Berlin, Germany (Weltexpress). Cheers! And welcome to Vogt`s “Beer Express”. That is: the Berlin pub as it should be. So say all connoisseurs of amber nectar who appreciate this Bier-Express, well placed in the old Telefunken premises located at Mehringdamm 32/34, now a monument with theatre and offices – and adjacent to cult snacks left and right, favourite grub of locals and tourists alike. In between of Mustafa’s Gemüse-Kebap and Curry 36 then: Vogt`s Bier-Express, which takes its name from a family of publicans.
Regina Vogt is in charge now, a resolute landlady for sure and a well-known figure in the capital city. “Our Berlin pub first opened after the war,” says she and orders a round for us, adding “and it’s been going strong here until now.” Were certain it will stay that way! Nearly 40 years of family tradition are firmly stuck in this pub that the Vogt family took over in 1980 from the Lewandowski brothers when they returned to Berlin.
But even if the pub downstairs has retained its style, the audience has certainly changed over the decades. There used to be “70 per cent regulars and 30 per cent passing trade”, remembers Regina Vogt, and now it’s the other way round, “about 30 per cent regulars and 70 per cent passing trade.” “When people came and realized that I changed a little of something at the store, then this was noticed right away. And the core audience notices these things immediately. ‘Therefore much is still the same as always.”
Over the years, however, the public and what was offered them become more colourful. First came one TV screen to watch soccer here, “then three, and since the World Cup in Germany, we have a projector,” said Regina Vogt while in the background a Champions League encounter could be seen. And you bet there will be a great crowd in to watch the Euro Cup at the Bier-Express!
The waitress is as fast as the players and brings us another round. Berliner Kindl is part of it with an anniversary Pilsner, Bitburger, Beck`s and Schneider Weizen and Duckstein come from the barrel. In addition, the authentic Berliner Fassbrause flows from the tap.
Of course if you prefer bottled beer you can get it. Even Berliner Weisse – red, as the city likes to look, or green, as the neighbourhood – is served. Sometimes “Weisse” is drunk in traditional manor, with Kümmel or Korn. Meanwhile, craft beer is catching on, with lots of locals taking the liking. The one branded Brlo as a label is delicious. By the way, Brlo is the old-Slavic origin name for Berlin. And the private brewery Rollberg is a good name for craft beer as well.
If one orders a kebap at Mustafa or bought a curry sausage at Curry 36 one can take the food into Vogt’s and enjoy it with a drink at the Bier-Express. The glass filled, they even serve a plate to place the food on. Great. Where else can you get that? “Food we also had the beginning of March”, says Regina Vogt – “from my brother”, she adds mischievously. True enough, Matthias Buchholz, who was awarded a Michelin rosette and other awards such as ‘Berliner Meisterkoch’, two Varta toques and 18/20 Gault & Millau points before as chef in the gourmet restaurant “First Floor” at Hotel Palace – and since 2011 runs his own restaurant, “Buchholz Gutshof Britz” – “cooked in our ‘Bierissage’ a menu with beer accompaniment.” Both of them, what a couple, the star chef and the cult landlady looked after their guests of the gastronomic event “Eat Berlin” so lovingly about these voted for Vogt`s Beer Express to be winners of the 2016 Best Events. Congratulations! Chapeau! And as France is on strike Germany strikes against Ukraine 2:0, and strives to win the Euro Cup. And we, and many more will cheer them on – at Vogt’s Bier-Express. Cheers!
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Opening times: daily from 10am to 2am in the night