Sure, we could walk up to the Tilsiter Liechtspiele. But we had already spent the day walking around the parks and streets, som a swift tram ride was a good alternative. The old tram network of East Berlin has been refurbished with comfortable and speedy trams. My friend Arve and I left our families back at the hotel to go exploring in the Richard-Sorge-Straße.
Our destination has quite a history. A cinema established in 1908, closed in 1961, the year the Berlin Wall was built. It was reopened in 1994 – with a bar – a Kneipe – in the lobby. Read the fascinating story on their web pages. There is even a potted history on the Tilsiter name; there is more to it than cheese.
The bar is very welcoming, it still has the feel of a pre WW2 cinema lobby. Local, yet welcoming, easy to get talking to the locals. Memorabilia on the walls, a 1938 photo is available as a poster or postcard. The cinema is very much of the arty typs, showing documentaries and foreign films in the original language with German subtitles. Even silent movies with live music.
For the last three years the manager has been brewing his own beers. Regularly available is the Tilsiter Hell Unfiltriert, but there might also be a Schwarzbier or a Prassnik Pils Unfiltriert on tap. The Helles is on right now, a no-nonsense beer suitable for a no-nonsense bar. Unfiltered grain goodness, hops being allowed to play out, the yeast giving a soft kiss without being intrusive. Full body, lots of flavour, grassy hops. Sometimes the best beer you can imagine is just a fresh unpasteurized lager where all the raw materials are allowed to play.
An extra bonus is that this is a micro brewery that has not been entered in any beer database, guide-book or web site beforehand. It’s like being the first
trainspotter bird watcher to document a new species.
When I look at the map to geo tag this, I see that the next street is called An der Brauerei. This is obviously not the first brewery on the block.