Before taking in a Bruins exhibition game last week, my wife and I stopped at the new Paulaner Bar for a couple of beers. The bar is located directly below TD Garden on the platform where commuter rail trains leave North Station. It had an unofficial grand opening last week.
You may have noticed a watering hole on the platform last year while rushing to catch your train or riding the escalator into the arena, but the space has been revamped with wood from Munich and a tap lineup from the German brewery. Included among the tap offerings are Original Munich Lager, Hefe-Weizen, Oktoberfest, Pils, and Salvator, a bottom-fermented dopplebock that packs a punch with an ABV of 7.9 percent. The beers are authentic and are a welcome offering in a neighborhood packed with sports bars.
Paulaner has some 30 bars around the world. This is their first official outpost in the US. Joe O'Grady, Paulaner's VP of national accounts, says that many Paulaner bars contain an on-site brewpub, allowing each to brew a unique beer. With limited space inside a working train station, there won't be a brewpub at the Boston location. Modeled after a German beer garden, the bar has a metropolitan feel. Big cities should have real food and drink options at their train stations and airports. Given the remodeling of South Station and new restaurants at Logan, this feels right.
If you're catching an upcoming B's or C's game, Tom Michienzi of the Craft Brewer's Guild recently sent me a list of the craft beer selection inside TD Garden this season. On the concourse outside Section 324 you'll find a craft beer garden featuring Allagash White, Brooklyn Lager, Cisco Whales Tale, Ipswich Red Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Magic Hat #9, Original Sin Hard Cider, Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Troegs Hopback Amber, and Wachusett Blueberry. There are stand-alone booths offering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sierra's seasonal offering at Sections 312 and 21.