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Gatzweilers Brauhaus, Belsenplatz 2, 40545 Düsseldorf, Germany [Map]
As this guide's intention is to include the very best UK pubs serving top quality real ale, I thought that I'd include this fine example of a German 'Brauhaus' to show that the Germans certainly know how to brew a good pint (well 0.50 litres) of beer too and serve it in very pleasant surroundings.
I had no real intention of searching out a good pub in Germany and just kind of 'hopped off the tram and walked in through the door' with Paul and Frauke hoping to grab a bite to eat. We had no idea that we were walking into a German Brew pub though looking at the first picture below and the word 'Brauhaus' lit up in green we should have noticed though we had been up since 3am! Once we'd sat down though in the very pleasant surroundings we did notice the huge coppers and complimented the waitress on the excellent quality of the beer. She was the one that gave the game away,
'When they make this beer it makes a very bad smell in the street but lots of people like drinking the beer.'
It obviously impressed us to the extent that we bought a 2 litre take-out in a very unusual bottle. They brew Oberkasseler Urtyp Hell and Dunkel beers, basically a light and a dark beer and serve them in measures from 0.25 to 0.5 litre glasses. The dark beer was perfect for a cold winters evening and really did hit the spot. They also sell Gatz Premium Altbier, an 'old beer' brewed nearby and available in several other bars in the area. An alcohol free alternative (Gatz Alkoholfrei) is also available. They also have a selection of good wines available too.
The building itself used to be a railway station and retains a lot of character today. There's also an outside drinking area too though on a cold January evening all were in the bar area or sitting enjoying the excellent range of food that the have on offer between 12 noon and 10:30pm. Apparently they have their own butcher and I was really very impressed by the excellent range of food available, the presentation of the food and indeed the excellent value for money to be had. Everything from home-made Leberkoesse on sauerkrauk and Kartoffelpueree to snails, big juicy steaks to an impressive range of salads. Even thinking of their range of desserts now still makes my mouth water with plums soaked in Armagnac and ice cream to baked Camembert with Preiselbarren.
All in all, well worth hunting out if you are in the area and enjoy good food with great beer. To help you find the pub click here for a map showing the pub as a little red cross. One final note, unfortunately the brewery has since closed but excellent German beers are still available brewed by Hannen in Mönchengladbach, and the brewing equipment has been left for decoration.