Cologne’s smallest brewery

Blond, brunette, black, and even one redhead — all of them flow into a glass or a bottle at the Braustelle. That’s because Cologne’s smallest brewery pub is suffused with full-flavoured tolerance and delights in diversity. And that’s why you can even see Braustelle’s Altbier — in other words, a Düsseldorf-style Alt brewed in Cologne — in between the glasses of unfiltered own-brand Kölsch on the counter. Not to mention lots of other craft beers, which the Braustelle was already serving long before all the discussion about craft beers became a gustatory trend.

In the past, some people regarded Kölsch Altbier as an affront to the Kölsch identity itself; others even claimed that offering such an anomaly was an act of blasphemy. And the local tabloid newspaper EXPRESS refused to write about it at all. But that was back around 2001 — and today the Braustelle has long been a firmly established and popular port of call for tanking up on conviviality in the hip district of Ehrenfeld.

Down to earth, iconic, cosy

Beer has been brewed at the Braustelle since 2001 — in line with the idea: Why not combine a brewing operation and a restaurant in the same space? After all, the working brew kettle still stands in the restaurant area. The Helios Kölsch it produces is on tap at the counter. Quite a few other beers are brewed here, in defiance of the uniform taste of industrially produced beers. Fine craftsmanship for over 20 years: at the Braustelle, that’s the programme for an outstanding and unusual range of beers.

Beer on beer: Varied craftsmanship, great taste across the board

Pink Panther, Ehrenfelder Alt, pale ales and barrel-aged strong beers — the Braustelle’s product range has become pleasantly diverse over the years. For example, Pink Panther, which has been brewed since 2006, contains hibiscus blossoms that are added during the brewing process — and it’s really pink.

The first wheat beer was offered in 2002. Ehrenfelder Alt, which is brewed as a contribution to the “intercultural understanding” between Düsseldorf and Cologne, has been drunk here since 2004. Incidentally, Peter Esser, the brewmaster and owner of the Braustelle, comes from Düsseldorf himself.

The house Kölsch Helios, craft beers and other beer specialities

The own-brand Helios beer, an original-style Kölsch, has been produced here since November 16, 2001. It’s a light-coloured, top-fermented, unfiltered and thus naturally cloudy Kölsch that is not heated and therefore contains especially large amounts of vitamins and minerals.

What’s more, if you’re a lover of craft beers, the wide spectrum of limited-edition bottled special beers is sure to warm your heart. That also goes for the other on-tap specialities that age in an oak barrel or are seasoned with herbs or fermented together with fruits.

Braustelle, Helios? Why, wherefore and how come?

“Life is a brewery” — which rhymes in German with the saying “Life is a building site”— was posted above the pub’s front door during a previous period of renovation work. The working title ultimately became the official name of this small traditional brewery pub in the formerly working-class district of Ehrenfeld.

The pub named its own-brand Kölsch after the sun god Helios in a direct tribute to the old lighthouse-shaped tower of the former company Helios Elektricitäts AG, which still beams above the roofs of Ehrenfeld. And that’s how the visual images overlap: Helios, the beer of the sun god, towers like a gustatory lighthouse out of the Braustelle taste centre, high above the scene neighbourhood that is Ehrenfeld today.

Also worth a mention: the menu

Home-baked bread, sausage, cheese and snacks or homemade dumplings, goulash and master brewer’s schnitzel — the food at the Braustelle is mainly hearty. But the menu also includes a range of hot vegetarian dishes. If you’re not a carnivore, vegetables, falafel, salads and more will delight your palate.

Watching, participating, observing: other extras at the Braustelle

One of the special features of the Braustelle is the brewing kettle that proudly stands inside the restaurant area. If you’re interested in the brewing process, you can join one of the guided brewery tours or a brewing seminar. Participation in the guided tour includes a table reservation for the group and generally lasts less than an hour.

The seminar, which is led by the master brewer and Braustelle owner Peter Esser, takes longer, because there’s a great deal of theory and craftsmanship to impart, as well as food that satisfies. The result is a seminar day rich in experiences and lessons learned.

Pittermanns Destillerie: Whiskey, gin, jenever and handcrafted liqueurs

In 2016 Peter Esser expanded his brewery family by adding a distillery — and he’s been using the still ever since to create spirits of every kind. On Geldernstraße in the city’s Bilderstöckchen district, the distillery produces craft spirits based on juniper berries, whiskeys, a variety of gins and, since 2019, the first “Cologne whiskey”, as well as soft drinks for the Braustelle pub. All of them are marketed under the brand name Pittermanns Destillerie. These products can also be bought at the online shop.

The Braustelle, where the merging of the taproom and the brewery is innovative and transparent, keeps coming up with new ideas. The many “beers of the month” invite visitors to enjoy the pleasure of sampling and discovery.

Useful Information



  • Bad Weather Offer

  • Suitable for any Weather

  • for familys

  • for individual guests

Parking facilities

The brewery is about 500 meters away from the station Köln-Ehrenfeld. You can get there via Venloer Straße in the northwest direction.

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KölnTourismus GmbH
Kardinal-Höffner-Platz 1
50667 Köln