Hamburg Special (Hamburg, Germany)

The rumors are true: I crashed a bachelor party in Hamburg to get in on a craft beer tasting. But there is more to the story. Really!


The truth is that I went to Hamburg to visit dear friends for a few days. In between the cartography conference in Helsinki (see previous post) and beer in Bamberg (upcoming post if I can get it together) I decided not to research the Hamburg beer scene at all. I inteded all of my attention to be on my friends; none on my own interests- that was the plan.


You can see why. They’re adorable! And even nicer than they look. Knowing me as they do (but not necessarily being craft beer people) they did their own investigation. And brought me to Altes Mädchen.



We ordered the cute mermaid-paddle sampler. Still- I suspected nothing. Even though the tag line on the menu (in English) is “Real Craft”. I can be thick sometimes. Then I sniffed the Pale, then tasted the Zwickel- and I finally figured it out. The brewery behind the restaurant – Ratsherrn- is quite special.

Once I’d finally been hit over the head with it, I asked our server a bunch of questions. That’s when she asked if I wanted to join the tasting and brewery tour that was about to start. Of course I did! But I swear I didn’t know it was a bachelor party. That’s just my usual luck.


The groom and his brother are below:


They didn’t seem to mind me crashing their tour. We were all quite giddy. And after the tour and fassbiere, I tried the cumin schnapps called Helbing (super!) and got a tour of Hamburg nightlife with dancing silliness. Next day a boat tour of the harbor, an afternoon at the wonderful smelling Jenisch gardens sipping a rhubarb juice/sparkling water combo called rhabarberasaft-schorle, a visit to my friend’s secret dress shop, fabulous sushi across the street from their place, many aperol spritzs. All before returning to- you guessed it- Altes Mädchen! To be clear- I mean that it was so fantastic, in three days we went twice. And when I return it will be my first stop.




That last shot is of me with their son, a delightful little boy. For those who know me well, you can close your mouths now. He only speaks German; I only English (in spite of my attempts at French) but we bonded and I will be back to continue my role as the family’s eccentric American friend. I do it so well!

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Filed under Europe, Hamburg

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