Peter Sutcliffe has been a good friend of The Circus for many years – indeed we think of Peter as part of the family – and he has recently written a book all about a specific aspect of this city that we love: the Beer. Now, as you can imagine, discovering that someone has basically written a book just for me, filled with a selection of pubs and brews throughout the many corners of the city, is just too good to be true. Planning my Saturday afternoon trips around Berlin has just got a lot easier!
The book is so well-researched that even the most well-informed Berlin-Beeristas (such as myself) must bow down in respect. Complete with maps, descriptions and facts about the pubs and the beers they served, it all comes together to show the passion that Peter has brought to the subject. What Peter doesn’t know about the Berlin pub scene is most probably not worth knowing!
Now, as you might have gathered, I feel my drinking credentials are pretty sound. 22 years under my belt and 13 of them in Berlin. If I never drink another beer in my life I can safely say I have had my fair share. Indeed, one of my proudest achievements was simply surviving the legendary all-day sessions at the Sunderland University Beer Festival (1992 & 1993 – I went back for more!) and my souvenir tankard still has pride of place at my Mum’s house. Thanks Mum for not throwing it out…
Where was I? Ah yes, beer. So, what is the best beer in the world according to Jimbo? I think you could do a lot worse than a Radeberger, from a small town near Dresden, which was also Vladimir Putin’s favourite tipple during his KGB days in East Germany in the 1980s. You can find the best place to sample Radeberger on page 66 of Peter’s book.
And if you are looking for a warning? The very worst you can inflict on your guts? Well of course, it features on no page of Peter’s wonderful book because not only does he have extremely high standards but I doubt there is a bar in Berlin that serves up a pint of Stockport’s own Robinson’s Bitter. Perhaps I should not be so snobbish about my hometown brew. Then again, living in Germany gives you certain standards… Maybe I should just follow the advice of my Granddad, handed down through the generations:
“It does not matter what it tastes like as long as there is plenty of it.”
Norman Penders, ca. 1940
Now, would Mr Sutcliffe agree with my granddad? I’m not so sure…
You can buy a copy of Peter Sutcliffe’s book “Around Berlin in 80 Beers” at The Circus Hotel, or direct from the publishers at Books About Beer. If you would like a little taster of what to expect in the book, Peter recently wrote an article for the guardian on the subject.