Friday, July 31, 2015

DAS MEISTERSTUCK!

I never really did finish telling you guys about my trip last month to Germany, did I? Someone should have reminded me. You know, we talked about German craft beer here and here, but there was one final chapter that I didn't get to tell ya about yet, and that was my evening spent at Berlin's DAS MEISTERSTUCK. You English-speakers may know it as "The Masterpiece", and in some ways, it really is. I read this New York Times article on beer in Berlin, and used it as my sherpa for places to go once I arrived for the 36 hours or so I spent there. Craft beer's really become a thing in Berlin, at least, so if I wasn't as spoiled for choice as I might have been in, say, San Diego, I still had plenty of first-rate options. 

DAS MEISTERSTUCK wasn't exactly a knockout beer bar on the level of, say, Mikkeller in Copenhagen and San Francisco or The Map Room in Chicago or any one of 4378 other awesome places, most of which I've never been to. What it is is a knockout sausage restaurant. I'm not kidding and neither is that NY Times guy: this is seriously the best sausage I've ever had, anywhere. I got their equivalent of the "mixed grill" and it blew my mind through my ass and then down my throat again. So on that count alone, I'd recommend it six ways from Sunday, and I'll absolutely go again if I ever make it to Berlin a second time in my life. 

Decor is also pretty unique and different. Lots of reclaimed furniture, odd lamps, and cuckoo clocks everywhere. Kitschy and approachable yet still relatively high-end. All right, all right, what is this, TripAdvisor? Sorry, folks. Beer. Beer. There wasn't enough of it here. Very little on draft, which was a big disappointment. Yes, they had lots of bottles, and many came from Belgium and the US of A. But my server at least really didn't know a whole heck of a lot about any of 'em, leading me to once again conclude that this is a great restaurant that just happens to serve quite a few really great and/or unique beers as almost an afterthough.

I had a "white IPA" made by a Dutch brewer, but.....they didn't know who made it. It was on draft, hoppy and even a little tart with a ton of foam. Nothing "euro" about it at all, just great. I know that doesn't give you much to go on, but hey, how many white IPAs from the Netherlands can there be, right? Do your homework if you're so interested!

Feeling a little peeved about the mere 3 beers on tap, I got a bottle of "Berliner Art" from BREWBAKER. It's a double IPA in the quote-unquote American style. Pours a promising brown/orange. It's hoppy with strong counterbalancing big malts, but then that's what you'd expect. It's perfectly pedestrian and decent, like you might expect as well from a German brewer trying to go big and badass, American-style. I applaud them and award a very pedestrian and decent 7/10 for their efforts.

In summary, when in Berlin, go to Das Meisterstuck and order that sausage plate. Pull your socks up to your knees, put your camera on a strap around your neck, and harass the manager in your loudest American accent about their lack of draft beer. Then you'll pretty much have the same night I did! Enjoy!

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