When you think of Germany, you probably think of sausages and beer. The golden liquid is an essential part of German and culture and cuisine. So much so that in 1516, the Bavarian rulers instated the “Reinheitsgebot”. It is considered the oldest food law in the world, and dictated that beer was only allowed to contain malted barley, water, and hops (yeast wasn’t discovered yet at this point). Anything brewed with other ingredients wasn’t allowed to be called beer.
The law isn’t in place anymore today, but companies still use it in their marketing, and it is being considered for UNESCO World Heritage status. Despite the Reinheitsgebot, beer brewing in Germany flourished in creative ways. There are many regional beer types and an increasing number of craft breweries with experimental drinks.
Berlin is on the forefront of everything trendy in Germany, including craft beer. Big or small, there are a number of great micro breweries and craft beer bars in the city. From IPA’s to sours, and stouts to helles, and of course the local Berliner Weiße, there’s something for every taste.
As a beer lover myself, I’ve been making my way around all of the craft beer places in Berlin so I can share my favorites with you. All of these places are worth a stop if you find yourself in need of a refreshing pint in Berlin. Prost!
Now, I’ve talked about BRLO several times. It is not just my favorite brewery in Berlin, they also have my favorite beer garden. During the summer, you can find me there almost every week.
BRLO started in 2014. They have a few standard beers like a good Helles or Pale Ale, but also keep coming up with new flavors and styles. Each more creative and tasty than the next! BRLO truly put the craft in craft beer. If you’re interested, you can book a brewery tour for a peek behind the scenes.
And they don’t just serve delicious beers, but also ciders and kombucha, as well as terrific food.
One of the things that’s so great about BRLO is that they don’t just brew delicious beer, they also actively support good causes. But the very best thing is the people, the staff at BRLO is just so nice and welcoming!
Address: Schöneberger Str. 16, 10963 Berlin
Closest public transport: U3, U2, U1 Gleisdreieck
Best beer on the menu: BRLO produces lots of different beers and often has fun limited edition beers as well. But if you’re in the mood for a tasty hoppy beer, I recommend trying their Happy Pils.
Protokoll is one of those true Berlin bars. Simple, no nonsense. Styled in that classic industrial hipster way with wood and black finishes. Because Protokoll is all about the beer.
The bar wants to showcase the current revoluton in German craft beer and they do so by keeping a whopping 22 beers on tap. If you want to try the best that local and international breweries have to offer, this is the place to be. Taste Russian sours, Canadian stouts, and Berlin IPA’s. Whatever your poison, Protokoll has it.
They also often organise pop-ups with local culinary legend Daniel Does Food, to provide tasty snacks to go with your drink.
Address: Boxhagener Str. 110
Closest public transport: U5, Frankfurter Tor
Best beer on the menu: With a rotating selection of more than 20 beers on tap, you’re best bet is to ask one of the knowledgeable bartenders for a recommendation.
Café by day, bar by night, there is never a bad time to go to Kashk. It is the Stammkneipe of some of my Berlin friends, so I’ve spent many a long night at Kashk.
It might look like your typical Scandivian style hipster bar, but the atmosphere is a lot warmer than the minimalist decor suggests. The staff are what shines at Kashk. And the beer of course. Because while a lovely cup of coffee and a pastry are nice, were here for a different kind of brew.
The beer menu rotates so check the big chalkboard to see what’s on tap at any given day. It is usually a mix from local Berlin and Scandinavian breweries, as well as their own beers from Hawaiian Shirt Brewery.
*Kashk has been taken over by BRLO in 2021
Address: Linienstraße 40
Closest public transport: U2, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
Best beer on the menu: Brew master and owner David comes up with wacky new brews all the time, and some work better than others. My favorite so far is their 2020 classic Summer is Cancelled.
Vagabund was founded in 2011 by three American expats, who were unimpressed by the available offer of German beers. It’s been considered one of the best craft breweries in Germany ever since. You can find their beer in the better späti’s around Berlin, as well as their own taproom and beer garden. The small beer garden called Kesselhaus is one of the hidden gems of the Wedding district.
Vagabund has a permanent range of impressive beers as well as limited editions and collaboration brews. For true beer enthousiasts, Vagabund organises brew courses so you can learn the craft from the masters.
Address: Antwerpener Str. 3 for the brewery/taproom and 16-20 Oudenarder Str for the Kesselhaus beergarden
Closest public transport: U6 Seestraße for the taproom and two tram stops away at Osram Höfe for the Kesselhaus beer garden.
Best beer on the menu: My Saddle, My Pony & Me is a delicious Pale Ale and one of my favorite beers in Berlin.
Eschenbräu is not your regular brewery. Aside from beer, they also make brandy, and whiskey. Tucked away in a corner of Wedding, Eschenbräu is a fun no-nonsense place to have a drink. The cellar pub is cozy and the staff is friendly, so you’ll feel right at home. The atmosphere feels more southern German than Berlin, without hipster frills or rude bartenders.
In summer, there’s a cozy little beergarden where you can enjoy your drink and the nice Berlin weather.
The menu is short and sweet with their standard and seasonal beer, others drinks, and a couple of typical German beer snacks like Laugenbrezel and Flammkuchen to soak up the alcohol.
Closest public transport: S42, S41, S46 Wedding or U6, U9 Leopoldplatz
Best beer on the menu: if you want a good, straight forward beer perfect for this good straight-forward bar, I recommend Pankegold.
As a true beer country, Germany is known for traditional brewing. But there are also a lot of creative young craft beer brewers, especially in Berlin.
There is no need to go thirsty in Berlin, beer connaiseurs have many great micro breweries and craft beer bars to choose from. Which one will you go to first?
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