Finally, the place which is famed for its multicultural migrants and world renowned beer culture, have now united as one. Much like a fine wine, craft beer has now levelled with its sophisticated cousin, and thank heavens Berlin is now making up for lost time.
Hailing originally from Brighton, UK, I was utterly spoiled by the overwhelming choice of specialist drinking holes dedicated to craft beer. It has to be said, I mourned those bygone days of drinking myself under the table after a half pint measure of a sweet dark stout’s 10% poison. And so for those visitors who are seasoned craft beer aficionados on the prowl for Berlin-based micro breweries and craft beer bars, I thought I’d take it upon myself to queue up a top 5 list.
Monterey Bar (Danziger Str. 61, Prenzlauer Berg)
At Monterey bar, you can enjoy one of many craft beers from breweries such as Flessa Bräu, Flying Turtle, and Crew republic. The interior is reminiscent of burlesque Queen Dita von Teese’s living room, decorated with antlers, skulls and mannequin heads, soundtracked by stoner rock and old school rock ‘n’ roll.
Hopfenreich (Sorauer str. 31, Kreuzberg)
Hopfenreich offers a carefully curated list of local and international classic and specialist craft beers. Just watch out for the taxidermied hedgehog on the bar which you may want to stroke throughout the evening, as your faculties gradually—or rapidly—lose their sharpness.
Hops and Barley (Wühlischstraße 22-23, Friedrichshain)
This bar takes its name from a song by British punk rock band Leatherface. Its copper brew kettles are the centerpoint of this bar which resembles an old school Berlin Kneipe. Cider, monthly special brews and a strict selection of pils, dark and wheat beer is available.
Vagabund (Knesebeckstraße 77, Charlottenburg)
Vagabund serve their own craft beer as well as Scandinavian imports, classic Belgian ales and lager from southern Germany breweries. Their own micro brewery is presented in classic American style and was even visited by the legendary Danish brewer Mikkeller himself earlier this year.
Getränkefeinkost (Boxhagener Str. 24, Friedrichshain)
And on the east side is my own loyal local, which offers crowd pleasers such as Augustine as well as products from independent breweries such as Schoppe Bräu, all at reasonable prices. That is, unless you wish to splash out on a suave bottle of Infinium, the Samuel Adams (Boton) and Wehenstephaner (Germany) collaboration.