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CBFS24 & Frankfurt HHH

It has been a while since I have been on a trip worth blogging about, but last weekend I travelled more than 1000 km on trains, providing me with plenty of things to show and tell… My main destination was Stuttgart, for the CBFS24 – Craft Beer Festival Stuttgart. Since I would never be able to be back in time in Brussels for the BMPH3 hash on Sunday, and I had to change trains in Frankfurt am Main anyway, I decided to run with the Frankfurt Hash House Harriers instead.

Back to the ‘Dams

My little autumn break wasn’t quite over yet, after my Warszawa-Berlin trip, so on Friday I went to both Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

For the long stretch Brussels-Amsterdam, I used up all my Thalys points—mostly earned by filling out questionnaires—for the high speed option. Although officially the company is Eurostar now, my train was still adorned with the Thalys branding.

After my morning commitments—my trip wasn’t all leisure—I stopped at Quartier Putain for a coffee and a piece of apple pie. I’m not sure if that name would go down well in cities where they actually speak French!

By then it was time to discover the newest addition to BrewDog‘s portfolio of bars: BrewDog Amsterdam Centraal! It opened just a week before, when I was about a 1000 km east from here, so I missed the EFP opening, unfortunately… The shipload of EFPs—literally, since they had organised a communal ferry crossing for the opening—didn’t drink the bar dry though, and they even had one beer on draught I hadn’t had yet!

It was only around lunch time, but the bar was packed, the staff seemed to be well-trained, and handled the crowd well. Apart from a couple of beers, I had the Cluck & Satay Skewer. It’s always nice to have something ‘local’ on the food menu of a BrewDog bar!

Just before leaving, I also had a nice chat with franchisee Peter, who seemed to be confident he had found a great location for the bar. I can’t disagree with him: located right within Amsterdam Central Station, it will definitely one I’ll be visiting more often!

From the bar to the train platform was only a couple of minutes’ walk, and soon I was off to my next destination: Rotterdam!

The BrewDog Outpost Rotterdam was the only BrewDog bar in the Benelux participating in this year’s edition of Collabfest, so if I wanted to taste any of the beers, I had to make a stop there. Not every bar get’s all beers, but the selection in Rotterdam was great. As it turns out, it even included the highest rated beer, which was Rotterdam’s own collaboration with the Moersleutel: the K9 Chocolate Stout – Brewdog Rotterdam Outpost Collab!

After trying almost all the Collabfest beers, and a few others, it was time to go back to the gorgeous Rotterdam Central train station, and catch the train home again…

Warszawa & Berlin – Day 7

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Back to Brussels…

And just like that, it was time to go home again.

To keep things simple, I just had breakfast at ibis Berlin Mitte, with a view on wat seemed to be a rooftop apiary. I didn’t try the waffle maker, but I was tempted!

After checking out of the hotel, I took the M2 tram again—the tram with which every day in Berlin started and ended—to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, to take the ICE to Köln.

The ICE arrived almost in time, so I had plenty of time for a coffee at Blooming Coffeebar and Roastery, before a last beer in Germany. I was considering going for a Kölsch, like last time, but when I passed Craftbeer Corner Coeln, still well before its opening tim, there was already some movement inside, and the door was open. When I asked about their 18:00 opening, they took pity on me, and served me some beers already!

From there it was back onto an ICE, for the last stretch to Brussels. That meant the end of another wonderful trip, full of great discoveries, and happy revisits of familiar places!

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Warszawa & Berlin – Day 6

Last Full Day…

My last day in Berlin started at Town Mouse Coffee with a delicious—and just spicy enough—”Mouse Trap” sourdough toastie (with Emmental, feta, and the house chutney) and a coffee. Always nice to find places like this near my hotel!

From there I went to the Mitte Museum. I usually make a habit of visiting the ‘local’ museum of any city I visit, but Berlin is so huge, it actually made sense to learn more about the ‘Bezirk’ (borough) I’ve always stayed in. Who knew porcelain was so important for Mitte?

My next stop was at the Museum in der Kulturbrauerei, to learn more about East Germany in its communist years. I had been to a museum with the same theme last year, but this one was definitely less touristy and more educational!

For lunch I went to Burgermeister, apparently an institute in Berlin. Not bad, but definitely not the best burger I’ve had…

For my after-lunch coffee I went to Bonanza Coffee.

After a little break at the hotel to recharge, e went to BrewDog Mitte—just two new beers there—and Mikkeller Berlin. I totally forgot about the Mikkeller Running Club, which had a run right when I was there!

Last time I was there, I didn’t spend enough time in Bräugier Brewpub, so I made up for that this time.

For nostalgia’s sake—I grew up in Limburg after all—for dinner I had a classic veal döner kebap at Kebap House—”Best Döner in Prenzlauer Berg” they say themselves—which is a bit different from the Gemüse Kebap with chicken you often find in Berlin…

My very last beer stop in Berlin was at another place with a banging beer list and great service: Manifest Taproom. The perfect end of my beer journey in Berlin…