As my regular readers know, I have a particular fascination for Berlin. A city for all seasons, a city for contemplation and for amusement. A city where I can get by with my rusty German. The beery delights may not be as evident to the casual observer as in other German cities, but they are there.
A guidebook to the brews and bars of Berlin is therefore very handy, and the format of Cogan & Mater’s Around xxx in 80 Beers is just the thing.
The author, Peter Sutcliffe, is a British civil servant with a solid knowledge of the Berlin scene, an ideal gude.
The book covers bars great and small, smoke filled Kneipen and airy beer gardens, restaurants and small stalls. The style is personal without being too private.
The concept of this series of books is a positive one, it gives recommendations without wasting space on places to stay away from. (I try to have a similar outlook in this blog) That does not mean it is uncritical, there are beers mentioned that are judged as uninteresting, too sweet etc. But there is at least one pick for every bar included.
Most of the brewpubs of the city are in there, and there is also a fine range of regional restaurants and bars offering beer from the rest of Germany. There are handy maps and indexes, and each entry has details about U-bahn stops etc. There is also a useful introduction to German beer styles and a suggested pub crawl route.
Anything missing? Well, there are a few bars in Friedricschain I have covered that could have been included. But the book is highly recommended. And I have one place I’ll seek out at the first opportunity: The Rollberg micro set up in the old Berliner Kindl brewery.