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Archive for October 11th, 2011

Berlin is a green city, with large areas of parkland and broad avenues. Most of the houses are low. This means that you have a sprawling city,and getting from one end to another might take some time. Luckily there is an excellent public transport system. 20 minutes from downtown Potzdamer Platz I was ready for tram line 27 to take me the final leg to the Southeastern suburb of Köpenick.

I’m sure there is plenty to see in this lakeside town that has been gobbled up by Berlin, but that will have to wait for another time. Right on my tram stop – in the bottom right corner of my printout of the tram system-  was the castle square and the Schlossplatzbrauerei.

According to the signs, this is Germany’s smallest brewery (though it looked bigger than Brewbaker to me). Dusk was approaching, but it was a mellow evening for the season. I did not mind that as all, as the small kiosk-like pub was filled with smokers, so the outside tables were more tempting.

Fast and friendly table service, and I started with their regulars, a Helles and a Dunkel.

The Helles had a nice bead crust home brew feel, combined with a crisp citrus sting. Slightly spicy, too – white pepper. The Dunkel had coffee and chocolate bisquits. Dark rye bread, cinnamon and cloves. On the sweet side, as the dark beers tend to be around there, but not in any way sticky.

I asked for the Rauchbier, which was hazy dark brown in the glass. A lovely bacon smokiness and a fine malty body. The aroma and the first sip were more smokey than the flavour deeper in the glass. My favourite of the lot.

Their Bock was easy drinking and a bit anonymous. Well balanced, a wee hint of smoke and discreet hops. I did not finish the Kirsch-Chili beer. Sweet fruit, like the more commercial Belgian fruit brews – then a nice chili warming creeping in. Top marks for being inventive, but it is mostly a gimmick.

Time to find the stop from my tram back into the more central parts of Berlin – careful reading of the timetables had showed me that the hotel was on the same line, about thirty minutes away.

In German and the Scandinavian languages, a Köpenickiade is another word for a scam, named after an impostor about a century ago. Don’t worry, there is nothing untrustworthy about this little gem of a brewery as far as I can tell. And I’ve seen many of them. This is well worth a detour, and you should probably make a day of it. There are a few more bars in the Around Berlin in 80 beers book that you could explore, too, and there are probably more hidden gems to be found.

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