Beer Underneath the Arches

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by fizzytom on August 19, 2013

There are two branches of this excellent microbrewery and restaurant and we visited the one in Berlin Mitte on a cold Friday evening in December. The beer is brewed on the premises, a couple of arches under the S-bahn track, which makes this a very cosy and unusual setting because of the low arched ceiling. The place is hugely popular with the after work crowd and we saw lots of parties of tourists turned away. As we were only coming to sample the beer and not to drink, we were able to occupy a very small high table.

If you do want to eat you'll find a full and varied menu starting with soups which looked to me enough for a lunch with bread, to full meals from the grill including beef, pork and fish. The Lemke specialties include stuffed schnitzel and Berliner Eisbein with sauerkraut and pea puree. They also do the Swiss/western Germany specialty of Flammkuchen (a bit like a pizza with all kinds of toppings) and a selection of vegetarian dishes.

But it was the beer we came for an we were not disappointed. Lemke brews three main beers and there's a changing seasonal one. I'm not fan of dark beers and until the end of my trip to Berlin I was convinced I didn't really like wheat beers so I ordered a 300 ml glass of the pilsener for €3.00 (the price is the same for all the three main beers, while half litres cost €4.30) while I left my partner to try the four beer testing tray which is a bargain at just €4.10 for a 300 ml glass of each of the wheat, pilsener, original and a seasonal beer.

My pilsener was a refreshing golden coloured beer which was poured with a modest head. It was slightly cloudy, which I had not expected. Himself persuaded me that I should try the wheat beer and reluctantly I took a sip - and then another and another! This beer has a very slight sparkle and is just sweet enough with definite fruity aromas including banana. The Lemke Original is a lager like brew, clean and slightly dry, very drinkable indeed.

At the time of our visit the seasonal beer was a dark one. I took a sip just out of curiosity and discovered a rich slightly bitter beer with undertones of richly roasted coffee. I drink dark beers so rarely I'm not really qualified to comment too much but I didn't dislike it. Himself, on the other hand, ordered a half litre of the stuff once he had finished his tasting tray so clearly it had gone down well.

If you're interested in trying some different locally brewed ales then Brauhaus Lemke is a good place to try. Service is swift and friendly and the food looks to be pretty good too. This branch is just footsteps from the Hackescher Markt so easy to get to, while the other branch is at Luisenplatz in the Charlottenburg district and appears to be slightly larger, and more like a traditional beer hall.

Brauhaus Lemke
Dircksenstraße 143
Berlin, $zip
030 24728727

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