Saturday 5th October 2013
Two market hall breweries on the bounce! After Markthalle 9 in Kreuzberg it was over to Alt-Moabit to visit the Armenius Markthalle there. This one is home to Brewbaker. They were once located in an arch under the West to East Stadtbahn railway line near to Belle Vue S-Bahn station and you'll find a report in BeerVisits on that pub, before it closed and moved to its present location.
I found the market hall quite easily and tried to go in through the main southern entrance but it was locked. I couldn't give up as I could see a signboard inside that showed that many of the attractions were still open. I went round to the west door, same again. I finally got in through the north entrance. My experience is worth bearing in mind if you plan to visit after 18.00.
This is the most sumptuous market I have ever visited. As a walked to the left of the hall I passed several long tables with people dining by candlelight. Beyond that area I found the brewery and its bar. The whole experience was somewhat surreal. It transpired that the congregation at the tables was a wedding reception as the speeches started around ten minutes after I arrived.
I asked the bartender what was on tap and amongst the list he supplied I heard him say Berliner Weisse (2.5%). This is a low alcohol sour wheat beer native to Berlin.
It has always been a bit difficult to find, and the last time I tasted it was in East Berlin during the communist era. I had tended to pass on the products of the big Berlin brewers because I have been waiting for a small one to produce it and here was my chance! Also, I'd never had it on draught before.
It is normally served with syrup added, the usual two being raspberry or woodruff. However the barman offered a third, Elderflower, which is a taste I like, so I went for that. I might as well not bothered, as the beer was so sour that was all I could taste! I don't dislike it, even though it was intense.
After that experience I had to calm the palate down a little so plumped for a half litre of Bellevue Pils (5.0%) and it was really good with medium bitterness, with no hint of sweetness at all, quite superb.
On that evening there were six beers on offer. I have mentioned two of them and the remainder were:
Herbst-Bock (Autumn Bock) (6.5%);
Berlin IPA (5.5%);
Berlin Red Lager (4.7%)
Berlin Ginger Beer (2.5%).
I would have liked to have tried the IPA but I had arranged to meet someone in another pub and had to get a wriggle on. Whilst researching this article I looked at the one I had written regarding the previous location at Belle Vue which opened in 2005. I visited on 29th November 2010. By the end of that year it had closed and in early in 2011 the brewery had opened here in the market hall. The reason I had not visited this location earlier is that has only recently opened in the evenings. Previously it was shut by 19.00; see below for the latest times.
I took a walk around the hall and looked at the up-market stalls. Some were only open during the day and these tended to sell the produce you would normally expect from a market. These were for Poultry, Cheese, Bread, Sausages, Greek Products, Fish, Flowers and Vegetables, amongst others.
Then there were the restaurants and food stalls. These all stayed open till 20.00, some 22.00, and were for Fish, Austrian, Italian, Vietnamese, Moroccan, German Regional, French and more. One company even specialises in banquets, one of which I was observing next to the brewery.
So a great place to go for good beer and good food.
Brewbaker, Armenius Markthalle, Arminius Strasse 2-4, Berlin-Moabit. Tel: 030 3990 5156
Open: Monday-Wednesday 11.00-22.00; Thursday-Saturday 11.00-24.00. Sunday: Closed.
By far the easiest way to get here is to arrive at Turmstrasse U-Bahn station. This is on line U9. Go out of the station by the Turmstrasse exit. Walk a few metres to Turmstrasse, turn right, keeping the church on the opposite side of the road. Take the third road on the right, Bremer Strasse. One block along and you will see the market on the left. Should it be late, keep on walking another block along the outside of the market then turn left, this entrance is the night door.