Monday 20th January 2014
This is a (relatively) new brewery in the Altstadt of Düsseldorf. At first I wondered why anybody would want to open a modern brewery in an area that has so many classic pubs, bars and restaurants selling the best Altbier to be found, anywhere. On reflection I think the location is everything; but please let me explain.
The Altstadt is visited by customers of all generations. Yet, the best Altbier comes from the old established brewers in this small area. However, their pubs are very traditional, every though they cater for all ages.
If you wanted to open a modern bar with music, you would be forced into the clutches of the large industrial Altbier producers, owned by multi-national companies, for beer supplies. So, why not open a new bar that appealed to younger drinkers that stayed open to 05.00 at the weekends, and give it a brewery?
That, I think, is the reasoning behind this brew pub. Well, I was about to find out as I entered its door and looked for a seat. Not difficult actually, as the place wasn't very busy.
Quite quickly a problem arose, as although the waitress took the order for a beer fairly soon after I had arrived, the subsequent delay before it arrived was intolerable. The waiting time was double the drinking time! With only one person doing everything, this was a lesson on how not to run a pub.
When you are serving small glasses of beer, the Düsseldorf tradition, you have to do it quickly, that is the standard in this city. A further cause for annoyance was that the glasses were 0.2l instead of the norm of 0.25l.
During the wait I had a look around. The bar is central in the pub and at the back on the left, there was the brewery. Now, I know that the decor of the pub is as it is supposed to be, but you could say it looked as if it was started and never finished. Some areas had tiles and these gave way to bare brick, see photograph. Actually, probably what has happened is that the tiles are from the previous occupant of the building and they started to strip them off then gave up. That's my theory, anyway.
The beer eventually arrived with a pleasant surprise, as Kürzer Alt (4.8%) was actually very good. A little bit gassy, and I think I know why, but a lovely deep taste with a bit more bitterness than expected.
It was served from a strange glass tank on the bar. I suppose this is meant to look like the transparent equivalent of the traditional wooden barrel. But it is not; as I think it is fed from a storage tank. This is the method used in most German brew pubs and there is no reason to suppose this place is any different. This would explain the slight gassiness of the beer.
There is a menu available, yet I would suggest that you might turn in to a skeleton before any food arrived!
This pub is worth visiting only for its rather good Altbier, as it is not available anywhere else, although you can take it away in flip-top bottles. As it just a couple of minutes from the other beery attractions of the Altstadt you should try it, if only for a (not so) quick one.
Brauerei Kürzer, Kurze Strasse 18-20, Düsseldorf 40213. Tel: 0211 322696
Open: Monday-Thursday 18.00-01.00; Friday-Saturday 18.00-05.00; Sunday 15.00-01.00
The pub is just over five minutes walk from Heirich-Heine-Allee station and tram stop.
This is served by trams 703, 706, 712, 713 and 715.
U-Bahn lines are U70, U74, U75, U76, U77, U78 and U79.