Advantages Central location; good value tasting tray; comfortable environment
Disadvantages Slow service; more of a restaurant than a pub
|Value for Money|
|Standard of Service|
Berlin’s microbreweries come in all shapes and sizes and this one, Brauhaus Mitte is attached to a modern shopping centre close to the Alexanderplatz and the Hackeschermarkt. We visited on a Sunday afternoon when the stores were closed and we entered by way of a staircase at the side of the shopping centre with led us directly into the bar area. I had spotted the word Brauhaus on the sign on the roof from across the road and we had no idea until we went in that this is a restaurant as much as it is a brewery tap.There are tables for casual drinkers near the bar, and more comfortable larger tables and lovely upholstered booths round to the left on a slightly elevated level. There are lots of tables, most of which were full on this busy Sunday in December; we had to sit in this section where all of the other tables appeared to be occupied by diners though I’d rather have sat nearer to the bar as I felt a little like an intruder on a family day out. For a shopping centre they’ve done a reasonable job of creating some atmosphere though I suspect that the Christmas decorations played a big part in this. There is a feeling of cosiness I wasn’t expecting, though for general drinking it could be more comfortable. The big copper brewing vessels are made a feature of the restaurant and I believe all the beers are made on site. Tours are possible, I think, but contact the brewery by email in advance to arange.
The very worst thing is the speed of the service; it is painfully slow and really ought to have been better because, for all it was busy, there were lots of staff on duty. Not only did it take ages to get a waiter to stop at our table, we had to wait for ages to get our drinks once we’d ordered them. In hindsight it might have been better to have taken a table nearer the bar in order to get our drinks more quickly.Himself asked for a tasting tray which allowed him to sample all of the beers made by the brewery. This was nicely presented, four small glasses on a tray with a little dish of roasted barley to nibble on placed at the side. Like Jack Spratt and his wife do with meat, we have a strategy for dealing with those beers we don’t like: in this case Himself gets the porter or darkest beer, while I tackle the wheat beer.
While all of the beers we sampled were perfectly palatable, there was nothing really distinctive or unusual in this selection. The pilsener type was my favourite, crisp and refreshing and slightly malty. The wheat beer was light but with plenty of flavour though I prefer my wheat beer to have a more citrussy flavour; there was a hint of banana in this wheat beer. The dark, or 'dunkel' as the Germans call it, was moderately malty but had a pleasing chocolate and coffee combination of flavours. It's not something I would choose to have a whole glass of but it's flavour was good. Finally there was a seasonal beer which I presumed to be something Christmassy as we visited in mid December. Most of the breweries produce pccasional seasonal beers in addition to their usual brews. This one had a slight flavour of berries and there was a notable flavour of slightly burned caramel.I think this is the sort of place that is better to visit if you are going to eat. It’s not especially relaxed if you’re only going to drink and I did feel a bit out of place because we weren’t dining. It is a good option, however, if you’re out as a family group for a meal and don’t want the traditional pub environment. If you’re only coming to sample the brews then it’s one for the real enthusiasts who simply have to visit every brewery in the city; the food, though, looks very good so I’d suggest giving the Brauhaus Mitte a try if you’re looking to combine a good dinner with a tasting session.
A half litre of beer will cost around €4, as does the tasting tray of four 100ml glasses.
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