Bonn – Bar Balthasar

I think it’s fair to say that this was the best craft beer pub of the weekend, a clearly on-trend bar which is linked to the Brau Hotel in Bonn.

There’s a list above the bar with a range of beer styles, always a very positive thing to see when entering licensed premises.

And a long printed bottle list, of which just a part is in the above photos. Unlike some pubs I can think of in the UK, namely the Artichoke, they actually seemed to have everything that was on the printed lists

Here’s the craft beer pro placing the orders… There’s a slightly unusual set-up where the bar staff take the order at a counter and collect payment, but the drinks are brought out to the table by another staff member. A little like the Wetherspoons App. But without the ordering via the App. So not really like the App at all, bar the delivery to the table. The system isn’t infallible though, the staff did make some errors in bringing drinks to the wrong tables, but it all worked itself out in the end.

A picture on the bar’s wall….

Nicely decorated steps.

The Lollypalooza from Beavertown Brewery. This wasn’t distinctive enough for Nathan, who wanted something like a regional beer which had been crafted by elderly monks in a monastery near to Bonn for the local experience. But a hit of raspberry ice lolly flavoured beer was too much for me to resist.

The Badger Porter from Seven Mountains, back to the more usual dark beers that I prefer. And very lovely, a depth of flavour and a smooth taste to it. The Seven Mountains brewery is located in Königswinter and was founded in 2017, now looking to be growing a little in size from their previous front room style of operation and beer production.

The Roundhouse Kick from Crew Republic, chocolate and coffee flavours to this, a decent beer and how overly rich, so easily drinkable.

The Negen & Een from Brouerij de Molen. I liked this one as there were tastes and flavours which were a little difficult to identify, but varied between demerara sugar, biscuit, chocolate, coffee and all manner of other things that I was probably making up in my mind. Certainly a drink to savour as the flavour was rich and a little intense. Very lovely though.

Insanely, this is rated nearly bottom of locations in the city on TripAdvisor, primarily as they only have one review and that’s quite recent. It’s written by a German, who has rated the bar as three out of five, noting:

“What I do not like so much is that it tries a bit cloned image of English micropubs”

It isn’t really much like an English micropub, since it stretches out onto two floors and isn’t very micro, although I admit that there are some similarities in terms of the design style. The reviewer complains about the beer choices, but they seemed entirely adequate to me and I’m sure was pretty much the best available in Bonn. The bar is perhaps a little hard done by on TripAdvisor, showing just how unreliable that site can be.

The bar doesn’t attempt to offer food, with the exception of nachos, which is positive given that it prevents the offer becoming too difficult to sustain. Numerous customers ordered those nachos during the evening, it seemed a well thought through compromise of having something available, but without overdoing it.

The bar was busy throughout the evening, but it was clean, organised and there was a relaxed atmosphere about the location. Bonn doesn’t have a huge number of craft beer options, so we remained here for some time instead of hopping from pub to pub. All rather civilised….