Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nearly no room at Zum Nußbaum

There are some interesting restaurants and bierstubes in Berlin's Nikolaiviertel quarter. One of them is Zum Nußbaum, which is one of the oldest pubs in Berlin. It used to be somewhere else in the German capital, but the house was moved to the current location next to the Nikolaikirche church by the East German authorities in the 1980s.

Zum Nußbaum seems to be a popular place. The afternoon I visited the bierstube, there were no available tables. I therefore found a place at the bar and had an excellent view to the beer taps. Four draught beers were available, and I could choose between two pale lagers, a schwarzbier and a wheat beer. I had already tried the Berliner Kindl Jubiläums Pilsener, and the two other beers sounded more interesting than Rex Pilsener. My first choice was therefore the schwarzbier.

Märkischer Landmann from the Berliner Kindl brewery was as expected black in colour. It had a small head and nearly no carbonation. There was barely any aromas, but I felt some coffee. The coffee took the lead with a touch of nuts before a semi bitter finish. Fortunately there was not any of the sweetness that in my opinion ruins some Czech dark lagers. This schwarzbier was refreshing and a nice treat.

I went on to try Schöfferhofer Weizen from the Binding brewery in the Hesse region. The wheat beer was cloudy in the glass, had a large head and not much carbonation. In the nose there was banana and cloves. I felt banana and tutti frutti bubble gum in the mouth before a finish with some peaches. Lovely! This is one of the best wheat beers I have ever tasted.

As I was drinking my two beers, I noticed that the female barkeeper received several phone calls. It looked as if these were table reservations for the evening and the day after. I liked Zum Nußbaum, and I feel that its atmosphere was excellent. But after my visit I have a tip for other tourists: Reserve a table in advance if you want to go there. There is not much space at the bar.

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