längste Theke der Welt (The Longest Bar in the World)

Located in North Rhine-Westphalia, the capital city of Düsseldorf lays claim to having the longest bar in the world.  Walking around casually, you see a modern and efficient German city which looks like what you might expect given that much of the city was rebuilt after being bombed quite thoroughly.  But where is such a long bar?  Tucked away in the center of the city, you will find the Altstadt (Old Town) which escaped the ruinous bombings.  Inside the area of roughly one-half square kilometer you will find ~300 bars and five breweries (Füchschen, Schumacher, Schlüssel, Uerige and the newly opened Brauerei Kürzer).  The streets are cobblestone, and the buildings show their age and design with old world charm. The breweries, which are more like brewpubs in that they have full restaurants and bars, all brew a single type of beer:  Altbier, and they are quite proud of it.  Sitting down outside of Füchschen I asked for a beer, which was met with a stern reply of “No pils.  Alt.”  This type of somewhat coarse treatment is not rude, but expected.  Some of the waiters at the other bars were more laid back, while some dialed it up either further!  Served in a 0.25L stange the altbiers of Düsseldorf are refreshing: a somewhat balanced (depending on which brewery you are at, Uerige is quite bitter) amber to brown beer, smoothed by cold lager conditioning, and medium carbonation from a gravity fed (and often wooden) keg.  It was an enjoyable time in a place I had only heard about, and has a distinct beer culture that is unique!