Last Updated : 14/11/04
A Few Scoops in Berlin, by Mark Enderby.
With acknowledgements to Ron Pattinson and Paul Harrop for the required gen.
Early November saw us whizz over to Berlin for a couple of days sightseeing courtesy of EasyJet. Of course, the chance for a few brewpubs had to be taken, but it was clearly impossible to take them all in and we concentrated on those which fitted in with the sights.
The main concentration is within easy walking distance of Alexanderplatz in the former east side of the city and conveniently close to many of the tourist sights.
First port of call was Marcus-brau on Munzstrasse, just north of the main Alexanderplatz station. This is a tiny pub with a tiny brewplant to match. A Pils and a Dunkel are produced together with an interesting range of specials (which are not constrained by the Reinheitsgebot). Unfortunately, no special was available so we tried the Dunkel. However, this was rather lacking in character being somewhat sweet.
A few hundred metres away - in an arch under the railway to the west of the station is Lemkes (Dircksenstrasse). This also had a tiny plant located in the main room and a very tiny lagering room visible from the front. This had 4 unfiltered beers available. Original, Pils, Weiss and Porter (the latter presumably the special). These are again unconstrained by the RHB. We stayed here some time and tried all the beers which were characterful (with the exception of the weiss which had a somewhat one-dimensional banana flavour). The place is enlivened by the constant pounding of trains ! There's also a beer garden at the back. We ate here and can report that the food was good.
Just to the SW of the station is a large shopping complex and Brauerei Mitte can be found on the first floor. This is a modern bar and somewhat characterless with the copper brewplant located deep inside by the bar. However the beers (all unfiltered) were surprisingly good with a characterful dunkel and a spicey weiss. The pils wasn't tried and it appeared they also do seasonals - but none was available. The pub does bar food and has a large restaurant attached. Good views of the railway can also be had !
Further away from the station in the reconstructed medieval area of Nikolaiviertel is Georgbrau. It can be found by aiming for the twin-spired church - visible to the south. This is supposedly a trendy tourist-ridden area, but on the evening of our visit, the pub was full of locals. This was by far the most traditional of the brewpubs we visited and rather too noisy and smokey for our taste. Both the beer (dunkel) and food was adequate. they also do a Helles.
The other central brewery that lies on the tourist root is Lindenbrau in the Sony Centre at Potsdamerplatz. This is a modern establishment with an unusual silver plant. The brewery concentrates on a rather one-dimensional unfiltered weiss (the slogan is "Drink more Weiss !) and the menu has all sorts of conconctions such as "Weiss with Cola" and "Weiss with Capriana". The fact that they were brewing made the atmosphere very pleasant and the food was very good. This does appear to be on the tourist trail as coachloads of Germans kept sweeping in and by 1400 it was getting rather full.
Our final port of call was the Spandau Brauhaus. This brewery is located behind the Kolk in the oldest part of Spandau (which is about 30mins by DB from Alexanderplatz. The closest U-Bahn is Aldstadt) and is housed in a former barrack's laundry. The largish brewplant is located in the centre of the pub. The standard beer here is Havelbrau - a darkish unfiltered pils. There is also a seasonal - in this case Herbstock Maranator which was a dark mellow winter warmer style beer and extremely pleasant (and potent !).
As we were staying in Charlottenburg, we also checked out the site of Aschinger Brau on Kurfurstendamm and can confirm that it no longer exists.