Traveling can be tough sometimes. Your standby ticket doesn’t get you where you need to go, your bag lags behind you, or you just end up really tired late at night not really remembering where you are. Thankfully beer, good food, and a cheerful drinking establishment can make it all melt away.
When we left NYC we didn’t even know we were going to be going to Cologne, Germany but alas we ended up taking a train from London to Cologne and then were off to Prague a few hours later on an overnight train. Adventure!
Still wearing our nice clothes (to try to help us get on a plane with standby tickets) we trudged into Cologne around dinner time. We had two hours to eat (and drink of course) and get back to our long night train to Prague. Sounds easy but with such a short amount of time, you worry that you won’t find the right place and will end up eating at the equivalent of 7-11 and downing a light lager. Which of course works sometimes, but I had higher hopes for a place where good beer is king.
I can’t tell you much about Cologne, but I can tell you that the people are overall rather nice and that Gaffel am Dom by the train station is a great place to eat and drink. It was raining and thankfully we went out the right door and there it was, a boisterous beer hall with those traditional Kolsch glasses and beer everywhere.
The place was welcoming to us and we were out of the rain and sitting down with two Kolschs pretty fast. And the beer was great – of course we REALLY wanted it at that moment but still it had plenty of bite and flavor and the waiter kept coming by with a little beer tray with new filled glasses to give us. He also spoke English and told us we have to try the Gaffel restaurant in NYC. This peaked my interest. So far I haven’t really found that they have one in NYC, but I do see that you can get it at Loreley Beer Garden – maybe that is what he meant.
I saw a different beer that they make and had to try it. It was called SonnenHopfen. It came in a big bottle (check), had lots of Citra hops (double check), and so we tried it. The waiter said it was a “girl” beer. It was tasty. A summer mild brewed with Citra hops from Yakima Valley, WA. I wasn’t as excited about it as I was the Kolsch but still a good one to try if you can.
And if you ever wanted a personal little keg for your table – this is a good place to try it (5L barrel for around $35)
Hopefully our travels bring us back to Germany on this trip – I hear they make good beer.