Germany’s Longest Bar
June 29, 2012
Germany’s Longest Bar
The Altstadt is jokingly known as Germany's longest bar and this isn't far short of the truth. There are an enormous number of pubs within its boundaries. For a night out, there are few places to rival it in the whole of Europe, if you're after decent beer. The locals certainly seem to have a good time. The jokey atmosphere in many pubs should help to dispel misconceptions about Germans' lack of humour and general dourness. The waiters are sometimes entertainment in themselves, with their cheeky comments (I wouldn't try asking for water in Zum Uerige). Dusseldorf's best pubs are amongst the best pubs in Germany.
My flight from Corfu took me back to Dusseldorf, Germany where I had an overnight before catching an Air Berlin flight back to Miami in the morning. Arriving at around 10 PM, I had a choice of whether to head out to enjoy a Saturday night in the Altstadt or just go to bed after a long day in Corfu. I picked the only real choice, heading to the train and down to the hopping old town area of Dusseldorf.
Arriving downtown, I immediately realized that I made the right choice when I stumbled upon what was billed as the Midsummer Night Beer Festival- a festival celebrating the delicious and famous alt beer, Dusseldorf is the center of one of the most interesting beer regions of Germany, because here, more than anywhere else, the pre-19th Century top-fermenting tradition has been kept alive. In contrast to Cologne, where Kölsch has, to some extent, mimicked the paleness and softness of pils, altbier has retained much of its individuality in terms of color and flavor.Pretty well every pub in the city sells alt and even the most commercial versions could never be mistaken for a conventional lager.
The altbiers of Dusseldorf are the classic examples of the style: copper in color, dry and with a long hoppy finish. Complex, yet drinkable beers, Düsseldorf alts are as superior to caramel-colored industrial alts as cask-conditioned beer is to keg. All four brewpubs sell bottles to take away, but the only way to taste alt is on draught, straight from a wooden barrel.
The festival had the streets of the old town packed with revelers enjoying the tasty altbier from all of the major breweries in Dusseldorf. I made my way through the crowd and visited each of the major breweries, sampling the beer from each of the breweries. The people were a mix of locals and tourists and the scene was reminiscent of one of the busiest nights of the year on Duval street, fantasy fest or New Year’s eve.
It was a late night of partying with the locals and tourists and I had an incredibly great time. At one time, I found myself singing karaoke representing the United States in a multinational group, the song of course, “We Are The World”. It was one moment of what was a wonderful, fun and late night out in Dusseldorf and a perfect end to my trip to Europe.