Like Germans Do

Unusual beers--and snacks to match--at Prost

A colossal pretzel, nearly two feet in diameter, is an appropriately oversize pairing for a beer from the oldest brewery in the world.

That brewery is the 972-year-old Weihenstephaner, and its beers are a highlight of the all-German list at Prost, Lincoln Park's recently reopened beer hall. After a two-year closure, it returned last month with taps spouting 23 German imports of all flavors and hues.

Pair the Weihenstephaner Vitus ($11 for a half-liter), a complex and fruity wheat beer, with the butter-brushed pretzel ($11) and its accompanying obatzda, a crock of silky beer cheese flavored with paprika, onion and garlic. A glass of the intensely smoky Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier ($18 for a half-liter) is an excellent pairing too. Smoked malt infuses the brew with a heady, meaty campfire aroma.

For the spiced currywurst ($6), we opted for the Reissdorf Kölsch ($11 for a half-liter), a pale quaff with remarkable flavor belying its light style. Sip a malty, caramel-y Köstritzer Oktoberfest ($7 for a half-liter) with a plate of sauerbraten ($22), boneless short ribs rendered superbly tender by a two-day rest in vinegary braising liquid.

Worth noting: Should you be so taken with it, the Oktoberfest is available in a 3-liter boot ($34) as well.

Prost, 2566 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-880-9900