The people behind Paulaner are actually quite old. In fact, they date way back to 1634 when Roman Catholic friars founded a brewery in Munich. They named it after the founder of the order, Francis of Paola.
More recently, the Paulaner company sent German beer professionals to the Lower East Side of New York to keep the tradition of fresh German beer alive. Brewmaster Andreas Heidenreich, a 20 year veteran of the beer industry, started the beer recipes at the New York location. He made all the traditional styles like Hefeweizen and Dunkel Weisse, but also experimented with things like the not-traditionally German IPA.
Andreas has since gone on to work for Caspary, the German company that built the tanks that Paulaner uses to brew their beers and send it to the tap lines (there are no kegs at Paulaner). In his place, Marco Santomauro, who has worked for Paulaner both in the UK and in Atlanta, has taken over as the general manager and they have trained a local brewer to continue the German brewing tradition.
Paulaner has opened more than 20 brauhaus locations around the world, most of them in China. In 2013, this was the first North American brewpub and it's right in the historic German neighborhood called Kleindeutschland. We learn all about this history and sometimes visit Paualner on our Tenements Tales and Tastes tour.
All the beer is brewed on site according to the Reinheitsgebot (German purity law of 1516) that says only four ingredients are allowed in the beer: water, malt, hops, and yeast.
In the middle of the brewpub are beautiful customized copper and steel fermentation tanks that were made in Germany. The recipes for the four beer styles (Munich Lager, Munich Dark, Hefeweizen, and a rotating seasonal beer) have mostly remained unchanged since 1634.
As for food, the menu is typical Bavarian cuisine with lots of dishes that pair well with beer. And you can't leave here without trying one of their giant pretzels.
On our beer tours, we talk about both local and craft beers. Even though Paulaner originally opened in Germany and are a major producer of beer, we still consider them both local and craft. All the beers in New York are being made on premises and are fresher than you can get even at some local beer bars. And the attention to detail and tradition certainly put them in the craft world.
We also love that the brewpub is in a building that used to be the home to Sammy's Follies Cabaret, known as the "Stork Club of the Bowery" in the 1930's and 40's, which appealed to the working class people in the neighborhood during the Great Depression.
Plus it's the freshest traditional Oktoberfest beer you will be able to find in the entire United States. Since only 6 breweries are allowed to make the traditional seasonal beer (and Paulaner is one of them), your best bet is to come right here to celebrate.
Paulaner on Bowery
New York, NY 10002