Unlike in English, the word “Drilling” does not describe the activity of boring a hole in German. Instead, it means “triplet” over here. The Drilling in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld got its name due to the fact that it unites three different concepts under one roof: besides being a café during the day and a bar in the evening, it is also a micro distillery. The latter is the main reason I got excited about Drilling in the first place. After all, there are only so many places in my hometown that produce their own spirit in-house. While Drilling’s focus lies on gin and various types of brandy, they have already distilled some whisky, too. However, since the water of life is not their core business, they are not in a hurry to bring their first single malt to the market. They told me that they plan to let it rest significantly longer than the required three years. So it looks like we still need to wait a little before we can talk about Drilling’s whisky. In the meantime, let’s focus on the place as a bar. It is stylishly furnished, well equiped and good to reach (less than 5 minutes from the tram station “Bahrenfeld”). The bar staff is friendly and helpful. Since the micro distillery is located in a backroom of the spacious bar, you can go over there to see the stills and other equipment at any time. And if you ask nicely, you might also get to try a glass or two of Drilling’s self-made spirit.
Atmosphere: Located in an old factory building, the Drilling’s interior is sophisticated, chic and simple at the same time. During my visit, the place hosted a jazz event with a Scandinavian ensemble playing life music to a motley audience. That was a pretty cool extra, of course!
Selection: They have about 15 whiskies on the menu and another 25 in the bar. You will not find any single casks or rarities there, but a good selection of original bottlings from Scotland as well as Ireland, Japan, the United States and even Italy. If you fancy something else, you can also chose from various gins, rums or tequilas. And while you are at it, ask for their own products, too!
Price: The prices are quite okay for a classy bar. All whiskies are served in 4cl portions. Since I went there on the first day of Feis Ile 2019, I ordered a Laphroaig PX Cask for 10 bucks. The cheapest dram they have on the menu is Monkey Shoulder for 7 Euro, the most expensive one is The Dalmore’s King Alex III for 23 Euro.
Service: The staff was fantastic. The drinks were swiftly served and I felt very welcome. When I asked the waitress about Drilling’s own products, she was happy to fill me in on the place’s history, concept and spirit. She did so with noticeable pride – which is always a very good sign!
Type: Cafe, bar and mirco distillery
Address: Drilling, Marzipanfabrik, Haus 4 I beim Schornstein, Friesenweg 4, 22763 Hamburg, Germany
Opening hours (Bar):Tue to Sat from 7pm till 1pm
Opening hours (Cafe): Tue to Fri from 8am till 5pm, Sat from 10am till 5pm
Drilling @ Web: https://www.drilling.hamburg/