When the owners of Spitzer's Corner announced they'd be opening a bar with 100 taps, expected beer nerd hype ensued. The blogosphere's initial reaction to Spritzenhaus probably isn't what they anticipated; however, some bar-goers are still psyched about the strong selection of American craft and sheer size of the joint.
The Good News: Paper Mag writes of an ambiance as intoxicating as the beer it serves: "Each evening with magnetic pull, the airy space overlooking McCarren park reels in passersby craning necks intending to continue past toward some other destination. Groups of tank-topped beer drinkers dangle legs around the zinc-plated bar and at communal tables while ordering sausages and pizzas to share."
The Twitter Cynic News: @Ephian tweets: "I never noticed a void in Williamsburg for a douchebag bar on an industrial farming scale. The folks at Spritzenhaus did and filled it well" while @Aneel sizes up the big picture: "spritzenhaus - great space, decent to good beer, poor service. burg cliche #fb." Lastly, @BrewYorkNY decries a falsity: "Beer Garden" Lie of the Day: @urbandaddy_nyc's Weekender calls Spritzenhaus, an indoor bar with a few sidewalk tables, a "beer garden."
The Beer Snob Take: Several Yelp reveiwers commented on the lack of knowledge of the staff, with a few commenting on lost potential with beers on tap. Christina D. said: "The beer selection is paltry in comparison to those of real beer gardens, or real bars, even. Over 100 beers on tap and nothing to write home about. Spaten Optimator can be found in most respectable bars with pronounceable names, you know. One star for staff that is not knowledgeable at all. You mean to tell me that you can't explain to my friend what an Old Speckled Hen is? Or how big your glasses are? Sigh." [Yelp]
Reason To Stall News: Yelp's other first reaction qualms was the so-called "bathroom situation" -- Dan S. explained: "This is a massive establishment made to accommodate a large amount people and they built 4 separate stalls! Do you have any idea how long the line is going to be once this place gets hopping? At least they could have put ventilation in the stalls to clear out the stench or some indication that they are occupied. Instead you have to try each door, pushing them slightly open since the latch hooks don't seal them closed. " [Yelp]
The Defense: Amidst beer snob criticisms, Pub Crawl Brooklyn reviewer DC offered a retort: "Spritzenhaus has more of a hybrid beer bar-biergarten feel to it. The patrons were mostly in their 20s and 30s. I’d definitely like to return here with a group of friends. I’ve seen some negative reviews of this spot in cyberspace. Some of these reviews came from people expecting a place like the nearby Radegast Hall & Biergarten or the two biergartens in Astoria. Spritzenhaus is not a classic New York biergarten. And I don’t think it’s trying to be like that. Spritzenhaus is more of a beer bar with some biergarten elements (a few long, communal tables; several German beers available)." [Pub Crawl Brooklyn]