The beer café Au Trappiste in Bern’s Old City is a craft beer lovers’ mecca where connoisseurs can choose from over 100 exciting beers from all over the world. Beer sommeliers Oliver Vurchio and Eliane Münger are constantly changing up the menu in order to introduce Bern’s beer fans to the different kinds of barley. By the way: The café adheres to the credo of the Trappists, a Roman Catholic monastic order from the 17th century: in addition to praying and studying, the monks brewed their own beer at the monastery and used most of the revenue to support charities. The owners of Au Trappiste also donate part of their earnings to those in need.
Off to 68 Rathausgasse
With its creative, ever-changing menu, “Die Taube” manages to fulfil even the most extravagant of cocktail dreams. But what does one of Bern’s best cocktail bars have to do with beer? A whole lot! At 50 Rathausgasse, you can not only enjoy a real beer cocktail – made with Junker beer from the Felsenau brewery and Aperol – no, the Taube is also one of the rare places that has Felsenau’s dark special beer "Bärni" on tap. And of course there’s also a delicious selection of other beers. Our recommendation: Place your order with Lorenz Ernst. He is both barkeeper and beer sommelier and can find the perfect beverage for everyone.
Off to 50 Rathausgasse
A few years ago, a couple of 30-year-olds started brewing their own beer in their garage. It was so well received that they promptly took up a hammer and chisel and transformed an old pharmacy in the heart of the Breitenrain neighbourhood into a cool pub. On the opening night of Barbière – microbrewery, trendy restaurant and neighbourhood bistro in one – 1,000 litres of beer were poured out And it hasn’t stopped flowing since. In the brewery at the back, named "Garage" in homage to the old days, the two brewers Matthias and Christoph work on their own creations that go way beyond the mainstream. If you want to know which beer creations are currently on tap, go ahead and pop in at Barbière!
Off to 40 Breitenrainplatz
You haven’t had a real beer until you’ve tried craft beer. There are always twelve different craft beers on tap in the old vaulted cellar at 53 Rathausgasse, and as soon as a keg is empty, a new one gets its turn. From the Belgian blonde to the IPA with lactose and vanilla extract to the sour beer with mango and passion fruit – when it comes to flavour, the sky’s the limit. And if your favourite brew is not on tap at the moment, you’re sure to find something you like among the 60 different bottled beers. By the way: the impressive selection is also available to go.
Off to 53 Rathausgasse
You might hear a song or two while you’re here – after all, the Krone Bar is also called "Zum Singstudenten” (“to the singing student”). But the regular haunt of the musical fraternity is open to anyone who likes to enjoy a good beer in cheerful company. The laid-back pub is a bit hidden at the beginning of Postgasse alley and can also be reached via Restaurant Krone in the front part of the building (entrance on Gerechtigkeitsgasse alley). In this historic building in Bern’s Old City, craft beers from the canton of Bern are the stars: the 16 beers on the menu include Simmentaler beer from Lenk, Reist beer from Bäriswil and "Mein Emmental" beer from Zollbrück.
Off to 66 Rathausgasse
Fortunately, nomen is not omen at Wartsaal (waiting hall): no one is kept waiting for their beer. The laid-back café-bar in the Lorraine neighbourhood shares its love for Swiss craft beer with its guests. The team usually orders one or two cases of IPAs, stouts, porters, or sour beers from various small, local breweries. This means that there are always six or seven different beers available – first come, first served. Then the space is filled up with new specialities. There’s also a permanent selection of on-tap beers, which includes the guests’ favourite, the fruity-fresh “Wartsaal-Spez” from Schuum microbrewery.
Off to 15 Lorrainestrasse
A good beer before going to the theatre, to accompany your dinner, or to end a long day of work: At the “Le Beizli” in the Vidmarhallen in the Liebefeld neighbourhood – run by the same people that also own the restaurant Du Nord and the Marzer, by the way – you’ll find the right brew for every occasion. The beers from "BrauKunst" in the Galgenfeld neighbourhood are almost a permanent presence, and every now and then, you’ll spot a seasonal beer from "Blackwell” in Burgdorf on the menu. Regulars know and love the bar’s regional selection and are happy to hop on the bus (no. 17 towards Köniz Weiermatt to “Hardegg Vidmar”) and then walk a few steps to enjoy it.
Off to 161 Könizstrasse
Who likes British beer? Off you go to Marta on Kramgasse alley! The café-bar has a delightful selection, including some sparkling ciders. Marta has also tasted and approved different local and regional beer specialities, for example the "Haarige Kuh Four C’s IPA" or the "Aare-Bier" from Bargen in the Bernese Seeland region. Be it at one of the blue tables under the arcades or down in the vaulted cellar: at Marta, everything is that little bit more relaxed, cosy, happy. The place is also known for its (in)famous pub quiz, where quiz fans regularly rack their brains to compete for fame and glory. We bet that a beer or two will help those brain cells get to work!
Off to 8 Kramgasse
Bern, bears, and beers: those three go together like water, hops, and malt. From the famous Bern AnimalPark, BearPark, where Bernese brown bears Finn and Björk and their daughter Ursina live in a 6,000 m2 natural enclosure, it’s only a few steps to Altes Tramdepot. It is both restaurant and brewery, with about 30 different beers being brewed each year in the two huge, gleaming copper brew kettles that stand right in the middle of the restaurant. And even going to the restroom becomes an experience: on your way, you pass the brewing room in the basement. Speaking of experiences: the view from the terrace over the Aare river and Bern’s Old City at sunset is absolutely magnificent.
Off to 6 Grosser Muristalden
If you’re secretly having to look up the difference between top-fermented and bottom-fermented in the dictionary (sorry, we mean Google), it’s time to book tickets for the Bernese Beer Tour, where you’ll learn everything you need to know and more.
The Old City Irish Pub
What would a pub be without beer? Luckily, the Old City Irish Pub at 28 Kramgasse has lots of it: guests love the different cult beers from Ireland, Great Britain and other countries, including Switzerland. As befits a pub, Guinness is available on tap and at the most decent price per pint in all of Switzerland. The Old City Irish Pub definitely lives up to its name with its authentic atmosphere that brings a touch of Irish flair to the lower part of Bern’s Old City.
Off to 28 Kramgasse
At Café Kario in the Lorraine neighbourhood, quality and organic ingredients are not only a statement made on the plate, but also in the glass. It may not offer a huge variety of beers, but they are and always have been special: since opening in 1998, this iconic cultural venue has always included products from small Swiss breweries, which were hardly known or noticed before the beginning of the craft beer boom just a few years ago. This includes the creations of the Brasserie BFM from Saignelégier in the canton of Jura, for example. By the way: you might spot an “extra” tap on the counter – every once in a while, the Café Kairo serves an “Extra-Bier” (extra beer), recommended by the staff because they themselves like it so much.
Off to 43 Dammweg
At 69 Lorrainestrasse, Bilal Erdogan has fulfilled a long-cherished dream with the help of his friends: the founder of the cult beverage delivery service "Bierexpress" runs the small gem “Zoo Bar” at the former location of the Soon Gallery. The permanent drinks menu includes around 60 different beers, and there’s constantly changing, carefully selected regional special beers and an equally large selection of non-alcoholic drinks. In summer, the Zoo Bar is especially convenient: its location is ideal for a stopover on the way home from the Lorraine public swimming pool.
Off to 69 Lorrainestrasse
At the Bristol hotel, everything is “very British”. It starts with the name and goes on to the team’s humour, and it doesn’t stop there. And what would the likable English enclave at 10 Schauplatzgasse be without an authentic Full English with baked beans and porridge, proper five o’clock tea with delicious scones, or a freshly baked pie for dinner? Accompanied by the right beer, of course. Our recommendation: the “Beer Flight” in the Bristol Lounge, an exciting experience at which experimental guests can try various ales and stouts from across the English Channel as well as Swiss beer specialities, paired with matching nibbles. We are very amused!
Off to 10 Schauplatzgasse
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