The 18th International Berlin Beer Festival
If you love your beer, the beginning of August is a great time to visit Berlin. The 18th International Berlin Beer Festival crams 320 breweries, 86 countries and around 2,000 types of beer into one long weekend, and one huge beer garden. The festival stretches 2.2km between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor underground stations and finishes up at Karl-Marx Allee. In fact, the Beermile, or “Biermeile” as it’s known to the locals, made it into the Guinness World Records in 2011 thanks to its impressive size.
So what can you expect over the course of the weekend? Well, each year a different beer region or country is focused on – last year was Poland, but there is a place for beers of all nationalities as the festival site is split up into regions according to origin of beer. As you can imagine, with 2,000 types of beer there is plenty of choice, from mainstream to microbrews and craft beers.
Visit the information stalls at either end of the festival near the train stations to purchase a festival kit for around €5. This handy pack contains a 20cl/0.2 litre mini-stein beer glass with a strap so you can sample a little of whatever takes your fancy. The kit also comes with a beer map so you can easily find any varieties you’re looking for, and it also gives you a discount on booths labelled with a yellow sticker, so it’s well worth the money.
As well as all the beer you could possibly want, the festival will also be awash with live music and shows on several different stages, and of course there will be plenty of places to sit and relax with a pint.
The festival is open from 12pm – 12am on Friday, 10am – 12am on Saturday, and 10am – 10pm on Sunday. Every year the festival receives around 700,000 visitors, so it’s going to be busy – if you want to avoid some of the queues, you should make an appearance early Friday afternoon. Entry to the festival is free, and it’s a great opportunity to chill out and soak up some rays.
Karl-Marx Allee is in the centre of Berlin in the Friedrichshain district and is within easy reach of both Generator Hostels in Berlin. From Generator Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, you can take the underground or the M5, M6 or M8 tram from S Landsberger Allee to Karl-Marx Allee – both take around 20 minutes. From Generator Berlin Mitte, it’s a 20 minute bus journey from Tor str./Oranienburger Tor to Strausberger Platz.