Visited on: Friday 3rd March 2017
This is the kind of place that could only exist in Berlin. Unless you knew exactly where it was you would have difficulty finding it. Luckily I knew where to look and got there fairly quickly from Ostkreutz station. This area has a most definite “wrong side of the tracks” feeling compared with the opposite side of the station with its neon-signed restaurants and bars. Here I found an alternative culture not dissimilar to that espoused in the late 1960s / early 1970s.
I passed a couple of locations on the way. One was a venue and bar that hosted bands, the other was celebrating Weird Science Month.
Both were seemingly promoting the counter-culture but I suppose in Berlin that mainstream culture and the fringe are fairly close together. My destination was similar to these places and I would best describe it as an arts centre.
At Zukunft Ostkreutz there is an indoor and an outdoor cinema, a theatre, a live music venue, an art gallery, a jazz-bar, a folk music bar as well as a normal bar which has its own brewery. Also, for the summer, there is biergarten. Most of this is housed in a collection of ramshackle single level industrial buildings from the DDR era.
I was guided to the main door by an illuminated sign on Laskerstrasse which was advertising forthcoming films in the cinema. In the yard there a few tables where some hardy drinkers were braving the elements. A few coloured fairy lights were dangling above their heads.
Inside I walked into the main bar room. The bar counter was on the left and the room seemed to act as a filter point for the other features of the centre as there were signs with arrows pointing in all directions.
I dropped my bag on a seat and went to the bar, as I guessed that would be the procedure here and I was not wrong. There was a choice of two brewed here: Goldene Zukunft and Dunkle Zukunft. Zukunft means “future” so I could have had Golden Future or Dark Future. Being of an optimistic demeanour I went for the former. Actually, I didn’t have a lot of time so it had to be one or the other. Both appear to be 5.0% abv.
The beer wasn’t bad with a slightly odd but nevertheless pleasant taste. There was a third choice in Berliner Pilsner, found in most bars of the eastern part of Berlin. It is made in one of the biggest breweries in the world from which the four major Berlin beer brands emanate.
In the 1990s there was Schultheiss and Berliner Kindl from the West along with Berliner Pilsner and Bürgerbrau from the East all with their own breweries. These days one plant produces the lot and many other beers from former breweries in Potsdam and the surrounding Brandenburg state.
I have visited this brewery and one day I will complete the article for BeerVisits.eu that I started some time ago!
Sorry for that digression. I cast my eye around the room. The lighting was low, just a few shaded table lamps and candles. The furniture is a complete mix of high and low tables with normal wooden chairs supplemented by stuffed armchairs and a sofa. There was a sign pointing into the next room that said “Exhibition”. Well, I couldn’t find it. There was a dirty old fridge with a “?” sprayed onto it. It was all a bit of a battle zone. Maybe that was it?
Apart from the Tilsiter Lichtspiele cinema bar (see article in BeerVisits.eu) this is the only place to get beers from the Zukunft Brauerei so a visit is necessary if you want to try them. However you could combine it with a visit to the Strassenbräu brew-pub which is just five minutes from the opposite side of Ostkreutz station. I could see no evidence of food being served at Zukunft Ostkreutz, probably a good thing.
Zukunft Ostkreutz, Laskerstrasse 5, 10245 Berlin-Friedrichshain. Tel: 01765 786 1089
Monday-Friday: 16.00-02.00; Saturday-Sunday: 12.00-02.00
Westkreutz station is just five minutes from the pub. But it might take you another five minutes to get from your arriving platform to the exit. These directions are good for the time I visited the pub.
However, things will change as there is much building work. From the Hauptstrasse exit turn right.
The road bears left. Around this corner you will find the second street on the right is Laskerstrasse.
Turn into it and you will find Zukunft Ostkreuz on the right less than a 100 metres along.