States.

For Hofbräuhaus to open a location in State College wouldn’t be completely out of the question. It’s already got one location in Pennsylvania — Pittsburgh, to be specific. It’s also not a stranger to Big Ten college towns. Hofbräuhaus has another location in Columbus, Ohio, home to Ohio State.

I’m not sure where in State College would be a good fit, but in my ideal world, it would have a similar setup to Cafe 210 with an outdoor patio area to supplement the inside. Picture this: it’s 70 degrees out, polka music is playing, and you’re holding a large stein of beer. The vibes couldn’t be more immaculate.

A German biergarten could also fill the European culture void in State College. As an avid soccer fan, I often struggle to find places in State College that show games. Most bars opt to show American sports rather than soccer, even when big games are on. I’m sure there’s a large chunk of the student body who would appreciate a spot that regularly has big soccer matches on.

Regardless of the beer, there’s also something to be said for German food. It’s not as flashy or revered as other cuisines, but German food is consistent and delicious. Between pretzels, bratwurst, potato pancakes, strudel, and more, I can’t think of a more underrepresented cuisine in the State College food scene.

When it comes to bars in State College, the most important thing is to stand out. There are so many great options already here that in order for a bar to be successful, it needs to satisfy a niche.

Bringing a biergarten to State College would fill a specific hole. It would provide a specific vibe and atmosphere that can’t be found in any other place, which is why I think it would be so successful among students and alumni.

Just like the Phyrst often brings in live musicians to play Irish tunes, Hofbräuhaus could bring in German musicians to play some polka music. With a unique food menu, delicious German-style beer, and an atmosphere unlike any other in the area, I don’t see how bringing a biergarten to State College is anything but a wunderbar idea.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

Mikey DeAngelis is a junior majoring in film production who is also serving as one of Onward State's visual editors. During his free time, he enjoys making content for his YouTube channel. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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