Zum Uerige Brewery in Düsseldorf Altstadt, Germany
For months, we have been excited to taste Altbier, and what better way to have it than go to the source — Düsseldorf.
Altbier literally means “old beer” and its recipe can reportedly be traced back to more than a thousand years. According to some sources, the name was then a new invention in the 1800s, only to differentiate it with the “new” beer called Lager of Bavaria.
Another story is that the oldest brewery in Düsseldorf, Brauerei Schumacher, first used the term Alt to describe the top-fermenting beers and separate them from the bottom-fermenting beers.
The Altbier is primarily brewed in Düsseldorf, but is also made in cities like Krefeld and Mönchengladbach. All cities are from the Lower Rhine Region which made the beer a known German-style beer.
Off to Zum Uerige
Zum Uerige is one of the most popular breweries of the city, and one of the oldest. The name Zum Uerige means “to the grouch” or “to the grumpy” because of the owner who started it as a brewery, Wilhelm Cürten, who might not be a people person. Anyway, he started a brewery and the rest was history.
The brewery is easy to spot as it is standing at the corner of Rheinstraße and Berger Straße. It is a tall, dirty-white-and-brown building with a recognizable weather vane on top. According to the history of the Brewery, it is no longer known when the building was built. Earliest surviving records of the establishment show that this particular building was owned around between 1658 and 1783 by a family. In the years after that, around the mid-1800s, this was converted into an “imperial coach station” that also doubled as accommodation for travelers. Its present iteration was established by the uerige himself, Wilhelm Cürten, in 1862.
Ric, Annie, and I were already hungry so we braved the growing Carnival crowd to reach the spot. At least we found it just before the lunchtime rush. We were seated in one of the first tables from the entrance. Looking around, I thought we were taken back in time.
Immediately upon taking our seats, a waiter asked how many beers we want. In a minute, a fresh glass of Altbier was right in front of me.
Tasting the Altbier for the first time was an interesting moment. The taste itself was refreshing, way refreshing than all the beers I have had. It’s so refreshing like my favorite beer, Krombacher, but with a better mouthfeel. I am not much of a beer drinker, but I know many people would agree with me when I say that the Altbier tastes much like yummy bread. Now I know why it’s called dat leckere Dröppke (Düsseldorfer dialect for “that delicious drop”). For craft beer fans, you need to have this.
Of course, we need food for lunch. We picked some choice items off their menu, and moments later, my jaw dropped at one of the items: Mett. For the uninitiated, you would find it weird that Mett is actually raw minced pork. It is served seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with bits of onion.
I became convinced to try Mett after my husband said it was good. I took a bite, and I found out to be okay. It was really good, but not something I’d eat again. So far, I enjoyed the black pudding!
Overall, the experience was great. The food was good, especially the black pudding, the place was fantastic, and the beer — it has got to be the beer — was enjoyable.
The waiter writes how much we were going to pay, plus how many beers, and how much the orders were. We took this as a souvenir.
Uerige – Das Alt der Stadt
Address: Berger Str. 1, 40213 Düsseldorf, Germany
Telephone: +49 211 866990
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