Tag Archives: nightlife

The Scene loves Craft Beer

The shortcut to a German’s heart is made of hop, malt, yeast and water. Yep, we love our beer! It’s delicious, nutritious and makes everyone around you look so much better. While Germany’s industrial-made beer is still considered holy by most, Berlin’s creative heads have started taking things into their own hands. Literally. Self-brewed craft beer is taking the city by storm. New breweries, bars and pubs open up by the day. If you’re a man (or woman) of culture, do not hesitate to try these amazing treats of German taste-engineering. Berlin is a big city – so where to start? Here’s a list of must-visits for your next sophisticated pub crawl. Prost!

BRLO
Before you ask – it’s pronounced BARE-LOW. Yep, we did ask. Located in a spacious container structure in Gleisdreieckpark, BRLO is a slightly hipsterish brewhouse and aspiring beer brand alike. With their laid-back park view and delicious brews, the trendy hotspot is the perfect location for cozy summer beers. Since beer gardens and cold temperatures don’t go together very well, they also boast a cozy indoor area with a fabulous food concept: shared vegetarian dishes with meat as sides.

Stone Brewing
Hold on tight and try not to drool – at Stone Brewing you choose between 65 beers off the tap! Their selection is big, the location is bigger. 2400sqm, up to 1200 guests and a 100-hectolitre brewing machine. Think big. Can you guess where CEO and co-founder Greg Koch might be from? Of course. USA! It seems he knows a thing or two about gastronomy – for the food concept, he hired Robert Hilges, who has worked for Ritz-Carlton and Adlon. Now he’s turning Stone Brewing into a delicious „world bistro“ in the heart of Mariendorf.

Kaschk
Ever heard of shuffleboard? It’s an American board game where players use a cue to push discs down a narrow court, which comes to rest in a score area with different points. Now imagine a top-notch craft beer pub around that board and voila – you have a recipe for fun evenings with your friends. Kaschk is Germany’s first bar to offer shuffleboard, along with a prime selection of Norwegian craft beer and fresh coffee from a filter holder.

Brewdog Mitte
Brewdog is a Scottish brewhouse chain. While we didn’t spot anyone wearing kilts (awww), they offer a selection of 30 draft lines of beer from German and global breweries. Brewdog Berlin’s boss Dean Pugh successfully ran the dependencies in London and Manchester, where they attract a young-professional crowd aged 25-40. Much like in Berlin. The main difference: Londoners start drinking at 6pm, Berliners at 11pm. Why? You don’t go to Berghain before 4 in the morning, and drinking beer for 10 hours is a challenge even for us.

The Castle Berlin
The Castle isn’t your usual hipster craft beer address. They reserve 6 taps for pubs’ classics: Kilkenny, Guiness, Cider and Pils. That’s because owners Ben Fisher and Gekko (yeah, Gekko) were born in Berlin – they know what people like. They also know you have to go with the flow – in this case, that means letting home-brewed craft beer flow into thirsty customers’ glasses. In their Mitte pub, they fit up to 200 people on a sunny terrace. Don’t worry if you stay too long – their morning coffee is just as good as the beer.

Braufactum
16 taps, 300 seats, indoor and outdoor area, located right on Alexanderplatz. What could go wrong? At Braufactu, everything is set for success. They boast expert German brewmasters working with international partner breweries. You can taste their love for brewing – but you can also learn from it: there are beer tastings, workshops and an inhouse Braufactu store to quench your thirst for knowledge (and beer).

Keen for a beer or two? You can learn even more abut Berlin’s craft beer bars here. If you really want to get under the skin of Berlin’s craft beer scene, don’t hesitate to sign up for our private Craft Beer Tours. We’ll show you the trendiest bars and bottles the city’s beer geeks are obsessed with.
Price: from 450 euro / 3 hour tour
Inclusions: Visits to 3 beer bars, private brewery tour, beer tasting, city tour (between stops), public transportation, private guide and lots of insider tips about Berlin’s craft beer scene.

Send request to info@berlinagenten.com

 

The Scene – 13 New Openings

The first heralds of winter are dancing through Berlin’s streets. Yep, it’s snowing! For some that’s reason enough to heat some mulled wine, for others it’s good reason to pull their blanket to the nose and stay in bed all day. No matter if you’re a winter enthusiast or a couch grouch – no one can resist a cozy restaurant and a hot meal when it’s freezing outside. Here’s the candidates for your next favorite eatery, restaurant or bar of the cold season:

Hermann’s
Herrmann’s team isn’t shy about their goals. With their Hermann’s spaces – a mix of restaurant, film set and even location – they want to want to revolutionize the food industry. How? By connecting those who invent food, those who produce it, those who sell it and those who buy it. The first Hermann Space just opened on Torstraße. It stretches over 300sqm, offers air roasted coffee from London, Polish delicacies and exotic blends like cold peanut soup with melon.

Wagner Bistro
Kreuzberg’s emerging dining drag for those in the know has a new member. Located on Paul-Lincke-Ufer, Wagner Bistro is a promising new gastro-pub. It’s run by the minds behind Industry Standard and makes a point of serving delicious organic food from mostly local ingredients. What’s special about their concept: the menu changes daily, depending on the chef’s inspiration and available ingredients. You can get canteen style lunch, coffee and tea from 10am-4pm. Dinner, cocktails, beers and wine are served from 6pm-2am.

Night Kitchen
Be warned: once you try Night Kitchen with your friends it might soon turn into your Every-Night Kitchen. That’s not only because they’re opened 7 days a week from 5pm until midnight, but because they have this amazing special offer. For 32€ per person you’re served a constant supply of hot and cold delicacies. Here comes the bang: All night long! That translates to delicious tomato and eggplant carpacio, beetroot with caramelized walnuts or brioche with tahini butter. In between there’s apple shots for you and your neighbours. An evening well spent. And again. And again.

Maverick’s
When we hear „Vienna House Andel’s Berlin“, we bow our heads and hail the culinary king of Lichtenberg – michelin-starred restaurant Skykitchen on 12th floor. Since it’s always booked out for months, hotel guests often can’t get a table. Andel’s Hotel’s solution: Maverick’s. Located on ground level, you’ll find California-inspired meals in a warm-hearted surrounding. Expect quality burgers, delicious beef sandwiches, crab cake and more. Maverick’s is a win-win situation for everyone – hotel guests enjoy a great inhouse restaurant and you don’t have to go hungry in Lichtenberg again.

GQ Bar
We all know the big era of print publication is over. So why not turn your magazine into 3D? Possible outcome: a sleek, stylish and sophisticated bar. GQ magazine did just that. Located in Patrick Hellmann’s Schlosshotel, GQ Bar is aiming to become a new hotspot for fashionistas und creative heads. While the excellent cocktails undermine that aim, wen can’t help but ask: Why open it in Grunewald? Berlin’s district of well-heeled pensioners isn’t exactly known to attract Berlin’s cool kids.


St. Bart
St. Bart is basically a mix of culinary finesse and english pub, with tiled walls and happy faces. The good thing is, they don’t ask you to decide. You can skip going to a restaurant before heading to drink, because the food is so good you simply go there for both. Start your night with tasty eats like fried chicken (how do they make it so crispy?), scotch eggs or even delicious nut cake. Then it’s off to please your inner hedonist with tap beer and a laid-back pub atmosphere. Go in, eat, drink, eat, drink, repeat.

Fifty Cocktail Heroes
Hand us a cocktail and we’ll be your hero for the night. But what if you could have fifty heroes and not just one? Well. You can. At Fifty Cocktail Heroes, you’ll find no less than 50 delicious cocktail creations waiting to be explored. The bar joins the fierce competition for coolest bar in Kollwitzkiez with Bryk Bar and Perle Bar among the rivals. Our recommendation: Prenzlauer Boy with beetroot, bourbon and cherry-balsamico-syrup.

Blend Restaurant
Blend restaurant is a mix of flavors, scents and culinary styles of Berlin. Their kitchen is inspired by contemporary food trends as well as traditional Berlin dishes. It’s what they call the „melting pot“ concept – a mix of Italian, German, Turkish and Asian influences. It’s catered to by chef Steffen Sinzinger who learned at „first floor“ restaurant (1 Michelin star) and developed his own style at Charlottenburg’s Le Faubourg.

Funky Fish
If there’s a name that stands for quality food in Berlin, it’s The Duc Ngo. 20 years ago he opened Kuchi – Berlin’s first upscale, modern and stylish sushi bar. He opened a number of restaurants then, the most recent being Funky Fish on Kantstraße. Funky Fish a Spanish fish restaurant with a Japanese twist. It’s based around The Duc Ngos love for seafood à la plancha, easily grilled with olive oil and seasalt.

Klub 808
Located in posh Bikini Haus – West-Berlin’s hotspot for high-end shopping – there’s a new stylish club designed by Laura Rave. She’s better known for designing legendary “Cookies” in Berlin and “Jack Rabbit” in Munich. Klub 808 (pronounced eight-oh-eight) unites dark blue, pink and black elements to create a contrast to Berlin’s dirty techno institutions. Instead you’ll find mostly soul, funk, r’n’b and hip hop.

Tor Bar
The name kind of gives it away: Tor Bar is located on Mitte’s busy Torstraße. The cozy wine and tapas bar was opened by Dieter Meier, also known as Yello’s frontman – a Swiss techno-pop musician pair. Dieter Meier already proved he knows how to attract hungry Berliners with his Ojo de Agua restaurant in Charlottenburg. With Tor Bar, he’s proving he also knows how to attract the more sophisticated Mitte crowd – with good drinks, a snug corner bar and delicious tapas.

The Scene meets Kleine Nachtrevue

Love is in the air. But not here. Here, it’s raw attraction. Arousal. Temptation. The first round of drinks has been served, the light is dimmed low. Is it just us or did it get hot in here? Two beautiful burlesque dancers appear on stage. It isn’t long until they start slipping out of their sparkling red dresses. The energy level rises. A woman sitting next to us in the dark whispers “God, even I would take these beauties home”. 

In Berlin wet dreams are never far, but finding something sophisticated can be challenging. Luckily, Kleine Nachtrevue isn’t a strip club but an intimate burlesque venue tickling your erotic fantasies. It’s a haven for erotic theatre, nude ballett and all things kinky. It makes you smirk, cheer, admire and of course – aroused. The easy play with nudity makes you want more at one second and lets all sexual appeal disappear in the next. Suddenly, you see it clearly: it’s just naked bodies dancing. Only a moment later, the show shifts back to its seductive play and temptation returns with a bang. Wonderful!

The show has its edges (super weird scene including a baby costume) but they just make it more likeable. It’s raw, authentic, honest and doesn’t crave for perfection. It’s Berlin in a nutshell, with all the hedonism, twists, turns and kinkiness. When the curtains fall and the star of the show enters the stage, you realise maybe you were wrong. Love IS in the air. 

Opened Wednesday to Saturday, shows start 9pm. Swing by and be amazed!

The Scene meets Weyde

There is a new star rising on Berlin’s nightlife sky! It’s neither in Mitte, Friedrichshain nor in Kreuzberg – which is rather unusual. Instead the new dancing temple is located in the insider’s district Schöneweide, located east of Friedrichshain. Right now Schöneweide isn’t exactly considered a cool hood, but our Berlinagenten instinct tells us the area will become a trendy and sought after place to live in within the next years.

The Weyde takes up the role of a techno pioneer – bringing the music that has made Berlin’s heart beat since the 90s to the outer district. With the same architectural office as the world-famous Berghain, it’s bound to have a distinctive visual touch to it. Our visit to the construction site has assured us that the concept behind the club is just as promising as the architectural planning.

With a wide array of techno/electronic music on the weekend and even Indie or Rock bands taking up the premises on workdays, we can imagine the whole thing working out quite well. For their 2 main floors they have made sure the sound will be ear pleasing to whatever audience: the industry standard Funktion One sound system will be installed at the club, which is used by the biggest music festivals world wide.

Another promising attempt to breath some fresh air into the every day life of Berlin clubbers: there will be a water-cab bringing you right from the inner city to the club’s own pier. How cool is that?! Forget cabs and traffic jams, from now on we’ll drive to the club with style and glam…on a boat!

What’s really unique about the club is its dimension and multi-functional spaces which make it seem like three clubs in one. Apart from the three floors (four if you add the wardrobe floor) there is a promising outdoor area, that will most likely be home to the biggest party trend in Berlin for years: open airs. Also the roof of the multi-storey car park the club is in will be used for cultural events, such as vinyl flea markets and open-air cinemas.

There was a small pre-opening party on December 12th, but the real gems AKA the two main floors were still under construction. We’ve already received our VIP invitation to the grand opening in January. Looking forward!

The Scene meets Mint

Booming basslines, cheerful crowds and dulcet DJs – yep, we’re at one of the infamous Mint parties… but hold on, what’s a Mint Party?

Zoe Rasch and her colleague Ena Lind brought the party series to life in 2013. Mint’s uniqueness stems from the fact that only female DJs get to play at their legendary parties. How’s that special? Female are horribly underrepresented in the clubbing scene and you’ll only rarely see women spin records in Berlin’s famous clubs. That’s a problem Zoe has taken to heart, seeing that she herself has had a successful career as a DJ, making crowds both in Berlin and in the rest of Europe scream with delight to her housey technoid sound for more than 10 years!

In Berlin there’s a traditional approach to fix problems. Throw a party, make it worthwhile, and people will love you for it. We’re a city that fiercely adores its party culture, so it’s no wonder that Mint’s fresh approach to the gender problem in DJing resonates with the spirit of the times. When you send Berliner’s a message they can identify with, you’ve won them. What can we say, Mint has won us over and over again!

Zoe’s booking agencies for female artists called Birds and Bells (all genres) and Mint Booking (electronic music) are the logical results of that line of thought. But Mint is more than just an agency or a party series: with regular workshops for DJanes and producers they create a solid network for female artists, that helps them form their creativity and brings it right where it belongs – on the dancefloor. It may well be the most important platform for female artists in Berlin at the moment, and the best thing about them is they put their emphasis on creativity. On raw talent, sound, the whole creative package. Sex sells may still be true for many aspects of business life, but Mint doesn’t have to blind its audience with deep necklines. Instead, they rely on fat basslines – the real key to Berlin’s heart.

If you want to find out what all the buzz is about, join us at Mint’s next party. Here’s an overview of their upcoming events.

Also you can find out more about Zoe in this month’s insider interview here (link).

The Scene – 5 hidden bars and clubs

Berlin boasts the best clubbing scene in the world. Period. With locations like Berghain, Kater Blau, Sisyphos, Watergate and KitKat, you can party from Friday to Monday, Monday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Friday and then start all over again. These clubs are world famous and often more crowded than a gym after New Year’s Day, so we handpicked a small but exclusive selection of hidden bars and clubs that will give you the Berlin experience on a much more intimate level. We present to you: 5 of Berlin’s best kept secrets.

Anita Berber

Does the name Anita Berber ring a bell with you? Known to wear a pet-monkey around her neck and regularly showing up completely wasted in public, Berlin’s notorious actress and dancer Anita filled the newspapers in the roaring 20’s with her drug and sex escapades. Thanks to local techno heroes Tom Clark and Sammy Dee, Anita is still making people dance today – as a cozy intimate Berlin night club. Don’t expect a bass heavy Berghain-style techno bunker, but rather an intimate cosmopolitan mixture of bar and night club whose decoration pays hommage to the 1920’s while groovy electronic beats guide you through the night. This is where the centuries meet!

How to get there: Coming from train station Wedding, head down Lindower Straße and turn right into Gerichtsstraße at the huge place at the end of the street. After a hundred meters or so you’ll reach house number 23 – the entrance is divided by a small pillar in the middle. Enter the premises and walk on until you’ve reached the last backyard. There, you made it!

Map

Larry Bar

One more fancy-shmancy bar in the once underground district Mitte and we’re going to throw up our champagne!! Wait, what? Nevermind. You can’t help but to take a liking to “anti-cocktail” bar Larry, which is filled to bursting with young, energetic people. Finally we have an edgy counterpart to match all the overpriced bars in Mitte, where the nights don’t get half as hot and nowhere as entertaining.  If you’re looking for some serious fun and have the same weakness for electro pop, drunk girls and 70’s slot machines, we’ll see you soon at Larry Bar. 

How to get there: From the intersection Friedrichstraße / Torstraße, turn left diagonally and you’ll see the bar sitting right at the crossing on ground level. It’s not illuminated from the outside so keep your eyes wide open!

Map

Ipse

Berlin is getting ready for a hot summer and what is predicted to be the biggest Open Air Party summer the city has ever seen! Ipse is amongst the most promising newcomers in the scene – with world class acts like Super Flu and andhim rocking the premises, the line up’s quality often compares to Berghain and the likes, though it’s aimed at a relaxed sunday afterhour crowd rather than full blown all night ravers (even though there’s an well-sounding indoor floor for when it gets too cold). The location feels very inviting, too: the vast outdoor area is determined by the typical Bar-25-style woodwork and a cozy touch of nature. Surrounded by trees, a river flowing past you, a cold beer in your hand and relaxed techno tunes to please your ears. What more could you ask for?!

How to get there: The entrance is right next to the gas station = to reach the entrance walk down the dark path just right next to the gas station (passing the entrance to restaurant Freischwimmer)

Map

Fairytale Bar

Tell ‘em the fairytale gone bad”. Sorry but no can do, Sunrise Avenue! Near Märchenbrunnen in Friedrichshain you’ve got all the ingredients for a fairytale gone great. The bar staff – or rather, mythical bar figures – are dressed up as fairytale characters and serve legendary drinks in a location that’s somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and an erotic fox’s den. The cocktail card looks like an ancient storybook and features mysterious drinks like Creshire Cat, The Black Knight or Jabberwocky. Legend has it that some frogs have been turned into princes in this location already, which may partly be due to the welcome drink you get. Its bottle looks like it was originally intended to hold venom, but don’t be fooled. This shot is your ticket into Wonderland and if you’re still not convinced – drink a cocktail from Cinderella’s high heels. Literally.

How to get there: On the other side of the Märchebrunnen in Friedrichshain, there’s this one dark inconspicuous door that looks like it leads to nowhere. Ring the bell and enter at own risk.

Map

OHM

We imagine OHM to be the short version of OHMYGOD. Located in a former thermal power station’s battery room, OHM is both art and party space and best known for its electrifying atmosphere and electronic dance music parties that regularly go through the roof. It’s located right next to Berlin’s techno temple Tresor and you can joyfully wink at the clueless tourists standing in line to Tresor as you pass them to a much cooler location. OHM hasn’t shown up on the touristic nightlife maps yet, so even though it’s right next to one of Berlin’s most famous clubs, it’s hidden right under their noses. Rule number one: Don’t talk about OHM. Rule number two: Have an unlabelled yet delicious beer from the bar. Rule number three: See Rule number one and two.

How to get there: From subway station Heinrich-Heine-Straße, follow the Köpenicker Straße for about 150m before turning left. It’s located in a huge industrial complex, but don’t take the main entrance (that’s Tresor). Pass the building and you’ll find an inconspicuous door that says “OHM”.

Map

On Tour – Blanca Beltz goes Berlin

Berlinagenten loves Blanca Beltz! B.B. is a young consultancy for brands and companies, specialising in interior design and contemporary ambients. Do have a look at their website and you’ll see these guys mean serious business: they shape retail shops for multinational brands and their projects so far look pretty awesome to say the least.

When we received word they were looking for an inspirational&educational tour with focus on the creative scene, we didn’t hesitate to hook them up with our popular Creative Scene Tour and dived right into the city’s flourishing start up and newcomers scene.

Blanca Beltz is an uprising star in the design scene, so we figured they’d benefit the most by getting a behind the scenes glimpse into a internationally successful Berlin-based company that’s already made it to the top: ic!Berlin. A company that sells high quality screwless glasses to the likes of Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson and even the King of Marocco (prices range from 300€ – 2000€). But.. how did they manage to get that far? While enjoying the panoramic view over the city on the company’s rooftop, our spanish guests from Blanca Beltz learned all about guerilla marketing, how to approach celebs to help build their brand reputation and creating the right image for their company. Keys to success, mark my words.

To infuse our guests with even more of the infamous Berlin spirit, we paid our tributes to an experimental space called Platoon made out of ship containers (like pieces of Lego built on each other), always moving on to the next temporary location when the construction takes off. Our guests learned all about art-oriented communication, cultural development and edgy bellow-the-line strategies in order to reach an audience. Now we know that listening all day can get tiresome indeed, so we handed out some refreshing beers while listening to the presentations.

Screaming, dancing and singing mechanic monsters finished off our day in a bizarre underground amusement park – a great example of unconventional ways in which art can be created and displayed. Our guests expressed their great appreciation for the inspiring places we had taken them that day, but we couldn’t hold them off any longer: a group of cheerful designers went to conquer the city by night. Who knows where they ended up…

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MEET LOLLIE BARR AS SHE MEETS HERSELF! DEEP!

Your Berlinagenten blogger Lollie Barr meets the author/journalist/cabaret artist/Berlinagenten guide Lollie Barr in a weird space-time continuum, where she talks to herself in the third person. Yep, Berlin makes you that crazy!

LB: So, how did you end up in Berlin?

LB: I came to write a story for marie claire called ‘48 hours in Berlin’, four years on, I’m still here. Fortunately for me, the first person I met was Henrik, who is contracted by Visit Berlin to show journalists the hip side of the city. He took me on an Urban LifeStyle Tour around Prenzlauer Berg and sold me the city in three hours. Henrik mapped out every hot spot and neighbourhood going. I’m still discovering them. That’s what I love about Berlin, it’s fabulous, city-wide.

LB: And now you’re a Berlinagenten guide yourself?

LB: After seven travel articles and many nights out, Henrik thought I had earned my Berlin stripes. I was ready to be unleashed on the friendly tourists as a lifestyle guide. I adore it. Our clients are always so interesting and interested to know what’s going on beneath the surface of Berlin. My favourite tours are the Gastro Rallyes because I’m a dedicated foodie.

LB: What’s your favourite place in Berlin?

I’m in love with Liquidrom the super cool sauna and spa in Kreuzberg. There’s a huge warm salt-water pool, where you float about as music comes from beneath the water. If you’re visiting on your birthday, it’s free! Just remember to bring some ID for verification.

LB: What the hell is going on with that photo? Is that you?

LB: Oh her? That’s Fifi La Muff, my French sex kitten alter ego, who is occasionally let out of her box to perform cabaret. I can often be found playing guitar and singing in my local bar The Marquee on Brunnenstrasse.

LB: Any other talents we should know about?

LB: Apart being able to bend back my fingers like a Balinese dancer?

LB: Impressive but yes.

LB: I write novels mainly. I have one published The Mag Hags, one due out on the 1st of April  and The Nine Months Three Weeks & Five Days that I was Famous’, is out in July.

LB: You’re busy then.

LB: Yes, better get back to blogging. Nice to meet you.

LB: You’re mad, I am you.

LB: Now you’re really confusing me!

Photo by Katrina James.