Berlin 2018

Thursday 4 October 2018

The journey to Berlin must have been smooth enough as no notes of outrage were made. After arrival at Berlin-Shonefeld, the S-Bahn took us into the city and the Zoologischer Garten station where the Aldershot party meet up with JA. He then led us to the Upper Room Hotel (Rankestrasse 3, 10789 Berlin), our centrally located hotel. The hotel is on the third floor (and upwards) of an old apartment building, the rooms still bearing signs of the rooms previous residential use.

After the usual protracted booking in and a quick wash and brush up, we headed for the city’s mean streets and some beer. 

 

Bar

Location

Code

Alt Berliner Biersalon

Kurfurstendamm 225/226, Berlin

10719

Comment

This large drinking establishment on one of the city’s main shopping streets recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. The bar was of course food orientated offering typical German fare but there are 10 draft beers available. Unfortunately the beer selection is rather uninspiring and the only reason for stopping was we needed a beer and it was close to the hotel. Whatever names they came as, all the beers available are brewed by Berliner Kindl Schultheiss Brauerei, part of the Radeberger Gruppe.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Berliner Kindl

Zwickel

5.2

X

D

Not overly gassy

Markischer

Landmann Schwarz

4.9

X

D

Rather bland black beer

               

 

The next bar was on a side street to Kurfurstendamm.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Gasthaus Krombach

Meinekestrasse 4, Berlin

10719

Comment

This smart restaurant decked out in the Bavarian style and specialising in Berlin cuisine, was where ROC had planned we eat. Unfortunately so had most of Berlin and without a booking there was no chance. So we just had a beer and went on our way.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Flensberger

Pilsner Zwickel

4.3

X

D

Better than the above

               

 

There then followed a long trek down virtually the whole length of Ku’damm and although the shops were all the up-market designer brands, there is only so much window gazing you can put up with before badly needing a piss. After some 3 km we eventually arrived at our next bar, hoping we might get something to eat.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Das Haus der 100 Biere

Kurfurstendamm 100, Berlin

10709

Comment

This was a rather down market Gasthaus but did have the advantage of being virtually empty.

Despite boasting 100 beers, the draft beer list was undistinguished. The bottle list was better but of course the one PV wanted was unavailable! Food was basic but very welcome. The Mashee Brauerei hails from Hannover but the beer is brewed for them by Burgerliches Brauhaus in Weisen.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Kaltenberg

Konig Ludwig Dunkel

5.1

X

D

Nothing special

Mashee

Beverly Pils

4.7

X

B

Nice hoppy IPA

               

 

Not fancying the trek back into the centre, we took the bus up Ku-damm to the U-Bahn at Uhlandstrasse and the U1 to Gleisdreieck.

 

Bar

Location

Code

BRLO Brewhouse

Schoneberger Strasse 16, Berlin

10963

Comment

This Brewhouse and bar was constructed out of shipping containers and run by some very young brewing geeks. On arrival, the containers were full so we settled in the garden until the diners left and some tables became free inside. The clientele reflected the décor, modern and chic, but who cares when the menu board offered 20 draft beers to try. Not surprising then that the old farts stayed sampling until closing time. Absolutely brilliant.

The Borg is brewed by Olgeroin Egill Skallagrimsson in Reykjavik, Iceland while the Parasite Produktions was listed in BRLO as by Sozialer Hahn (Social Tap), Berlin.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

BRLO

Helles

5

X

D

Basic but good

BRLO

Yes We Can

6.5

X

D

New England IPA

BRLO

Baltic Porter

7

X

D

Dark and so smooth

Parasite Produktions

Hopstadt Berlin IPA

7

X

D

Good God the hops!

Borg Brugghus

Myrkvi Nr.13 Porter

6

X

D

All in the name 

               

 

Friday 5 October 2018

There was a cultural element to today’s tour and we started by heading for the Zoo in the hope of finding nearby access to Tiergarten; no such luck. In the end we walked around the southern boundary, eventually heading up Hofjagerallee to the Grosser Stern roundabout where six major roads meet (with the Victory Column in the centre) and out of the park via Spreeweg. Despite the pleasant weather, it was time for a break and our first beer stop of the day.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Zollpackhof

Elisabeth-Abegg-Strasse 1, Berlin

10557

Comment

This smart, large restaurant’s Biergarten is on the bank of the river Spree. Just open, the Bavarian style (dark wood paneled walls and pine topped tables) restaurant was empty but there were a few early drinkers in the garden. Beer was available from the garden servery and we settled down in the sunshine to enjoy a couple of beers from this Augustiner Berlin tap. The only downside was the wooden barrel of Edelstoff would not be tapped until 18.00.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Augustiner

Lagerbier Hell

5.2

X

D

Very refreshing

Augustiner

Edelstoff

5.6

X

D

Not the best ever tried but still good

               

 

Although we could have stayed in the Biergarten soaking up the sun all afternoon, it was time to continue our tour. The Reichstag led onto Brandenburg Tor and the walk up the Unter den Linden past Berlin Cathedral to the Marx-Engels Forum and the statues to the founders of communism. Enough culture, it was time for another refreshment break.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Georg-Braeu

Spreeufer 4, Berlin

10178

Comment

Housed in a modern building, the Brauhaus is really a restaurant which happens to brew beer, and the outside seating was fully occupied by lunchtime diners. Venturing inside, after the bright sunshine, the interior was rather dark, but we managed to stumble to some tables and order the beers. Once our eyes had adjusted, the interior evoked past times with wood paneled walls and brightly polished brass beer fonts; the brewery coppers adding to the look.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Georg-Braeu

Hell

5

X

D

Nothing special at all

Georg-Braeu

Dunkel

5

X

D

Slightly better

               

 

The cultural side over, ROC was now on a mission to try some new beers. The S3 took us to Kopenick in the eastern suburbs and onward on tram 62 to Schlossplatz.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Schlossplatz Brauerei

Greenway 24, Berlin-Kopenick

12555

Comment

Billed as the smallest brewery in Germany, the glassed walled kiosk in the central square would have been a small café in any other country. But brewpub it was and offered six of its products on draft. All the staff, customers and Jack Russell’s were very friendly. PV got chatting with Philip who acted as translator with the very fit Josie behind the bar. Although the brewing equipment was crammed into a very small area, the brewer was rather adventurous and amongst the usual styles there was Kirsch-Chilli beer available (but untried by us).  Altogether a rather unusual drinking experience and greatly enjoyed.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Schlossplatz

Coepenick Helles

5.3

X

D

Unfiltered and refreshing

Schlossplatz

Coepenick Dunkel

5.3

X

D

Unfiltered and excellent

Schlossplatz

Coepenick Hefeweizen

5.6

X

D

Alright but not brilliant

               

 

Given the size of the kiosk it was unsurprising there was no food available, but our new found friends recommended somewhere to eat.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Restauration Zur Gardenstrube

Rosenstrasse 3, Berlin-Kopenick

12555

Comment

To call this quirky local's restaurant/bar old fashioned was probably missing the point; the place was full of bygone memorabilia and celebrated some long forgotten (apart from here) officer who stole the town’s money and did a runner. It was just as well we were only here to eat as the beer selection was as poor as the food was good. The beers were from Radeburger Gruppe breweries.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Berliner Kindl

Burgerbrau Pils

4.9

X

D

Bland lager

Schofferhofer

Dunkles Hefeweizen

5

X

B

Bit better

               

 

After retracing our steps to Kopenick the S3 took us back into the centre at Warschauer Strasse, the closest stop to our next destination. After some disorientation from PV it was then a 20 minute walk to the bar.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Hopfenreich

Sorauer Strasse 31, Berlin

10997

Comment

The exterior of this craft beer bar was covered in graffiti while the interior walls had been stripped bare to the brickwork. The hang out of trendy young Berliners, the arrival of Mengo nearly doubled the average age of the clientele. The list of 22 craft draught beers from around the world provided plenty of choice but the two chosen by Mengo were from Bavarian breweries. The only downside to the bar was the pervading smell of urine!

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Hanscraft

Backbone Splitter IPA

6.6

X

D

American style IPA

Frau Gruber

Escape from Madness

5

X

D

New England IPA

               

 

It was only a short walk to our next venue,

 

Bar

Location

Code

Bier Kombinat Kreuzberg (BKK)

Manteuffelstrasse 53, Berlin

10999

Comment

Can’t really remember much about this Schoppe Brau taproom, but did note it was loud and trendy? The Schoppe Brau beers were not recommended so we tried something from Kiel. We did not stay long.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Lillebrau

Lille IPL

5.7

X

D

India Pale Lager; whatever that is!

               

 

There was engineering works on the U1 and Gorlitzer was closed, but the bus replacement service got us to a station that was open and we eventually made it back to the hotel.

 

Saturday 6 October 2018

Today’s adventure was planned by PV, so it involved lots of trains and trams, starting with any S to Friedrichstrasse and change to the S2 for our journey south to Attilastrasse. After exiting the station, the required footpath was over the road to the left of the railway bridge. The footpath followed the train line south and after about a mile lead to the rear entrance of an old factory site; now a recreational park containing our destination and beer nirvana.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Stone Brewing (Berlin)

Im Marienpark 23, Berlin

12107

Comment

The American brewer’s Berlin outpost is in large converted factory building. Separated from the customers by glass wall, the brewing equipment took up a third of the building. The drinking and eating area, with its trees and street lighting was the epitome of nouveau urban industrialized chic.

Although fully booked, as Mengo arrived shortly after opening with the place virtually empty, we were allowed to use a reserved table, provided we left well before the booking arrived. No problem, we had a busy day in front of us and would only be there for a couple of beers.

The beers themselves were good but the really the venue was the star. Well worth the effort of getting there.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Stone (Berlin)

Single Hop IPA Ariana

6.4

X

D

Pilot Series 2018;Sharp hop taste

Stone (Berlin)

CoCo POW! Porter

7.3

X

D

Uniqcan 2018;Smell the thickness

Stone (Berlin)

Go to IPA

4.7

 

D

RN – thick and orange 

Stone (Berlin)

Ripper Pale

5.7

 

D

Watery? 

               

 

Fortunately, it was another lovely sunny day, as it was back up the footpath for the S2 to change again at Friedrichstrasse for the S7 heading east to Ostkreuz. They were rebuilding the station and we wandered about a lot before finding the correct exit required.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Strassenbrau

Neue Bahnhofstrasse 30, Berlin-Friedrichshain

10245

Comment

This micro was established in 2015 in what was previously a shop of some sort. There was a couple drinking outside but no one at all inside this Saturday afternoon; was this an indication of the quality of the beer. Fortunately not; the beer was very good and you wondered why the tap was so poorly supported.

There was no food available but our helpful barperson, Beatrice, provided menus from some local restaurants/takeaways and phoned through our orders which were delivered to the bar.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Strassenbrau

Sonnenal(l)e(e) Pale

5.1

X

D

American Pale Ale

Strassenbrau

Kookaburra

5.3

X

D

Australian Pale Ale

Strassenbrau

NB30 IPA

6.6

X

D

American IPA; bloody gorgeous

               

 

Just a walk to the next brewpub.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Hops & Barley

Wuhlischstrasse 22/23, Berlin-Friedrichshain

10245

Comment

In complete contrast to the previous bar, this sports bar was packed both outside and in. Mengo managed to find some seats spread about in the small side bar sandwiched between a very drunk, but happy, German girl one side and some surly Russians on the other. Previously a butcher’s shop the walls were appropriately tiled and provided a different feel to the usual bars.

The house beers are marketed under the Friedrichshainer brand and were quite acceptable.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Friedrichshainer

Hell (Yeah)

5

X

D

Easy drinking Dortmunder Export

Friedrichshainer

Amirillo Berstein

5.5

X

D

Very balanced amber lager

Friedrichshainer 

Citra IPA

6.5

X

D

Not excessively citric

Friedrichshainer

Summer Ale

4.4

 

D

English Pale Ale 

               

 

Tram M23 from outside the pub took us to Warschauer Strasse and back on the S-Bahn to Friedrichstrasse to connect with the U6 north to Leopoldplatz. JA then guided us into the dark suburbs to find our next micro hidden behind a block of flats.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Eschenbrau

Triftstrasse 67, Berlin-Wedding

13353

Comment

The brewery, harshly lit by blue neon, is at ground level with an outside concrete staircase leading down to the tap in the cellar. There was a lively crowd inside but plenty of room for Mengo. A fair number of punters were there for a birthday party, and in one of his numerous ventures outside for a fag, KO cracked it; the birthday girl said yes to his marriage proposal. The toilets were of course modern and clean with the added bonus of height graded urinals – short gents to the right! The taproom and beer were pleasant enough.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Eschenbrau

Panke Gold

5.2

X

D

Galaxy hopped Dortmunder style

Eschenbrau

Panke Gold 2.0

5.3

X

D

As above but with Citra 69 hops

Eschenbrau

Dunkel Alt Berliner

5.2

X

D

Easy drinking dark 

               

 

Back out in the night, it was a 20 minute walk to our final micro of the day. Again JA’s trusty phone guided us to our destination.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Vagabund Brauerei

Antwerpener Strasse 9, Berlin

13353

Comment

This was by far the smallest micro of the day – the small plant viewed through glass from the taproom. The taproom could only hold about 30 people but the large central table was only partially occupied and there was just about sufficient room for Mengo to squeeze in.

The barman knew us – the nice Irish lad, Michael Connolly, had served us in Hopfenreich the previous evening. And a great help he proved to be taking our varied orders until the bar got really busy towards closing time and PV took over the baton. It was a very enjoyable closing session although the English mild reminded JA why the style has lost its popularity.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Vagabund

Mr Mells Mild Ride

4.2

X

D

English style Mild Ale

Vagabund

Session IPA

4.2

X

D

An ISA with plenty of hops

Vagabund

Bulls Eye

4.9

X

D

English Pale Ale

Vagabund

American Pale Ale

5.2

X

D

As it says on the tin

               

 

Back into the night, there was time for some food from the numerous cafés/takeaways near Seestrasse U-Bahn station before the journey back to the Upper Room.

 

Sunday 7 October 2018

Back to ROC’s itinerary and the S7 to Potsdam Hbf for a trip on the water. After checking the water taxi timetable, there was an hour wait which most utilised going for a coffee and JA spent walking beside the water. The taxi arrived on time and took us to Cecilienhof and our first brewery of the day.

 

Bar

Location

Code

Brauerei Meierei

Im Neuen Garten 10, Potsdam

14469

Comment

It was a chilly day by the water but with the interior fully booked by the German’s for their Sunday lunch, we were left to enjoy the ‘self service’ beer garden. The large fort style building was a typically comfortable Gasthaus inside. Outside it was less comfortable and we only stayed for a couple.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Meierei

Hell

5.2

X

D

Ordinary Helles

Meierei

Sollator Herbstbock

6.8

X

D

Dark and foreboding

               

 

 

The plan was then to walk into the centre of Potsdam but with a 603 bus due soon there was no contest so we travelled in the warm through the town to the ZOB.

JA consulted his phone; there was a bus due which would take us ‘most’ of the way to our next venue so we happily embarked on the 694. There then followed a short pantomime; a mix up with the talkative lady passenger meant no one pressed the buzzer and we missed our stop – we would have to go to the end of the route and catch the return bus (which should be waiting); then FN’s bladder decided it could not hold on any longer and he vacated the bus. Well the lady wasn’t wrong and we caught the return bus, picked up FN, alighted at the correct stop and then proved Mengo piss in the woods. The walk through the woods provided tantalising glimpses of the water but was really quite boring – the only interest being the purpose of the numerous cross road covered gulley’s; water drainage or animal crossings? Just as the crew was getting mutinous we fortunately reached Forsthaus Templin - just as the 607 bus went past! We had just walked 3 kilometers when we could have waited at the ZOB, had a coffee and caught a bus that stopped outside the Gasthaus. That was not the only annoyance; Forsthaus Templin was a water taxi stop and we could have got there direct from Cecilienhof!

 

Bar

Location

Code

Forsthaus Templin

Templiner Strasse 102, Potsdam

14473

Comment

Although the ‘Forest House’ pub was relatively small, the grounds were extensive and you could imagine the beer garden would be very busy in the summer. Never mind that, the pub was still full with Sunday diners this late afternoon and there was no room in the inn for Mengo. However, as was to be expected on this cold day, there was plenty of room on the patio for us to try the beer. After some of the punters left we were invited inside this traditional inn and enjoyed a very welcome and good meal. Unfortunately, the beer was nothing special.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Braumanufaktur

Hell

4.9

X

D

Reasonable but not outstanding

Braumanufaktur

Dunkel

4.9

X

D

Light bodied dark lager

Braumanufaktur

Potsdamer Strange

4.8

X

D

Zwickelbier

               

 

The return was by the 607 from outside the Gasthaus. On the S-Bahn back to Berlin PV decided he was not up to the evenings drinking and departed at the Zoo for his bed. The others carried on and tried out Kaschk, Mikkeller and Castle. Unfortunately no notes are available on the venues or beers tried.

 

Yes our beloved leader left us up the junction , lucky enough we still had a few on the list and the will to go on (true brits).

 

 

Bar

Location

Code

Kaschk

Linienstraße 40

10119

Comment

Located inside an ultra-modern black build (shame it was dark); Wide selection of Scandinavian beers communal tables but not many in. Could have played Shuffleboard downstairs a couple of very large tables.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Not

recorded

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

Bar

Location

Code

Mikkeller Torstraße

Torstraße 102

10119

Comment

 An easy walk just 2 minutes to this Danish bar with 24 taps. The beer was fine but expensive should have been fine but it is a most pretentious craft beer bar I think we have been in.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Not

recorded

 

 

 

 

               

 

Bar

Location

Code

The Castle

Invalidenstraße 129

10115

Comment

 Then a 15 minute walk, nice comfy chairs and by the window watching the world go by. Bar staff a bit strange but one was Scottish and new it all.. Bar good enough as a craft pub. 15 beers on tap and some very cloudy IPA.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Not

recorded

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

We walked across the road and onto the SBAN at Nordbahnhof back to the hotel.

 

Monday 8 October

With a late afternoon flight we had time for a bit more sightseeing and perhaps another beer! The U9 and U7 took us to Gneisenaustrasse and a coffee at the indoor Marheineke Markthalle before a walk to our final bar of the trip,

 

Bar

Location

Code

Dolden Madel

Mehringdamm 80, Berlin

10965

Comment

The Golden Girl Braugasthaus is a large craft beer bar with 20 beers on tap. At this early hour on Monday there were no customers before Mengo’s arrival and the barman kept disappearing as he was still setting up the bar. Still quiet suited us and while most had a couple of beers to finish some stayed on coffee. The bar is the Berlin tap for Ratshern beers from Hamburg while Brewer’s Tribute beers come from a small Berlin microbrewery.

Brewer

Beer

%

T

 

Comment

Ratshern

Pale Ale

5.6

X

D

Rather malty

Brewer’s Tribute

Stout

5.5

X

D

Very nice creamy, slightly bitter stout

               

 

Then it was back to the hotel, pick