Why does beer from the bottle taste different than beer from the glass? The answer to this and many other questions can be found on the beer tour – and not only in theory: at four locations, two restaurant breweries and two select beer bars in Bern’s Old City, the participants learn everything about beer and the process of brewing. Naturally, a professional beer tasting of 14 different beers (1 dl each) is also part of the programme.
The following four locations offer exclusive insights into the diversity of the Bernese art of brewing:
Brewery Altes Tramdepot
Bern, bears and beer – they go together like hops and malt. From the famous BearPark, where Bern’s resident brown bears, Finn, Björk and their daughter Ursina, live in a 6,000-m2 natural enclosure, it’s just a few steps to the Altes Tramdepot, a restaurant and brewery all in one. While papa bear Finn takes his daily bath outside in the Aare river, inside 3,100 hectoliters of beer are brewed every year. Two giant, gleaming copper kettles stand in the middle of the restaurant, and even a trip to the john is a memorable experience thanks to the brewing room in the basement.
Beer cellar OnTap
Anyone who has never had a craft beer has never really had a beer. This is the motto that infuses everything at OnTap, just like hops infuse the beer wort. There are always 12 beers on tap in the vaulted cellar at Rathausgasse 53, and as soon as one keg is empty, a new one is ready to be tapped. From Belgian blondes and an IPA with lactose and vanilla extract to sour ale with mango and passion fruit, beer fantasies know no limits here. And if your favorite brew is not on tap at the moment, you can definitely find it among the 60 bottled beers.
Beer café Au Trappiste
The Au Trappiste beer café is the beer-lovers’ mecca in Bern’s Old Town. From IPA and Lambic to stout, craft beer connoisseurs can choose from over 100 outstanding beers from microbreweries all over the world. Beer sommeliers Oliver Vurchio and Eliane Münger are constantly changing up the selection in order to introduce Bern’s beer fans to all the best barley brews. A generous side note: A founding principle of the Trappists, a Roman Catholic monastic order from the 17th century, is still followed today by the café. In addition to prayer and study, the monks brewed their own beer behind the monastery’s walls and used the majority of their revenues to support social welfare works. The proprietors of Au Trappiste also donate a portion of their earnings to people and animals in need. A magnificent gesture, in our opinion!
Garage brewery @ Barbière
More than just a beery idea. Ten years ago, a couple of thirty-year-olds were experimenting in their garage on their first self-brewed beer brand. It was so popular that they decided to pick up a hammer and chisel without further ado and to transform an old chemist in the heart of “Breitsch”, one of Bern’s most popular districts, into a cool pub. On the opening night of Barbière – microbrewery, scene restaurant and neighborhood bar all in one – a whopping total of 1,000 liters of beer were served. And the beer is still flowing there today. In the brewery at the back, called the “Garage” as a tribute to its origins, the two master brewers Matthias and Christoph work on their own brews, which are really outside of the box.