Customers enjoy pizza, salads, wine and beer on a breezy Sunday evening at Birravino’s new beer garden.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


Basil T’s Brew Pub was ahead of it’s time when it came to brewing beer in-house in New Jersey. Three years ago, Vic Rallo and partners rebranded the Red Bank restaurant and bar, naming it Birravino and giving it an updated industrial look. But they continued to brew their own beer.

The recent addition of an outdoor beer garden, built off to one side of the original structure, allows customers to wet their whistles under star-studded skies while chilling to the cool breezes coming off the Navesink River. PieHole stepped up to the window for one of the 10 local brews on tap before settling into a cherry-red Adirondack-style chair on the patio.
  Order at the window or sit at a table and a server will wait on you. Below: want a pretzel with your beer? (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

Strains of Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley float through mouthwatering, pizza-scented air. Customers deep in conversation sip wine and beer, and the atmosphere has a be-merry and let-your-hair-down sensibility.

Long wooden picnic tables and benches, trendy wing-like canopies and twinkling lights set an informal mood. Dining options are also more relaxed, with a brief menu of bar snacks that includes panini, pizzas, salads, and the most massive pretzel ($10) we’ve ever laid eyes on.

A squeal of “oh my god,” grabs our attention as an order is brought to a table near us. That seems to be a common reaction, server Mike Shaw tells us.

Among the 10 local brews on the menu are three house-crafted drafts. “We try to do all local,” said partner Bobby Rallo, referring to the list, which also includes one from Kane Brewery in Ocean Township.

Italian wine, a white, a rosé and a red at “about” $7 per glass also available on the patio, but that’s it for alcoholic beverages Mixed drinks and cocktails are not on the menu out here.

Birravino’s beer garden, at 183 Riverside Avenue, opens at 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting.