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Pub Visit - Germany

Visited on: Sunday 5th March 2017

Bob Thompson

BRLO1If you think the title of this piece is a typographical error then you would be wrong. Unbelievably, it is correct. I don’t want to be some old sourpuss on the subject of this pub, yet its name sets the scene perfectly for what you encounter when you visit. Let me say right now that the beers I had in this establishment were good and in the final rub, that is all that matters.

BRLO2Actually, this brew-pub is a fairly accurate representation of the situation where the Berlin “craft” scene is in at in 2017. Fiercely pro-Hipster, it counts on a large amount of followers of this style as customers. At the end of a Sunday lunchtime it was at its finest; there were certainly some beards on display! Yet, it was a day for the whole family. Dotted around the pub were prams of howling babies whilst their older siblings ran unattended amongst, and under, the tables with the apparent objective of tripping up the waiting staff.

The pub and brewery are housed in a structure made from second-hand shipping containers. The clue to their previous use is evidenced by the number of dents to the outside of the building. I have read that it was designed by a consultant and it has been praised. The reality is 38 grey-painted containers have been knocked together with some window frames inserted. The truth is, this is a very ugly temporary building that can be taken down and reassembled elsewhere when the lease runs out on its present location.

BRLO3Sorry if I am painting an over-pessimistic picture of the pub but I hate BS when it comes to design. Inside it is a bit better with good views out to the Park am Gleisdreieck and a fairly good ambience. I entered from the entrance alongside the Gleisdreieck U-Bahn station. There is a raised section in the centre of the bar room and I turned right towards the bar counter. This was necessary because the beers on offer are displayed on a series of blackboards above it.

Before I get to the beer can I describe the rest of the pub? There are shelves all around the side of the partition that encloses the central part of the pub. I settled on one of these as my previous position near the bar became overwhelmed by customers queuing to order beer. This is despite the considerable numbers of waiting staff. However they would disappear for long periods of time behind the bar counter, hence the problem.

BRLO4The 20 hl capacity brewery along with its fermentation and maturation vessels are located behind the bar. At the opposite end of the building is the kitchen. Above that is a further drinking area with some sofas and large windows. The toilets are located here and there is a balcony with views over the rest of the pub. The pub will have an extensive biergarten opposite the park in the summer months.

The brewery and pub are the brainchilds of Katharina and Christian Laase who met at university. They were joined by Michael who is a fully-trained brewer. At first they made beers under the BRŁO name on the plants of other brewers. A major step forward came on 8th June 2016 when they opened a pop-up bar on the current site.

After that venture had closed for the winter they constructed the present building which opened on 20th December 2016, just a couple of months before BeerVisits called in. The odd name is the old Slavic name for Berlin. The “Ł” letter of the alphabet is still used in Polish and is pronounced a bit like “wa”.

BRLO5They have done well since. So well, that Air Berlin now sell their beer in cans.

There were eleven beers on offer from the home side: Helles (5.0%); Pale Ale (6.0%); Weizen my ass (5.0%); German IPA (7.0%); Baltic Porter (7.0%); Red Ale (6.0%); Victorian Secret Lager (5.0%); Weizen Doppelbock (7.5%); Berliner Weisse (4.0%), Double IPA (8.0%) and Maple Smoked Weizenbock (6.5%). the latter was brewed here in Berlin as a collaboration with the Steamworks Brewery of Vancouver, Canada. (Use link to see article on this brewery in BeerVisits.)

Then there were the guest beers, some of them quite exotic: Dancing Camel (Tel Aviv, Israel) Blue Papa (7.5%); Brewbaker (Berlin-Moabit) Ginger Beer (5.0%); Berliner Bier Barone (brewed at Brauerei Landsberg, near Halle) Hoppy Bock (6.5%); Beavertown (London) Lupuloid (6.7%) and Buddelship (Hamburg) Brouge (5.6%)

BRLO6The list continues with Tilmans (Munich) (Brewed at Brauerei Buddelship, Hamburg) Ayoy-ster Stout (6.8%); Crew Republic (Unterschleissheim, near Munich) X2.4 (11.0%): Propeller (Bad Laasphe, near Marburg) Nachtflug Imperial Stout (9.1%) and To Øl (Based in Copenhagen, Denmark and brewed at De Proefbrouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium) Sur Simcoe (4.5%).

The food here is mostly vegetarian with some smoked meats. It seems to operate on a mix and match system and is not cheap.

Although their beers are available elsewhere, this is the only place you will find so many of them under one roof and is recommended for that reason.

Important Information:

Brło Brwhouse, Schöneberger Strasse 16, 10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg. Tel: 030 555 7606

Monday: Closed; Tuesday-Friday: 17.00-24.00; Saturday-Sunday: 12.00-24.00

The pub is best reached by using the U-Bahn (Metro). It is located where line U1 crosses line U2.
The station is Gleisdreieck. If arriving on U1 descend to the U2 platforms.
Then further descend to street level from the end of the platform. From the exit turn left.
Go under the U2 lines and turn left again. The pub is now directly in front of you.