Tag Archives: Berlin

Back from Berlin

I recently came back from a trip to Berlin, and of course I had to make my obligatory stop at Berlin Bier Shop. From there I bought the following 11 bottles (all but one a German microbrew):

BrauKunstKeller 4-Pack (containing their Amarsi IPA, Mandarina IPA and White House Honey Beer), Hopfenstopfer Comet IPA, Bayrisch Pale Ale, Bavaria’s Best Imperial Stout, Bavaria’s Best IPA, Camba Hop Gun, Camba Ei Pi Ai and Widmer Brothers Nelson Imperial IPA.

I had planned to take them all home, but do to space limitations in the bag, I had the Bavaria’s Best IPA and Bayerisch Pale Ale at the hotel. I’ve had the IPA earlier, and I must say it was as tasty as I remembered. Loads of resiny hoppiness coupled with a malty backbone. Fans of bone-dry West Coast IPAs will find this too sweet and caramelly, but I found it really enjoyable. The Pale Ale was nice as well, featuring a firm bitterness and great fruity and spicy hop tones from the Hallertauer Mandarina hops. Both bottles were really fresh as well (under two months old I assume, based on the BBE), so I really recommend you try them out if you have the chance!

While I was at Galleria Kaufhof I spotted a cooler with Braufactum beer, and decided to buy home one bottle each of Firestone Walker’s Pale 31 and Double Jack (both relatively fresh, being bottled in February). Again, due to space limitations, I had the Pale 31 at the hotel, and it was as good as ever. Definitely my favorite APA out there.

During the trip we also visited Hops & Barley, a brewpub in Friedrichshain. I’ve walked by several times during my previous trips to Berlin, but it has always been closed (it opens at 5PM, and I’ve always been there during the afternoon). Now it was finally time to try out their beers (which I’ve heard are some of the best in Berlin).

We ordered in one glass of everything they had on tap, i.e. their regulars Pilsner, Dunkles and Weizen, their changing special, which now was a Demminer Export, and their Apple Cider.

The quality of all the beers was high, and I especially liked their Dunkles, which featured a chocolately and roasted aroma, coupled with a light, but flavorful body.

Their Pilsner was good as well, with a nice bitterness,crisp body and grassy aromy. The Demminer Export was quite similar to the Pilsner, being perhaps slightly maltier and less bitter. This was my least favorite of the beers.

Their Weizen was quite a typical Hefeweizen, featuring banana and clove aromas and a nice drinkability.

I was even pleasantly surprised by their Cider, which I found really tasty. It featured a strong apple flavour coupled with a dry and slightly tart finish.

I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area!

Back from Berlin (again)

As mentioned in the previous post, I just came home from a one week vacation in Berlin. The Berlin trip was quite relaxing, and I both drank some good beer there and brought home a couple of bottles. I visited Das Meisterstück, BrewBaker and Berlin Bier Shop. Das Meisterstück had some Firestone Walker (my absolute favourite brewery) and Braufactum beer available, so bought a bottle each of Pale 31, Parabola and 14th Anniversary Ale from Firestone Walker and Progusta from Braufactum. From Berlin Bier Shop I bought a variety of different German microbrews, including Fritzale IPA, BrauKunstKeller Laguna IPA, BrauKunstKeller CaiPiEy, BrauKunstKeller Choco Chili Stout, Bavarias Best IPA, Hopfenstopfer Christmas Strong Ale, Camba Bavaria Nelson Sauvin Hefeweizen, Schoppe Bräu XPA and Tasty Lady (which is a Dutch beer). At Berlin Bier Shop I also had a nice chat with Rainer (the owner and a very friendly guy) and drank some Alesmith Speedway Stout with him. An incredibly complex beer, featuring tones of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate and liquorice together with a full and thick body. A very good beer and well worth the hype.

At Brewbaker I had their IPA from tap, and it was an average IPA, featuring mainly grassy bitter hop tones. Nothing spectacular, but a tasty beer without any off-flavors (which was not the case when I tried the beer from bottle a year ago). As I wasn’t able to fit that many beers in my luggage home, I drank some in the apartment we were staying in. The Pale 31 was amazing and the best American Pale Ale I’ve ever had with its lovely hop aroma, amazing balance and high drinkability. Firestone Walker hasn’t disappointed me yet. Braufactum’s Progusta was also an average IPA (brewed with Citra hops), but it lacked a bit of hop flavour and aroma. I drank it directly after the Pale 31, and even though the Pale 31 has travelled halfway around the world, it still packed more of a hop punch than the Progusta. I’ve had Fritzale’s IPA before, but the beer seems to have had a slight recipe change, since Cascade had been added to the hop bill and the IBUs had dropped to 45. This was again a tasty IPA (and definitely one of the best German IPAs I’ve had), though maybe slightly light on hop flavour. Would definitely buy again. Camba Bavaria’s Nelson Sauvin Hefeweizen was a strange brew (nothing technically wrong with it), combining a traditional Hefeweizen with Nelson Sauvin hops (Schneider is also famous for this combination). I’m not a big fan of Hefeweizens, but the Nelson Sauvin hops actually made the beer more enjoyable. Not something I would buy again, but definitely worth a try. The final beer I had in Berlin was Bavarias Best IPA. I was very pleasantly surprised with this beer, and it was the second best beer on the trip for me (after Pale 31). The beer featured a combination of a caramelly maltiness with huge resiny hop flavours and a nice bitterness. Really my kind of IPA, and it was almost bordering to Imperial IPA-territory. My favourite German IPA thus far. Definitely try if you get the chance! The brewmaster is apparently American, and he seems to know how to brew a hoppy beer.

I’ve now been to Berlin six times, and it is nice to see that the craft beer scene in Berlin has grown a little every time I come here. The markets and pubs are still dominated by the traditional beer styles, but it is nice to see new craft brewers and brew pubs popping up in the city. Berlin has so much else to offer as well (I love photographing in Berlin), and am eagerly waiting to get back there again! Rainer (from Berlin Bier Shop) mentioned that a new craft brewer has started brewing and selling his beer in Markthalle IX (a market hall in Kreuzberg), and he recommended paying a visit, but I unfortunately didn’t have time on this trip. It is probably worth checking out, and I will definitely pay a visit on my next trip!

An unrelated photograph I took during the trip at an abandoned Jugendhochschule outside of Berlin.


Back from Berlin

Back from another quick vacation in Berlin. This time I didn’t drink that much beer, but managed to make a quick trip via Berlin Bier Shop, where I picked up some German microbrews, a couple of Victory beers, and a bottle of Strawberry beer for the girlfriend. Here are the beers lined up (the last bottle to the right is actually from REWE):

Trip to Berlin

I’m just back from a great 10 day vacation in Berlin, which included everything from visiting an abandoned theme park and observing loads of street art to beer drinking and shopping. This was my third trip to Berlin in about a year, yet there is still a lot to explore in this fantastic city. I’m not a large fan of German beer in general, as I find the traditional styles a bit boring, but I decided to try some different ones whenever I had a chance. I also paid a visit to Brewbaker, a microbrewery/brewpub, and the quite unknown Berlin Bier Shop. I decided not to visit the more famous Bier-Spezialitäten-Laden on this trip, since I visited it on my last trip here, and I didn’t find it very special. It is definitely worth a visit if you’re after a huge selection of German beer or a moderate selection of international beer. Below are some short summaries of the beers, pubs and shop.

First up is some beers I brought from REWE, one of the large supermarket chains in Germany. The beer selection is quite limited, and the shelves are dominated by the larger domestic brands. Some of the styles represented are Pils, Lagers, Hefeweizens, Schwarzbiers and Kellerbiers. I brought home a Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle and a Kyritzer Mord und Totschlag.


I didn’t find the Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle any special. Quite light in taste, featuring some grain and grassy hop tones. Still a drinkable beer.


The Kyritzer Mord und Totschlag, literally translating to Murder and Homicide (Google Translate gives ‘Blood and Thunder’), is a schwarzbier, that featured some dark and roasted flavours, coupled with a dry finish. One of the better beers on the trip.


Berlin is also full of kiosks and other small shops that sell alcohol and are open almost round the clock. The selection of beers in these are usually very limited, but I bought a Rothaus Pils (which I later discovered was the exact same beer as the Tannen Zäpfle) and a bottle simply labelled Bier.


This is the 0.5L version of Tannen Zäpfle.

Like the minimalistic label and naming, but the beer wasn’t anything special. The carbonation level was also very low, don’t know if it was intentional.

I also had some beers at random pubs and restaurants around town. Aufsturz, near Kunsthaus Tacheles, had around 80 beers on the menu, featuring many (though most of them were very boring) international beers. Here I had a Märkischer Landmann Schwarzbier.


I found this schwarzbier a bit boring, and very light and watery in taste. There were some roasted tones and maltiness present, but I really felt the body was too thin.

We also visited Pfaueninsel, Peacock Island, an island in Berlin-Wannsee, featuring peacocks, gardens, and strange castles. Close to where the ferry leaves towards the island there is a Biergarten/Restaurant where we stopped for a beer after the visit. There wasn’t much to choose from, so I had a Weihenstephaner Dunkel from tap.


This was a lovely Dunkelweizen, with a lot of maltiness, banana, spices, and yeast tones.

Not a beer-related picture, but just a demonstration of one of the castles on Pfaueninsel.

I tried some different beers while visiting restaurants as well: Schneider Weisse Original, Erdinger Weissbier, and Berliner Kindl Jubiläums Pilsener. The Berliner Kindl was a quite boring and typical pils, while the Erdinger Hefeweizen was a little on the sweet side. I liked the Schneider Original though.





I was looking forward to my visit to Brewbaker, as I had read many recommendations before the trip. I had also read that they had recently moved, so to be on the safe side I brought my GPS. Even with the GPS I had some troubles finding the right street, Arminiusstrasse 2-4, even though it is very close to the Turmstraße (U9) U-Bahn Station. What I hadn’t realized was that they had moved inside a market hall, Zunfthalle. When I finally found their bar I was disappointed to find out that they only had their Bellevue Pils and Rauchbier on tap, even though their website stated that they had their Imperial Stout on tap. I though the prices were good, 2 euro for a 0.3L glass, and 3 euro for a 0.5L glass, while bottles (0.5L) cost 3 euro if taken home, 4 euros if emptied ‘at the bar’. They had their Red Lager, Ginger Ale and Berlin IPA in 0.5L bottles, as well as a limited edition Doppel IPA in a 1L bottle, which I had to buy home for 10 euros. At the bar I had a Bellevue Pils, since I’m not really a fan of smoked beers. The staff was friendly, but I was a little underwhelmed with the fact that they were situated in a market hall, it kind of killed the mood.




Here is a short mini-review of the Bellevue Pils: The beer had a hazy yellow color, with a thick white head, that left lots of lacing along the glass. The beer surprisingly smelled of alcohol and malts. The taste was bready, hoppy, grassy, and fresh. The beer had a medium body and a low carbonation level. Overall I liked this, and it was also one of the better beers on the trip. Looking forward to trying their Doppel IPA and Berlin IPA which I brought with me home.


Close to Brewbaker (about 700 meters) you can find Berlin Bier Shop (aka. Wein Kultur) on Kirchstrasse 23, which was also quite well hidden. Inside the small store (maybe 30 square meters), one can find lots of wine as well as some interesting beers. The selection included some German microbrews (e.g. Brewbaker’s Berlin IPA and Fritzale’s IPA), a large variety of Samuel Smith beer, Brewdogs (even rarer ones such as Abstrakts 1-4, Paradox Isle of Arran, Bashah Imperial 2009, Bashah Highland Park 2009, and Tokyo*), some Belgians, and some Anchor beer. They seem to recently have had some sort of Stone Brewing tasting with Greg Koch, so with good luck you might find some random American beer on your visit. I bought some different beers with me home, and will definitely visit it again on my next trip to Berlin. Worth a visit! Prices were ok too, even though a little higher than average.


From left to right: Brewdog Tokyo*, Brewbaker Doppel IPA (directly from Brewbaker, not Berlin Bier Shop), Fritzale IPA, Brewbaker Berlin IPA, Samuel Smith India Ale, Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Beer, Original Berliner Cider.
Overall it was a great trip, and I got to see a lot of interesting things. Here are some random pictures from the trip: