Posts Tagged ‘Berlin Bier’

Cold and dry weather had been replaced by sleet and snow, and we didn’t really have much on the agenda before returning to the hotel to pick up our baggage. We had some time to spare, but the climatic conditions did not invite to find another cozy old inn at the end of an alley in the Nicolaivirtel.

The nearest option was a large establishment decorated in blue and white. The Berlin outpost of the famous Munich Hofbräuhaus, a stone’s throw from the Alexanderplatz at Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse.

This is a huge place, very quiet in mid-afternoon. A huge menu, not surprisingly with a pork bias. Eight beers on tap, plus a seasonal if you’re lucky.

Staff dressed up in Bavarian costumes, wooden benches and tables. Taped yodel and polkas when I was there, but there is live music every night.

This is probably crammed with stag parties and buses of tourists during hight season. Wikipedia tells me there are dozens of Hofbräu franchises around the globe, the one in Berlin one of the newest. Think McDonalds for adults.  And I suppose you are supposed to sing along, at least after midnight.

But the beer is good. Better than the standard Berlin beers. And there is outside seating when the weather allows.

Don’t miss the souvenir shop. I’m sure many have bought stuff there they have regretted when sobering up. But the rubber ducks in dirndl are awesome.


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In addition to the Berlin U-bahn, which is an underground network, there is also the S-bahn, which in the central areas of the city is elevated above street level, giving splendid views . Well, there is not much time to enjoy the view from Hauptbahnhof to Bellevue, it’s the next stop. Cross the bridge and walk up a short street, and you find the Berlin Bier Shop.

Bier jenseits des Mainstreams is the motto on their web page. Sure, you can stock up on all the bocks, helles, pils etc.  you’d want. But the reason to go here is for the more sophisticated stuff.
They cater for two types of customers: Germans who want interesting imports and tourists who want interesting German beers.  The imports include the big names from Denmark and the US.  Mikkeller sells well, the customers have often visited Copenhagen and know the price level. Slightly lower alcohol taxes and VAT equals more or less the cost of distribution, meaning you pay more or less the same for a bottle of Mikkeller as you would in Denmark. Students from the brewing college are eager to get new stuff coming in, particularly on-offs like the new yeast series.
For foreign visitors you are able to get some real treats. New beers from Berlin gypsy brewer Schoppe Bräu. Craft beers from the Czech Republic. I had some serious problems making up my mind. My suitcase was already bulging, and I knew I was in for a scolding from the Lufthansa check-in staff.
But I could not resist a barrel aged dark Gose. And a Berliner Weisse brewed with smoked malt. How is that for innovation?

Friendly and polite service. Once again my apologies for my German. The vocabulary is coming along fine, thank you. But the nuances of grammar and the use of the polite Sie instead of du leaves a lot to be desired. Other visitors don’t need to worry. They even use English on their web pages.

This is a must stop on a Berlin beer tour. A serious beer shop. Like Johnny’s Off Licence in Rome or Ølbutikken in Copenhagen.


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