Berlin has its own traditional beer. Berliner Weisse is supposed to have been brewed since the 16th century, and was in the 19th century the most popular alcoholic drink in the Prussian capital. This wheat beer is a sour beer with a low alcohol content. Normally it has around 3% alcohol. The beer is often drunk with a flavoured syrup like raspberry or woodruff. The added syrup is called schuss, so make sure you order weisse "ohne schuss" to get the beer in its original form.
Being in Berlin, I had to try out some Berliner Weisse. As I was walking towards Alexanderplatz I found a natural place to do so. A restaurant called Alt-Berliner Weißbierstube in Rathausstraße promised both the right beer style and the right environment. I liked the restaurant, and from the moment I stepped inside until I left everything was great. Attentive and smiling waiters did their part, and the bierstube also had a fine atmosphere.
Sure, I went for the wheat beer first. I was given some Schultheiss Berliner Weisse in the traditional bowl-shaped glass. The beer was cloudy. It had a small head and barely any carbonation. I felt that the nose was refreshing with some citrus and yeast. In the mouth sourness took the lead with some lemon. The finish was watery, but it felt fitting for this beer. This is something I would really like to drink outdoors a warm and sunny Summer day.
There were more draught beers on the menu at Alt-Berliner Weißbierstube. I decided to try out Berliner Pilsener from Schultheiss. This is one of the palest lagers I have ever seen, and it was served with a medium sized head and nearly no carbonation. Berliner Pilsener had a malty aroma. In the mouth I felt malts, grass and some hops before a partly bitter finish. This was another fine pale lager that would probably be a nice session beer.
Alt-Berliner Weißbierstube was a great restaurant, and I recommend it to every visitor to Berlin. I know I will return.
BOOKS: Pot Luck in England, 1936 - This 1930s travel memoir is far from essential reading but contains plenty of details which will be of interest to students of pub and beer history, and ...
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