My Perfect Day
The owner of Berlin's first nano-sized brewery talks beer, beer, and more beer!
What inspired you to open your own microbrewery and craft beer bar?
Matt, Tom, and I were in a band together, drinking a lot of beer, and we realized how nice it would be to have some of the beer styles we were used to drinking back in the U.S., like pale ales, stouts, and porters. We bought home brewing equipment and jumped into it. The beer kept getting better and better, and eventually we decided to take it to the next level.
Germany is renowned for its beer culture, and yet the Reinheitsgebot, the once-strict law allowing beer to contain only water, malt, and hops, has discouraged diversity. Are Berliners ready for a craft beer revolution?
Absolutely. The majority of our beers are
Reinheitsgebot- friendly, but it’s not something we consider important. We get many Germans in the taproom who are really interested in seeing what different types of beers are out there.
If Berlin were a kind of beer, which would it be?
I think a stout, because a stout to me is multidimensional and really flavorful, just like the city. A good stout has a good mix of crazy malts and subtle yet tasty hops. The fact that Berlin has relatively hard water, which goes well with making stouts, also plays into it.
Other than your bar, where would you recommend for a great beer experience?
I absolutely love Heidenpeters in the Markthalle 9 in Kreuzberg. Hopfenreich is right around the corner there too.
Man cannot live on beer alone – what are your favorite places to go out to eat?
My newest favorite place is Sababa in Mitte, serving up really incredible Israeli food. Also, Chicago Williams BBQ is excellent.
When you have friends visiting, where do you take them?
If they’ve never seen the touristy places like the Brandenburg Gate or the TV Tower and want to see them, that’s where we’re going. Sometimes friends just want to see something different and Berliner, and I’ll take them to some weird bar like Antje Oeklesund.
What’s a special little spot in the Kiez where you live?
I have a favorite park bench close to my home in Wedding, a little off Walter-Nicklitz-Promenade. The bench I love to sit at is between Gerichtstraße and Schönwalder Straße, nestled nicely right next to the Panke canal. Lots of birds and the quiet sound of water flowing, with a beautiful old apartment building across the canal.
What is Berlin’s most underrated place?
I’d have to say Volkspark Rehberge. It’s absolutely huge and I’m always astounded by how many people have never been there. It’s 115 hectares ( Tiergarten is 210 for comparison’s sake). It’s far off most Berliners’ beaten path, which is great because there are fewer people there.