If you are in the Gainesville area and tired of the pabulum mass-produced beers out there, then stop by Stubbies and Steins. The ale Mecca opened its doors as Stubbies Shirt Pub in 2003 as a tiny walk in closet that sold an extensive array of beers as well as crudely humored beer themed tee shirts, which were made while you quaffed your favorite style.
A Stubbie is Australian for a squat beer bottle. The pub got this name from owners Berkeley Hoflund and her father Gar when they went on a trip with family and friends to Australia in 2002. They later went on a tour of Germany sampling the finest German brews and expanded the “friendly confined” space in August, 2007 into Stubbies and Steins with some delicious authentic German delicacies to add to their beer menu.
Now patrons can enjoy a German decorated hall complete with flat screen televisions with the latest sporting event on. A large community table stretches to the small bar in the back. If you choose to sit at the bar, you can gaze at the multicolored bottles and cans of beer being housed behind two large open glass refrigerators with the words flasche and kanne adorned on top. Also within bar view is the small kitchen where you can watch Stubbie’s chefs whip up some exquisite culinary treats from salads to bratwurst. The beer menu is the largest in Gainesville with 400+ varieties and 25 tap lines. Look to your left in the Stubbies part at the chalkboard to find a list of current brews on draft. A small selection of international and domestic wines is also available if you choose not to pair beer with your meal.
Stubbie’s offers a program to their loyal beer enthusiasts known as the Offender Program, which all started in 2003 when they opened their doors. A veteran guest named Rodger started writing down all of the beers he tried in an effort not to forget and have the same one twice. Other guests liked this idea and soon followed suit. The staff fancied this notion even more and decided to make an official program out of it. Basically, one earns the title of Offender by trying 100 different beers in exactly a year’s time from the start of the program. You are not limited to 100 and with each 100 beers tried another moniker is added. Complete 200 and you become a Repeat Offender, complete 300 and you become a Habitual Offender, complete 400 and so on you become a Liver Transplant.
To make the atmosphere more enjoyable, Stubbies is strictly non-smoking and they encourage families of all ages to partake in their cuisine until 10pm. So if you are ever in the Gainesville area, go to 9 West University Avenue and get something more than a plastic pitcher with a built in ice reservoir filled with a pale yellow liquid, get a lesson in beer!