Beer stories

At 203 meters above Berlin you can enjoy a fresh Berliner Weisse brewed by Berliner Kindl. If you order it without the usual “schuss” of syrup, you’ll have to convince the waiter that you really mean it. He’s right to be surprised because the thing is really sour and not in the fruity kind like the Belgian sours are. Well, just take a big currywurst with it (curry bread added for a local touch) and enjoy the view. Did I mention this takes place in the television tower of (former East) Berlin?

Trabis here, Trabis there, but not everywhere. The iconic product of the communist East Germany, produced in millions, counts officially only a few thousands left. No surprise, a car with a carton body and a bike engine is not built to last. When the Berlin Trabant (official name of the car) tours are passing by, you can tell it by the smell. No eco class here… But enough about these colorful jokes. This beer is serious: Riedenburger Emmer Bier (right, emmer wheat), and historical it says. Rather sour but not like a saison, wheaty and full, strong and also grassy, it’s a special bitter experience. I should try it again in peace at home, not like this running on the streets of Berlin…

Hate post

Tumblr for Android is by far the most broken - in subtle ways mind you - app I ever touched. But my stronger and stronger guess is that Android is actually the culprit, going the closed, obscure and dictatorial way of Apple “like it or leave it”. My next phone will be either a Firefox or a dumb phone - my nerves just aren’t made for this half-baked world calling itself “smart”. Who’s the idiot here, I edit a photo, Google Photo shows it (in the old position, for some unknown reason) but Tumblr sees only the original? Yet NONE of them allows you to point “here fucker take THIS damn picture”. Everyone tries to be smarter than the user, and falls SO pitifully.

Computer Games museum, wow! From text style adventure games to Spectrum Sinclair, a Pain Station which we didn’t dare to try (punishes you for failing with heat, voltage or a whip), the first 3D game now 30 years old (that’s me wearing the headset), lots of arcade games including the very first one I forgot what it was, but also the first Pac Man and and and… we loved it. The beer afterwards was a huge letdown though, since long I didn’t pour beers down the drain. It was a sweet yucky malt drink, never again this Lausitzer Porter. Ew.

The Schultheiss brewery in Berlin was dismantled already 50 years ago. After 100 years of remarkable successes and expansions, the original installations were deemed used beyond replacement and the buildings, still in good shape after two world wars, host now cultural events - theatre, cabaret, concerts… that’s why the new name “Cultural brewery”. The Shultheiss Pilsner is a good one, strong bitter which could use without the hint of corny sweetness I never really liked. Still refreshing along a yummy typical Berliner currywurst. I would have really loved to get something from the walking grill-man (the one with the red umbrella) but I really wanted a currywurst, and chopping sausages was something only the stand nearby was offering.

More Berlin, more wall. The Gallery is a few hundred meter long piece decorated by graffiti artists, meant to stay as such for eternity (which means, it has at least some years to go). The Berliner Pilsner is fine, quite strong and hoppy bitter, good.

Berlin, your name is Festival of Lights. Like every October, the icons of the German capital are morphed into works of lighting art at night, attracting hoards of tourists - and us. We didn’t plan for this but it came like a nice bonus to our rather last minute trip choice. Brandenburger Tor (gate), Victoria’s column, Humboldt universiworthyt was full worthy, I can’t stop wondering why wouldn’t they illuminate those facades the whole year long. Energy consumption maybe? During a short break I picked a dark lager - my old acquaintance Köstritzer. Still good the old buddy, refreshing and malty, little roast aroma, yum. And off for the next part.

The Berlin wall is still there, but only as a memorial place. The memorial hosts also a prized modern church and a park with stamps here and there, on the grass or on the asphalt, marking evasion attempts - some successful, some… not so. Very few made it across the frontier line, almost none after the wall was built in the mid sixties. The few tunnel attempts are also marked on the ground… weird feeling, walking over blood trails… Talking now about beer feels actually wrong, so I won’t say much: Flensburger Pilsner, very bitter, malty and very good.

The Sony Center must be visited by night. Modern architecture, glass and steel are still impressive at day, but at night, in neon and floodlights, the experience is crushing. The floating veils are supposed to depict the Fuji Yama, maybe a stretchy goal but impressive nevertheless. Judging by the masses taking pictures of every corner, I’d say we weren’t the only ones impressed. The weizen brewed right there in the Center, in the Lindenbräu German traditional foods restaurant and microbrewery is a good choice as well, even (or rather, better) if you drink it without the customary “Schuss” of syrup. A tad sour but fruity and full bodied, makes you wonder why would somebody drink industrial beer at all…