We had two more days to explore Berlin which gave us time to venture outside the city center. We called it ‘traveling off the map’ as a number of our brewery destinations weren’t on the free Tourist office maps. Armed with the not-always-reliable Google maps, we hopped on the U-Bahn ready to explore Berlin’s neighborhoods.
We’d already been to Berlin’s smallest brewery. Now, it was time to drink beer at Germany’s smallest brewery. Located a short walk from the Spindersfeld S-Bahn station, Schlossplatzbrauerei Coepenick, as the name suggests, is located in the Schlossplatz in the riverside neighborhood of Köpenick.
The brewery and tiny bar occupies a kiosk type building in the small square. The seats in the beer garden must outnumber the seats at the bar by several hundred. With the sun beaming brightly, we grabbed a seat in their beer garden.
From their tiny brewery, Schlossplatzbrauerei Coepenick produced the standard Helles and Dunkel plus a few seasonal beers. On the day of our visit, only the standards were available, so ‘zwei Helles’ it was.
The relaxing, quiet atmosphere was only interrupted by an occasional tram, car or the old guy hacking up a lung. Schlossplatzbrauerei Coepenick was well worth the three trains we had to ride to get there.
Walking down a residential street in the Neukölln neighborhood, we had the sneaking suspicion that Google maps had lead us wrong again. To our relief, halfway down the tree shaded block, we finally spotted a faded brewery sign. Brauhaus in Rixdorf, was set back from the street in a small compound. The 19th century building was surrounded on two sides by an expansive and varied beer garden that included a koi pond and several big screens for watching the World Cup.
The main building housed the brewery and a bar on each level. Exploring the building, I was amazed by all the small dining rooms and nooks, all elaborately decorated with wall paintings and knick knacks. It took me several minutes of wandering its halls to discover them all. The other interesting thing about the building, it was completely empty. Everyone was out in the beer garden.
Over a very pleasant lunch of Nürnberger sausages, Merideth and I enjoyed the range of their house beers. We each started with a Weizenbiere and then I moved on to try the Helles and Dunkel. Brauhaus in Rixdorf also had a “Saisonbiere’, their Summer beer, but we passed on that.
We are not experts on Berlin neighborhoods, but we do know from watching House Hunters International that Brauhaus Südstern is located in one of Berlin’s hip up and coming addresses: Kreuzberg. Exiting the Südstern U-Bahn station, the brewpub was just a short walk down the street. There are two beer gardens to chose from, one in the front on the street, the other out back, quiet and peaceful.
Sitting in the street side beer garden, we arrived just in time to watch some of the first knockout match of the World Cup, Uruguay v. South Korea. We spent the first half trying the four house beers, Helles, Pils, Weizen and Dunkel (surprise!). The Helles and Pils were the two stars.
We knew nothing of the Fredrichshain neighborhood as we stepped off the S-Bahn at Frankfurter Allee. As we walked the short three blocks to the Schalander Hausbraueri, we fell in love with the neighborhood. We could see ourselves living in one of the flats above the tree-lined avenues. And we could see ourselves walking to our local brewery, Schalander.
Fantasy over, we grabbed one of the tables out front. After a long morning walk, lunch and a few beers was what Merideth and I needed. Merideth’s Flammenhkuchen with ham and onions and my house-made sausages and potato salad went perfectly with the house-made Helles beer. Schalander was one of those places we could have stayed all day, enjoying the beer, sunshine and playing scrabble. But we had other places to be and with great reluctance, we pushed on.
Located north of the Tiergarten, Brewbaker, like Brahaus Lemke was under an elevated railroad track. We stopped by Brewbaker after the German’s huge victory over the English in the World Cup so the crowd was boisterous and festive. With our friends Paul and Eilís, our foursome grabbed a table in the compact beer garden in the back.
Brewbaker was probably the most unique German brewery that we have ever been to. Besides the fine Pils, Brewbaker also had a Summer Stout and Amber Ale. The Summer Stout rivaled any low ABV stout I have ever had in the UK. The roasted malt and chocolate flavors melded perfectly with the light body. As Merideth said, “This truly is a summer stout.” Amber beers are the Rodney Dangerfield of the brewing world. But if more were like the Brewbaker version, maybe they would get more respect. Brilliantly hoppy, the Amber Ale was another great summer beer.
In our three days in Berlin, we made it to nine of the ten breweries on our target list. In reaching the breweries, we traveled to Berlin’s numerous and varied neighborhoods. In doing so, I think we gained a new found respect for the German capital. We might not go as far as to say we love Berlin, but it is definitely growing on us.