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Von Elrod’s Beer Garden and Sausage House

Two local talents have banded together to bring a beer hall to life in Germantown.

Written By:  Erin Byers Murray

Photographers:  Nathan Zucker

Inside Von Elrod’s Beer Garden and Sausage House, the talents of restaurateur Austin Ray, who also owns M.L.Rose, and chef Jason Brumm, formerly of Strategic Hospitality, find a comfortable home together. The two long-time industry veterans have combined their collective passions, resulting in a solid addition to the Germantown dining scene.

The first true beer hall concept to arrive in Nashville, Von Elrod’s rightfully offers up a colorful, utilitarian dining space; a proper “beer garden,” set off to the side of the dining room; and even a vast patio, where sloshing back a lager out of a one-liter stein feels totally normal (there are heaters out there this time of year). Set inside an old bus depot, directly across the street from the entrance to First Tennessee Park, it’s one of those airy, easy-to-get-into spaces that’s got plenty of elbowroom at its long, communal tables, plus valet parking at lunch time. Big groups, families, and anyone looking for a bite before catching a game or a show across the street are sure to find a home here.  

The selection of 36 beers on tap veers from Oktoberfest and Belgian styles to Farmhouse and hoppy American brews. That large stein is just one option for glassware—they also pour beers in a range of vessels, down to a nine-ounce snifter. On the bottle list, there are Belgian brews from the likes of Orval and La Chouffe, plus ciders and lambics. Shandies, frozen cocktails, and wines on tap round out the list. (We’re betting that the frozen Paloma, made with tequila and grapefruit, will fly once the weather warms.)

As for the food, you won’t find traditional German fare. Instead, Brumm pulls inspiration from across the board, using his in-house butchery, which can be seen through a window near the open kitchen, to create a range of snap-skinned sausages, made from beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and even lentils, as well as house-made hot dogs.

There’s a traditional bratwurst, topped with sauerkraut and caramelized onions, called The Von Elrod, as well as a surprisingly satisfying chicken parm sausage, which tastes like a cross between the traditional Italian dish and a really good meatball sub. The Fez puts a lamb merguez sausage into a bun and tops it with a cooling taziki sauce. There are spicy options, too, like the Wild Bill, made with a jalapeño-cheddar brat, or the spicy chicken sausage in the Angry Bird. On the hot dog list, you can go classic with mustard or opt for the Coney version, stuffed with chili and cheese. Each link we tried, wrapped tight and piled high, oozed with both juice and big flavor.

Besides the sausages, there’s a solid selection of starters, snacks, and sides, like the house-made pretzel, served with beer cheese or other dipping sauces; fried cheese curds; a selection of Belgian fries and poutine platters; sweet potato “jojo’s”; and hot chicken schnitzel sliders. Those seeking something lighter have options like the Chop Chop salad, a composed, bacon-topped affair, which can be enhanced with a sausage, of course. Or try a club sandwich, made with the restaurant’s rotisserie chicken. Plus, all of the sausages can be served wrapped in lettuce or naked, for those who prefer to opt out of the bun.

If you’re still hungry, the German chocolate cake will satisfy any final cravings—especially if paired with a snifter of the Highland Black Mocha Stout.

1004 4th Ave N, 615-866-1620; vonelrods.com

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