The first beer of the night, a sparkling wheat beer called Kristall Weizen, cost a very reasonable €2.10 ($2.79). Around 30 minutes later, I ordered a second. This time, it cost $2.52. Snigger if you must, but it was thrilling to get the timing right and save 27 cents.
But while I was getting some local lowdown on nightlife in the city, Kristall Weizen’s price jumped to a horrific $3.85. As I’m rarely fussy about brands—all German beers are fantastic—it was time to get less choosy. I switched to a $2.13 Radeberger.
On the banks of the river Spree, Die Berliner Republik pub and restaurant operates as a Bier Börse, or beer stockmarket at night. Shown on monitors, the price of the 18 different draft beers on tap depends on how popular each is at any given moment.
Like with the real stockmarket, prices fluctuate according to demand—and there’s always the possibility of a market crash on your favorite tipple.
Although it sounds something of a tourist gimmick, on the night I visited the clientele was mostly German. If you’re wary about visiting strange bars on your own, it’s a good place to come. There’s a friendly vibe, and it’s easy to get involved in conversation—even if you don’t speak German. Berlin is an international city, and many people speak at least a little English.
It’s also a city where you can eat, drink and be entertained around the clock. Along with the bar, the kitchen in Die Berliner Republik stays open until 6.00 a.m. Yes, that’s six o’clock in the morning.
Although I easily resisted the jellied pork knuckle, hearty German food is the perfect match for beer. I started with Eastern European favorite soljanka soup ($5.98). It’s made from a sweet-and-sour tomato base, red peppers and smoked sausage topped with sour cream. If I’d remembered how filling it was, I wouldn’t have also ordered a pork schnitzel with potato salad ($18.50) too. Although delicious, robust portion sizes made it impossible to finish.
It was no problem getting a table on a winter’s night, but reservations are recommended for the legendary Sunday brunch (10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.). All you can eat from a huge array of hot and cold dishes for $17.
Berlin is one of the best cities I’ve come across for quirky pubs. I’ve no space to tell you about any more of them here, but I’ve a bunch of other stories from my trip. I’m sure there are publications out there that would be interested in them.
If you could picture yourself doing my job, you owe it to yourself to find out more…
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