Berlin: City and Beer gen
Last Updated : 08/01/10
his page has been created after our second excellent trip to Berlin in order to better show the beer and city gen I've acquired during our two visits. All the gen, both beer and city, has been updated so you won't need much more to get there and get scooping! See my updated Berlin beer map here.
The two airports you’ll arrive at - Templehof, the most central, has now closed - are Schönefeld (once the gateway to travellers from Russia and the east, now being developed as “Berlin Brandenburg airport”) served by Ryanair and easyJet, which is the furthest from the centre at around 15km to the south but linked by S-Bahn 9 which will take you into the centre in around 30 minutes, and Tegel (Air Berlin) which is closer, 9km to the northwest, but it’s not as easy to get to; the TXL aerobus runs every ten minutes or so from Alexanderplatz but takes ages, a better bet is the 109 from outside Lemkes Charlottenburg!
Both airports have all the necessary things like ATMs and tourist information kiosks which you might need before launching into a full-on scooping frenzy. A tip for Schönefeld is that the S-Bahn station is a five-minute walk along a covered walkway and, if the ticket machines in the underpass have huge queues of baffled-looking tourists, ignore them and head up to the platform where you'll find two more with, usually, no queue at all!
If you’re really averse to flying then your options are a bit limited and it'll take you a hell of a lot longer and cost many times more than the flights (you can get a return to Berlin with the cheap airlines for under £40 easily) to get there. By bus, you could take Eurolines from Victoria to Berlin for around £80 return but the trip will take an arse-numbing 23 hours – enjoy. It’s possible to reach Berlin by train (via Eurostar then ICE) in around 10 hours but you’re at the mercy of connections at Brussels Midi and, usually, Köln plus you’ll have to fork out well over £100 return. It’s also possible to take the ferry from Harwich to Cuxhaven (about 75km NW of Hamburg) with DFDS three or four times a week for a train forwards; 17 hours or so is the journey time.
Personally, I'd take easyJet from Luton to Schönefeld...
The good news with Berlin is that despite it being a huge, sprawling city with suburbs which go on for miles, it’s an absolute doddle to get around thanks to the efficient and comprehensive public transport system run by BVG; their system includes an underground metro system called the U-Bahn, a tram system (Straßenbahn) in the old eastern parts of the city (trams in the west were abolished in 1967) which is gradually being modernised and extended back into the old west, the S-Bahn - suburban railway - which glides through the centre on it’s distinctive viaducts (under which two of the brewpubs are secreted) and a very extensive bus network which fills in the gaps, although you’ll hardly have to use the buses unless you decide to take the 100 or 200 buses between Alexanderplatz and Zoo Bahnhof for the tourist gawping value.
The best part about Berlin's transport is that most of it runs all night, every night, at fairly frequent intervals; this amazingly intelligent policy means that you can indulge yourself to your herst's content in the brewpubs and still be certain of getting back to your hotel without resorting to a taxi... maybe one day cities in the UK will evolve a transport system as good as Berlin's, but I'd not hold your breath whilst they think about it.
Depending on the time you have in Berlin, it’s almost certainly best to buy a tageskart – day ticket – which are available from the machines found at all U-Bahn and some tram stations (usually cash only, sometimes coins only) or ticket offices at all manned stations. Berlin is divided into three zones: zone A is within the ring of the S41/S42 S-Bahn which encircles the city centre; you can reach 9 of the 14 brewpubs and almost all of the recommended bars with just a zone A ticket. Zone B covers most of the outer suburbs and for a day's scooping within Berlin this is the only ticket you’ll need, although note that Schönefeld is (just) in Zone C.
Zone C covers Berlin's outer districts and Potsdam but if it’s your first time in the city it’s doubtful you’ll have capacity for scooping the brewpubs there too! If you're there longer than 3 days, or there are two of you and you're there on a weekend, a 7-tage-karte - also known as the Umweltkarte - is the ticket of choice; the holder can take an additional adult (and up to three children aged 6 to 14) with them on weekends for free which could save you money depending on your length of stay. Prices are reasonable, despite the pound's collapse, with a zone AB tageskart being €6.10 and a weekly Umweltkarte being €32.30 for zones ABC. Day tickets are valid until 03:00 the following morning for the desperate amongst you, although the weekly tickets blow up at midnight on the 7th day.
Tickets are valid on all BVG transport – U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus, tram and also (I think) DB (German railway) local trains, although you’ll probably never need to use these, plus there are even ferries you can use! Maps are available on BVG’s excellent website where you can get network maps for the Straßenbahn (tram), Metronetz (the whole network) or even plans of individual stations – ideal for plotting routes to brewpubs! Maps are also available from BVG kiosks at U-Bahn stations for free and are clear, easy to read and easily available. In addition, U-Bahn stations sometimes have a huge streetmap covering the whole city where you can see how the whole thing joins together with road layouts; overall I’ve not a bad word to say about BVG - just watch out for plain-clothes ticket inspectors…!
To plan moves in Berlin, use this link, type the name of the station you want into the Bhf/Haltestelle box then click the "Haltestelle finden" button. From the resulting map click on the required stop and then the "Standortplan" button in the list which appears.
As can be expected from a capital city of a large country Berlin has some dodgy areas but, as with most other cities, you’ll rarely have reason to venture into them – and certainly not whilst scooping beer! Berliners are a friendly, down-to-earth people who seem to enjoy life and we had nothing but warm welcomes wherever we went in the city; I speak a little German and almost everyone will help you out if you make an effort, although some may be a little put out if you don’t at least try to master please (bitte) and thank you (danke).
Table service is almost universal so just sit tight and someone will arrive eventually; to get the bill try “Zahlen, bitte” which means “I’ll pay, please”. Menus are sometimes in English but all guidebooks have some sort of menu translator (of varying degrees of usefulness) and, once you get the hang of it, German isn’t that difficult to master – after all, a lot of our own language has it’s roots in German; It’s always a good laugh when some xenophobic moronic Sun-reader starts spouting off about our “Anglo-Saxon” culture – just remind him Angles come from Denmark and Saxonia is in Germany…
ATM's are plentiful and speak English (I’ve still not got over that Tallinn episode…) and Visa cards are widely accepted although some machines don't accept Visa: check the symbols. To get a decent spread of note denominations out of ATM’s try and ask for amounts such as €90 which will ensure you’re not saddled with a hard-to-break €100 note. Most bars prefer cash unless you’re indulging in more than a single round and probably won't appreciate a €50 note for a single beer (change these in supermarkets!). Tipping isn’t expected although it is always appreciated – we didn’t encounter a single instance of a waiter trying to “round up” the bill as we’ve seen almost everywhere else – so if you get good service then a Euro or two wouldn’t go amiss.
When to go? Summer can be hot and sticky yet winter harsh – minus five is not unusual during January and snow is common in the region. Personally, I love to visit Germany in late November when the weather, although usually grey and dull, hasn’t become too cold and the Christmas markets are starting up with their excellent food and marzipan; visiting in the depths of winter can be an amazing experience but it all depends if you like snow or not! Spring can be relentlessly grey and cold, but the lengthening days can repay you with far more time for exploration or even seeing the pubs in daylight!
German food is great if you’re a meat eater; almost every dish seems to have some part of a pig in it somewhere and portions are universally large and quality high, especially in brewpubs, putting almost all pubs in the UK to shame. Veggies are in for a hard time, however, as even “ohne fleisch” (without meat) dishes may contain bits of ham or be cooked in animal fats: vegetarianism in Germany has had a bad press in the past due to a certain Adolf Hitler who stood great stead by his vegetarian diet. If you’re a meat lover then try a schweinehaxe, the roasted knuckle (knee) of pig which is tasty and, usually, enormous and I promise you’ll never look at a pig’s leg in the same way again.
Around the time of Christmas markets, look out for Grünkohl (curly kale) with Bratkartoffeln (sliced potatoes cooked in duck fat with bacon and onions) served with sausage which, as a combination, is hard to beat. Bratwurst is popular but nowhere near as good as the Nürnberg-made ones although the novelty half-metre versions should be tried for novelty value! Dampfnudel is a steamed pudding served with vanillary custard and a choice of sauces such as kirchen (cherry). Currywurst is a Berlin speciality and varies from a simple bratwurst smothered in ketchup and curry powder to specially-made sausages with dubiously yellow insides, but it should be sampled at least once to immerse into the city's lifestyle!
East Berlin is a good hunting ground for cheap hotels and is nearer to all the interesting parts of the city such as Alexanderplatz, the East-side gallery, Nikolaiviertel, Unter den Linden and many more, whilst if you're stuck out in the west you're near nothing on interest whatsoever! We stayed at the Best Western City Ost which is a new and modern hotel with comfortable rooms and, if you get one of the good advance deals, can be great value at around £35 a night room-only. Breakfast is overpriced and best flagged in favour of the bakery a few doors away where delicious bread and savouries can be bought for very little money; try the Zwiebelbrot (onion bread)! The hotel is literally next to Samariterstraße U5 station (take the country-bound exit and take the left-hand stairs) which runs 24-hours a day.
Another option is the nearby Tulip Berlin Frankfurter Tor which used to be a Mercure and is only 100 metres further out of town from Samariterstrasse U5.
Another option is to stay in Spandau at the Brauhaus itself – the prices, however, are a bit steep considering the location (a good way out of town) although I’ve heard the rooms are good. Apart from this, there are loads of hotels in Berlin, as you’d expect – have a look at the Rough Guide to choose one.
Brewpubs and brewery taps.
My Berlin Google map is here...
Bräuhaus Bohnsdorf, Buntzelstrasse 89, Bohnsdorf. Open 12:00 onwards daily. ()
Recently-opened brewpub in a small village by Schönefeld airport. Small, sociable and family-run by the looks of things, the brewery is in the cellar and produces some rustic beers which aren't really worth going out of your way for but, if you're desperate, it's only a short bus ride from the airport S-Bahn station.
The closest station is Altglienicke S-Bahn (S9, S45) although it's a 10-minute walk from there along a straight road into the village. Climb the footbridge steps, turn right onto the bridge, then right at the end onto a path which bears left and turns into a long, straight road. Go over two crossroads and you'll find Buntzelstrasse at the next where you turn left and the brewpub is on your right just past the fork in the road. Bus 163 stops a few minutes away on Buntzelstrasse, runs every 20 minutes, and links Schönefeld and Grünau S-Bahn stations meaning you don't have to walk from Altglienicke!
Brauhaus in Rixdorf, Glasowerstraße 27, Neukölln. 12:00-01:00 Tue-Sat; 10:00-23:00 Sun. ()
Serves a Helles and Dunkel, both very average, and occasional specials. One of the oldest Brauhaus in Berlin but not really worth the visit unless you’re desperate. Situated in the owner’s house of a former ironworks.
From Hermanstraße U-bahn station (southern terminus of line U8) walk south along Hermanstraße, cross Silbersteinstraße, and then left-ish into Delbrückstraße (via Heustraße, it’s a funny junction!). Walk along here for about 150 metres and you’ll see the large pub, through a carpark, next to a chimney; only ten minutes walk maximum.
Brauhaus in Spandau, Neuendorfer Straße 1, Spandau. Mon 16:00-24:00, Tue-Thu 11:00-24:00, Fri/Sat 11:00-01:00, Sun 10:00-24:00. ()
Established in 1994 so one of the oldest Brauhaus in town and a nice trip out from the centre. Serves 2 beers, Havelbrau hell and a seasonal which are fairly good, although whether you'd consider the 45-minute trek out there worth it is for you to decide; there's better beer in the centre of Berlin.
Take U7 to the last but one stop at it’s northern end, Altstadt Spandau. Exit onto the main shopping street (Carl-Schurz-Straße), turn left, and cross the busy main road 50 metres ahead. Head for the chimney you can see through the trees just over the river – this is the brewpub in the old barracks laundry and once you see it you’re not far off. There are rooms for let at reasonable rates but note it's a long way out of town.
Brauhaus Lemke am Schloss (ex-Luisenbräu), Luisenplatz 1, Charlottenburg. 09:00-01:00 (02:00 Fri & Sat). ()
Bräuhaus set next to the Charlottenburg gardens out in the west of the city. It’s a large building on the corner facing the schloss with a canteen-style self-service food operation and large copper brewplant to the right. As the bar is now under Lemke's ownership I don't know if they still brew here although I've heard they do from Richard Nash and John Holland. As you exit Richard Wagner Platz U7 station there is a bar with 12 draught beers (NOT the one called Beerpub 3!) if you’re feeling desperate, but nothing that exciting was on when we visited.
Take U7 to Richard Wagner Platz. You can either walk left down the busy Otto-Suhr-Allee and then Luisenbrau is on the right by the large crossroads, or take bus 145 2 stops towards the Schloß (left) and get off by the crossroads described above; it's only about 400 metres from U-Bahn to the door, so it’s not that far really. One of the Tegel airport buses (109) stops right outside the front door and it’s a better option than the TXL bus from Alexanderplatz which, if you’ve done it, you’ll know takes bloody ages.
Bräuhaus Mitte, Karl-Leibknecht-Straße 13. 11:00-24:00 daily. ()
Large place in the top floor of the Carré shopping centre, enter either via there or (easier) up the steps off Karl-Leibknecht-Strasse. Serves 4 beers; Pils, Dunkel, Weizen and a seasonal, although it's not clear if these are from here or Lemkes which is under the same ownership (although the Märzen tasted quite different in each bar); sitting in a shopping centre scooping is undoubtedly a strange drinking experience.
From Alexanderplatz walk along Gontardstraße (follow the tramlines) towards Karl-Leibknecht-Straße and you’ll see the bar in the shopping centre ahead. It's on a level with the railway so you can’t miss in coming into Alexanderplatz from the west and gives a great vantage point of the comings and goings along the S-Bahn lines.
Bräuhaus Südstern, 69 Hasenheide. Open M-F 17:00, Sat 14:00, Sun 10:00. ()
Opened 10th December 2005 as the new incarnation of the old Braams brewpub with the brewer being Thorsten Schoppe of Schoppe Bräu fame. A long, rustically-decorated place with a small brewplant at the front. Has recently (Feb 09) brewed the world's strongest beer at 27.6%!
From Sudstern Station on U7 head down the dual carriageway (Hasenheide) heading away from the big brick church and the bar is about 100 metres on your right.
Bräustubl Berliner Bürgerbräu, Müggelseedamm 164, Friedrichshagen. Tue-Sat 12:00-0:00 Sun 11:00-0:00, closed Mondays. ()
** This brewery is rumoured to have closed - reports please! **
The brewery tap of the excellent Berliner Bürgerbräu brewery (the smallest and most traditional of Berlin’s remaining GDR breweries) which is situated behind the pub; this place seems to be from a forgotten age of decadence. Serves all the beers in superb condition and you don’t get much better examples of German beers than these – the Rotkehlchen and schwarzbier in particular were excellent. It's a bit of a trek out but well worth it with both beer and food being very good.
The easiest way to get here is to take S-Bahn 3 east to Friedrichshagen then tram 60 (61 doesn’t go there) 3 stops to Muggelseedaam/Bolschestraße from where the brewery and tap is right in front of you. Alternately, from Schloßplatz Köpenick take trams 60 or 61 to Muggelseedaam/Bolschestraße – about 12 stops. (Be aware 60 and 61 run different ways through this stop so get a Straßenbahn map first!).
Brewbaker, S-Bahnbogen (railway arch) 415, Flensburger Straße, Tiergarten. 17:00 (16:00 Sat/Sun)-23:00. ()
Similar to Lemkes (it’s in a railway arch) situated just west of Bellevue station. The tiny brewplant visible in the window brews specials all year round and they don't stick to the ludicrous purity law, preferring to experiment with impressive results. The food is good, the rumbling S-Bahn trains give a surreal atmosphere, and all said it's one of my favourite Berlin brewpubs with some of the best beers in town.
Take the S-Bahn to Bellevue, exit station, turn left and cross the road (Bartningallee). Walk beside the north of the arches along Flensburger Straße and you’ll see the brewplant in the 6th arch.
Eschenbräu, Triftstraße 67, Wedding. 17:00 onwards Mon-Fri, 19:00 onwards Sat/Sun. ()
As has been said to me a few times, this is an unusual place. A vaguely "alternative" venue in the inner courtyard of a large block of Stalinist flats with the brewery visible through large windows above. A small cellar-bar serves as the brewery tap and has the usual 3 regular beers on sale – Pils, Dunkel and Weiss – plus a monthly special. A way from the other bars but worth the trip.
From Leopoldplatz U-Bahn (U6 and U9 interchange) walk down Luxemburgerstraße for 50 metres and turn left into Genterstraße. Continue down here until the end where the aforementioned block of flats is located; head round the right-hand side, through a kind of garden, then turn left into the courtyard following the signs and you’ll see the brewery on your right at eye-level with the bar is down the steps below; it’s easier to find than it sounds.
Georgbræu, Spreeufer 4, Mitte. From 10:00 daily (12:00 January-March). ()
Opposite the library and on the banks of the Spree serving reasonably good beers with a very malty character; Helles, Dunkel and occasional seasonals available. The food is pretty good too although at tourist prices, we recommend the stuffed cabbage!
From Alexanderplatz, take tram M4, M5 or M6 (going towards the city) 1 stop to Spandauerstraße. Walk down Spandauerstraße past Marx-Engels platz and turn right at the red rathaus into Rathausstraße then left into Spreeufer – the pub is 50 metres on the left. About 10 minutes from Alexanderplatz and near some other half-decent bars too.
Hops & Barley, Wühlischstraße 38, Friedrichshain. Open 17:00-02:00 daily. ()
"No beer for Nazis" says the website and hopefully none will venture into this small and cosy new brewpub with a very enlightened beer policy of totally ignoring the Rheinheitsgebot! A dark ale (top fermented) and Bernstein dark lager were on during our visit and the brewer even brought free samples over to us to try! Overall a great addition the the Berlin beer scene, handy for the hotels on Frankfurter Allee, and some of the best beer in town.
Out East, just south of Karl-Marx Alle, this place is easily walkable from Samariterstrasse on U5 or, alternately, take tram M13 to Wühlischstraße/Gartnerstraße where it stops literally outside.
Lemkes Spezialitanbrauerei, S-Bahnbogen (railway arch) 143, Dircksenstraße. Open from 12:00. ()
Interesting place with the tiny brewing kit on the right-hand wall as you enter. Usually has four beers on at a time, all characterful and full of flavour, particularly the Pils. Food is excellent, especially the Haxe which was the best I had all week - I’ll never look at a pig’s leg the same way again that’s for sure. Now occupies two arches and the beers are still as good quality as before. The owner also runs Mitte and Lemkes Charlottenburg so I don't know if all beers are brewed in each place; if you get any gen, let me know please!
From S-bahn Hackescher Markt, exit station and turn right into Dircksenstraße. Cross the road and Lemke is in the 4-5th arch on your right – you can’t miss it! 5 minutes' walk maximum even if you’re fat and lazy (like me).
Lindenbrau, Sony Center, Bellevuestraße 3-5 (off Potsdamer Platz). 11:00-01:00 (02:30 Fri/Sat). ()
A most unusual place for a brewpub, right in the middle of cutting-edge capitalism. Situated in the futuristic (and strangely-roofed) Sony centre just behind the U-Bahn station on the far side as you walk in. The brewpub has the world’s only silver copper for reason unknown from which it produces one beer, the Hefe-Weiss, which is very good if you like wheat beers, and also serves beers from the owning company Traunstein of Bavaria. Brews 4 times a week and smells gorgeous when it does.
Take U2/S1/S2 to Potsdamer Platz and the Sony centre is obvious. Within 5 minutes of the site of Hitler’s bunker, a remaining stretch of the wall and various other tourist sites if you’re trying to fit some history into your Berlin beer tour (which you should).
Marcus-Bräu, Münzstraße 1-3. 11:00-03:00 Mon-Fri, 16:00-03:00 Sat-Sun. ()
Even smaller than Lemkes, this tiny place has it’s cute little copper brewkit displayed in the front window. Serves a Pils and Dunkel (average to good) and, sometimes, specials. Sells fish & chips for some obscure reason we couldn’t work out but the beer is only average. The brewer apparently doesn’t abide by the Rheinheitsgebot but specials aren’t on often.
Leave Lemke (above), carry on down Dircksenstraße towards Alexanderplatz. Turn left into Rochstraße and first right into Münzstraße, pub is 100 metres on the right.
Schloßplatz Brauerei Köpenick, Schloßplatz, Köpenick. Daily 12:00 – 23:00. ()
This is one strange place: a tiny building in the middle of Köpenick’s town square looking like a tourist information kiosk complete with a tiny brewkit inside; it’s not the usual kind of place you’d expect to have a brewery installed – or to be a pub, really! Brews Helles and Dunkel (both decent) plus increasingly interesting specials. An experience not to be missed, and Köpenick itself is a very attractive place with plenty of impressive buildings and much water surrounding the centre.
It’s quite a trek out of the centre but worth it. The easiest way is to take S47 to it’s eastern terminus at Spindlersfeld (a logical next move from Rixdorf) and then tram 60 or 61 forwards to Schloßplatz Köpenick – the second stop. Get off the tram and walk into the middle of the square and that little shack that looks like a tourist information office is in fact the brewpub… and the strangest one I’ve ever seen. Alternatively, take S3 (destination Erkner) to Köpenick and from just down the road catch tram 60 or 61 to Rathaus Köpenick and it's just around the corner.
Schalander, Bänschstraße 91, 10247 Friedrichshain. Open 12:00 daily.
Brand-new brewpub, yet another in Friedrichshain, which we've not yet visited. Apparently the brewer is ex-Brewbaker.
Not far from Frankfurter Allee station on U5.
Beware! There is a fake brewpub at the new Hauptbahnhof called Hopfingerbräu; it is situated on the first upper floor of the station which is on the site of the old Lehrter Bahnhof. That was the last stop in the West before Friedrichstrasse so is a handy crossing point to Check Point Charlie and hence to Alexanderplatz and other beery delights in that direction. It's owned by Traunstein and the beer comes from them and Lindenbrau in the Sony Centre. Thanks to Peter Alexander for the gen!
Alkopole, Alexanderplatz S-bahn station, near the U-bahn escalators. ()
Cosy little bar with 6 draught beers including Kindl brews (now from Schultheiss, obviously) and Kulmbacher Weiß and Schwarzbier alongside some more usual stuff. Worth remembering if you’ve 15 minutes to spare or need a quick slash – the toilets are free if you’re drinking! Has a bizarre little seat right next to the bar, it’s actually built into it and you use the bar as a table...
Right by the U-Bahn escalators at the East end of the station built into an arch.
Alt-Berliner Weißbierstube, Rathausstraße 21, Mitte. Daily 11:00-24:00.
Supposedly a re-creation of a traditional Berlin bar, this place looked far too pretentious for us to venture inside! Apparently they make a big thing out of Berliner Weiss, mainly with schuss for some reason, although I'm told you can have it ohne schuss if you really want!
Find the "Rotes Rathaus" just down Rathausstraße from Alexanderplatz and this place is just over Spandaurestraße heading towards Georgbraeu.
Aufsturz, Oranienburger Straße 67, Mitte. 12:00-02:00 daily. ()
Studenty pub which has an above-average bottled beer list including some half-decent Belgian beers alongside the wide range of German scoops including Lausitzer Porter. Much better than the awful "house of 100 beers" near Potsdamerplatz and the food is decent, too, making an evening in here and the brewpubs around Mitte an attractive night out.
Take tram M1/M6 to Oranienburgerstraße (NOT the Ubahn, this is a longer walk!) and this bar is right by the stop, or alternately S-Bahn S1/S2 to find the bar close by the exit. Has a large beer list of 100 or so bottled beers from Germany and beyond with some fairly good selections although Heineken is the only draught beer for some bizarre reason! The bottled menu is worth a trip plus it’s close to the clutch of brewpubs (Lemke, Mitte and Marcusbräu) around Alexanderplatz.
Sophien’eck, Grosse Hamburger Straße 37, Mitte. Daily from 12:00. ()
Historic old place which has been many things including a bakery and coffin warehouse before becoming a bar. Serves good food until late and Schultheiss beers including the Schwarz and bottled Schultheiss Berliner Weiss which can be had without schuss if you ask nicely! In an interesting area with strong Jewish connections.
Take S-Bahn S1 or S25 (or trams M1/M6) to Oranienburgerstraße then walk north along Tucholskystraße and turn right into Auguststraße. The pub is about 200 metres on the right on the corner of Grosse Hamburger Straße and is fairly obvious. Recommended for food and Berliner Weiss!
Zum Nußbaum, Am Nußbaum 3, Nikolaiviertel. Daily 12:00-24:00.
Another re-creation by the DDR in Nikolaiviertel, opposite the huge twin-steepled church so you can’t really miss it. A recreation of a famous old pub from Alt-Cölln with small rooms and limited space inside although we didn’t actually enter the place so can’t confirm this! Sells Berliner Weiss which is a recommendation if one is needed to stick your head through the door.
Opposite the former Nikolaiviertel church.
Zur Letzen Instanz, Waisenstraße 14-16, Mitte. Daily 12:00-24:00. ()
Dating from 1621 this is Berlin’s oldest surviving pub. An excellent interior which is aimed a bit at tourists visiting the nearby Nikolaiviertel area but still hidden well enough to be quiet. The food looked good but is expensive as is the beer, although the list includes the excellent Bürgerbräu Rotkelchen on draught which is worth the trip in itself.
Take U2 to Klosterstraße and the pub is right behind the church nearby at the end of Parochialstraße. Only a few minutes from the U-Bahn if you’re lucky enough to find it!
Alter Fritz, Karolinenstraße 12, Tegel. Mon-Thu 16:00-01:00, Fri 16:00-02:00, Sat 11:00-02:00, Sun 11:00-01:00. ()
** Reported as ceased brewing late 2008 by the German beer guide **
Parts of this old inn date back to 1410 although you’d never guess. Seems like it’s way out in the wilds of the Tegeler forest although, in reality, its only 1km from Alt-Tegel and civilisation. As you enter the brewery is on the left, the bar to the right. Serves Kupfer and Messing (helles and dunkel) and a special which is either weissbier or bock on rotation with the beers having a strange wild yeast taste not unlike Gose or Lambic! Part of the Albrecht chain of brewpubs.
Take U6 to it’s northern terminus at Alt-Tegel. From outside the U-Bahn station, take bus 124, 133 or 222 2 stops to Heiligenseestraße/Ruppiner Chaussee – you pass the pub on the sharp bend just before the stops (124 serves a different stop than the others here). Buses run every 20 minutes until late. A long way north from the centre of town and for completists only! You can also take S25 to Tegel but it’s an extra stop on the bus and the trains are less frequent.
Franziskushof Stuben, Wilmersdorfer Straße 95, Charlottenburg.
** Reported as ceased brewing late 2008 by the German beer guide **
Is apparently something to do with a religious order... it opens from 11:00 every day although brewing has apparently been suspended for now. Richard Nash reported it brewing in Feb 08 "Confirmed by 2 different members of staff who quoted a start date of October 2006. There was clear evidence of brewing have taken place quite recently. The brew plant was supplied by the same Austrian company as Kopenick.. Two beers available Thaddaeus Brau Helles and Dunkel - both very good". Sadly, it looks like it's gone for good...
Bier-Spezialitäten-Laden, Karl-Marx-Allee 56, Freidrichshain. Open Mon-Fri 10:00-19:30; Sat 10:00-14:30, closed Sun.
A bizarre place, this! A beer shop which sells over 200 types of German beer from breweries large and small including all of the main types at reasonable prices. The owner speaks some English and is sociable enough, but it's the crowd of slightly dodgy-looking skinhead locals who drink inside and out that is the most unusual thing about this shop... The rear part of the shop contains foreign beers such as some of the commoner Belgian and American brews, but it'll be the German stuff you're here for and there's no shortage of winners!
Strausbergerplatz U5 station; take the city end steps and head left.
When you come out into daylight the shop is on your left next to the U-Bahn
Ambrosetti, Schillerstrasse 103, Charlottenburg. Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-13:00.
Apparently a decent beer shop with some rare stuff on sale.
Close to the Deutsche Oper stop on U2.
Bier der Welt, Schnellerstraße 21, Niederschöneweide.
We didn't visit, but apparently it sells lots of rare beers e.g; Ritter Kahlbutz Starkbier porter!
On G floor of the Zentrum shopping centre outside Schöneweide S-bahn station served by S8/9/45/46/47/85.
We also checked out the ex-brewpub Bier Company at Schwedterstraße 18 but it’s definitely closed and nothing remains inside the building. To save anyone a long wasted trip up north, Schoppe Bräu is/was a homebrew outfit owned by Thorsten Schoppe who also runs Brauhaus Südstern so now makes his beer there.
There's a good chocolate shop on Wilmersdorferstr. close to Charlottenburg S-bahn and Wilmersdorfer U-bahn stations; called Lina Krokant, they also have a branch in town (Mitte) called the Splendid Kaffeehaus at Mittelstraße 5-6. They do ice cream too, and the chilli is recommended by Helen! It's only €1 a scoop, too!
Thanks to many people who helped with gen including Chris Fudge, Paul Harrop, Ron Pattinson and Richard Nash plus others who have sent me corrections and gen; thanks a lot!
© Gazza 05/04/2009 v1.1