Black Forest Brooklyn Is the German-Style Beer Garden of Our Staycation Dreams

Photo courtesy of Black Forest Brooklyn

A beer garden is meant to be a garden, which is to say that the experience is meant to be had outdoors. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, since New York is a minefield when it comes to weather. If it’s not snow or sleet, it’s thick humidity (welcome to the summer of your dreams). But the great thing about July in New York this year is that you can find respite from the relentless heat with a cold drink. And that’s where Black Forest Brooklyn comes in.

With two Brooklyn locations—in Fort Greene and Cobble Hill—Black Forest, a German-style beer garden is back in business after a pandemic-related closure. The Smith Street property is now operating a traditional business, with service operating in the restaurant’s literal backyard. But the Fort Greene property is doing things a little differently. As the City adjusts to the new socially distanced form of dining out, this beer garden is a sidewalk-only affair. For right now, reservations are not being accepted for small parties, but for parties of six to 10, you can email the restaurant and reserve a table.

It’s not just about the beer, of course. Black Forest boasts a tasty array of beer-friendly food, including the traditional soft pretzel; potato latkes served with applesauce and sour cream; German sausages (weisswurst, currywurst, and more); flammkuchen, which are thin-crusted flat-breads cooked in a stone oven; schnitzel; spaetzle; burgers, and more. There is, too, Black Forest cake: chocolate cake layered with cherry brandy, whipped cream, sour cherries, and chocolate shavings.

Or come, quite simply, for the beer. There are about 20 different types available, most of which are available in half liter, liter, and boot (or two-liter) sizes. Experience the different styles of German beer, from the lighter Jever Pilsner to the darker Schneider Aventinus doppelbock. Black Forest serves ciders, too, as well as wine by the glass and bottle (as well as a curated list of cocktails). No matter what tickles your particular fancy, you’re sure to find it in here.

Summer will not last forever, so while the hot weather holds out (humidity notwithstanding) cool off and remember that the outdoor life, in New York, is a gift. The beer garden is a rare New York treat, so we should savor it. Raise your glass of light, medium, or dark German beer to that.