Casually, John asked if I fancied checking out an abandoned brewery. Whilst any right thinking person would have probably declined such an offer, the adventurer within me couldn’t refuse. Exploring Spreepark had whetted my appetite for urban exploration. I’d read about the Bärenquell Brauerei on a blog dedicated to exploring Berlin’s abandoned places. I’d also read their warnings about security, shady characters and passing idioten ringing the police. Unsure of when we would return to the city, we were just too curious to let the opportunity pass.
After circling the colossal site, we let ourselves in through the fence. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of the brewery, we scurried into the nearest outbuilding to avoid being seen. Strewn with stained mattresses, defunct spray cans and junk, amid the debris we found remnants of the building’s former life.
Hearts pounding, we explored the buildings like stray cats alert to any sound that didn’t belong to us. The brewery had stood empty for almost 20 years. After the fall of the Berlin wall, East Germans were overwhelmed by choice from the previously forbidden west. Sales dwindled and the brewery was forced to close its doors in 1994. Since then, the site has become a playground for street artists and spray paint revellers.
We were there to see the work of Ghost Patrol, an artist who has also worked in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. We were spoiled with art from other well-known artists and art from those not so famed. Watching our step, we were spoiled with art every corner we turned.