Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 19: Pub of 100 beers and Beer-Spezialitaten-Laden: Revisited

After all the physical and emotional weariness of yesterday, has been hard to get out and see more of this city, but after a quiet morning, got out and into it and gave myself incentive by putting in a visit to the best beer store in Berlin after I was done.

So walked back through Mitte to visit a Stasi Museum, only to find it closed and from what I could pick up from the sign out front, seems to have moved to another part of town. Did get to see a Jewish Monument which was good after having been to the concentration camp yesterday, and saw the area where Hitler was holed up in his bunker at the end of WWII (there is now apartments and other construction going on over it, so I guess it is one thing Germany don't wish to keep from the war).

Made it down to Potsdamer Platz, and while just strolling around found a bar that has 100 beers available, from all over the world. Did not find too many on the list that caught my eye, especially when the Australian entry is (you guessed it) Fosters. On principle, I don't think I could even go in there to try the beers I wouldn't mind tasting. Still, with Oktoberfest on, would prefer to go into Alexanderplatz and get a stein of German beer in the makeshift beer hall they have set up in the square. Will, have to find some willing participants here in Berlin to come with me for that one, as drinking beer by yourself (let alone a stein of it) is generally not very pleasant (any volunteers?).

So got back to 'the' beer store with my list of German beers I want to try, and managed to find a couple from the list, one blockbuster beer that I have tried before (so wouldn't mind using it to continue educating the aussies in Berlin what Germany has to offer them in beer), and a few others to spread my tastebuds around a bit, including a German Porter, just to see how it stacks up with the many I have had in my time drinking. Of course, also had to go an Oktoberfest beer from Munich, so I can get into the spirit of the event before we head down to it later in the week. You may be wondering the price for all 7 of these hard to find German beers...about 13 Euro (less than 2 Euro a bottle, which is actually pretty expensive here in Germany). So, keep an eye out for tastings on these through the week.

Actually, I'll just start on the Oktoberfest beer now while I have a pizza. has a bit of extra orange for a pilsner, and there is distinct lack of head on pouring. Seems to smell quite hoppy, and after a very swift hit of malt the hops do take over, and while they are tingly on the midpalate, they are not too overbearing as they seem to round off ok. Or so I thought, as looking at the bottle again I see it is 6.3% alcohol, so it seems they are putting in extra hops to cover a bit of the alcohol. still, the two flavours blend well, and could have thought it was an aged pilsner that had been dry hopped to give it extra zing over a rounded hop background. Still, seems to be not the case as it is meant as a blockbuster beer for the event, and the added colour is from also adding a slightly darker malt for flavour as well. Still, the blend of alcohol and hops is done quite well, especially with the zing of hops to (in a way) hide the taste of alcohol. It is doing a great job though at cleansing my tongue of the pizza, so is doing what a pilsner is meant to do, just with higher alcohol. So if you are looking for a pilsner with a bit more overall flavour (and not just hops), this is pretty good, made from the land of Oktoberfest. Here is to Oktoberfest then!

Ok, Ok, I can't end a night on a pilsner, even if it is heavy on the alcohol, so cracking the Braugold Porter (I'm too intrigued to see how they do them over here in lager country). hmm, some roasted smell, but also something else that I can't put my finger on, until I taste it. Sugar, and not a malt sweetness that helps gives soul to beer, but that artificial one that makes it taste like coke, and flat coke, as there is hardly any carbonation in this beer, just left with a syrupy sweetness, which is ok, if you don't want beer, but I wanted a porter. Should have known with the dark brown, but translucent colour to it, and only 4% alcohol. The saving grace of Germany has been the Erdinger and the Konig, but if I keep tasting dark beer with the cola character, I may just get annoyed instead of just mildly disappointed (FYI, this is a big leap for someone like myself). I can actually feel myself sobering up on this beer through the disappointment, and so just wanting to get through it quickly (is this the ploy of the brewer?). Would like to have another beer, but with the pizza and a litre of beer in me now, it would be an uncomfortable nights sleep. booooo.

I also noticed a section at the store with aussie beers. For you aussies in Berlin looking for a bit of home, they have Fosters, VB (ok, they are not very homely), Coopers Sparkling (Red) and Pale (Green), and a beer I haven't even tried called 'Crocodile Doppelbock', which I have seen before, but though it may be more of a novelty beer (especially for Australia to be trying). Still, wouldn't mind being proven wrong. So, either ask me to grab one of these for you while I am around, or the address is Karl-Marx-Allee 56, 10243 Berlin.



PS: Big shout out to friends James and Lottie who turn 2 today...2 years of wedded bliss that is. Nice to be in Berlin at this special time for you two.

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