It is a warm afternoon, and I have a few hours before departing for the airport, and, thanks to Berlin’s excellent public transport system and the Good Beer Guide to Germany, I have found my way to the Südstern brewpub on the Southeastern side of town, only a few U-bahn stops from the centre.
This is on the fringes of the old Bohemian quarter, with second hand record stores manned with Mohawks as well as little old ladies drinking their steins of Pilsener in the heat.
After a few brief minutes of getting myself oriented, I arrive at the Südstern and is met by a lovely smell of malt drifting out from the open doors onto the terrace in front. I find myself a table and soon have a glass of each of their regular beers, the Heller Stern and the Dunkler Stern.
The Helles is a hoppy and aromatic variety of the style, with both rain and an orange-like fruitiness. Very decent.
The Dunkel is a chewy and malty brew with lots of flavour. Quite sweet, but there is a nice bitterness that turns up in the long finish.
A man walks over and enquires about my notebook, and I explain in my rusty German that I am a beer blogger. He is slightly more understanding than the ones I met at the Kneipe the other night, and tells me to ask if there is anything I need. He makes sure the service is very attentive for the rest of my stay.
I feel a wish for a snack, and iI discover an Alsatian speciality I haven’t had since I was in Strasbourg circa 1988, Flammenkuche. I also ask for their EM-pils, especially brewed for the European Soccer championship. There is a lot of staff mingling around, and I am told they expect a full house for the game later that night. I don’t intend to stay, but the beer is lovely, and so is the Alsatian pie, a relative of the pizza, but without cheese, just some crisp bacon, spring onions and a little creme fraiche on top of a thin crispy crust. Another beery dish I’d forgotten about.
I have a look around in the pleasant pub. There is a stage for live music (and, presumably, the soccer). There are outdoor tables in the back, too, opening on the park in case you want a more quiet outdoor experience. The brewing equipment is partly in the pub, partly visible through windows in the floor. To top up there is a fine menu, there are a few obscure bottled beers, focusing on organic beers.
This is a gem well worth a detour if you have a few hours to spare in Berlin. But the lady in the logo was nowhere to be seen. Maybe she works the evening shift?