Never in my wild dreams could I ever conceive of drinking craft beer in Rockville, Maryland. However, dreams do come true; or in this case, craft beer is now available at the recently opened Gordon Biersch brewpub.
Located about 20 miles northwest of Washington D.C. and a 25-minute ride on the Metro Red Line (Rockville Station), this brand new member of the Gordon Biersch chain – there is another downtown and another in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia – is part of the rebirth of downtown Rockville, which was always considered a ghost town void of nightlife. Now this once sad place has started to boom, with commercial development in the guise of Rockville Town Center, a “community” of shopping, restaurants and condominiums slapped together amid a six-story parking garage. (Needless to say, parking is plentiful.) But, as Michael Jackson would say … I digress.
[By the way, if you are thinking of that Michael Jackson, then you have no business being on this website.]
The interior seems to be aiming for trendy, but that’s not the word to use. I did appreciate the long bar in the front that looks out onto the outdoor terrace – rather reminiscent of a beachfront bar (without a beach, sadly). Of course, we can’t drink beer without being inundated with sports, so Gordon Biersch has diligently supplied half-dozen of large-screen plasma TVs.
The menu was eclectic; there was something for everyone’s taste, particularly the upscale appetizer selections. Also available was an extensive wine list for those preferring the grape to the grain and, for the James Bond wannabees, several varieties of Martinis.
Anyone familiar with Gordon Biersch knows that they are primarily purveyors of German lagers, although the downtown location (see my Review in Washington DC beerfly) once offered Baltic Porter under a previous brewer. Speaking of which, the brewer at this location is Jim Sobczak, formerly of Fordham Brewing.
One issue is the lack of knowledge from the servers (Guinness and black lagers are separate styles). But not everyone lives for beer. Another is the spotty service – one shouldn’t remind servers that food was ordered. But this place is new and possessing all the kinks of a new place. The bartender did inform me that this place does “booming” after work business – Rockville is the county seat of Montgomery County and home to hundreds of county workers.
So, Rockville is a dreary backwater no more. While I won’t recommend that anyone make a special trip here, it is nice to know about it. Of course, it’s always nice to have a new place to drink beer.