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2003 Cologne


Paul, Ray, Frank, Terry, John and Ron.


Visit all the Kolner Brauhaus’s


Kolner Brauhaus Wanderweg, Au Laboureur, Hotel Good Sleep, Alt Koln am Dom, Gilden Kolsch, Fruh am Dom, Sion Brauhaus, Peters Brauhaus, Gaffel-Haus, Brauereiausschank Altstadt Paffgen, Canapés, Brauhaus Zur Malzmuhl, Muhlen Kolsch, Sunner im Walfisch, Bier Museum, Domkeller, Dom Kolsch, Brauhaus Reissdorf, Brauhaus Reissdorf, Weiss Brau, Lecker Kolsch, Gildenhaus, Coyote Ug, Papa Joe’, Sunder Bar.


Previously a short stopover on our way to Bamberg had introduced us to Cologne’s specific beer, Kolsch, and we determined to go back and try some more. Research had unearthed a publication, Kolner Brauhaus Wanderweg, a guided tour of some the Kolsch establishments located in the old centre of the city, that could have been written specially for us. Kolsch must be brewed (according to one of the waiters) within sight of the cathedral’s twin spires. Although the beers of the Wanderweg were Kolsch, generally they are now produced in a separate establishment in the suburbs. It is a top fermented pale coloured beer of around 5% and served in 20 cl. measures in the Wanderweg houses


The journey was by Eurostar to Brussels where we had over a two-hour wait before our Thayls connection to Cologne. Loath to waste this time, we ventured the short distance from Brussels Midi to

Au Laboureur (Boulevard Jamar 1a). A wonderful basic bar with Rodenbach and Timmermans Lambic on draught and a bottled list of some 50 beers. After trying the two draught beers, the group branched out and tried Maredsous 8%, Tongerlo Blonde and Brune and Corsendonk Blonde.

Onwards to Cologne where John meet us at the station and led us the short distance to our hotel - Hotel Good Sleep (Komodienstrasse 19-21).

The hotel was not only located near the station and Dom (Cathedral) but also close to the route of the Wanderweg. A quick change and time to start our investigation of Kolsch.

Alt Koln am Dom (Trankgasse 7-9). Serving Gilden Kolsch, the bar had a very interesting and varied seating arrangement and looked old but probably wasn’t. This bar turned out to be our least favourite but probably suffered from being the first visited although we did consider the beer a bit bland.

Fruh am Dom (Am Hof 12-14). The establishment which introduced us to Kolsch is a many roomed traditional German bar where (as with them all) food consumption is as important as the beer. Kolsch and whole roast pig served on scrubbed white tables. Lovely.

Sion Brauhaus (Unter Taschenmacher 5). This beerhouse just went on and on until you reached the skittle alley in the basement. Amid the bustle we were found a table and had dinner - some having the sausage that was supplied by the metre.

Peters Brauhaus (Muhlengasse 1). One of the smaller establishments and with standing room only, we ended up by the beer servery watching the barrels being brought up by lift.

Gaffel-Haus (Alter Markt 20-22). On many levels and full of character we were particularly taken by the Masonic coats of arms displayed near our balcony table.

Brauereiausschank Altstadt Paffgen (Heumarkt 62). The smallest establishment which stayed open the latest (until 12.30 when the others closed at 12.00) and was our last port of call for Kolsch.

With the Kolsch bars closed we tried Papa Joe’s (Alter Markt), a cross between a café and old -fashioned amusement arcade (all a bit kitsch) where we had some gassed up Kolsch before being moved on to Canapés (Heumarkt) for a Budvar and ... I have issues with my sexuality!
Ray was hoping for a couple more beers on the way back to the hotel, but with a judicous choice of route all bars still open were avoided and we retired quite early!


Although we had made good progress on the Wanderweg the previous evening, there were still more Kolsch bars to try and in order to accommodate Ray’s desire to see the Rhine (Plan A) we walked along the river bank to the furthest Brauhaus from the Dom.

This was Brauhaus Zum Rade (Marienplatz), but unfortunately this brewery was long gone. We also tried to find Brauhaus Gurzenichbrau (Gurzenichstrasse), Bierbrauerei Sohn (Buttemmarkt), Brauerie Zum Reiter (Lintgasse) and Brauhaus Zur Tasch (Salzgasse), all listed in the Wanderweg and all gone.

After the abortive search for Rade,

Brauhaus Zur Malzmuhle (Heumarkt 62) was still in business. One of the few Kolsch establishments visited where the tap was one the same premises as the brewery. Entering through shrouded revolving doors you find yourself in one of the more basic Kolsch establishments. It may be basic but it does serve Muhlen Kolsch - one of our favourites- and provided Ray with some black pudding, which turned out a somewhat underdone even for him. After an enjoyable hour a walk up Heumarkt brings you to Paffgen and the narrow street Salzgasse where you find

Sunner im Walfisch (Salgasse 13). The ‘whale’ was very busy with lunchtime dinners and, after a beer at the bar, we decided to join them. The Sunner Kolsch was available in 3ltr. 5ltr. and 10 ltr. towers. It just had to be done, although we did settle for only 3ltr. The menu was in English and French as well as German and three decided to have the pork chops whilst the others had the ring sausage. The cutlery arrived minus 3 knives, the waitress explaining these would arrive with the chops. We gave it little thought until the meals arrived. Each chop turned out to be a roast pork joint, big enough to feed a family of four, with a knife imbedded. We had missed the pertinent piece of information that each chop weighed 850 grams! One finish and two failures on the chops and even the sausage eaters struggled.

After this fine lunch we decided on a change from Kolsch and visited the

Bier Museum (Buttermarkt). This bar trumpeted it’s beer list of 15 draughts and innumerable bottled beers from all over Germany. To be sure, they were all there but if the quality of our choice- Diebels Alt from just up the road in Dusseldorf- was anything to go by then be prepared to be disappointed. Our appreciation of the bar was not helped by the surly barman (owner?). Time for a change from beer and John went for a walk down the river whist the rest went train shopping before making our way back to the hotel for a rest prior to the evening’s excursion.

Having come up with Plan A, and seeing no reason to change, we started the evening with a walk down the river, but this time from the other bank (Plan A1). Initially crossing by the impressive railway bridge (Hohenzollernbrucke) before returning over Deutzer Brucke and a bar we spotted earlier in the day on the riverside of Buttermarkt.

The Domkeller unfortunately served the Dom Kolsch under pressure and the taste suffered from being gassed up. Still they did serve it in 3ltr. towers so we had one.

Back to the real stuff and a longer visit to Malzmuhle to make sure the Muhlen Kolsch was as good as we thought earlier in the day. It was. Moving on we arrived at Paffgen and enjoyed some schnaps with the kolsch. After Paffgen closed we moved onto Canapés but unfortunately they had no ... I have issues with my sexuality!
Four decided to call it a day, leaving the rest to try out the disco bar in Salzgasse. After shouting at each other and the friendly Germans for quite a while we made our way back into the fresh air in time for Ray to pick up an American on his way to the Lowenbrau bar on Buttermarkt. Joining him and the rest of the UPS pilots we proceeded to instruct them in the art of talking bollocks until we eventually persuaded the waiter that no did really mean we did not want another drink. Taking leave of the flyers we crashed a bar on the corner and had a small bottle of something before joining the gays in Rembrandt’s for a last beer before bed.


The views from the opposite bank the previous evening looked good for ‘photo opportunities’ so Plan 1A was adopted for our walk to our chosen out of centre Kolsch brewery. We arrived, via another model railway shop, to find the Brauhaus Reissdorf (Kleiner Griechenmarkt 40) closed until 16.00. With the vultures (well buzzards) flying overhead it was not looking good for the tour leader but fortunately Malzmuhle was not too far away and we adjourned there for lunch along with many supporters of FC Koln.

After lunch we went our various ways- walking, glass buying, watching England beat South Africa- until meeting late afternoon in Brauhaus Reissdorf. Another establishment with the brewery attached, it was worth the effort of returning, as the Kolsch was one of the best tried, a really smooth and refreshing beer. After a good few beers we were approached by a longhaired gay Scottish anorak and his bearded leather trousered mate who recommended a bar just down the road.

Weiss Brau (Am Weidenbach 24) is a newish establishment, which brews its own beer on the premises- all the coppers and fermentation vessels are viewed behind glass walls. Three draught beers were available; Lecker Kolsch, a very sweet example of the type, Weissbier an unfiltered wheat beer enjoyed by Ray and Tel and Schwarzbier, the dark beer which we did not try. The beers could be bought in 10 litre barrels, which no doubt added to the lively atmosphere. With transvestites in the cellar to the two man coxless on the ceiling (it was awesome-Frank) it was a fun place and we thank our Scottish friends for the recommendation. We returned to the Good Sleep by U-bahn from Poststrasse to Dom station and readied ourselves for our last evening in Koln.

A walk through the centre took us to Fruh, the standard to beat; Gildenhaus (Grosse Budengasse 10), on gas - we left without trying; Peters, dry start, dry finish, and Tel singing like an old rover outside; Gaffel, sweeter; Walfisch, where sunner is nice and so are the waitresses; and the final kolsch in Paffgen where by degrees we enjoyed some schnapps.

Of course we had to try Canapés and did manage to get a couple of ... I have issues with my sexuality!

The journey back included a two-hour stop over in Brussels, but this time we did not venture outside the station and Ray found his Hotel key, in his pocket.

Created on 01/22/2006 04:23 PM by drinking
Updated on 01/22/2006 04:32 PM by drinking
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