Saturday 5th October 2013
This is a fairly new addition to the Berlin beer drinking scene and in the mode of several other drinking establishments in the city, is extremely quirky. However it does fill a gaping hole as it is an ale brewery. There is a big market for these styles of beer in the German capital because of the large number of expats from many countries whose the preferred style is of beer is ale rather than lager.
It is located in a small corner of a market hall in the Kreutzberg district. I arrived at Markthalle 9 just as the fruit and vegetable stallholders were packing up for the day.
However, when I looked around inside I discovered that they make up only about half of the floor space and that the rest of the stands were devoted to the pleasures of eating and drinking. Quite a few of them were still open. This included Heidenpeters of course, which I found eventually in its secluded spot.
I must admit I didn't know what to expect, yet when I got there I know it wasn't what I had expected. It's in a small area that has a few seats and a tiny bar. The beers are displayed on a blackboard behind the bartender.
The most notable feature of the area is the front of the number 36 tram on the wall. If you had consumed several of the very strong beers on sale you might think it had crashed through. No doubt if you went the other side of the wall you find the remainder of the vehicle.
The beer list changes week by week and this was what was available on the occasion of my visit:
Belgian Pale Ale (5.3%)
Double Pale Ale (IPA) (6.0%)
Spiced Ale (with minimal chilli) (6.2%)
I had the Pale Ale and it was an explosion of taste with many different flavours and was very typical of the US style. The beers are sold in 0.3l glasses. The back catalogue is very extensive considering the brewery has been in existence for less than a year.
It is possible pay a deposit for a glass and then you can take your beer around the Market Hall, possibly taking advantage of all the food stalls.
The brewery and bar is the brainchild of Johannes Heidenpeter and he offered his first beer to the public on 24th December 2012. His equipment is capable of producing 300 litres per batch. Back in the busy bar, I wondered where the brewery was actually located. I was later told that in was in the basement of the market in an area that was previously used by a butcher. Although the bar has limited opening hours, see below, it is possible to take beer away.
Heidenpeters is well worth visiting as it provides a genuine alternative to the native styles of beer.
Heidenpeters, Markthalle Neun, Eisenbahnstrasse 42-43, Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Tel: +49 176 2229 1688
Open: Thursday 17.00-22.00; Friday 14.00-2000; Saturday 12.00-20.00.
To get to the Market Hall the best way is to arrive at Gölitzer Tor station on line U1 of the U-Bahn. This is an elevated railway, so descend to street level and walk back one block to the large church in Lausitzer Platz. Walk around the church and you should find yourself in Eisenbahnstrasse. Markthalle 9 is one block along and on the left side of the road.