Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Fourth Day in Berlin

First stop was Hackbarth’s a corner neighborhood pub.

They have four taps, all beers not normally found in Berlin (well, except for Pilsner Urquell).

I started with a Tegernseer Hell, from Herzogliches Bräustüberl Tegernsee in Bavaria, south of Munich. Nice and soft, a good start to the day.

They serve food until 6pm, mostly sandwiches, meat and cheese plates and tomato soup. A ham and cheese sandwich and tomato soup hit the spot.

I needed another beer, so I had the Burgerherren Pils from Steck Bräu in Ostheim vor der Rhön in Northern Franconia (though historically it was part of Thuringer)

It was soon time to move on. The next couple of places didn’t open until 4pm so I headed to Kreuzberg and Birgit & Bier — a Biergarten serving Pilsner Urquell tankovna.  It is near where the Landwehr canal meets the Spree River though it doesn’t have a view of either.

The interior has a very funky, almost junk yard vibe. They also serve some Spaten beers and an IPA from BRLO.

The tanks are visible behind the bar.

The beer was €4.50 and a 50 cent deposit on the mug. That seemed a bit strange usually the deposit is a euro or two (or more).  These seemed like it might be a tip generation scheme, hoping people will just not bother or just say “keep it.”

The beer looked pretty — better than it tasted. Either the lines needed cleaning or this was the first beer of the day and they didn’t drain the tap before serving. It was drinkable, just not as good as the beer usually is.

I nursed the beer for a bit and took the empty back for my 50 cents. 

Next stop was Hopfenreich, one of the better multi tap pubs in Berlin.

They had 22 beers on tap and while you can’t really see it in the picture below, they flag those that are brewed in Berlin.

I had heard about Motel Beer, a fairly new brewery in Berlin. They got there start doing cold brew coffee and then started brewing beer. This is their Jena Paradies and attempt at a style of sour, slightly smoked wheat beers called “Lictenhainer” that used to be brewed in that area. I have no idea if it tastes like those did, but it was a tasty beer.

Next up I thought I’d try the other Motel beer on the list, their Kellerbier.

I’m not sure what their model was — the beer tasted fine but not much like any kellerbier I’ve had before. Way to clear for a starts. It was more like a golden ale. But it tasted good and I enjoyed it.

Next stop was the new-ish (November last year) Castle Pub in Friedrichshain  The original Castle Pub was in Gesundbrunnen and a few years ago they move to Mitte, right across from Nordbahnhof station. They became a “Beer and Coffee” place, opening early, which is great for the beer tourist. Originally the new pub had similar hours (still on their menus) but now are open from 4pm.

They have 50 beers on tap — and 50 different gins if that is your thing. I thought their video board a bit bland. Most of the ones I’ve seen add some color coding to indicate country of origin, beer style, beer strength, etc. etc. 

The had a Saison from Parasite Produktions, brewed by a couple I met in Antwerp years ago and re-met up with last Saturday. So I tried it, it would have been rude not to have.

A very nice beer, spicy and a bit tart.

Right underneath the Parasite beer was Schneeeule Marlene — they only recently started doing a draft version and I have never had it so it was a logical next choice.

There were a couple of disappointments here — first that they didn’t have a proper glass for it. Most of the other beers are fine in a “shaker pint” style glass but Berliner Weisse has its own traditional style of glass. And you can’t really see it here (because I turned it) but the glass wasn’t perfectly clean. I have had beer served in dirtier glasses than this but it it doesn’t reflect well on the pub.

I was going to make stop on my way back to my hotel but there was some disruption with the trams and by the time I was close, I didn’t feel like another beer so I punted and went back to my hotel.

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