Breweries: Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss Brauerei
I’ve never lived in Berlin. However, I spent in this city so many days and nights, that I literally feel that I’ve been living here for a long time. This is a feeling when you spontaneously can recommend top 10 bars in its every neighbourhood, when you know opening hours of most famous flea-markets and can imagine the full transportation system in your mind. All that was pretty true, but one thing was missing: I still have never been to the brewery which produces most popular Berlin beer.
One day I woke up and decided: today is the day, I’d like to visit Berliner Kindl Brewery. After googling a bit, I’ve got the first surprise: not only Kindl, but all of the top Berlin beer brands are being brewed in one place, Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss-Brauerei. Following the overall trend of acquisitions in the German beer market, Berliner Kindl merged with Berliner-Schultheiss brewery back in 2006 and now they produce all three beer brands (and also Märkischer Landmann, Berliner Bürgerbräu and few more) on this brewery located in the Berlin-Lichtenberg.
I easily found the shortest way to the brewery (take Tram M13 to Betriebshof Idira-Gandhi-Str.) and applied for a guided tour. It seems that there are not so many people from my generation interesting in that topic: at least for my tour the average age of the visitors was approaching to 60 (counting me), however, this did not impact a great atmosphere of the day. Everyone was pretty funny and in a very good mood awaiting not only a guided tour, but also a beer tasting afterwards.
After a short introduction and a couple of Wikipedia facts (for example, that the brewery belongs to Radeberger group and produces 1.5hl annually which is approx. 2% of total beer production in Germany), we visited the first brewery building and found out some interesting facts about the differences between top three beer brands. Each of the beer still contained its unique recipe but in my point of view, they even have more differences driven by marketing.
Afterwards, we had a short walk around the brewery area visiting several buildings including bottling, storage and shipment area. Unfortunately there is only one historical building remained from the beginning of the century. The good side of the medal: this is exactly the building where is located a very cute German restaurant serving as a dinner space for brewery management, but also as a tasting room for thirsty visitors who cannot wait to taste delicious freshly brewed beer.
The tour lasts 1,5 hours with a following beer tasting in the brewery restaurant. The restaurant looked truly amazing, I even thought that we moved by a time machine to a one of those Bavarian family breweries. Anyway, plan at least an hour more after the tour to enjoy the atmosphere in the restaurant and taste you well deserved beer without any urgency.
I enjoyed the tour also because of our tour guide who was a professional brewing master telling us many interesting insights about beer industry in Germany: number of breweries is growing, beer consumption is declining, which makes the life of smaller regional breweries very difficult. Despite all of this, at the end of our tour our guide disclosed me that he had just launched an own microbrewery and sells his own beer in the Circus Hostel in Prenzlauerberg. Challenge taken: next time we go to explore these insider tips.
There are usually 3 tours a day taking place at 11am, 2pm and 5.30pm. For each tour, online reservation is quite recommended if you want to have a meal after the tour. The prices are very affordable: basic fare is 5 EUR, but if you want to join beer tasting (and you have to), these options vary from 7 to 14 EUR. I took a tour incl. 3 small beers of my choice for only 7 EUR and can only recommend this option for a brilliant value-for-money ratio.
Drink of the Day
Definitely order the option with tasting at least three different beers. One of them must be Berliner Pilsner, the best pils made in Berlin according to my beer tasting experience. The next one is Märkischer Landmann, German schwarzbier, black in body and very aromatic so you can easily smell the beer without putting your nose deep in the beer mug. Probably, it is because it was freshly brewed, but I was amazed. Lastly, take a bier of your choice: it could be Schultheiss, Berliner Kindl, Berliner Bürgerbräu or imported from Frankfurt Schofferhoffer Weizen.
Indira-Gandhi-Straße 66-69, 13053 Berlin-Lichtenberg
Website is here.
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