Fort Greene residents Ayana and Tobias Holler grew up in small towns in the rural Black Forest region of southwestern Germany, but their path never crossed there. It was much later, when they had both moved to Brooklyn, that they met, and fell in love. As a tribute to their love, to their Black Forest roots and their Brooklyn home, they opened Black Forest Brooklyn in December 2013 – an authentic German Indoor Biergarten and Kaffeehaus, serving regional German specialties and 14 classic German beers on tap.
“We always envisioned Black Forest Brooklyn as a friendly place for people of all walks of life, old and young, singles and families, as diverse and multi-cultural as Brooklyn itself” says co-owner Ayana. “We hope to have created a place that bring people together over good German beer, and traditional Southern German comfort food, using our grandmother’s secret recipe’s.”
Black Forest Brooklyn is featuring 14 handpicked German Beers on draft, all brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law) of 1516, which only permits water, hops and malt as ingredients. A selection of Southern German regional wines, and several Black Forest-themed signature cocktails are served also.
In addition to traditional German sausages and meats, Black Forest Brooklyn is serving typical dishes from the Black Forest region, such as Flammkuchen (Alsatian flatbread), Jaegerschnitzel (hunter’s cutlet), as well as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake), all of which is freshly prepared in house.
Black Forest Brooklyn is also a place to learn about, and to celebrate, German cultural traditions such as Fastnacht (German Mardi Gras), Oktoberfest, and, of course, Fussball (Soccer).
“The design of the space is contemporary yet inspired by the traditions of the Black Forest region” says co-owner Tobias, who is also an architect, and responsible for the project’s design and construction. “One half of the guest area is designed as a ‘Wohnzimmer’ (parlor/living room), with an exposed wood joist ceiling, dark wainscot and exposed brick. The other part of the guest area will be flooded with daylight through a series of large skylights, creating a quasi-outdoor ‘beergarden’ atmosphere.” The project makes extensive use of salvaged building materials, such as retired NYC scaffolding planks used for wall paneling and furniture.
The opening of Black Forest Brooklyn is the topic of a feature documentary, directed by Ayana, who is also a filmmaker.
With Black Forest Brooklyn Ayana and Tobias have fulfilled their lifetime dream to open their own business and to create a friendly place that will bring a fun group of people together over good German beer and food, right here in Brooklyn.