Entschuldigung, but why do you photograph your beer?
One of the local heroes has discovered a newcomer who is not even following The Netherlands trashing Romania up on the screen.
The stranger has a distinct feeling the long day is catching up with him, and he stumbles over the German words. He tries another language.
Ich verstehe keine English.
Well, then. I think I manage to get across that I write about beer from different countries on the Internet, illustrated with lavish photos. The conversation grinds to a halt. The local might be a bit drunk and worse for wear, but this foreigner must be totally verrückt.
The small pub is a few blocks from my hotel in Steglitz, Southwestern Berlin. The beer range is limited, and after sampling a Berliner Kindl, served following the 7-minute-rule, and a Pilsator, also on tap, I round off my participant obervation by asking the waitress which brewery the Pilsator comes from. She doesn’t know and neither do any of the guests. I get the point that beers are to be drunk, not photographed or discussed. Time for me to pay my bill and stroll a bit further.
My last stop for the night is, of all things, a New Zealand pub with the owner behind the bar. He claims that this area of town has gone seriously downhill, and that I should be careful on the streets here. The Kneipe I’ve just visited is a place that is particularly to be avoided. I try a small glass of a Czech Dunkel from the Breznak brewery, which is on the sweet side, but otherwise very decent. The bar owner tells me he also imports a range of beers from New Zealand, and that the place is filled up whenever there are sporting events where the Kiwis take part. I try one of his beers, Monteiths Original Ale. Rather malty, but on the whole thin and watery. I decide that I am not in the condition to appreciate any more beers and bid my farewell.