Muted Horn is currently the top rated bar in Berlin with an impressive rating of 99 on Ratebeer. On that basis a trip out to Neukölln was definitely required.
Originally part of the American sector of West Berlin, Neuköln is near the Tempelhof airport, of 1948 Berlin Airlift fame, now a vast public park; the bar is actually on airport road.
Although the area is allegedly undergoing a bit of gentrification, walking from the Boddinstraße U-Bahn, it all felt a bit dark and seedy, although to be fair, we only battled through the snow from the station to the bar and back. And why is it I always walk out of the wrong end of the U-Bahn, essentially putting myself a stations length further away from wherever I want to be?
Corbin Crnkovin and his partner Jenia opened the bar in October 2016. He’s Canadian by birth but lived in Germany for the past five years. He told me Berlin had nothing like Muted Horn when they first opened. Okay, there might have been some craft beer bars, but Corbin said he wanted to showcase all styles of beer and not just IPA’s, he’s a big fan of sours. Looking at the bottle list he’s a big fan of quality Geuzes too.
Somewhere in the far corner a dog yapped, piercingly.
You immediately know you are in the right place when they’ve got stuff on from Track, Northern Monk, BBNo, Cloudwater and heaven of heavens; a Cloudwater/Wylam collaboration. The twenty two lines also included German, Danish, Austrian and American brewers and two dedicated nitro keg lines.
I told him the selection was pretty impressive. Corbin smiled and thanked me for the complement, going on to say he reckoned Berlin is still miles behind the UK, particularly the North of England, in terms of modern progressive brewing and availability of decent beers.
I swirled my beer in the glass, sniffed, a dog yapped loudly, just once, but enough to spoil the experience.
Looking round, the clientele base was predominantly in the 25 – 35yrs bracket, probably because oldies like me couldn’t read the beer menu in the subterranean gloom. Nothing the torch facility on my phone couldn’t sort. The comprehensive beer menu had a neat ‘coming next’ listed under the lines which were going to run out soon, so it’s obviously updated on a daily basis.
To be fair, the decor and ambience is quite good, if not a little spartan, in a concrete rectangle nuclear fall out shelter way. There’s lots of nice little touches and the world’s best selection of board games, interesting ones too; people were keenly playing them and eating twiglets.
The little dog yapped again. I peered into the far corner but I couldn’t see it. Everyone else just carried on with Carcassonne, or whatever it was they were playing.
I saw more than a few beer tourists pop in and carefully choose their beers. Taster flights were popular at four beers under 6% for €9 or four over 6% for €10. Prices were par for the course compared with other bars, probably a bit dearer than UK prices. Oh, and if you want bottles then just have deko at their bottle list!
I nibbled on a twiglet. I’ve never seen as many twiglets, every table had a complementary twiglet bowl.
The dog in the far corner, yapped again, splintering my twiglet moment. I reckon it’s under that table with them girls.
Thankfully, cold as it was, the snow wasn’t settling. We wrapped up and thanked Corbin. He gave us a few recommendations. I tried them, they were good, but if you want an out and out craft beer bar in Berlin, with interesting beers that go beyond the IPA, then I don’t think you’ll find better.
Muted Horn is at Flughafenstrasse 4912053 Berlin-Neukölln.
I love dogs but I cudder killed that little fucker.