There are many bars and pubs in Wedding. Some sell cheap Sternenberger Pilsener or ‘Sterni’; others sell locally produced craft beer. But only one of them has a vagabond’s bundle – dangling from the end of a stick – hanging over the entrance. Vagabund (the German word for vagabond) is a new neighbourhood brewery on Antwerpener Strasse. Launched by three American homebrewers, the venue opened a small taproom in July 2013 after a successful crowdfunding campaign (which made them Europe’s first crowd-funded brewery) that serves craft beer, classic Belgian ales and lager from family breweries from the south of Germany. And, of course, their own brews.
The tap room is a simple affair with a few wooden tables and benches, a bar, a fridge and beer-related posters on white walls. The names of crowd-funding backers are decorating the doorframe leading to the brewing room, and there are actual and made-up beer quotes adorning the walls (‘Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world - Kaiser Wilhelm II’).
Vagabund does not only serve its own products. During my last visit, I tried their 7% Imperial Russian Stout named ‘Crimea River’ – a subtle nod to contemporary world politics – and there are also weekly guest beers on tap. Visitors will always find a nice variety of Berlin craft and draft beers though, as well as brews from further afield. There are also concerts, spoken word performances and other cultural events happening on a monthly basis – check their Facebook page.