Enjoy Kölsch Beer and Quirky Hospitality at Cologne’s Brauhaus :
For the people of Cologne, eating and drinking out is a very social occasion, therefore the venues tend to be loud and jovial rather than hushed and dignified. Cologne‘s famous brauhaus are like microcosms of the city‘s traditional but quirky hospitality.
Here are a few traditional places:
- Brauhaus Sion – has been in existence since 1511 (located on Unter Taschenmacher)
- Cölner Hofbräu Früh – This traditional brewery restaurant opens for breakfast. (Located just behind the Heinzelmännchen fountain in Alter markt)
- Brauerei der Gebrüder Päffgen – very homey brewpub (located in Friesenstrasse)
- Brauhaus zur Malzmühle - dates from 1858 and was visited by Bill Clinton ten years ago. Try their most popular beer Mühlen Kölsch. (at the southern end of Heumarkt)
- Schreckenskammer - now over 500 years old and just as hospitable as ever (just opposite the Romanesque Church of St. Ursula)
About Cologne’s Brauhaus
Every Cologne brewhouse‘s raison d’être is its eminently quaffable Kölsch beer. The beer waiters – köbes - wear the traditional costume of the brewery hands of old and carry the Kölsch to the tables in special ‘crowns’. These are circular trays with a central handle specially designed for the Kölsch glasses – stangen - which hold only 20cl and are unique to Cologne. Most beer waiters are real characters – quick witted and funny.
Special status is reserved for the zappes, the tapman who pours the beer from the pittermännchen, the particular type of barrel used for Kölsch. These are soon emptied, so the beer is always chilled and very fresh.
The food traditionally eaten with Kölsch can be described as hearty, down-to-earth, and more than a little idiosyncratic. Don’t be disappointed if you order Halve Hahn or Halber Hahn (translation: half a chicken) from the menu and you don’t get any chicken. Halve Hahn is actually a rye roll that’s been halved and topped with a thick slice of Gouda cheese and served with pickles and onions.