Friedrichshain is a good place to head for if you want bars of all descriptions, restaurants and a bit of a trendy vibe. It’s in the old East Berlin and if I’m going to be brutally honest, I felt more at home in the old eastern bloc than the western side. Being brought up in the old socialist republic of South Yorkshire there was much to identify with, although Friedrichshain is more a grungy sort of Shoreditch in style.
Protokoll opened in July 2107 and is run by a Latvian bloke, hence the flag on the wall and several very good Latvian beers. It was an instant hit, twenty four draught beers and no trendy industrial interior, including some interesting adjustable ceiling lights, fashioned mostly from bakelite, with a counter balance mechanism.
There was even a nice selection of beer books and magazines. Friendly locals and I thank Emmeline for marking my card with a few other places to try, you were right about BRLO mate. I also owe a favour to the entertaining tour guide at the Stasi HQ museum in Lichtenberg who took time out of his smokoe to direct me to Friedrichshain and Protokoll . Aside from Alkopole it was the only bar I purposefully went back to.
I thought the prices were a touch dearer than some, I don’t mind paying for quality though and if truth be known they were only a few cents out. Whatever you fancied then they had it and you can view the tap list on their website.
The nice lady behind the bar knew her beers too and was more than happy to assist in choosing, without being too pushy. The ‘what do you usually drink’ along with the unsaid ‘you thick twat’ really annoys me.
Not here though, I felt instantly at home and if I went to live in Berlin then somewhere near here would be ideal. There’s more than enough to keep the interest going for a long while, including an excellent Sunday morning foodie market in nearby Boxhagener Platz.
I’m not sure if it was the absence of a food menu or what, but Protokoll was one of the few places I visited in Berlin where vertical drinking appeared acceptable. In fact at one bit there were more people stood around the bar than were sat down, which was nice to see and which probably entered me to the place.
Pick of the beers on two visits were a Keesman Brau Maibock, absolute heaven and €4.5 for 0.4L for this 6.9% very traditional German style from an established Bamberg brewer.
The other one was a small batch 4.8% Witbier called East goes West from local, relative newbies, Feisty Goat. Absolutely sublime and exceptionally well brewed beer that was packed full of flavour at €6 for 0.4L.
Protokoll is at Boxhagener Str. 110, Berlin.