Berlin’s a perfect destination for beer- and cocktail-lovers. Even though the capital of Germany is mostly known as a major center for electro music and insane clubs play a big role in its night-life, there’s also lots of bars and pubs. Because beer has always been an important part of German culture, most of them serve incredibly delicious, unique, local brews. There are a few great things about Berlin’s drinking culture. First of all, the bars are very diverse. Whether you want to relax with a golden pint and chat quietly with a group of friends, have fun in a queer-friendly vibe, or sing punk songs with a group of rebellious youngsters – it’s all double. Secondly, all of that is always happening in a very civilized, cultured way. Even the most drunk people usually remember of their manners. If you’re planning to visit Berlin and don’t know where to begin your pub crawl, here’s a list of 7 excellent destinations. Each one of them is different, but all are special.
Prater Garten was open in 1837 and it’s the oldest of Berlin’s beer gardens. It’s spacious, up to 600 people can fit in, so you don’t have to worry about bringing too many friends. In case it’s raining, there’s an indoor hall and an adjoining restaurant serving yummy pretzels, schnitzel and goulash. The Prater Garten is an ideal summer bar. Cute yellow tables, groups of smiley locals and cheerful, relaxed vacationers, cold beer and charming staff – it’s almost idyllic. If you visit Berlin between April and September, Prater Garten is a must-visit destination.
The address: Kastanienallee 7-9, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin
Funky and eccentric, Barbie Deinhoff’s attracts a variety of customers. Artistic souls, gloomy intellectuals, fanciful cross-dressers and loud students sip their cocktails at the bar, occasionally exchanging a few words with each other. Run by a well-known drag queen artist, Lena Braun, the bar doesn’t only sell drinks, but also houses lots of quirky events. The interior is delightfully kitschy and odd. Walls are pink, furniture messy, mood relaxed and cocktail list impressively rich.
The address: Schlesische Strasse 16, Kreuzberg, Berlin
Kitschy and art deco, the Green Door cocktail bar is quite a specific place. First of all, to get the green door open, you must ring a bell and wait until the staff lets you in. It’s not really about selection or strict dress-code, but rather limiting the number of guests inside and keeping the specific atmosphere. The design is surreal at the first glance and becomes even stranger after one or two cocktails. And the cocktails… Bartenders from the Green Door really know how to mix them. You’ll find lots of alternatives in the menu, including classical drinks as well as a house Green Door mixture (made of champagne, lemon, mint and sugar).
The address: Winterfeldtstraße 50, Schöneberg, Berlin
During your stay in Berlin you should visit at least one traditional German pub – it can be Alt-Berliner Wirtshaus. With pictures hanging on the walls, wooden furniture and old-style decorations, it reminds of a cozy, Bavarian cottage. Because of the homely décor and friendly staff, Alt-Berliner Wirtshaus makes its guests feel truly welcome. Beers are great and food even better. The bar serves authentic German cuisine. Prices are reasonable and portions huge. Expect to eat a lot of cabbage, pork and potatoes.
The address: Wilhelmstraße 77, Mitte, Berlin
Wilhelm Hoeck 1892
Wilhelm Hoeck 1892 is an old, atmospheric pub, where draft beer flows slowly into the glasses, but is being drunk out of them very fast. If it wasn’t for the lively guests and staff, the pub would look like a museum: photographs of celebrities who visited it years ago, memorabilia on the walls, bullet holes in the bar and dusty bottles stacked on shelves right behind it. In case you get hungry, visit the adjoining restaurant and order a traditional German meal. The food’s well-priced, filling and tasty.
The address: Wilmersdorfer Strasse 149, Charlottenburg, Berlin
Why “Vagabund”? Because the initiative comes from three travelling Americans who found their place in the country of beer. The guys got tired of limited beer selection offered in the stores and restaurants, so they decided to open their own microbrewery. They entered Berlin’s beer scene with loads of new, fresh energy. According to the Vagabund’s owners, the taste of local beers was somewhat homogeneous, so they decided to experiment with hops, yeast, herbs and spices imported from different places across the globe. The vagabonds are creative and they surely know how to avoid dullness. In the taproom right next to the brewery you can check what the results of their experiments are.
The address: Antwerpener Str. 3, Berlin
If you fancy some interesting live music, Supamolly’s your place. The bar’s large and it features a stage where lots of different bands come to play. Jazz, hardcore, art-noise, ska and punk, there’s a wide range of genres. Supamolly is a unique place that can take you back to the Berlin of 1990’s, when squats, punks, anarchists and social activists dominated the city. It’s not as rebellious any more, but still very alternative. Beer is cheap, walls covered with grafitti and guests very diverse.
The address: Jessner Strasse 41, Friedrichshain, Berlin
Geist im Glas
Berlin’s little gem, the Geist im Glas is a small, friendly and comfy pub. The interior is designed with taste and attention. Delicate lights make it atmospheric and wooden elements very warm and cozy. Even the toilets are charming! Most importantly though, the drinks are excellent. The pub’s specialties are infused alcohols. The cocktails are amazing, both the classics and the original ones coming from the house. For beer-lovers, delicious German beers are also available.
The address: Lenaustraße 27, Berlin
There are lots of places around Berlin designed to look vintage, but few of them are authentically retro. WillyBresch doesn’t need special gadgets or decorations to appear old. It’s mostly visited by locals and many of them are as venerable as the pub itself, which doesn’t mean they lack energy. They’re always up for one more beer and sometimes, when the music’s appropriate (old-style German songs) even for a little spin on the improvised dance floor. Willy Bresch serves great beers and Schnapps.
The address: Danziger Strasse 120, Prennzlauer Berg, Berlin