How Wurst & Bier works: you pay five euros for a glass (to keep) and three tokens, each of which buys you .1 liters of beer. Who could resist Vagabund Brauerei's adorable stand, with Bell jars filled with hops and malt? I began with a glass of their hops-infused pale ale.
In his opening speech, Hendrik Haase explained he initiated Wurst & Bier because he wanted to go somewhere and eat a sausage without fretting over where it came from. Having bit into the occasional Bockwurst only to have it emit a spooky whitish foam, I could only nod in agreement.
At the Altland stand from the Havelland region west of Berlin, I bought a pair of salsiccia made from a cross between a Duroc and a Mangalitza, promised to be free of phosphates, nitrates, gluten or lactose. I bought my second glass, a Belgian Zinne, from Herman, also a beer specialist bar in Prenzlauer Berg.
My last glass was an imperial red from Bonn craft beer brewery Ale Mania (known until recently as Fritz Ale), paired with a sausage (and a healthy squirt of wild garlic mustard) from Ahle Wurscht in Hessen.
I think of Wurst & Bier as yin to the Naschmarkt's yang: as at the Naschmarkt, or perhaps even more so, the clientele was a refreshing mix of ages and backgrounds. I look forward to seeing if Markthalle IX, together with Hendrik Haase, Johannes Heidenpeter and Slow Food Berlin, make this another recurring event. For now, it's running until 6pm tonight, so you might hie yourself to the Markthalle and join the throngs!