I had the pleasure of trying out the Altbier-Safari beer tour while I was in Düsseldorf last December and I must say, it was really informative and lots of fun (despite preferring wine to beer). As I originally come from North Rhine-Westphalia, which is well-known for its beer, I thought I’d give the Altbier-Safari beer tour a go. The group was made up of lots of different nationalities and with every new beer we tasted; the atmosphere became even more relaxed.
First on the list: The Kürzer Brewery
We met at Burgplatz located in the heart of Düsseldorf’s old town. We were welcomed by Eberhard Fischer, the founder of Altbier-Safari beer tour. He started his beer tour at the modern Kürzer Brewery (meaning shorter) on Kurze Straße. This trendy microbrewery is one of the newest breweries in Düsseldorf – having a slightly different concept than the more established breweries. Its interior is light and basic and visitors are able to see the brewing process take place. The process from tank to pump is very short, which is how this fine, handcrafted Alt beer gets its name. As with many German breweries, quality is important for creating its distinctive taste and flavour. We learned that industrialised beer loses a lot of its taste through the pasteurisation process.
Our second brewery: The Füchschen Brewery
We continued on to the traditional Füchschen Brewery, which has been established since the 19th century. The brewery is located on Ratinger Straße, one of Düsseldorf’s oldest streets. The waiter, (called a Köbes in German), served us some of the beer. As soon as I’d taken my first sip, I knew immediately that it wasn’t going to be my favourite as it had a more bitter taste. I still finished my 0.2ml glass though and enjoyed listening to some funny anecdotes about Düsseldorf and the brewery business.
One interesting fact is that Ratinger Straße is closed to traffic on Wednesday’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s so that everyone from all the pubs and breweries can stand outside to have a great time together. I did find it odd that it was a Wednesday instead of a Thursday as I know how busy pubs tend to be in London on Thursday’s!
Number three: Schumacher – the oldest brewery in Düsseldorf
Schumacher is the oldest brewery in Düsseldorf. It’s located on Flinger Straße, next to the birth place of the famous writer and poet, Heinrich Heine. And before I started googling anything else on Heinrich Heine, I had my next beer in front of me and we were already clinking our glasses together with a loud “Prost!” I definitely preferred the Schumacher beer over the Füchschen and Kürzer Alt. Eberhard explained that the more hops a beer has, the thicker the foam is. He also added how good it is for our digestion and skin and that we only get a beer belly because your sugar level drops after a few beers and we get the munchies! So, that explains it!
The fourth on our beer tour: The Zum Schlüssel Brewery
By now my feet were getting a bit cold – I guess it was December and it was a miserable rainy day! The courtyard opposite the Zum Schlüssel Brewery is really pretty as it is just in front of the Joachim Neander Church. Eberhard talked a bit about the history of this place before we received our next sample. The Zum Schlüssel Brewery has even developed an app to keep track of how much you’re spending!
Last but not least: The Uerige Alt Brewery
The UErige Brewery is ideally located close to the Rhine promenade. When the weather allows, you’ll
find plenty of people enjoying an Altbier outside. This was the first time I’d been inside and I was immediately impressed by its cosiness, reminding me very much of the Bavarian breweries. The interior was quite functional – wooden tables and chairs surrounded by the usual hectic atmosphere typically found in breweries.
After tasting our last sample – which again I found quite bitter – the waiters were ready to serve our meal. Every now and then, I like to have the Düsseldorfer Senfrostbraten, which is a delicious rump steak topped with crispy onion and mustard sauce.
The brewery tour was a fabulous two hours well spent and I met some great people along the way. Then it was off to have a quick peek at the Christmas markets – the perfect end to a great day!
If you’re planning taking a trip to Düsseldorf, you might be interested in some of my other blogs about my hometown. I’m also going back again soon to discover more. So, if you don’t want to miss out on my next blogs, sign up here and follow me on social media.
If you’d like to read more about Düsseldorf, you can find great blogs from the expat Jenna Davis, who is living in Düsseldorf on the webite below: