Fleetenkieker Hamburg, Germany

I have to admit that I haven't found a bar in Hamburg which I consider "my bar", but the one that comes closest to it is Fleetenkieker. Located just a short walk from the beautiful Rathaus and Binnenalster this place is slightly hidden and easy to miss as you walk buy. Don't let the steps down into the basement of the building put you off from going in though. Once inside the interior looks very much like a German Bierkeller but decked out with Irish paraphernalia. There is a small bar area and beyond that there is an assortment of various sized tables. I've always seen this place crowded, and it can be difficult to find a seat especially during sporting events.



The absolute best aspect of this bar is their beer list. While not great it features most of the beers from O'Hara's, Punk IPA and 5am Saint from Brewdog, as well as a few notable beers from Belgium and the USA. After you secure a seat it is worth your time to go over to the cooler by the door and see what is available. Prices are reasonable for Hamburg and most bottles will cost around 5 to 6 euros. There are only a few draft beers and they tend to be Guiness, O'Hara's Irish Red, and a beer from Ratsherrn. Despite having more taps I've only ever seen a handful of beers on draft at anytime. Overall their beer offerings are as good as any bar in the city and slightly cheaper than what these beers will cost you if available elsewhere around town.



Despite having some decent beer overall the staff is lacking in beer knowledge. I heard one bartender referred to as "the beer guy" but he couldn't tell me which of the Rochefort beers they carried when I inquired at the bar. He just asked me to look in the cooler to find out. It turned out to be the 6. He was nice enough to charge me less for it after that awkward conversation which was nice. Another time I ordered a 5am Saint from from Brewdog but was instead handed their Punk IPA. The woman bartending quickly noticed what she did and gave me the proper beer, but I did notice that she put the cap back on the one and put it somewhere under the bar. I just hope it wasn't served to someone else later in the night. These kinds of incidents have been common place while I've been there. Often the staff is not aware if a beer is in stock until it is ordered and not there. Although the staff lacks knowledge they are always very friendly and helpful.



Every Friday and Saturday live music starts at nine. This tends to fall under the guy and acoustic style. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it isn't. It can get quite loud depending on where you are sitting, so that is good to be cognisant of when choosing a seat. The other main entertainment draw is sports. Soccer and rugby will be on if there is anyone playing. They do show other sporting events such as the NFL.



Although frequented by some english speaking expats the main customer base here is German. The staff is a mix of people from Ireland, the UK, and Germany. If you happen to be in lacking in German language skills ordering in english is fine as some of the staff speak limited German at best. Overall the crowd is quite mixed, and it seems normal to see twenty somethings and pensioners here.



I can't comment on the food as I've never eaten here. The menu consists of standard Irish Pub fare. They have some weekly, daily, and special event food deals which they post on facebook. I've seen people eating while I'm there, but I've never gotten a good look at what the food really looks like.



I can't say that the Fleetenkieker is a great bar, but in a beer desert of a city like Hamburg, it is one of the best. The staff despite being unknowledgable about beer are quite friendly and seem eager to offer good service. The beer list offers at least a few options that most beer lovers will find worth drinking for the night. If you were a tourist in Hamburg I couldn't really imagine coming here as it seems a bit odd to go to an Irish pub while in Germany. That being said though, anyone looking for famous German beer culture will not find it here in the north, and this pub does offer a reasonable alternative. If you happen to be living in Hamburg or coming for an extended stay then it is worth coming in one night. Maybe you'll even see me hanging out and drinking a beer!

Overall: 7/10



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About Colin Smith

Hi, I'm Colin, I love a good hoppy IPA, but I can find immense enjoyment in a solid session beer, imperial stout, quadrupel or a nostalgic beer from my past.

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