Berliners love to drink beer. And back in the days, they liked brewing them as well. Even when Berlin was still a small village, people who visited Berlin and went home to their country life and wife, drank a view beers at Berlin’s oldest beergarten: Prater. Berlin had a lot of breweries, such as the Pfefferberg, Willner Brauerei and the Kulturbrauerei. A lot of them are all transformed into cultural hubs. But not all Berlin breweries. The beautiful lookalike of Kulturbrauerei, the Barenquell Brauerei, is abandoned.
Abandoned Berlin Brewery
It’s a strange contrast. Kulturbrauerei has got a cinema, clubs, shops, a bike rental and a supermarket. During the day and the night it’s full of people having fun at the red bricked building that used to be a beer plant where bottles came rattling out of the machines. At the Barenquell Brauerei near S-bahnhof Schoneweide, you would expect the same thing. It’s equally beautiful. The former brewery also has red bricked towers with elegant arches. But you won’t find a cinema or bar here, because it’s totally abandoned.
Bears drinking beers at Barenquell Brauerei
Still, the Barenquell Brauerei is a very interesting place to visit. The rough side of it is very appealing and very Berlin too. Outside you can see a furious horse galloping over the walls and huge smileys welcome you. Stranded cars are sprayed all over the place with fascinating graffiti. And inside you can find old beer bottles and beer labels from the Barenquell Brauerei. Cute bears proudly hold a beer in their claws. They were the symbol of the Barenquell (bears’ source) brewery. You’d think Barenquell would be the ultimate Berlin beer, since the bear is the ultimate city of Berlin, but you won’t find a Barenquell beer in the whole city. Or beyond. Like so many East German breweries, the Barenquell Brauerei didn’t survive die Wende for a very long time. Allthough the beer tradition of the Barenquell Brauerei allready started in 1882 (under a different name), the people of former East Berlin didn’t like to continue drinking beers that were bottled in former East Berlin. They longed for western beers, causing the Barenquell Brauerei to close in 1994.
Future of Barenquell Brauerei
What happens next to the former brewery, no one knows exactly. There are plans to create a hardware store in the old buildings. Some old parts of the over a century old buildings will have to be demolished for these plans to become reality. Hopefully this will take a long time until a better idea comes along. In the mean time: enjoy the Barenquell Brauerei and its nice graffiti of drunken bears, sitting in a corner, sipping beers and other strange, colorful creatures. Cheers!