Shepherdstown’s Bavarian Inn pays homage to family history with its new brewpub.
for more than four decades, Bavarian Inn has provided elegant accommodations in an alpine-style hotel that looks like it jumped straight from the pages of your favorite children’s book. But in February, the Shepherdstown resort started a whole new chapter with the grand opening of Bavarian Brothers Brewery.
Workers converted the hotel’s former garden patio and a portion of its fine dining space into a brewpub and lounge. Chef Alyson Zimmerman concocted a new menu with casual entrees like burgers and salads as well as shareable plates of bratwurst sliders, duck spring rolls, and ahi tuna nachos.
The main character of this story, though, is the beer. With help from Falling Waters Brewery Consultants, Bavarian Brothers has set up a microbrewery that will crank out six beers: four flagship brews along with two rotating seasonal selections. They don’t plan to can or bottle their beers, at least not at first, so you’ll have to make a trip to the Eastern Panhandle to enjoy the fruits of Bavarian Brothers’ labor.
Before anyone asks, owners Christian and David Asam did not name Bavarian Brothers after themselves. Once upon a time—the 1700s to be precise—there was a pair of Asam brothers who built a church in Munich, Germany. Here’s a neat touch: the brewery’s sunburst logo is based on an emblem that still graces that church’s front door. How’s that for a prologue?
WV Living recently sat down with the modern brothers Asam to talk about how this brewery came to be.
CHRISTIAN ASAM: About five years ago, we noticed a change in our guests. We had 300 seats of fine dining but the demand wasn’t there. Tastes had changed.
DAVID ASAM: People saw it as a special occasion place. We decided to go the way the world is going—really good food in a more relaxed atmosphere.
CA: I was at the governor’s conference on tourism. The speaker was talking about beer tourism. I said, ‘That’s it! We have a German place, we should make beer.’ That’s when we came up with the concept.
DA: Our architect was also designing a house for a gentleman who had just moved to the area, who was also looking to open a brewery himself. She said ‘You guys need to talk.’ His name is Bob Daniels. He’s going to be our brewmaster for the first couple years until our in-house person gets up and going.
We’re not trying to be Sierra Nevada. Everything is going to be on-site. We’re going to have growlers people can take with them.
CA: Our father, Irwin, is a German immigrant and acts like a German immigrant, so one of the ales is Irwin’s Angry Ale. My mom’s from England, so we’re doing Carol’s Royal Stout. I think they’re real proud of us. Last night I was having a beer with them and they were like, ‘Wow, slam dunk.”
My mind has always been more towards marketing. David’s the put-his-head-down, hard work kind of guy. He is very interested in the beer-making process itself.
DA: My father-in-law, Harry Wright, is going to be our future brewmaster, and I’m learning under his tutelage. We’ll leave it to the experts for now. Currently, I only know the basics, so they’re probably not going to let me play with the toys.
CA: It’s always been a very buttoned-up, wear-a-suit-and-tie-every-day business. We’re excited this gives us a chance to be a little more lighthearted.