Following the launch of a new Bavarian-style beer hall in Glasgow this month, Edinburgh theme bar Frankenstein's has transformed its basement space into a likeminded beer cellar (or bier keller if you want to be all German about it). We went along to the grand opening to see what it was like, and perhaps enjoy a (Franken)stein or two of quality German lager while we were at it.
For starters, the beers are huge. Those are two-pint steins in the picture above, filled with genuine German goodness: the one on the left is a crisp Radeberger lagerbier, while the cloudy fellow on the right is a sweet'n'wheaty Erdinger Weissbier. (The beautifully decorated tankard to the rear is just for cutlery.) There's also a Frankenstein house lager and a selection of bottled beers from Germany and Belgium, including Furstenberg, Vedett and Duvel. It's not exactly cheap - a stein of Radeberger will set you back £10.30, for example - but you have to remember that (a) it's two pints, (b) it's really good quality German beer, and (c) you're really paying for the atmosphere, of which there is plenty.
A good dose of that atmosphere is provided by the in-house oompah bad, who play every Friday and Saturday night. Between traditional German drinking songs and brassed up versions of pop hits (think Beyonce), they lead the crowd in sing-alongs (lyric sheets are provided), call-and-response chants ('oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper') and frequent Oktoberfest-style toasts. Surprisingly, this isn't as abrasive as it sounds, and the music volume won't prevent you having a chat.
Naturally, being a German bierkeller, you'll be able to munch on some German-style food as well. In addition to Frankenstein's regular bar menu - burgers, nachos, pasta and so on - you can order a selection of Frankie's Furters (see what they did there?), served with sauerkraut, pickle, friend onion and mustard, and follow it up with a warm apple strudel. We suspect they'll be of a decent size as well, so don't be put off by the canape-sized sample above. Remember that it's also sitting next to a beer the size of your house.
If you're not a beer fan, there are other uber-German drinks for you to try. Stein cocktails come in three very dessert-y varieties - Ginger German (Jagermesiter, Amaretto, ginger beer), Schwarzwald (chocolate liqueur, cherry brandy, cranberry juice) and Apfel Strudel (apple vodka, cinnamon schnapps, cherry brandy, apple juice) - and there are also six types of schnapps to choose from, including the delicious Krupnik honey schnapps from Poland and, of course, the mighty Jagermeister.
If you couldn't tell already, Frankenstein's Bier Keller - much like the main bar upstairs - is aimed at the party hearty crowd, with food and drink packages for stag and hen parties starting at £15. We'd also like to direct your attention to the carefully worded disclaimer pictured above - it doesn't say there's no table dancing, just that you do so at your own risk, and as we all know, a poster about table dancing that doesn't exclusively forbid it is pretty much an invitation to do so.
In short, if you like German beer, German food, German music and Germany costumes - oh, we didn't mention the costumes? All the staff wear lederhosen - and you're not averse to a spot of table dancing, Frankenstein's Bier Keller is probably somewhere you want to check out. And even if you're only a fan of one of those things (we're gonna go ahead and guess the beer), it's probably still worth a look.
Frankenstein's Bier Keller, 26 George IV Bridge, open midday-1am (2am Friday-Saturday).
Check out Edinburgh's best bars on Time Out.