There’s nothing we love more than a hostel or hotel with a unique history; a place with a story to tell. Thankfully, during our time in Berlin we had the fortune to stay at one hostel with a back story of it’s own that we couldn’t help but fall in love with.

Pfefferbett Hostel sticker on a guitar - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

Brewing Up A Plan

The origins of the current Pfefferbett Hostel actually lie in the decisions more than 150 years previously to create a brewery on the very same site that the hostel lies by the Bavarian Master BrewerMr Pfeffer – in 1842.

Many of the buildings in and around the Pfefferbett Hostel were in fact commissioned and built during the following 60 years under the guidance of various brewery companies as the site changed hands over the years.

Outside the Pfefferbett Hostel - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

Eventually – after changing hands between chocolate makers, a bakery and a publishing house- the site lay almost to waste and it’s own slow demise during the early 90’s as a reunited Berlin and unified Germany began the long process of rebuilding for the future.

As changes in the city began to take shape and people began to gather together to celebrate, party and work towards common goals, the site was finally occupied by the non-profit company Pfefferwerk Stadtkultur gGmbH who have over the past 20 years worked passionately and tirelessly to restore the many buildings (21 in total) to a workable standard where many various organisations are now based and do much of their work.

Building on the old - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

Building A New Future

Over time more like minded companies and organisations have moved into the site to open galleries, architecture offices, restaurants, bars and – opening soon – a new microbrewery where some of the first beer in over 90 years will be brewed.

One building of course that stands out more than others is Building 6 where in 2008 the Pfefferbett hostel first opened, the very same building that we had the fortune to spend a number of nights.

Another Pfefferbett building - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Pfefferbett former brewery chimney - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
A new building in the area - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
A gallery in the Pfefferbett courtyard - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Rows of bikes outside the Pfeffebett Hostel - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

The Brewing Process

Where once there may have been beer slowly being brewed or crate after crate of beer stacked up to the vaulted ceiling, the building now houses a large communal area with bar and restaurant, not forgetting the space for over 180 people to rest their heads in one of the many dorm rooms on the floors above.

A view of the common area and bar - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Great design lights in Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Homemade flavoured gins and cocktails - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Empty gin bottles on the ceiling - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
The interior of Pfefferbett hostel - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Close up of Dale playing guitar - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin
Close up of a table football player - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

Ethics

One aspect were particularly fond of was the sense of community and togetherness not just of the staff but of the whole company and their desire to do something for the benefit of everyone and not just themselves.

In fact, the Pfefferbett Hostel and it’s leading organisation have since 2009 looked to employ people from the local area and those with severe disabilities in an effort to create opportunities of employment who together total somewhere in the region of 40% of it’s staff – something we’re both really encouraged to hear about.

Other travellers checking in - Hostel With A History - Pfefferbett Hostel, Berlin

Location


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In Summary

Being amongst the history and stunning red brick of the buildings was a delight and whilst it’s distant history and it’s incredible recent past really is something to enjoy, we’re both of the opinion that the immediate future for the Pfefferbett Hostel and the rest of the site is something not just to be noted, but to be encouraged so much so that we hope many other collections of people may look to forge a history of their own not just for their own benefit, but for the benefit of everyone.

And hostel like that is a friend of ours.

Have you stayed at a community based hostel?