Over the Weekend: Checkers Old Munchen Beer Tasting
There was a good spirit in the air for sure. Comers sampled eight beers from the motherland and noshed on a German buffet full of bratwurst, sausage, sauerkraut, liverwurst, and sautéed spaetzle with onions. Guests got a yellow printout with a beer list, a poll for best brew, and a raffle ticket attached. The staff shimmied through the tight crowd to pass out beers, often with a friendly "your lager, hun." Some of the revelers even took to storming through the cramped aisles to pump their fists and shout a German toast, "Zicke, Zacke, Zicke, Zacke, Hoi, Hoi, Hoi!"
Of the beers we sampled, most were available on draft at Checkers. We started with a tart Ace Apple Cider to get things going before working into two light lagers from Warstiener and Bitburger. I liked the slightly hoppy pilsners just fine with the great, house-made German food. But I far preferred the darker, more flavorful brews we got to toward the end of the night. Franziskaner Dunkel, a caramel-colored wheat brew, and Spaten Optimator, a malty 8 percent bad boy, were two of the best beers I tasted.
The restaurant itself has a great vibe. It's lined with beer bottles and decorative steins and anchored by a copper-topped bar. All around, people were sharing plates of food and belting out toasts together. Meanwhile, the wait staff kept calm and joked around with the crowd. They raffled off T-shirts and beer mugs at the end of the night, which had everyone pretty excited too.
Checkers holds the beer event once a month. The cost of this one was $17 a head -- not bad for eight beers and all the German food you can cram down your gullet. To find out when the next event is coming, follow Checkers on Facebook. Oh, and make a reservation. You may need it.
Checkers Old Munchen
2209 E, Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach 33062