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With the "Br? O Brwhouse", Katharina Kurz, Christian Laase, Michael Lembke and cook Ben Pommer have come up with a special concept in an extraordinary ambience. And that goes down very well. Without a reservation, nothing works here at the weekend.

Black, corrugated metal walls, a straight container construction on two levels. Hissing a well-tended beer in a more aesthetic ambience than in the "Br? O Brwhouse" is hardly possible in Berlin. The modern brewery is located in 38 welded, used overseas containers. Inside, with thick wooden tables, metal chairs and narrow light installations, things are straightforward, but still cozy. The former "traveling brewers" from "Br? O" have settled down directly at the Gleisdreieck underground station with 60 of their own and "befriended" types of craft beer and a refined, vegetable-based cuisine by chef Ben Pommer. The restaurant, brewery and kitchen share the same space in the containers.

But what would the best choice of location and the chicest architecture be without great-tasting and happy beer and food? Nothing.

Perfectly coordinated canapés with the beer

The vegetables are the star on the plates. Ben Pommer gives green and colorful in cold or warm versions the space they need to complement or provoke the beers with an extra twist of taste. As a beer skeptic with little solid knowledge, I am the ideal candidate for the "Br? O Tasting Board" with five self-brewed beers for eight euros.

Berliner Weisse, Helles, Pale Ale, German IPA ("Indian Pale Ale") and Porter are arranged in 0.15 glasses on a wooden shelf, sorted from light to dark, from light to strong and from left to right. The dark Baltic Porter, a cross between English Porter and Russian Imperial Stout, as waiter Alex explains to me, is my spontaneous favorite - full-bodied, caramel-like, only slightly bitter when served and later warm, mild and malty in the finish. Yes, wine poetry à la "round finish" also goes well with craft beer! Flavor enhancer for the porter from the "small food pairing" that is served with it is a clove of black garlic, which extends the pleasant mouthfeel with a touch of sweetness. For 2.50 euros there are suitable extra snacks from the kitchen that are matched to the beer flavors - a great opportunity to get a taste of the individual nuances.

Just like wines, the cold-hopped craft beers are creatively and diversely developed and brewed by the brewers. Ten of our own, unfiltered beers are made in small quantities from organic malts and different types of hops from Germany, Australia and the USA, explains Michael Lembke on a tour of the brewery. "You're paying attention to the beer and drinking culture again," says the delighted master brewer, whose temporary creations such as a "Maple Smoked Wheat Bock" flavored with maple shavings are well received by the guests next door. He is currently working on the recipe for a "Red Ale" that will be bottled in May.

In summer there will be a sour beer made with fresh strawberries - Berliner Weisse with a fine taste and without syrup. The "Br? O" beers wait to be filled in steel tanks lined up like an organ pipe with a capacity of 2,000, 4,000 and 8,000 liters. There have recently been tours of the brewery on Saturdays. Sometimes friends take over the taps for an evening: On April 1st, starting at 5 p.m., there will be "The White Hag Tap Takeover" by Irish craft beer brewers. The day before, the Irish and the Germans will brew a new beer together in a "Colab Brew", which will later be presented and served in Ireland.

The focus is on vegetables

If the focus is more on the food, I personally prefer to stick to a type of beer that is served from three euros in a 0.3 or from 4.50 euros in a 0.5 glass. I like the pale ale best with its mango-like and slightly grapefruit notes with vegetables. It has exactly the cross-country mobility that unobtrusively underlines the fine aromas. I also like the stronger, "undiluted" German IPA, but it demands more attention for itself. Ultimately, it's all a matter of personal taste.

The mild celery cooked in the smoker with apple-celery glaze, mustard cream and walnut crumble may seem too gentle to me, but other times it fits perfectly as a sloppy, feel-good vegetable. It is practical that the dishes are geared towards combining and sharing: those who eat alone can order one of the vegetables, side dishes and "on top" bowls in size "S" for 14.50 euros. For up to three or five people, more components in "M" and "L" can be combined for 38 or 65 euros. And where is the meat? It can always be ordered as a "plus" from 6.50 euros in four flavors and portions of different sizes.

"We want meat to be special," says Ben. He puts ribs from the Swabian-Halle free-range pork, dry aged pork belly from Mangalitza pork, beef short ribs smoked with apple and hickory wood and beef brisket in the smoker and leaves them in it for up to 20 hours. "Take the beef short ribs, they are particularly successful today," recommends Alex. "Oh no, I don't like to gnaw on the bone," I object. "No problem, the cook can cut the meat for you." Convinced! The choice, the service and the taste. The short ribs are well seasoned, pink on the bone, rimmed with a nice brown crust and buttery soft.

The word "Br? O" is pronounced "Bärlo"

Whether colorful beets with smoked cottage cheese and miso, wild broccoli in all textures and designs with sheep's cheese or green asparagus with nut butter, paprika and wild herbs - the vegetable dishes do not miss the meat. The crisps made from savoy cabbage, celery, mushrooms and leek are a crispy delicacy. A slice of ox heart tomato looks at me invitingly. Request accepted: It will be nibbled away immediately and with pleasure. The company is also impressed: "I can go here with my son and my father." The younger ones are vegetarian, the older ones love traditional cuisine, and the "Br? O Brwhouse" has something for everyone.

My favorite is the fried lettuce heart, seasoned with a tomato dashi vinaigrette. Vegetable chips crack crispy and malt, i.e. grain that has germinated and dried again, says hello to the beer once. Soon the lettuce will come from "Europe's first growing container right next door," reports Ben. We are currently working on the final details of the optimal growth environment for leaf salads and herbs.

Ben Pommer's precise, respectful and loving handling of vegetables can be seen in conversation and in his dishes. The work for three-star chef Nils Henkel, one of the pioneers of vegetable haute cuisine in Germany, has left its mark. Ben consciously left the star trail after a long journey: "I no longer wanted to cook only for the 30,000 gourmets who always come." The brewery culture fascinated him no less. "In the brewery you share your food and you can have it together. At the end of the world, on the Fiji Islands, there was a table for the whole village and everyone ate together. I really appreciate such a sociable meal." The 32-year-old's friends can also stop by in a more uncomplicated way: "I wanted to do something relaxed, also with a relaxed price." He succeeded in doing this straight away at the "Br? O Brwhouse" - a reservation for the weekend is recommended. Soon there will be 350 seats in the beer garden in addition to the 170 seats inside. There "two or three vegetable stories, ribs and sandwiches" with beer and other cold drinks are served through two "flaps" on the sides of the container.

The question remains: why such a complicated name? Who also pronounces himself completely different than expected: "Bärlo". "Br? O is the old Slavic origin of the name Berlin. Together with the ending" in "it means something like" swamp "or" dry place in a wetland ", explains" Br? O "managing director Katharina Kurz." We found that pretty suitable for a beer brand. "Together with college friend Christian Laase and master brewer Michael Lembke, she formed the original trio of" Br? O "at the end of 2014. something to do with beer ".

Ben Pommer had similar ideas and also had an eye on the area at Gleisdreieck, so that the owner of the site brought the four together. For the next "three years plus x", the location of the "Brwhouse" has been secured, says Katharina, and later development with office buildings is planned. The container building is therefore "collapsible" and transportable for good reason. Until it gets that far, it is important to show the earth and luxury foods the respect they deserve, as large illuminated letters on a container wall demand: "Save the planet, it's the only one with beer".

By Ute Schirmack

Ute Schirmack is a journalist, author and researcher of urban living spaces. These living spaces include the restaurants, cafés and bars in Berlin, which you can now explore with pleasure with pen and paperet.


Info:

Br? O Brwhouse

Schöneberger Strasse 16

10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg

Telephone 030-55577606,

Reservations 0151-74374235

Opening times: Tuesday to Friday from 6 p.m., Saturday to Sunday from 12 noon

www.brlo-brwhouse.de