2014 welcomed a special addition to the Circus family: the Circus Hostel Brewing Co – and with this, a microbrewery was installed, and a local legend was born…

Since then gallons of our amber nectar has been quaffed by locals and tourists alike, and now, it is with much excitement we welcome another legend to the Circus: Bar Manager Callum Hunter, Scotlands finest export and Berlin’s newest implant.

Callum brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective too ‘oor wee microbrewery and has a lot of inspiring ideas in the pipeline for the Circus Hostel Brewing Co. His plans include more live music and hosting local DJs, a brand spanking new and totally unique Circus-Sideshow-themed cocktail menu and a specially hand-picked whisky selection including Glengoyne Whisky, native to his hometown. I caught up with him to find out more…

Callum, Berlin is a city teeming with expats and every day the Circus welcomes hundreds of thirsty tourists to our fair city, what is it about Berlin that brought you here and why do you think Berlin always makes the top destination hit lists? 

I first visited Berlin with my parents when I was 15. We have always been a family that is quite passionate about architecture and arts, so obviously I was quite captivated with Berlin from the word go. As I grew older I returned seven more times, exploring more of the what the vibrant arts and music scene had to offer in this city, before I decided enough was enough, packed my bags, and moved here permanently!

And thank goodness you did as we hear you’ve got some exciting new changes coming our waygot some exciting changes coming our way…

Berlin is a focal point for arts and music in Europe. I aim to bring in more live performances, with acoustic sets, spoken word, and DJ’s taking the floor in our basement sessions. I am also in the process of introducing some new art installations into the bar, bringing the space a new identity.

What excites you most about the Circus Hostel Brewing Co?

Our very own Microbrewery for one thing! Still amazes me that we brew our own rotational catalogue of beers in the basement of a hostel. The beer is great for one thing, but I also try to keep a fun and lively atmosphere in the bar. Good, diverse music is key and I’m looking forward to celebrating that!

Ah the beautiful craft beer… but we hear you recently created some tasty new cocktails that are soon to be unleashed – and they all have Circus Sideshow themes right?

Yeah, in fact, we just had our very tipsy training last week at Circus School! It was great getting everyone involved, trying out the new cocktails and of course sampling the results was a pretty fun job too!

Hard job for some, eh? Do you have a favourite cocktail off the list? 

Obviously, I love all of them equally – there’s something and a spirit for everybody – but if I really had to choose my personal favourite it would have to be the Ventriloquist! It is something with a bit of kick, but I’ll let the drink do the talking for me…

A boozy little birdy told me that we also have some other fun libations coming our way.. and hinting back to your bonnie homeland aye?

Ha! Definitely! I´ve just hired a second Scotsman, so you won’t be short of us! For the new menu, I have hand-picked a Scotch Whisky collection, one I feel is quite unique to us! Including one from my hometown Killearn. Myself and Al our new whisky specialist are more than willing to help you in this department with our homeland knowledge. Also on the list is our brewery’s very first Scottish Golden Ale with guest brewers Pirate Brew Berlin…So I think you can safely say I am imposing some of Scotland o’er oor wee bar!

You don’t say! Well with all this happening, I think I speak on behalf of all the thirsty Berliners when I say that we couldn’t be happier to have you here and can’t wait to share a drink with you.

Just one last question: If you could sit and have a drink with anyone at the CHBC – dead or alive – who would it be and what would you be drinking?

It would be a Classic of Islay whisky off our new menu and I think if I was to have a drink with absolutely anybody It would have to be David Bowie. If Larry Levan was able to join us as well, I think I would be able to make space at the table.

Mr Hunter, it has been an absolute pleasure. 

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