Alley Throws Back a Few at Willkommen
It was a beautiful Sunday and I was walking my dog as I passed by Black Hammer Brewing’s new beer hall, Willkommen, for what felt like the hundredth time. Just up the block from my apartment, we pass it daily but had yet to visit the bright, light-filled space. So, I went back to my place, convinced my roommates to participate in a Sunday Funday, and headed back up the way towards Willkommen.
Upon arriving, the space was occupied by just a few tables, but it was still early in the day. We hopped in line for the counter where drinks and food are ordered and were delighted by how helpful and informative the woman working was. She was enthusiastic about the beer and made excellent recommendations.
All of their drafts had fun names like Sparkle Pony Belgian Blonde Ale and Sunrise Set Sour Berliner Weisse. We tasted and enjoyed both. I usually don’t like sour beers, but this one wasn’t overpowering and I could actually see myself drinking a full glass of it. In the end, we settled on two half-liters of Summer Mixtape, a fruity, hazy IPA that wasn’t too hoppy and would make for a great summer go-to, and the Heff Bridges Hefeweizen that tasted great but ultimately won out for its name. We ordered a couple of pretzels that were tasty, but then again can you mess up a pretzel? I appreciated that they were shaped in sticks rather than twists – easier for dipping. I’m not big on beer cheese as I enjoy a good mustard instead, but I was told by my roommates that it was very good. It’s also worth noting that the space serves Rosemunde Sausage. Having a place to get those wurst practically outside my door may prove to be a problem for my waistband in the future.
We sat for a while enjoying our beer and pretzels while we watched the space fill up with other groups trying to extend the weekend as much as they could. The decor is simple but sweet and put the focus on the beautifully crafted communal tables and the greenery adorning the walls, nooks and crannies. I loved the paper flowers hanging from the ceiling as they were reminiscent of my college apartment, and there was a mural in progress that I am excited to see finished.
Overall, it was great experience. The staff was kind and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming. It was the type of place where you wanted to stay and hang out and it felt like that was encouraged as well. I think we’ll probably be making this our go-to spot for a beer and a pretzel.