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Steamy fun for the absinthe-minded

12 Grad Aetherloge takes steampunk to a new level mixing it up with themed nights of rock 'n' roll, theatre or swing amongst organ pipes and Caribbean pirate ship decor. But the absinthe variety is the star attraction.

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Photo by Erica Löfman

Throw on your goggles and trench coat and head for the first steampunk bar in Germany. With a tastefully classy sci-fi Victorian interior that contrasts the Irish punk music blasting in the background, 12 Grad Aetherloge on Frankfurter Allee is worth a venture on the dreaded U5.

Just one month old, the bar has so far managed to avoid Berlin-itus, remaining immaculate and free from graffiti, stickers and posters. Instead, you’ll find Gothic organ pipes, Caribbean pirate ship décor, and amusing toilets designated by abstract interpretations of male and female genitals. All the interior was handmade by the crew at 12 Grad Aetherloge themselves making it one of the most creative and crafty bars in Berlin.

But it’s not just for steampunk enthusiasts: owner Stephan Fritz welcomes all sorts with themed nights featuring live blues, rock ‘n’ roll, variety, theatre, swing and storytelling.

And the real main draw is the vast array of absinthe, complete with an elaborate fountain of water for louching – one of the more sophisticated ways to meet the Green Fairy. Want to show off that gerbil-powered wooden Iphone you’ve been working on?