8 Beer Gardens To Enjoy The Berlin Summer
Written by Nathalie Miller, Brewer’s Berlin Tours
Every Berliner has their favourite beer garden. A name will snap right off their tongue as soon as the question is posed. With hundreds to pick across the city, narrowing them down to just 8 was a mighty challenge. But here are our top picks for when you visit Berlin. In no particular order…
BRLO is a favourite local beer in Berlin and both their beer and their beer garden is worth a visit. The unique premises combine their brewery, restaurant, beer garden, bar and most of all their HQ, nestled in 38 up-cycled shipping containers. Apart from exceptional locally brewed beer, the food alone is also worth it. From cauliflower roasted in a BRLO pale-ale glaze, German kim-chi, to free-range BBQ ribs and dry-aged pork belly.
We recommend: The homemade pickles and the beer tasting board.
One of the oldest beer gardens in Berlin and arguably the most famous, Prater is a large and low-key affair and popular amongst locals. With a range of beers, including some of their own, the surprisingly large beer garden boasts world-famous schnitzels and should be on every beer-lover’s to-do list.
We recommend: The Prater Pils
Zollpackhof began in 1685, and is a more upscale beer garden, but don’t let that put anyone off. Situated by the River Spree, Zollpackhof has the power to let the afternoon blissfully disappear before your eyes as you watch boats go by and look onto the Reichstag. For those more inclined to table service, visit the restaurant where the chefs create Bavarian delicacies, pike-perch with white wine sauce, or Viennese schnitzel. For something more low-key, then the beer garden is for you. The self-service canteen serves up exceptional roast meats, leberkäse, currywurst, and more.
We recommend: Currywurst
BIRGIT & BIER
Birgit & Bier is relatively new as a beer garden. Opened in 2015 from formerly unused garages, it’s now a world of its own, with fairground decorations, two dance floors, terraces and lots of nooks to hide away. While it doesn’t have the views of some other beer gardens, it’s a view within itself. If you stay long enough, it turns into a nightclub, hosting some of Berlin’s best weekend parties.
We recommend: House beer in a glass mug
If Berlin is your only destination in Germany, then this beer hall and terrace garden is a must-see. It’s as far from a Berlin beer garden as possible… because it’s a Kölsch beer garden (from Cologne) and the Kölsch do things a little differently. Firstly, in Cologne people are generally happy to have strangers sit and chat with them at the table. This may not work as well here, as it’s still Berlin, but the friendliness from the staff is certainly there. Typical Kölsch dishes are served, such as Himmel un Ääd (heaven and earth) and crispy pork knuckles. But beware! In true Kölsch tradition, if you don’t place your coaster atop your beer once you are finished, the staff will continue replacing your beer without asking.
We recommend: Gaffel Kölsch 0.25L and Himmel un Ääd
Rüdersdorf is one of the quieter beer gardens in the busy Friedrichshain area of Berlin. Located next to the famous Berghain nightclub, Rüdersdorf is a former heating station, now converted into an aesthetically pleasing, two story beer garden. The beer is good, they have a daily grill menu — what‘s not to like?
We recommend: Beer and a burger
Another two-story beer garden for the list, Golgatha has been in Kreuzberg for over 30 years and is one of the most famous beer gardens in Berlin. Situated Viktoriapark and opens at 9am to serve a typical German breakfast of German breads, cold cuts, cheese, eggs and more. Live DJs in the evening, Berlin sunsets, cold beer, daily grill and typical German pub food — and free entry.
We recommend: Leberkäse and a beer
Last, but most definitely not least, the Urban Spree is in the former Reichsbahn (German national railway) repair workshop, and the area sat relatively unused after the war. Prior to its gentrification, Friedrichshain was the home to many artists and musicians, forming a vibrant, energetic and alternative part of the city. The Urban Spree is one of the last alternative spaces left in central Berlin and is worth some of your time. The beer garden at the Urban Spree often has live music, good beer, several independent street food carts and lots of art and graffiti. It’s an easy place to whistle away the day.
We recommend: Taking time to look at the art installations and graffiti
ABOUT BREWER’S BERLIN TOURS
We are Brewer’s Berlin Tours: a tight-knit team of Berliners who walk the German capital’s streets in the name of Terry Brewer — the man, myth and legend who led tours across the Berlin Wall for allied personnel in the 1960s.
Today we follow in his footsteps, inspired by his passion, knowledge and penchant for shouting at trams, to share Berlin’s stories and secrets with you.
To find out more about Berlin, visit: www.brewersberlintours.com