Home > Beer > Beer in Berlin: Dicke Wirtin, Charlottenburg and Berliner Kindl Weisse

Beer in Berlin: Dicke Wirtin, Charlottenburg and Berliner Kindl Weisse

We spent very little time in what used to be West Berlin during our holiday, but did take the S-Bahn to Zoo station to see the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, an iconic church mostly destroyed by air raids but whose surviving broken spire and entrance hall, containing some incredible mosaics, stands beside a modern functionalist church built between 1959 and 1963.  After a brief walk down the shopping street Kurfürstendamm, we turned up to Savignyplatz to find a beer.

Around Berlin In 80 Beers guided us towards Dicke Wirtin (the “Thick Landlady”, Google translate tells me, which seems to refer to a revered, Corrie-esque former landlady immortalised in photos and unflattering charicatures), a traditional wood panelled pub with lots of kitsch character. The front room was full of mirrors and high tables and a bar with large glass flasks of homemade fruit brandy above it.

The back room appeared to be a dining room, with a mannequin dressed as a Soviet officer guarding a corridor back to the kitchen and toilets.  Off the front room was a smoking room, which still made the bar smell a bit of smoke, which is difficult to ignore following the blanket implementation of the smoking ban in the UK.

Kate ordered a König Pilsener, as suggested by the book, which was a pleasant pilsner if not as bitter as it had apparently once been renowned for.  I decided that I couldn’t leave Berlin without trying a Berliner Kindl Weisse with grün, a woodruff syrup.  I was informed that Kindl Weisse on its own tastes a bit like a watered down lambic and that almost everyone has it with either green or red (raspberry) syrup.

It didn’t bode well that the green beer came with a straw.  It tasted very sweet, like a jelly sweet, with a fairly artificial taste.  If the original beer had much of an underlying taste, it couldn’t be identified.  I managed to drink it quickly before moving on to a small glass of pilsner.

I should note that Dicke Wirtin had soft rock ballads playing in the background including, inevitably, Wind Of Change by the Scorpions.  I don’t think I’ve ever visited a city in continental Europe – Prague, Rome, Madrid, Florence, Bruges – without hearing the bloody thing, usually from a busker.  However, at least it seems apposite in Berlin, if  no less clichéd and cloying.  The perfect song for a Berliner Weisse with a woodruff shot, in fact.

  1. November 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I really do need to go back to Berlin

  2. November 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Dicke means “fat”.

    • November 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Cheers, I thought it might mean “stout” or something similar, rather than “thick”.

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