With a name like "Beer House," I didn't really have high hopes for any sort of authentic Estonian experience. But I was pleasantly surprised as it turned out. The Beer House is unabashedly touristy and centered (as the name might lead you to believe) around the beer. But while the majority of the clientele were Finns and other foreign tourists, there were more than a few Estonians in the mix looking for a beer-soaked good time. The food quality is decent, the prices are relatively high but not outrageous, and the house-brewed beers are very good.
Favorite Dish: I liked the goulash soup in a bread bowl. Of their many Bavarian-Bohemian style beer varieties (which you can sample in 0.25 liter sampler glasses if you wish), I think I liked the Pilsner Gold and Dunkles Extra the best.
It looked cool from the outside, so I stopped in to get lunch one day. I wasn't very impressed with this place. It seemed to be overpriced and had poor service and food. I don't really have much else to say about this - I just didn't really enjoy it and had a much better experience at several other restaurants instead.
I had first visited Beer House for a few beers one evening with my friend during a trip to Tallinn in October 2005. On that occasion we had already eaten earlier in the evening and were there solely to sample the range of beers brewed on site in this Bavarian/Austrian-style brewery, beerhall and restaurant.
Only three beers were brewed there at that time and we sampled one of each while watching the mixed clientele (a mixture of locals, tourists and drunken businessmen) dancing to music provided by an Oompah band. I'd never visited Bavaria at that time and so this was the nearest thing I'd experienced to a beerhall atmosphere. Five years later, with a recent visit to Munich fresh in my mind, I'd say that Beer House is a fairly authentic replica of a Bavarian beerhall.
Fast forward to April 2011 and I found myself back in Tallinn with my girlfriend and her parents. I was pleased to see that Beer House was still going strong and was keen to make a return visit. After receiving 10% off vouchers from a restaurant tout in the street, we decided to drop by for a meal one evening.
On this occasion, we made our way through the main beerhall and found a dining area at the back of the restaurant that resembled a mock street. The tables were "outdoor" (or at least felt that way with the sun streaming through the skylight windows) and mock houses contained private dining tables along the back wall of the restaurant. Street lights and even a street artist (who will take a photo of you and paint your portrait while you enjoy your meal) added to the outdoor street cafe feel. I'm not sure whether this area is a new addition to the restaurant or whether we just missed it on our last visit, but it was a nice setting in which to enjoy a meal outside the main beerhall.
Since my first visit in October 2005, the range of beers brewed on site had increased from 3 to 7 and, perhaps partly due to Estonia joining the Euro, prices had also increased. A 500ml beer now costs between 3.80 and 5.50 Euros. During the course of my meal, I tried three of the range: the Marzen Speziel (a 4.5% golden lager), Helles Light (a 4.9% pale coloured lager) and Dunkles Extra (a 4.7% dark lager) each costing 3.80 Euros. The rest of the range includes a pilsner, a honey beer, a full malt lager and a BH Premium 5.3% lager.
Emma and I both had pizzas; Emma had a Chicken Pizza and I had a Shrimp Pizza (each costing 12 Euros), while Emma's parents both ordered from the meat section of the menu.
The pizzas were enormous. Mine was topped with lots of small shrimps, pineapple, paprika, onions and jalapeno peppers. Emma's was similar, but with chicken rather than shrimps and with tomatoes rather than jalapeno peppers. The bases were thin and the crusts were fairly crispy.
The menu consists of typical Bavarian cuisine and heavily features sausages, pork, potatoes, sauerkraut and grilled meats.
Emma and her mum enjoyed desserts; vanilla ice cream with caramel custard and raspberry jam and cherry tartlet with vanilla sauce (5 Euros each).
There was a little confusion when we came to use the 10% off vouchers when settling our bill. The vouchers stated that the 10% discount was only applicable on "beer and food". So, while the beers were discounted by 10%, all soft drinks and hot beverages were charged at full price. Furthermore, pizzas were not classed as "food", but rather as "snacks" (despite their enormous size!) and so were not eligible for a 10% discount. This wasn't a major issue, but it's something to be aware of.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal (and beers) at Beer House. The food is pretty good, the beers are excellent and the whole place could reasonably pass as an authentic Bavarian beerhall. The "outdoor" dining area is a particularly nice setting for a meal.
This german-type restaurant has its own brewery.
Try especially garlic breads as snacks.
And remember to visit the toilets..
Large brewpub right in the centre of the old town. Beer brewed in house is very good, so is the food. Get there early always seemed to be busy!