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Pub Visit - Germany

Krongut Bornstedt 1Sunday 6th October 2013

Bob Thompson

This is yet another historic building in one of Germany’s most historic cities. Potsdam was the seat first of the Dukes of Brandenburg, then the Kings of Prussia and from 1871, the Emperors of Germany. Its name translates as the Bornstedt Crown Estate and it was established as a mechanism to supply the royal household with produce. It is but 400 metres from the Sansoucci Palace, so was well situated for the purpose.

Of interest to beer drinkers is that a brewery was established here in 1689 and hop gardens were planted in 1727. King Friedrich-Wilhelm 11 (1795-1861) had a dream for Bornstedt and he achieved it in 1841 when it was rebuilt in Italianate style.

This meant the demise of brewery and hop gardens, but by then commercial beer was safe to drink and there was no need to brew your own. From then on it continued as mostly a dairy and poultry farm. In a further attempt at beautification an English Garden was planted in 1875. It was used as homes for the various Princes and Princesses.

Krongut Bornstedt 2After 1918 on the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm (1859-1941) it was taken over by the state and, as far as I can understand, was leased to the former royal family, although some of it was used for government offices and its slow decline began. The last person to use it was Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (1882-1951) and he left in 1950.

The DDR authorities built additional buildings in the “concrete slab” style of architecture. After unification it remained unoccupied until its restoration commenced in 1999.

It opened in 2002 with the establishment of a restaurant and brewery in the main building. The other buildings grouped around the courtyard house various up-market businesses and a “Royal” bakery.

Krongut Bornstedt 3There are often festivals of the kind where people dress up as knights or courtesans with powdered wigs. I thought the whole set-up rather cold and totally exploitive.

Well, there was still the brew pub. First impressions were fine and the brewing equipment certainly looked impressive behind the bar. It’s very large with vaulted ceilings and had the appearance of a rustic beer hall.

The beer goes under the name of Büffel (Buffalo) which is said to be the name of the first beer brewed here back in the 17th century.

I ordered both the Hell (Light) and Dunkel (Dark) and this is where it went wrong. I started with the Dunkel, which wasn’t dark at all, see photo below.

Krongut Bornstedt 4It had a very strange taste that I couldn’t identify; I eventually concluded that it was just about acceptable. Not so the Light; this beer had a sweet, sandy, yeasty taste and was not very good at all.

Why is this pub in BeerVisits? Well, I cannot believe that this is the normal taste of these beers. Something must have been wrong when I visited. I would dearly like a second opinion. The pub is very popular so I would like to think someone else has visited. I you have, please tell us what you thought of the beer.

The menu looked good albeit a bit pricy and they have their own in-house distillery.

Important Information:

Krongut Bornstedt Brau-und Brennhaus, Ribbeckstrasse 6-7, Potsdam-Bornstedt
Tel: 0331 55 06 50

Open: Monday-Sunday 11.00-23.00

There are several ways to get to the pub. I think the route I used is probably the best and that is to catch tram 92 to its terminus at Kirschallee, then head in a southerly direction from the stop. Walk across a car park into Kirschallee which immediately joins with Potsdamer Strasse. Cross this main road and turn left into Ribbeckstrasse. Keep walking for about ten minutes and you will the pub on the left just after the church.