The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Beer Bars
Switzerland

 

 

 

 

Zum Bierjohann
Elsässerstrasse 17
4056 Basel, Switzerland
+41 61 554 46 44

Zum Bierjohann is a beer bar in the Johann neighborhood of Basel.

This Questor arrived at the stroke of the opening hour, and had time to chat with some of the patrons before the crowd arrived.
Bierjohann claims to offer
" ...craft beer from Germany and everywhere. But not from Switzerland, because you can get that all over".

One particular customer was an old guy with his buddies. He'd been there before and knew what he liked. But he had to convince his friends to taste several beers before they agreed to stay.

By the time I left, the small place, seating maybe 25, was crowded with 20-somethings.

Bierjohann has 18 taps, some of which were not unusual for this area.
About 250 different beers are also offered in bottles.

The staffmembers pride themselves on being able to recommend a beer for any taste and for any occasion.

 

 

 

Brasserie FEDERAL
Bahnhofplatz 15 8001 Zürich
Tel. +41 44 217 15 15

Switzerland is unique among the German speaking countries in that the people are not particularly into beer. There is a dominant brewery in each of the geographic regions. Each brewery bottles their beer. Each bar and restaurant in that region has that one brand of beer, and usually only one tap at a time. The restaurant beer list will also have that brand in bottles, usually dunkel or weisse, and maybe a guest beer such as Heineken. The grocery usually has only the local beer. In areas that are near the regional boundaries, some of the bars will have the beer from the other region.
A Mecca for Swiss beer drinkers would be in the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) in Zurich. On the main floor, the Brasserie Federal has 100 Swiss beers on display and on their beer list. But be advised: no service person is assigned to the sit down side of the bar. Service is poor to worse. And if you find the beers too pricy...there's a great beer store directly downstairs!