I'll admit that I don't remember much about my first trip to Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden, 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City, NJ, but I do remember the important things: the beer and food. The beer was excellent, the food good.
My friend and I wandered in to Zeppelin Hall about 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon, after getting lost among the new condo construction projects, and finally asking the owner of the Brownstone Diner, located a block West, for directions. The stress of our sojourn through "New Condo Land" made finally finding our beer oasis that much sweeter. We ordered a couple of brews inside the huge hall, and then wandered to the outside beer garden. I started with an old stand by-Smuuttynose IPA, a rich, cloudy, ale with a copper color, thick head, and a nice hoppy flavor. My friend had an Abita Purple Haze, a slightly sweet wheat beer, with a hint of raspberries. They are brewed in New Hampshire and New Orleans, respectively.
My cousins met us soon after and they ordered a Staropramen, an amber-gold pilsner with a hint of honey from the Czech Repuplic, and a Kira Belgian White, a straw colored brew with a hint of bananna, and a crisp, refreshing finish. As we sipped from our half-liter glasses, I remarked how crazy the people were who were drinking the liters. "Man, that guy is going to be tanked later", I said from my high horse (which was quickly losing it's footing). Little did I know that I would be "tanked" in a few hours myeslf (more on that later).
As the beer garden filled with thirsty happy hour fans we decided to order some food. I was very dissapointed that the "Sauerbraten", advertised on the web site, was not on the menu. In fact, I was told, it might not be for a while. So, I settled for buffalo wings (average) and the "Sausage Sampler", which includes three types of sausage from about a list of six. We went with Bratwurst, Kielbasa, and Andouille, which were all very good. The fries were cooked to the perfect crispness.
I washed down the meat massacre with a River Horse Double Wit, which has an almost orange tint, and a nice, frothy head. It had a clove spice to it and a nice peppery finish. And being in Jersey, I figured that I had to have at least one beer that is actually brewed in the Garden State.
The night pretty much deteriorated from that point on. I met an old work friend and met his friends and we had a grand old time at the huge wooden table by the window. By this point, the view of the brand spanking new condos was getting hazy and I knew it was time to go home, but I have a feeling I will be back to my new favorite Biergarten, and will hopefully be eating a big plate of Sauerbraten, and sipping on a nice Leffe Blonde Ale.