When in Germany, remember to enjoy the local beer! This was my motto for my holiday in Hamburg and Bremen. I went to several pubs and I preferred the brewery pub types. The service is excellent in these places, it's so refreshing to get service to the table even if you are just drinking and not eating. Unfortunately the food tends to be very traditionally German, meaning that there aren't many vegetarian options.
Here are short introductions to the brewery pubs I visited. Unfortunately I didn't write down any specific tasting notes of the beers, as I just wanted to have a relaxing time. I can assure you that all beers were excellent.
We bumped into this place more or less accidentally when looking for nice places to spend the first evening. It turned out to be a great comfortable place to spend a few hours, and the beer was excellent too! I tried both main beer variations: Helles, light beer (referring only to the colour, not the alcohol or calorie content) and Dunkles, dark ale.
Apart from Hamburg there are Brauhaus Joh. Albrechts in Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Soltau and Konstanz too.
I think Gröninger was my favourite among all the brewery pubs I visited this time. The atmosphere was wonderful and the historic cellar was a really beautiful and cosy place. I really liked the service, which was very friendly everywhere we visited, but especially here. We tried Gröninger Pilsener and Weizen. I'm not a big fan of wheat beer, but I was educated by my better half that that was a particularly good Weizen.
We also got a local liqueur recommended by the waitress and of course tried it. It was Hamburg's very own Helbing Kümmelschnaps, a caraway seasoned liqueur, spicy yet surprisingly mild at 35 %. Even I can drink that without twitching my face!
Hofbräu Brauhaus brings a little bit Munich to Hamburg. This is a huge pub with Bavarian flair, it's full of long tables and the beer is served in huge tankards. I wanted to include this Brauhaus to this post although it represents southern German beer culture. All German beer sorts are very qualitative and brewed according to the German purity law Reinheitsgebot, which means that any German beer can only include three ingredients: water, malt and hops. Thinking of that, the variety in tastes is amazing.
Schüttinger is the only pub in Bremen that I visited this time. I only had an afternoon beer break in this place, but it would have been good to stay longer and to see what goes on in the evening. Around lunchtime the place was fairly empty, only some tourists were drinking there, which made it a nice and tranquil dark cellar, a place to relax and get away from the busy shopping streets.
What are your experiences from the German Brauhaus type of pubs? Have you been, or would you like to go? What do you think about German beers in general?