Last night I made my first visit to Von Trapp’s, the new beer destination in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. I took some pictures and I’ll let them do most of the talking. My most-abbreviated review would be this: I like it. They have great beer. They have sausage. They have indoor bocce courts. Exactly what else do you need?
Von Trapp’s is a Bavarian-inspired beer hall with house made sausages and other authentic Bavarian foods, 24 draft beers, and a full bar (liquor). They also have five indoor bocce ball courts, two mezzanines, and three bars. It’s really something. You gotta see it. It’s like Disneyland for drinking adults.
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When The Pine Box opened last year on Capitol Hill, we rejoiced that the neighborhood was getting a new beer bar. What ’s more, a couple of certifiable beer geeks produced The Pine Box. Von Trapp’s is a bit different. The masterminds behind this beer joint do not come from the ranks of us beer nerds. They are restaurant guys. Deming Maclise and James Weimann are the business partners behind Bastille, Poquitos, and Macleod’s. Von Trapp’s is their first venture into the world of beer.
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As with their other locations, Maclise and Weimann aim to provide an atmosphere that is reminiscent of a European dining and drinking experience. Just as Bastille provides a Seattle version of a French bistro, Von Trapp’s provides a local version of a Bavarian beer hall. These fellas pay attention to detail. They carefully sourced much of the decor from the old country. They salvaged the chandeliers from a storage unit in Austria, for instance. The chandeliers are beautiful.
Beer? A good selection of Northwestern ales. And, um… Stiegl and Maisels? Very nicely played, gentleman.
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For food, you will find several different house-made sausages: cheddarwurst, Polish kielbasa, spicy smoked bratwurst, to name a few. The sausages are served a few different ways: on buns, solo, as part of full-blown entrée plates. The menu also offers a few salads, a burger, leberkase sliders, and chicken schnitzel. They also bake their own pretzels. I don’t want to steer anyone away from the pretzels, I’ll just say that I prefer the Brave Horse Tavern pretzels. I really did enjoy my pretzel, especially with the spicy mustard, but I’m a bit of a pretzel snob.
Seattle has nothing like Von Trapp’s. Imagine an 11,000 square-foot version of Prost or Die BierStube and you are starting to get the idea. Also, unlike those venerable neighborhood beer halls, you will find a selection of Northwest ales to compliment the selection of German beers.
I arrived at opening time on a Wednesday afternoon (4:00). Within an hour, the place was full. I know Von Trapp’s is still new, having just opened ten days ago, but the location is lively and I will not be surprised if this continues to be a very popular destination. You’ll find Von Trapp’s on 12th Avenue, just a couple blocks south of Madison Street, very near Seattle University.
I’ll be back. And I will be playing bocce.