On tap in Mountain View:

What do you get when you cross a gastropub with a European beer hall? Steins Beer Garden, a 12,000-square-foot restaurant and patio that opened today in Mountain View.

The brainchild of local businessman Ted Kim, Steins offers 30 microbrews and rare beers on tap and seasonal, organic food offerings. Kim has long been planning this venture, even as he's busied himself with opening Paris Baguette locations on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

He was inspired by Prague's U Fleku Brewery and Restaurant, one of the Czech Republic's legendary spots. "There's a different beer culture in Europe," he says. "They're not chugging beers," as American drinkers are sometimes wont to do.

Kim plans to introduce the concept of "beer runners" to deliver tiny samples of beers to tables, and has already added low-alcohol choices to his 30-tap lineup. Fruli Strawberry (4.1 percent) and Floris Apple Ale (3.6 percent) are fruit beers that appeal to diners who think they don't like beer, he says. Both are brewed by Brouwerij Huyghe of Melle, Belgium.

On the food side, chef Colby M. Reade's menu is full of "made in house" notations: the pretzels, charcuterie/pork belly/pastrami, and beef for burgers will all be, respectively, baked, cured or ground on-site. It's meat-centric, all right, but vegetarians will find hearty salads, quinoa-veggie stew and roasted cauliflower soup. Desserts include caramel apple crisp and doughnuts with drinking chocolate.


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Reade's a former San Francisco (Hawthorne Lane, Square One) and Santa Cruz (Ostrich Grill) chef who most recently planned menus and events for Wolfgang Puck Catering.

Details: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., until 11:30 Friday-Saturday. 895 Villa St., Mountain View. www.steinsbeergarden.com.

Send South Bay and Peninsula dining tips to Linda Zavoral, lzavoral@mercurynews.com.