Episode 106: Berliner Pilsner


Indira-Gandhi-Straße 66-69, 13053 Berlin


  • Created in 1963
  • Originally the GDR state beer

Do you know how in Berlin a lot of stuff comes in pairs? There are two zoos, two aquariums and two football teams. After the physical division of the city in 1961, what was lacking in one of the two sides had to be built there. This is also the reason why the Berliner Pilsner came to be. After the Second World War, Schultheiss moved West from where the Kulturbrauerei stands today. This was a big deal because Schultheiss was simply the biggest beer hit in Germany and the oldest and most traditional beer from Berlin.

So in 1963, two years after the Wall went up, the GDR launched their own beer which was supposed to replace the Schultheiss in the East: the mighty Berliner Pilsner. Unlikely many other GDR brands, the Berliner Pilsener resisted the fall of the Wall because of its high quality standards.

Interestingly, even today, after many years since the fall of the Wall, we can still notice the division of the city through its beer preferences. Schultheiss is still the preferred beer in the former West and Berliner is in the East.

Since 2003, Berliner Pilsner is a brand of the Berliner-Kindl-Schultheiss Brewery. Yes, all three traditional Berlin beers are now being made at the same place that you can actually visit on a tour from Monday to Thursday.

For the spoken version of this post, check out the link below:

Photo and episode: Roberta Caldas

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