Beer and food pairings at Mr. Dunderbaks

Start off with potato pancakes and applesauce. The light body and clean, dry finish of Stiegl Pils, a 4.9% ABV Austrian pilsner, blends well with the crispy seasoned fried potato and subtly spiced chunky applesauce.

For a traditional German dish, try the Sauerbraten, a signature Dunderbak's menu item prepared according to a family recipe. Before cooking, beef roast is marinated for four days in red wine vinegar and eleven spices. The malty sweetness and 7.9% ABV warmth of German standard Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock meshes exceptionally well with the Sauerbraten‘s rich meatiness and delightfully vinegary brown gravy.

Another time-honored German dish, the Rinderouladen, was originally a staple for Sunday dinner and special occasions. Beef is seasoned with mustard, onion, and bacon, rolled around a dill pickle, and topped with mushroom gravy. To compliment this complex mixture of savory beef, mushroom, and vinegary flavors, you'll need something dark and bold, like the caramel smokiness of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, a 5.1% ABV smoked marzen from Germany.

The Jagerschnitzel calls for Avenitus Eisbock, a high octane hefeweizen made by Schneider-Weiss brewery. If you aren't in the mood for a wheat beer that checks in at 12% ABV, get the less ballsy version, Aventinus Weizenbock, with only 8.2% ABV. The herb seasoned breaded veal cutlet accompanied by mushroom and onion gravy is a fine counterpart to the big wheat beer's slightly slick and boozy full bodied creaminess.

In the mood for a sandwich? The Blue Max will do you right with lean corned beef, double smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese, and blue cheese dressing on rye bread. Add another layer of awesome by pairing it with a 5.3% ABV Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. The spicy flavors from the meat and tangy blue cheese will play nicely with the Athens, GA brew's piquant rye bite.

The Brotzeit Dinner (meat board) is a splendid feast of ham, salami, summer sausage, and other German meats, served with pickle, German rye bread, and Emmentahler cheese. Pair with Flensburger Dunkel, a 4.8% ABV brew from Germany. The dark malty lager intermingles harmoniously with the cosmic array of spices contained on the meat board.

If you've got room for dessert, go for the Vienna Style Homemade Apple Strudel with ice cream and a pint of [image-1]

Here are a few more nuggets of wisdom about Mr. Dunderbak's - This most excellent beer bar and German inspired eatery has been operating for 35 years. Package sale is available for the 100+ bottles, so you can enjoy fantastic beer at home. The first Tuesday of every month, Mr Dunderbak's hosts the Tampa Bay BEERS homebrew club meeting, so unless you are a member, the doors close at 6pm. It's probably best to just join the club so that you don't have to miss a minute of such good beer.

I'll go ahead and say it — Mr. Dunderbak's pretty much owns the draught beer game in the Tampa Bay area. It takes me forever to choose a beer from among the 50 options. Rare brews, classic brews, hometown brews, casks, a Guinness surger. Every style is represented, and the finest examples of those styles at that. So, a very enthusiastic cheers to JB Ellis for being dedicated to good beer and consistently tapping the best kegs available in the local market.

But it's impossible to enjoy a tasty brew among the kitschy décor without giving in to the intoxicating aromas of German food. So here's a short guide to pairing this playground of beer with some of the choicest menu items. Since the taps rotate frequently, the beers used for pairing will come from the extensive bottle menu.

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