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Someone just posted about this on the Beer Advocate message board. I had never heard of it before and I couldn't find it in the archives here, but it looks like it is an annual beer collaboration between different breweries in the Bamberg Landkreis:
The only details I know are that the three breweries collaborating this year are Brauerei Ott, Brauerei Huebner and Brauerei Aichinger and the release date is September 30 and they are brewing a Kellerbier. Has anyone tried any of the past collaborations? Sounds like it could be worth seeking out.
Malthouse Weyermann in Bamberg in flames: Forces fight for hours against the fireMore info here
A bearded man wearing a metal band hoodie was reportedly witnessed escaping the scene laughing hysterically...
I found myself in Kulmbach today on a bike trip round a few breweries and ending in kronach. I actually had no idea the Bier Woche was taking place. For anyone who has a desire to go, I would caution against it from a beer perspective. As expected totally dominated by Kulmbacher beer, whether eku, moenschhof or Kapuziner. I had a seidla of monschhof zoigl, hoping naively for something remotely interesting. Bland and boring was all I got. It was very Bavarian in feel, big tent with a band stand and Maß servings. Strange. Not sure why this place takes so much pride in its brewing status.
I do recommend kronach though, both as a very attractive walled town with a castle and as a beer destination. Entla is a modern brewery with, not yet open when I last visited back in 2009. They had ipa, stout and pale ale on draft alongside more typical fayre and has a very nice courtyard garden. Kaiserhof is more traditional and has an excellent Kellerbier. 50 minutes from Bamberg and worth a visit.
Thanks for the report. Never had an urge to go to Kulmbach, but Kronach was in my sights if I ever get back to Franken.
As far as Kulmbach's brewing status, I guess it has to do with former numbers of breweries and present day volume. The Kulmbacher Brauerei is the biggest in Franken, isn't it?
The Kulmbacher brewery group sells 1.68 million hl per year.
and the brands of Kulmbacher (Mönchshof, EKU, Kulmbacher, Kapuziner, Würzburger Hofbräu, Scherdel)
The majority of the shares belongs to the Schörghuber Group.30% of the Schörghuber group are in the ownership of Heineken.
Thurn + Taxis
Maybe Tucher in middle Franconia is bigger. They don't publish how many hl they brew.
Tucher belongs to the Radeberger Group and is part of Dr. Oetker (pizza, feed etc.). Brands of Tucher
- Sebaldus Weizen
Thanks Gerhard, that's a useful list of products to avoid!
The way that products from these 'labels' flood mosts Trinkmarkt is really noticeable and I suppose is the reason that most people in Franken drink this stuff. And, of course, it's very cheap, even by Franken standards. And probably tastes ok to the non-discerning drinker - sorry to sound like a beer snob!
You know that in Germany a three or two-tier-system doesn't exit. So breweries can have or dominate drink shops.
The Markgrafen Getränkemärkte is part of the Kulmbacher group. They have over 200 drink shops not only in Franconia. . .
They selll also other brewery brands, but the Kulmbacher brands are well positioned.
The name Markgrafen comes from the Kulmbacher Markgrafenbräu, 1930 bought by the Reichelbräu.
Not sure what a three or two-tier system is?
But it's certainly true that Kulmbacher beers flood the normal supermarket outlets.
In the US, after organized crime was firmly established by prohibition (1920-1933), it was decided to repeal prohibition. In order to "keep organized crime" out of the alcohol business, the US established the three-tier system.
The manufacturer sells to a distributor, who then sells to the retailer.
I think originally, none could be "related", but now things are looser.
Organized crime moved on to bigger and better things, and the distributors make a good living (and are politically connected), and create a stink any time someone talks about modifying the system !
(Some of these facts are my opinions!)
Hi Carl, Thanks, I think that I agree with some of your opinion!
Ok, so it's just the normal producer>wholesaler>retailer chain. Other than with some direct selling, usually by microbrewer to micropub, that's how it usually works in the UK. I can't think, off-hand, of any instance of brewers retailing direct, apart from some brewery shops.
Barry - what about the brewers selling direct to the public through their managed outlets, for example Hall & Woodhouse and Fullers and Greene King? Fullers, for example, say on their website that "We run just under 200 Tenanted pubs and just over 200 Managed Pubs and Hotels", and the managed houses tend to be the biggest in their estate. You'll remember the stranglehold that Watneys had over East Anglia in 1970s - the Beer Orders of the late 1980s broke up the big brewers' dominance of the retail market but inadvertently created the conditions under which the pubcos could be created and exercise an even more malign influence.
Still, moving back on topic, the maxim that distribution is the key to commercial success in brewing - rather than producing the highest-quality beer - seems to apply as much in Franconia as it does in the UK and USA.
Yes, I thought of that. It's a concept that hasn't changed much over, literally, centuries, via the old jug and bottles that I used to see in my youth (sadly). I was really thinking of the German Trinktmarket concept, which we don't have so much in the UK, apart from the high street 'Bargain Booze' and the like.
Generally, speaking, big supermarkets don't tend to have separate departments, as in Germany but the big companies tend to dominate the shelves in supermarket booze sections, except where local distribution agreements occur, such as Conwy Breweries in my local Morrison's. You're certainly right in your final maxim, which was at the heart of Camra's early attempts to remove ties, where possible, but has had a odd effect in the pub and brewing business.
Personally, I much prefer Trebgast which has two nice breweries, plus a butcher with rooms to rent.
You prefer Trebgast to what? Kulmbach? I'd prefer most places to Kulmbach. If you mean Kronach I would somewhat disagree, it has more than just the 2 breweries being an historic town etc. FYI Trebgast only has one brewery, Haberstumpf, which no longer has a tap but you can get the beers from an Italian restaurant of good quality.
Kulmbach, of course, some of the worst beer in Franconia. I haven't been to Kronach, so I can't really say. Trebgast also has Dorfschänke. And the butcher with the rooms to rent has a beer garden in the back, but I don't recall where he gets his beer from. Trebgast also has a train station making transport convenient.
Dorfschänke Trebgast is not a brewery afaik. Gaststätte Friedrich (the "butcher") used to have Haberstumpf beer but I have not been there recently. At the brewery you can get the beers in Ristorante La Birreria.
It is a number of years since I've been there, but as I recall, they serve beer and it was defintely not from Haberstumpf.
Don't think I'll be rushing out to get to this Trebgast place. One brewery (not two) and you can only drink their beer at an Italian restaurant.
May of course have had beer from an interesting brewery. But to my knowledge was never a brewery.
In fairness the the restaurant looks very nice and a genuine Italian (rather than generic).
A bit of help please. I have scanned the De, side of their website, and cannot find dates of annual urlaub? Do they shut for such? Or no? Opinions please!
Their annual calendar for 2018 shows that the Gaststätte/Restaurant is closed for vacation 11 September - 2 October incl. But the brewery and hotel will remain open. Whether this means you can come to their garden and have a beer is unclear, certainly no food.
OK, ta. Must have missed the calendar page;
Today was Kraus Gaststätte closed (Urlaub), but the beer garden way open.
I’m yet to meet a local that likes Kraus. A Bamberg local that is, probably plenty in Hirschaid. I know it has its fans on here (respected fans as well) so don’t take it as a personal affront, but I haven’t heard such a united stance against one brewery. Kraus beer does not generally give a positive reaction.
I’m just the messenger, no personal opinion.
Surprised. Havent been in the tap for years, but the beer in the keller has always been good when Ive been there.
Yes, John. I totally agree it has always been fine for me. In fact I have a photo of a bier deckel, that I took one afternoon relaxing post flight from UK. And it has 8 ticks! So presumably not that bad.!!
As someone said to me this last weekend, there's a beer for everyone and it's quite obvious that so much is down to personal taste. Also, beers change, brewers get better - or sometimes worse. I remember staying in Doerfleins a few years ago and finding the beer moderate and the pub not especially friendly (not opening when they were supposed to, closing early because there was a football match invovlving a certain team from Muenchen on the telly, etc.). But, recent visits with Jason have revealed quite a different place: good to excellent beer, friendly-ish hosts and and a nice atmosphere.
Personally, I have always found Kraus quite good; maybe not the best but fairly decent across quite a wide spread of beers. Their beer is, of course, rather different from that of the Bamberg breweries. One thing they have in common with Spezial and Schlenkerla is a Rauchbier (Hirschentrunk?) but it is as different from either Bamberg Rauchbier as Spezial's offering is from Schlenkerla's. Is one better than the other? It's all down to personal taste.
Personaly, if the weather is good and I'm in Hirschaid, I'd ramble down to Hirschaada Keller - just such a nice place to drink.
Nah I don't buy this personal taste stuff. Sure, you know if you like or don't like a beer, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the beer or the skill of the brewer. Calling a beer good and liking a beer are two different things, and something that most people on these rating sites get altogether mixed up. Some people don't like Schlenkerla, does that make it a bad beer? Of course not.
Kraus is alright. Just. I wouldn't be excited to go to the brewery though. Remember a few things before we dismiss the opinions of locals; they have lived here a long time and have drunk a lot of beer. When you drink the beers here daily, your opinion on a number of breweries change. I used to like Loewenbraeu Buttenheim, but that's another one I could take or leave nowadays. Holiday visitors are. not a reliable judge of consistant quality.
Of course breweries change, and the downside to local opinion is that a bad batch can tar a brewery for a long time. Regarding rivalries like Merkendorf, opinions need to be taken with a barrel of salt. That's your typical bone headed Francoinan. Their loss.
I think that you summed it all up in your last paragraph!
Another factor (maybe one that hasn't really hit Franconia yet - but probably will, one day) is fashion. This is something that is changing really rapidly in contemporary society, due to increased access to the media, especially the social media.
Reading historic accounts of changes in taste for beer in the UK (Ron Pattison is really interesting in this respect), we can see shifts in taste over time but, prior to, perhaps, the last twenty years, maybe a little more, these happened fairly slowly. An example is gradual drift away from darker beers, such as milds (though I know we have also got light milds) to bitters and lighter coloured beers, accompanied by a gradual increase in strength. Previously, these happened over quite a long period, whereas, now, we have constant shifts, with the addition of new beer styles almost every day.
As I said in the Facebook account of my trip to Sheffield, I found it quite difficult to find what I would call a 'northern bitter' (i.e. a balance of malts and hops, using British hops, and brownish rather than pale in colour) among the plethora of so-called IPA's, fruit flavoured concoctions (fruit probably added after brewing rather than as an integral component), citrussy beers, summer ales, golden ales, etc., etc. I (maybe sometimes a little reluctantly) welcome diversity but it would be nice to have the option to drink some more traditional styles (there were one or two milds and a few stouts and porters), which is why the two Barnsley bitters came as a nice surprise.
Still, as the man in the Fat Cat said 'There's never been a better time for the real ale lover', probably true but I need to think a bit more about it!
I would expect something described as a northern bitter to be pale, especially in Yorkshire. So there you go.
It varies quite a lot - the 2 Barnsley bitters were pretty brown and this is often the case in Manchester, though Robinson's tends to be reasonably pale, as was the Taylor's Landlord that I drank last night - it was really superb!
That's really interesting Jason. And a little puzzling? My post was mostly to do with the accommodation because ( as you know) I have been staying there lately.All I can say is I have always found the beer fine (highly carbonated though)which I have no problem with.I have encountered this "thing'' in Franken before. Merkendorf springs to mind,where the occupants of one tap could not believe that I had drunk " That crap" from Hummel. So feel free to make assumptions from that.lol.
Kraus used to be excellent 5+ years ago. Then a lot of diacetyle, cabbage etc. I have had it in April this year last time, and it was OK this time, so hopefully they fixed the issue. I have also re-tasted Hummel in April and July this year and still bad :( By the way, today I got served a beer in Wagner Oberhaid pub, and surprisingly it was good :) I mean no issues in beer, but also not excellent one. But still drinkable. But who knows, if it was brewed there or somewhere else...
That is interesting Mosquito, I have to admit that I have never tasted carrots, turnips,Broccoli, or any other vegetal flavours in the beer at Kraus Hirscaid. But presumably my carnivorous tendencies preclude this? I really will have to make an effort to visit my local homebrew club. Then perhaps,I will be able learn from the experts.
Hummel? Nothing wrong with Hummel at all.
I don’t every beer Hummel brews but some of their beers are excellent IMO. Kellerbier for example and they’ve brewed the best bocks I’ve had anywhere.
Ive been to Kraus 4 times over the years and have found the beers to be okay. Nothing mind blowing but I’ve not had a bad beer there. I’ll go back.
I wholeheartedly agree.
Says the man who was drinking it by the Mass at Canalissimo
I tend to spend more time at Wagner (love that big FW mosaic in the entrance) but both are good breweries.
I have been reading through the archives and I know that ungespundetes Kellerbier has been a favorite point of discussion over the years. To me it is like a time machine to 19th century German lager brewing when beer was racked green and then lagered in wooden kegs and were left unbunged until close to the time when they would be served. Based on what I have read (e.g., John Conen's book) these days most Ungespundet is lagered in big stainless tanks with spunding valves (technically "gespundet" as he says).
I recently came across a series of three videos where the Shelton Brothers (American beer importers) tour the brewery and Bierkeller of Brauerei Büttner in Untergreuth. In the middle of the second video (around 5:35) they remove the bung and leave the kegs open to the air and say that the beer will be a "real ungespundetes":
I also came across the website of the Hobbybrauer Himmelkron e.V. where they show their Kellerbier fermenting in open kegs:
"Ein typisches, oberfränkisches, untergäriges Kellerbier, kupferfarben, naturtrüb und ungespundet bietet es einen vollmundigen Genuss. Der verwendete Aromadoldenhopfen verleiht dem Bier eine angenehme Bittere. Nach traditioneller, offener Gärung und anschließender Fassgärung reift das Bier von Februar bis Pfingstmontag im Fass."
So, are there any other breweries that you know of that make "real" ungespundetes Kellerbier?
In a word, no. And I didn't even know that Buettner did that. By the way a really great place for a beer, not too far from Bamberg. Only open Fri-Sun.
The thing is, not all kellerbier is ungespundetes. This is where lines get blurry. And actually I can't think of too many breweries that actually call their beer Ungespundetes. Mahrs, Spezial, Wagner (M'dorf) and Knoblach spring to mind. Mahr U (let's not get into that again) may have some CO2 bled off but then it's served under gas pressure in the pub so what would be the point. Steffen Michel knows better of course.
So if it doesn't come out of a barrel gravity poured then it can't be Ungespundetes? Hard to say. I stopped off for a feierabend beer yesterday in the Prechtel Keller in Uehlfeld and the kellerbier was poured from keg. But with the pressure down low. It was excellent. Spezial U is poured from the tanks, therefore the gas is natural, but it's quite high. I wouldn't call it a kellerbier. Too much carbonation. And it's not 'Kupferfarben'. The beer at the Muehlendorf Keller is a perfect fit: copper coloured, dry, very low in CO2 and served from the barrel. It could be an U, but they don't advertise it as one.
Finally, I cannot imagine any brewery opens the 'spund' from February until May. Nice story though.
I just watched the Shelton Bros video, very interesting. The 'Keller' they were at is a private one. Of course Keller just means 'cellar' and they are all over Oberfranken, where people store perishables. The beer they were drinking and lagering was 'Hausbraeubier'. A number of breweries do this. The people bring their own barrel to the brewery on a given day, it's filled with 'young' beer and they take it back to their keller and lager it for however long their taste dictates. It's great for the breweries because they save valuable space and of course allows for a variety of personal taste variations. So this beer has no longer anything to do with Buettner.
This really is a fascinating side to life here that most 'tourists', even lifelong visitors, wouldn't know about. I have a friend who was born in Reckendorf. His father has a keller. We have often talked about buying Hausbraubier and lagering it ourselves. I need to make this happen.
So perhaps I can answer your question better now: "real" ungespundetes kellerbier is made by the people. And your chances of trying it are slim to none. Unless you know someone...
Just like Zoigl then? I have had the good fortune to sample, several times, Zoigl brewed by a house brewer in The Kommunbrauhaus in Neuhaus. It was taken basically as wort to his neighbours cellar, yeast (from Wurth in Eschawo) added and then lagered for about 3 months.
The only problem was that it was kept during the final stages under a light covering of Co2; my friend explained that he was not able to drink it all as quickly as he thought needed (I could have helped more, if asked) before gradual deterioration. Nevertheless, it was excellent and not particularly different from the Zoigl of the best in Neuhaus, i.e. Kaeck'n and Teicher (perhaps also Lingl?).
I'm not sure if it is like Zoigl. The Zoigl Kommunbräuhäuser as far as I know didn't have any fermentation space / lagering kellers. Therefore the wort is fermented and lagered in the cellars of the villagers.
Hausbräubier (again, I'm not an expert) is fermented and part-lagered in the brewery and then collected for the last few weeks of lagering depending on how long you wish to lager for. I will try and find out difinitively if this is the case.
You're correct, that is the (apparent) difference and the reason why I described the Zoigl process so minutely in my comment!
The question of yeast and its availability is an interesting point. When I first started looking into German brewing, I asked whether German brewers carefully preserved their yeast from brew to brew (in the UK, individual brewer's yeast is highly prized, with brewers considering it part of the DNA of their beer). Of course, I was met with blank looks and then I found (I think this is correct, I'm no expert) that the lagering process essentialy 'eats' up all the available fermentable matter, thus leaving next to nothing to brew the next batch. I don't know the process of producing a new batch of yeast but it was explained to me that the reason that house brewers (and Kommunbrauhausen) use yeast from a commercial brewery (i.e. Wuerth in Eschawo) is that you need equipment (expensive?) to produce a fresh batch.
Perhaps this is the reason that 'hausbraeubier' brewers (I suppose that they are really 'part-fermenters'!) take part-fermented beer from the brewery, as not everyone would have a commerical brewer as accommodating as Wuerth to hand.
All part of difference between German brewing and UK that makes it all so fascinating.
Incidentally, if you happen to be interested, I've posted some details and photo's of my visit last weekend to Sheffield on Facebook - don't want to raise the blood pressure of my friends on the Franconian Beer Forum!
Very interesting to learn about this 'hausbraeubier'. Makes me wonder if other types of beer are also lagered this way (open) by other 'hausbraeubier' brewers, since traditionally most beers were fermented and lagered this way and the cask was bunged for various lengths of time depending on how green it was when it was racked to the cask and how much carbonation was desired: https://www.europeanbeerguide.net/lager19.htm#1900
I would like to try this myself, but you do have to drink it quickly. When you are the primary drinker of your own beer, it is hard to get through a 20 liter cask quickly enough unless you are having a party. This is why I haven't tried serving traditional cask ale or bayerischer Anstich. Bottling or kegging makes more sense for most of my beers, but makes me want to have a party and try it out.
As for yeast, if I had access to a professional brewery that had a staff yeast specialist and all the needed equipment, I would take advantage of that. You can reuse yeast from batch to batch (I certainly do) without much equipment but long term it is a lot of work to do it right.
Yeast is the trickiest part of homebrewing Franconian beers. Water profiles can be easily recreated. Weyermann malt is widely available, as are the right hops from the region. But as far as I know none of the German lager yeasts from the major yeast manufacturers are from a Franconian brewery--they seem to be from southern Bavaria. But I did just come across this yeast from a small yeast manufacturer that claims to be from a Franconian Brewery:
I hope to brew with it soon and see how it works. I wish I could find out what brewery it is from but they are usuall pretty secretive about those things.
It's the reason that I stopped home brewing - simply couldn't (didn't really want to) drink the stuff quickly enough. Maybe I just don't have enough friends of the right type or maybe I should organise a Juergen-type party!
I've troed searching for information on the process of preparing yeast for beer brewing, specially for botton-fermenting beers) but just can't find any. Any ideas?
I could probably get some yeast from Eschawo but not sure how to get it home as it seems to come in a big bucket! Maybe it could be dried in some way?
I would bring along a sanitized, sealable container (thermos or flip top bottle or canning jar) and keep it cool and then refrigerate it when you get it home and then you need to wake it up by making a yeast starter when you are getting ready to pitch the yeast. Here is a link to an article that I follow when making a yeast starter:
Look up "yeast starter" and "yeast pitching rates." If you are starting with a large amount of fairly fresh yeast you should be just fine.
Funnily enough I’m just drinking a couple of birthday beers after football training at Brauerei Eichhorn in Doerfleins. They’ve got Kaerwa coming up so they have a banner up with their ‘Kellerbier naturtrüb’ and underneath ‘ungespundetes bier’. I’ve never seen this (great) beer advertised as so.
This leads me to respond respectfully to Andrew’s comment about carbonation. Now I would never question his scientific/ brewing knowledge but I also can’t question my own taste which has been tested rigorously. When this particular beer is served from the tanks on tuesdays and Sunday’s it’s just better. More drinkable. I’ve been here on a Tuesday, had 2 from the tanks and then 1 from the keg because the tank was through. I could tell the difference. Of course a blind tasting would be interesting and would perhaps be my undoing.
I don’t want to open up this again as it is oft discussed and very much a personal taste thing. But happy to meet up Andrew when you’re here in September and exchange my opinion with your science and opinion.
Oh! I really should not get into this. But,don't get so hung up about the amount of co2 in the Beer you are drinking chaps!its all down to perception and often pre conceived opinions. As I have bored about this before please forgive. Make the effort to partake in blind tastings, and keep good sober records. And then decide on your opinion re the carbonation of beers.
I have noticed on facebook several changes of opening hours (Knoblach is no longer open on Sunday afternoon; changes in Griess Keller, ..) due to "aufgrund einer Gesetzesänderung im Arbeitsschutz unsere Öffnungszeiten ändern" so expect that there were some changes in laws or something?
Does anybody else knows about other changes in other pubs, so I could update it in my book?
Ropelt Keller, Stiebarlimbach closed on Sundays because of working hours law.
Spezial Keller shut from 3pm on Sundays. Think Lohndorf now opens from 15h on Sundays.
Knoblach is open on Sunday, but closed on Monday. It's been that way for a while (several years, I expect.) Greiss Keller is closed on Wednesday, not Sunday (well, they don't specifically say the Keller on their website, but the brewery is closed on Wednesday which leads me to suspect that the Keller and Garten would be closed that day as well).
Mind, I only looked at the web pages for these breweries. It's possible that they will change their web pages somewhat later.
Griess-Keller is on Facebook, their latest photo states new opening hours from August:
So 11.30-23.00 (also holidays)
Knoblach changed their times on the website.
I am not a member of Facebook, and I absolutely do not see how Facebook is more reliable than the website made by these breweries.
Facebook can much easier for non technical people to update. When I find conflicting information on place's Facebook page and website I look to see which has been updated. If the website is advertising Christmas dinner for 2015 then I believe Facebook...
Griess Keller is a separate business from the brewery and it opens on Wednesday when the sun shines.
Huh? They use the same name as the brewery, but are a separate business? I've never heard of such a thing before.
Actually not that rare: Brauerei Spezial and Spezial Keller are run by separate families (though there is still a family connection). I believe when Mahrs Keller was still around it had only a distant connection to the brewery.
In other cases the keller might be leased out to another firm/family because the brewery doesn't have the resources to run both (Wizgall keller was this way the last couple of years it was open) This may be the case with Griess as well (I think I heard that once)
And not quite the same thing, but all the various Löwenbräus are separate businesses.
Yes, I'm aware that a family-run brewery may ask another party to run part of their service separately, but if you go here: http://www.brauerei-griess.de/ and click on brauerei, you'll see that "gasthof, biergarten, bierkeller" are all listed. And if you click on Service and then on "Kontakt/Impressum", you' ll see that Peter Greiss (the brewer) is responsible for the content of the website. I presume that if the Keller were separate from the brewery it would not be listed on the site and that someone other than Peter Greiss would be listed as responsible for it.
Whatever logic you may try to apply to the situation, the Griess Keller is definitely run under separate management from the Stube, although it may be owned by the Griess family and i think has had a few changes of management in recent years. The Griess bit signifies that they sell Griess beers, as Fred pointed out with other examples of which there are many.
This is hardly strange: franchise is a common arrangement.
Yes, it's leased out by the brewery. Not complicated. In fact it's possibly more common than the reverse. One of the few that spring to mind is the lovely Muehlendorf Keller where, if the Keller is open the brewery is shut.
The Spezial Keller isn't even owned by anyone connected to the brewery, it's a private owner and the people who run it have to pay rent.
For those of you who may be willing to practise their Swedish, the following links lead to Google spreadsheets with information about opening times in the greater Bamberg area. They were created to help the multitude of Swedish Real Lager friends who visit Franconia from time to time. Comments are enabled and welcome.
Other times: http://tinyurl.com/y8yjx6a7
Hi everyone. My name is Brian and I've been reading this forum for a while now and thought I'd introduce myself before I start asking questions. First off (and please don't hold this against me) I'm a homebrewer from the Boston area in the US. While I do drink a New England IPA on occasion, I am far more interested in tradional and historical brewing traditions and I read lots of brewing history and most of my homebrewing is dedicated to brewing more tradional "styles" and historical recipes.
I spent a lovely summer studying German in Mannheim in 1991 and a miserable winter living in Hamburg in 1995 but haven't been back to Germany since then. I am planning my first trip to Franconia next summer to celebrate my 50th birthday and my 5th wedding anniversary. (Actually, I've been to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, but I don't think that really counts.) Unlike many of you who are fortunate enough to travel to beer heaven every year, this will likely be my only chance to travel there for quite a while (kids, work, pets, usw). And my wife isn't a huge beer lover, so I need to plan a trip that is scenic while also giving me the opportunity to try as many of the great beers of Franconia as possible.
Because I won't be able to travel to Franconia that often, one of my other main goals is to improve my own homebrewed versions of classic Franconian beers so that I can sit in my backyard and pretend that I am at a Bierkeller. I am a huge fan of Schlenkerla's beers and a local pub often has Mahrs U (or just this weekend their unfiltered pils) on tap. I have gathered as many recipes as I can find on various beers from Franconia, but there just aren't that many good sources. And so I'm particularly interested in discussing recipes and brewing techniques. Some American homebrewers these days are obsessed with trying to brew the perfect Helles and copy the brewing practices of large industrial Bavarian breweries. I am far more interested in traditional small family breweries that brew unique and flavorful beers.
So thank you for everything that I have already learned from all of you and I look forward to joining in the conversation.
Welcome Brian. Well as a homebrewer from Cape Cod I can hardly hold that against you.
I think it's great that you're going to make a visit there. My first visit in 2007 was inspirational to say the least since prior to that when I thought of German beer I mostly thought of Helles, Dunkel, and Weizen and very little else in between. I didn't realize how much variety there was in Franconia and how flavorful the beers would be. I hadn't even had the luxury of being able to try a Schlenkerla in the bottle before I went. Of course I've been hooked on Franconia ever since.
Where this may be your only trip there for a while I hope you get to put enough time aside for the trip so that you'll also be able to visit some of the countryside breweries. My first trip I only went for 3 days and that was hardly enough for Bamberg alone. If you're going to go next summer I also suggest you consider the latter half of July so you can go to Canalissimo in Bamberg and also Annafest in Forchheim as part of the trip. And if you are there at that time you'll most likely run into this Cape Cod homebrewer.
Hi Mark. Thanks for the advice! Our anniversary is July 27, so end of July just might be when we go! I've read about Annfest but I hadn't heard of Canalissimo.
I'll actually be on the Cape this weekend in Hyannis. I'd love to share a couple of bottles of homebrew with you. I just bottled a batch of my version of Mahrs U and also a lightly smoked amber lager (which was supposed to be a little more dunkel but didn't quite turn out that way) to get some feedback from a knowledgable Franconia beer drinker. And if not now, hopefully some other time.
I'll have to take you up on that offer some other time as I'm fleeing to Maine this weekend.
If you're on Facebook you can look me up here (lots of Franconian beer photos on there of course): https://www.facebook.com/mark.andersen.718
BTW, you mentioned that there is a local pub near you that has Mahrs on tap. I'm curious which one it is?
Armsby Abbey in Worcester usually has Mahrs.
Even better is Deep Ellum in Allston. This is part of their current draft list:
St. Georgen Bräu
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Bayerische Staatsbrayerei Weihenstephan
Rothaus Tannenzapfle Pilsner
Okay, I've been to Deep Ellum. They usually have something good on. Too bad it weren't easier (for m) to get to.
Hi Brian, welcome to the Forum as a contributor. I don't brew and for some reason it has never interested me in practical terms, but I do know a lot about Franconian/Bavarian/German beer and as a resident of Bamberg I'm pretty close to the coal face so to speak.
Happy to offer any advice you need alongside the regulars - also hapy to meet for a beer when you are here, all things being equal.
I wasn't a beer drinker either, until I went to Franconia for the first time.
If she's still not convinced by the beer, Franconia also has wonderful wine.
She's definitely not a wine drinker. Mostly cider, but does drink some beer. She just wouldn't plan a whole vacation around it! But I would!!
If she likes cider, try to plan a day in Frankfurt am Main for Apfelwein (Ebbelwoi in local dialect)
You don't have to plan your whole vacation around beer - just part of it! There's so many things to do in Franken that will satisfy most/many people's taste - except a beach holiday! If you like history, there's tons of that from Nurnburg to Lichtenfels and from Bayreuth to Rothenburg, all within the the VGN travel area. There's beautiful countryside, great walking and cycling on dedicated non-vehicle tracks, cheap transport - and lovely pubs and beer!
I should get a job writing for the tourist board! Seriously, there are so many knowledgable people on this Forum who could plan a holiday itinerary taking all tastes into account and allowing for the odd Seidla of excellent bier!
I am spending the next year figuring that itinerary out. Fortunately I have permission to drink more than the odd Seidla since the trip to Franconia is to celebrate my 50th birthday.
We are big Queen Victoria fans, so I know we have to go to Coburg. And of course Bamberg. The rest is open.
I am British and not a big fan of the monacrchy but each to his own. I have been to Coburg - intersting town, lovely walk up to the Veste (a lithograph of which hangs on my lounge wall), with its fantastic views. Also a good 'Puppenhausen' museum, if you are interested!
Depending on how you are travelling, you have so many options from there, beer wise, history wise and view wise, as you head back towards Bamberg! Shocking English, sorry.
Since you're going to Coburg you definitely should try to visit Sesslach from there (a fairly short bus ride I believe - Jason and Barry have taken it I think). Really nice little walled town with a communal brewery and two pubs across the way from each other in the lovely town square to enjoy the beer. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
And if your interested in doing a little hiking or biking you can also visit nearby Heilgersdorf for Brauerei Sharpf which is also excellent:
I found this interesting. It shows various beers available in Germany around the turn of the 20th century in appropriate vessels. The Bayern beers are all dark, including two from Nuernberg and one from Kulmbach which are even darker than the Munich beers.
Seemingly left out are Alts, Weizens, and Rauch, and maybe others.
Link to poster:
Link to blog where I found this:
Looks interesting, will have a detailed look later.
One thing I would say is that rauchbier would not have strictky been a style. Schlenkerla for example is a Maerzen and Spezial a Lager, those are the styles. As we all know a lot if not all beers would have had some smoke flavour at some point in the past (though this poster is much later than that).
It's interesting that the style trend has really only become so extensive in recent decades as brewers look for influence from other countries, therefore have a need to give it a name. I don't think something like Gose would have been known as Gose 50-100 years ago, it was just beer. Gose Bier as in beer from Goslar. Rauchbier was the same, they wouldn't have called it Rauchbier, it was just beer, probably Maerzen or Bock. That's why a lot of these styles have the name of the city in them, as the interpretation of the styles were important rather than the 'style' as we use the term today.
As today in both Spezial and Schlenkerla if you go in and ask for a beer you get the rauchbier. Both have other beers on (Spezial regularly) but this would have been quite a recent trend I think. Either way you don't ask for a rauchbier.
I'm no expert on beer history this is just some thoughts.
Yes, I had heard the idea that there would have been a smokiness to beers in the past. I would have thought by 1900 that beers that were smoky would be identified as such, but maybe not.
The poster actually identifies a beer as Gose (No. 5) and mentions Leipzig, not Goslar. I can't make out what the first word in the phrase under Gose is. Can anyone?
It says Döllnitz bei Leipzig. Leipzig and Goslar are quite close to each other.
Ah! After a little research I found that Doellnitz is a village northwest of Leipzig that used to have a gose brewery called Ritterguts. The gose has been revived and is now brewed by a family brewery called Reichenbrand in Chemnitz. Reichenbrand don't seem to have a gose of their own.
I have a bottle (empty now) of Gose that I bought in 2008. The beer was then brewed by W. Goedecke in Burgliebenau. The bottle is labelled Goedecke's Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose. I've been in Leipzig since 2008 and what is served under the name Gose is in fact a variation of Berliner Weisse. Real Gose should have salt and Koriander to distinguish it from a Berliner Weisse. No version of Gose served in Leipzig contains those two ingredients. A German friend of mine says the Gose served in Goslar is just as bad. It's truly a shame but I don't know of any brewery in Germany that makes a genuine Gose now.
Sorry Mike, you seemed to have been misinformed about the Leipzig goses. The Riiterguts website plainly states that they brew the regular Gose with salt and coriander:
ingredients: water, barley and wheat malts, yeast, hops, salt, coriander
The Gose Bock also has orange peel and cinnamon:
water, barley malts, wheat malt, yeast, hops, salt, coriander, orange peel, cinnamon
The Maerzen Gose has some other weird and wonderful stuff in:
ingredients: water, barley malts, wheat malts, oat malt, yeast, hops, salt, coriander, Swiss stone pine cones, Ceylon cinnamon
Website for Ritterguts: http://www.leipziger-gose.com/en/home.html
The Gose made at Bayischer Bahnhof in Leipzig also has coriander (cilantro) and salt:
Gose is brewed with the additional ingredients lactic acid, cilantro, and salt.
I was fortunate enough to sample the Ritterguts Gose at the Berlin beer festival around 2006 or so. I found it a lovely beer and remember well how it tasted.
When I was in Leipzig several years ago, you are correct that both Ohne Bedenken and the Bayrischer Bahnhof had descriptions in their menus that mentioned both ingredients that I say they lacked.
The problem is that what is on a menu is not always what arrives in your glass. I spoke with a waitress at the Bayrisher Bahnhof and she brought a brewer who claimd both ingredients were in the beer, however so little or so subtle that you could not taste them. Which is precisely why I described it as a variation of Berliner Weisse.
From your first post of today:
"Real Gose should have salt and Koriander to distinguish it from a Berliner Weisse. No version of Gose served in Leipzig contains those two ingredients."
Ohne Bedanken, Leipzig carries both Ritterguts Gose and Bayischer Bahnhof Gose. Both have salt and coriander. I don't understand why you would say in your first post that neither have coriander and salt, when you say in your second post of the day that the menu at Ohne Bedanken said that both did. All very confusing.
"It's truly a shame but I don't know of any brewery in Germany that makes a genuine Gose now."
How about Ritterguts? It was "wonderful" in 2006, has something happened to it?
It's interesting to note that the latest reviews on both Beer Advocate and Ratebeer mention a coriander flavour for the Bayischer Bahnhof gose. I don't have time to trawl through them all.
When I wrote "no version of Gose served in Leipzig contains those two ingredients." I wrote that because you could not taste either of those ingredients since so little of each was in the beer. This was later verified by the Bayrischer Bahnhof brewer. The Gose I tasted at the Berlin Beer festival years earlier was very different. If you are expecting to taste a beer with salt and koriander, I think you will be very disappointed in what is currently served in Leipzig.
I think I got it. "No version of Gose in Leipzig contains those two ingredients" actually means "I can't taste those ingredients".
Back on topic, the blogger who found the poster with various German beers from 1900, has found a table of those 23 beers which includes gravities, etc., but more interestingly, brief tasting notes.
The precise year of the poster and table seems to be 1908.
The big difference in German beer at that time is the manner of distribution. In 1900, for example, there were 4034 commercial breweries in Bavaria and 529 communal breweries. Today the number of communal breweries in Bavaria is probably less than 100 (estimate). And the number of commercial breweries in Bavaria today (actually 2017) is 642.
I’ve been to Leipzig and tried both ohne bedenken and bayerischer Bahnhof. Both tasted of salt and coriander. Whilst i love the history and appreciate the style, they aren’t beers I would session on. There’s a reason why they are niche, like lichtenhainer. Perhaps the same as rauchbier, but, I like rauchbier, especially Spezial and Schlenkerla. So if you like Gose congrats!
Of course now its all gone nuts with Gose and Berliner Weise the big thing currently - purely of course because they taste odd (and then are craft converted to contain all sorts of nonsense) and beer geeks can sneer down their noses at non converts who clearly ‘don’t know their beer’.
Im only 33 - god knows what I’ll be like when I reach Barry’s age?! ;)
I sincerely hope that you manage to make it!
Appropo craft concoctions, my friendly neighbourhood micrpub owner (Chris) offered me a taste of his juniper and cucumber 'saison' - a taste was enough, though it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it might be. I must be getting more broad minded in my dotage. Last week, he had a full week of only Red Willow (Macclesfield) beers, which were quite good - as AH would say 'Well crafted'. But last night, a proper beer 'Old Hookey' - excellent!
Speaking of Red Willow they have a tap room in Buxton near the Buxton brewery tap room. I agree the beers were good. I liked Buxton beers better but it was nice to have the two tap rooms one block from each other. Buxton was a nice two day stop on that trip. Lovely town and plenty of good beer.
Redwillow are quite expansive for a relatively new operation. I particularly liked their 'Feckless' (named after an Irish nun -whoops, sorry). I've never seen a Buxton beer locally.
Red Willow have always been good; consistency is a personal yardstick for a well run brewery.
They even do a smoke beer: smokeless.
Definitely by 1900, Pilsner Urquell was first brewed in 1838, and pale beers were brewed before then from unsmoked malts. I’m not sure why it wasn’t identified but perhaps it’s because Bamberg breweries would have been relatively unknown. Even today it’s somewhat under the radar of modern craft beer and even Bavarian’s have this warped view that Munich is some kind of beer Mecca.
It's a bit confusing because it links a generic style (i.e. Maerzen) with a specific brewery (i.e. Schuilbeibrauerei - is this correct, it's a bit small for me to read!); or Lagerbier with Haafebrauerei in Breslau (Wroclaw?), etc., etc. Is it a serious explanation of beer styles or the sort of thing that, nowadays, you'd buy on tea towel? Looks like the latter to me.
It reminds of something that's kind of related to this subject, that is, the naming of beers. Nowadays, all beers in the UK have to have some specific name (presumably a marketing ploy and to help distinguish them from the plethora of punps on contemporary bars) but I seems to remember that, in my long ago youth, beers were mainly just called mild and bitter - or, in rare cases, IPA or some tag that just described their style. There were a few exceptions: Fuller's Pride being notable and the bootled beers often had brand names, presumably because they were often sold away from pubs. In fact, I don't recall pump handles having clips, the bar staff knew quite well which was mild and which was bitter!
Of course, the bitter (or mild) from one brewery was likely to be quite different from the next..Growing up in Manchester, we had a lot of choice of cask beer (though we didn't think of it as cask beer, it was just beer!): Robinson's, Lee's, Holt's, Hyde's, Wilson's, Threlfall's, Chester's, Cornbrook, Swale's, Grove and Whitnall's, probably others that I can't remember - as well as regular invaders such as Burtonwood Marston's, the two Smith's or Bass, all of whom had pubs in the city.
There you are, Jason, you were craving for something from me on British beer!
All gone very quiet on the forum lately... is it time to ask Barry to write a piece on the merits of cask beer? Maybe not, let’s keep that in the locker for long winter evenings ;)
Canalissimo AND Annafest kick off this week. The former is shall definitely frequent this weekend, the latter I will have to see. Life does get in the way of beer drinking, even here.
Jason, I'll pop into Abseits tomorrow afternoon to leave a bottle of my Helles for you, Gerhard and Norbert Krines.
Still here! Keeping my UK exploits off the Forum in respect to Juergen. But I will be meeting forum member Don Scheidt in mid-August when he visits beautiful Colwyn Bay, before our little excursion to England's Black Country (keep fingers crossed that the Lamp doesn't mess up our booking!).
Then, from August 29th, 10 days in Eschawo - anyone fancy a trip down? Then 8 days in Prague; suggestions for places to visit appreciated, especially short trips out of town (ie like Beroun or Chyne).
Might come across spontaneously. Can't believe you are staying in the Lamp again.
I would recommend unetice and antos in slany. Both on bus routes. Think you have all other of my recommendations.
Barry, your staying at the Lamp again?? Hahaha. Was it the powdered coffee or the early suprise eviction that has drawn you back? Admittedly the rooms aren't bad but jaysus!
I'm going to guess it's the price... just a stab in the dark.
I know, I know, we did get shafted a bit but, to be honest, the choice in that area is not great. As you know (probably), I don't like big hotels - no disrespect to you Mark for our last stay, it was an emergency, and you did a good job in saving the situation. Ronnie recommended a pub in Amblecote (the Robin Hood, which he had never actually stayed in) but after three days of trying, I eventually got through to be told that they weren't letting rooms as they were fitting a fire escape, so that was that!
Canny, Jason, price has got something to do with it. I don't intend to spend a lot of time in the room, lots of pubs to show Don, and the pub itself is worth a visit (forget the mild, we thought the bitter was ok untii we got to the B & B). So, in a way, it was a matter of the deveil you know, etc ... I'll pass on everyone's heartfelt good wishes to Sam! Maybe I'll get a bigger discount.
Unetice and Slany both on my list. Just had confirmatoon that the whole PID transport area (see maps at Prague public transport) are free for + 70 year olds - yipee!
P.S. While I'm there, can offer Gloser, Zum Rou'n and Fiedlschneider in Eschawo; Schafferhof and Lingl in Neuhaus . Be good to see you.
Yes it's been a while since I have been in Eschawo. I will check my football commitments but as we play on Sundays normally and I have to work on Fridays I imagine it'll be a Saturday day visit.
If you have some time to spare i recommend Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz. You'd have to train via Nuremberg but there is a trail of some 4-5 breweries all with good public transport and all places I think you would like. Muhlhausen, Berching (2) and Beilngriess. Muhlhausen has a very traditional brewery and Berching has two and is very very pretty. Neumarkt has 3 breweries but the Lammsbrau has no tap and isn't very interesting. All easy to navigate to with a little research and throughly recommended. Beilngriess is an option, the brewery is in a posh hotel.
Who are you playing for - have you left Pettstadt?
Thanks for the recommendations - I could also go via Regensburg, not much difference in time but €3 cheaper with Servus ticket! If I get in Neumarkt at 12 noon and leave at 20,00, would that make it worthwhile?
The only good brewery there is Gansbräu, which also has a Keller at Ringstr. 2. Lovely beer despite being Bavarian. ;-)
That's true, I really liked their beer and keller/garden. Glossner Brau wasn't great but also wasn't terrible.
The real treat was Berching and Brauerei Zur Krone - great beer and great traditional local's pub. The people that run it will make you feel young Barry.
Oberer Ganskeller (at Ringstasse 2) is the restaurant/beer garden at the brewery I believe.
Might be worth mentioning that Gansbraeu also have two other outlets in Neumarkt: Gasthaus Mitteler Gans (Obere Marktstrasse 9) and Unterer Ganskeller (Untere Marktstraße 34). the latter is in within site of Lammsbraeu and is mostly open after 5pm.
I found Glossner worth going to, but my visit was in 2014.
My visit to gloessner was during the World Cup and when sitting outside you were given beer in plastic cups. I’m not sure I got over that.
Yes I that was pretty much our itinery when there. Like i said, i would make sure you get to Berching for Zur Krone (and Winkler plus old town) and Brauerei Bender in Muehlhausen. If the Servus ticket works on the buses you're quids in.
Good point, must check that, if I go.
Just checked - No! So, it's goung to be a Bayern Ticket.
Great, thanks Juergen. If you want to have a hummel kellerbier at Canalissimo I'll be there in the evening. Up to you.
Ich werde dich wissen lassen, wie das Bier schmeckt!
I'll see you around the Hummel booth at 7pm.
Fred,still there? I'll leave a bottle for you, too, then at Abseits.
Still here until Monday.
Jürgen, Abseitz is closed 14:00-17:00 but Gerhardt says if you call him he will meet you.
Ok, I may be nearer 7.30pm but yeah, see you there
Jürgen, what time will be you Abseits tomorrow? If you want to have a beer I can stop in then.
After work and depending on the traffic. Probably not before 3 p.m.
Okay, I'll call Gerhard in advance. I've a wee fridge with me but want to go for a walk near Coburg as well. Not too good for the battery to leave the fridge on while the engine is off, so I've to get rid of the beer first.
Hope all of my beer bottles found new parents and were still in good condition?
I shall be collecting mine this evening.
Gerhard - can you leave it in one of the fridges please?
All bottles are in our "Bierkühlzelle".
Been trying to come in contact in order to know what their opening hours are? Planning, hopefully an early visit on a wednesday.
My summer-trip visits:
Eichhorn Dorfleins (Only had bottled beers from them and they were really nice)
Fischer Freudeneck (New)
Zum Goldenen Adler(New)
Landbrauerei Geyer (New)
Brauerei Goldener Lowe (Forst)(New)
and hopefully Scheubel Sternbrau if I can figure out their opening hours. Cheers.
Scheubel Keller Schluesselfeld:
Friday and Saturday from 5pm, Sunday and holidays from 2pm
Scheubel Wirtschaft, Kirchplatz 12, Schluesselfeld:
daily, except Monday, phone: +49 9552 320
yes I see that om the website. But when do the wirtsshaft open?
I have never been there in the morning. But here: http://www.bier.by/gastro-guide/stern-braeu-1624-1.58727 it was written that the Wirtschaft is open from 9 o'clock.
... is now brewed at the brewery rather than elsewhere. I was reliably informed by an old sage (Frank).
I will double check with Florian next time I see him. It's still bottled and I tried a little and it's not that smoky.
But it may be of interest to some.
The story was told in 2008
No - I wrote that the beer is now brewed by Spezial in the Koenigstrasse. It is no longer brewed in Essing.
I got the jist of that! It would be interesting (well,to me it would) to know the backstory why, cost? transport? or ??.
Thinking of how I would formulate such a beer, and of course not having the technical info re malt,yeast,etc.I would imagine it is case of trying to balance the two very assertive flavour profiles of the Weiss yeast and the smoked malt.whithout producing a lopsided flavour.
I am assuming you found it bland jason?? or?
Those of you familiar with the world of craft beer will know that Rome has developed a small obsession with Franconian beer. Largely thanks to a personal friend of mine and occasional poster on this forum Manuelle of Ma Che siete Venturi a da in trastevere. He always has a couple of Franconian beers on draft, brought fresh from around Bamberg, tapped quickly and emptied quicker. The other day was Elch bräu Pils and knoblach U, both tasted great, even though knoblach isn’t a favorite (but it doesn’t mean I don’t like it).
When i first came here in 2009, I don’t think anywhere else apart from manuelle had Franconian draft beer. Now it’s quite common, even if not on draft there are Krugs on display in a number of places and even Keller beers brewed in Italy. Down solely to 1 pub, a book on Franconia in Italian and a great Franconian beer fest in March - all thanks to 1 guy in Rome and his Italian delivery man who resides in monchsambach for half the year. Quite a story.
Consequently rome is one of Europe’s best bier scenes. It’s not easy, it’s hot, it’s big and full of cars and people plus the prices are high for everything. There are a lot of hoppy beers, sours and funky stuff - I enjoy those styles in small doses nowadays. But there are a lot of small breweries in the country now and the quality is very high.
When in Rome... drink beer.
Sorry I should have read back - manuelle’s bar is call ‘ma Che siete venuti a fa’.
Dorothy and I visited in 2010 and stayed in Trastevere just a short walk from that pub (no accident btw). They had a couple of Gaenstaller beers on tap then plus some other good stuff. I didn't get a chance to meet Manuelle then but did run into him at a bar in Bamberg last year and went over and said hello. Seems like a friendly guy.
Macchesiete, as it is known locally, is a great little place, and I make an effort to visit Rome whenever I am in the vicinity, which means within a day's train ride. Manuele is often in Franconia, though. I've only met him once in Rome (Italy's Bamberg - or was it the other way round?), but then also at our Franconian "home away from home" in Stockholm, the Zum Franziskaner.
Manuele's bar in Berlin, aptly named Birra, carries excellent Italian beer, mostly from Lambrate of Milan, but also Knoblach Kellerbier.
I’m currently in les vignerons, A very good beer/wine shop in trastevere (one of the great beer districts of the world) and there are bottles from lieberth, Gradl (!?), Spezial (rarely seen outside Bamberg), knoblach and others. You wouldn’t get that selection in a Franconian shop. But then that’s the tradition, beer is brewed for the locals, not to be sent to far flung cities like Bamberg or elsewhere.
I’ve nothing against other places doing it, but if I could just go to the shop in Bamberg and buy Gradl or lieberth or whatever bottle I wanted it would take the fun out of taking trips out and earning your beer, whether with bike, public transport or generous drivers. The history, personalities and nuances that all these breweries/villages have are something that craft beer can never capture, for all its qualities.
Thats ts why we love Franken.
Hear what youre saying Jason but having put the miles in to visit Gradl last week, Id be rather pleased if I could find it in Newcastle.
Currently in Bologna, which has a good beer scene, but all the craft beer pubs look similar. Beer is decent enough, I even saw a kellerbier(bottle) from Hallerndorf on sale the other day.
Don't take this as an old fart having a moan,because that is not what I intend. But I just struggle with the concept of drinking Franken bier in Rome?I am really chuffed you are enjoying the experience, just can't get my head round the idea.
You'll be okay Barry ....... errr I mean Andy. Just take a deep breath. hahahhaha
I resent that - or should it be represent that! Seriously, is it because we're old farts? It is entirely up to Jason to spend his holidays as he will (and it sounds like he's having a good time; mind you, his life sounds like he's always on holiday!). I loved Rome when we were there and wouldn't mind going again (memo to self). But I doubt whether I would spend much time looking for Frankische beer or Sam Smith's or Timmy Taylor's or Joseph Holt's.
Off to Dublin shortly (possibly very little beer), followed by a few days iin Sheffield (probably a lot of beer!).
Of course we lot don't go to Rome to drink Franconian beer, but spare a sympathetic thought for the poor Romans who have had to make do with the likes of Peroni. They clearly deserve to get acquainted with the stuff we like, and I salute Gabriele for introducing Franconia to his countrypersons.
I've had Gänstaller in London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin and Bodegraven (and maybe Amsterdam but not sure on that)
And my brother has had it in Orlando, Florida
Sometimes it seams easier to get outside than inside Bamberg
Fred - when Andreas was brewing at Beck in Trabelsdorf around 2009 or 2010 ( think I've got the years roughly right), Kees Filius of beer importers Bier & Co Nijmegen used to occasionally pick up a barrel or keg from him on his regular trips to Franconia, so there's a good chance that you had his beer on draft in Amsterdam at In de Wildeman, albeit under the Beck name rather than his own!
We met Andi at Beck's in September 2010, introduced to him by Don Scheidt.
You cheeky pup!
Rome in the summer is hot and quite uncomfortable (I'm speaking from personal experience). I'd much rather be sitting in a biergarten somewhere in Franconia drinking under the trees.
I visited Kulmbach a few years ago and I was intrigued to come back during Bierwoche. I will be in the area this summer and will come to Kulmbach on the weekend of August 4. I am traveling solo so it would be very nice to meet people who I might enjoy a beer with at the festival. My German is very weak so some English language would be important. I write a blog about beer culture, hiking, and travel ( www.primepassages.com ) and this will be part of my five weeks this summer in Bavaria collecting material for future stories. Let me know if you would be interested in meeting or have ideas for me during my visit.
I am one of the owners of the Café Abseits in Bamberg.
and have asked You now for a Facebook-friendship to connect You with some interesting brewmasters and beerlovers in the area around Bamberg.
I do not know the days of Your visit, but maybe some events are interesting for You:
Annafest in Forchheim from 20 to 30 July
Sommerbierfest Hopfengarten Bamherg. from 27 to 29 July
Bllues- und Jazzfestival in Bamberg.from 3 to 12 August (free, open air, the beer is not interesting, but to hear music between some visits in Bamberg brewpubs can be nice.
I can complete the urls of this events and the Facebook-Pages, if the days are in question.
The Kulmbacher Bierwoche is for me and other beerlovers too similiar to the Oktoberfest in Munich. All beers are different brands of the Kulmbacher Brauerei, a minority holding of Heineken. The most of us prefer the Annafest in Forchheim. But You can comhine the visit of the Kulmbacher Bierwoche with a visit of the nice Bier- und Gewürzmuseum (beer museum, spieces museum) and the
I was looking over your blog and can see you like combining hiking and beer drinking (as do I) so I'd just point, as you may already be aware, that Franconia is arguably the best place in the world to combine both activiities. There are numerous trails (mostly well marked) that will bring you around multiple breweries and bier kellers. So that would be one idea that I'd suggest for while your in the region. Also as Gerhard suggested and I agree you'd probably find Annafest more interesting than Kulmbach Bierwoche (although in fairness I've never been to the latter) but your dates may not work out for that.
Thank you for replying Gerhard and Mark and for your insights. I will be staying at Bamberg from July 25 until July 31 and I will go to Annafest on one of the days during that time. On other days I plan to explore around breweries in Bamberg and do some new (to me) beer hikes off of the train line between Bamberg and Nuremberg (I am travelling by public transport). I didn't know about the Sommerbierfest and that sounds like good luck for me.
After Bamberg, I am spending time in the Kulmbach area for hiking and looking around when I am off-duty from some volunteering work. I have been up there before (I greatly enjoyed Kommunbrau and the brewing/baking museum) so I know that the beer is not as diverse as other places, but I am interested in Bierwoche as a cultural event. Would be more fun I think if I can connect with other beer lovers.
On August 12 I am going over to Windischeschenbach for several days for hiking and learning about Zoigl culture. The rest of the time (about two more weeks) I will probably spend farther south - some of it in the Hallertau region.
Hopefully that gives you a better idea of my itinerary -- all ideas/connections are most welcome. I did connect with you on FB Gerhard - thanks!.
A filtered view of just my articles about experiences in Germany is at http://primepassages.com/tag/germany
Happy to meet if it suits our timetables.
I read your blog about sandkerwa- I understand you were a visitor, but believe me it is a real cultural and iconic weekend when you live in Bamberg. Oktoberfest is for tourists. Sandkerwa is for Bambergers to get together and have fun. Just FYI.
I understand, Jason ... and I know that I only experienced a slice from a visitor's perspective. It's one of the reasons to come back and spend more time learning about Bamberg.
Couple of suggestions. Bus to Tiefenellern, walk from there to Strullendorf, train back to Bamberg. Easy walking, signposted, around 12k and 5 breweries and the keller in Strullendorf.
Good walking around Bad Staffelstein, eg Vierzeinheiligen, Staffelberg and 10 breweries to go at.
Bus to Aufsess, then a circular walk again signed, taking in 4 breweries.
Have a look at the Freizeitlinien on thethe VGN website for some tips also.
Thank you for the suggestions, John.
I plan the Tiefnellen to Strullendorf walk for sure. I also found a Tiefneilen to Memmelsdorf suggested route that looks promising.
Thanks for the suggestion about Bad Staffelstein area - I found four suggested routes there at https://goo.gl/zNTTTu -- would you recommend one route over another for either the beer or the scenery?
I enjoyed the Aufsess loop on a prior visit so probably won't do that one again this time.
Thanks for the Freizeitlinien-VGN tip.
An area that looks interesting is between Eggolsheim and Zentbechhofen, but I can't figure out how to make the public transit availabilities work with a day hike.
The Tiefellenern to Memmelsdorf hike is decent. You hit Brauerei Knoblach along the way. I prefer the one to Strullendorf though. More scenic hike with more brewery and bier keller options.
Several good hikes around Bad Staffelstein area but one I really liked was to start at Brauerei Trunk in Vierzingheiligen then hike over Staffelberg onto Loffeld. From there to Brauerei Leicht in Pferdsfeld. Brauerei Martin in Unterneuses and finally end in Ebensfeld where you can catch the train after stopping at the brewery there. Lots of great scenery and beer along this route.
Also think about Recekendorf to Hoefen to Freudeneck and finally through Rattelsdorf onto Ebing. Train stations at both ends of that one.
Would agree with Mark on all options there. The walk from Bad Staff to Ebensfeld via Nedensforf and Wiesen gives you 4 breweries and some great views. Ive done a similar walk to Mark via Vierzeinheiligen but we managed to take in Metzgerbrau which was brilliant. Really, it all depends on how far you can walk in a day and how much you can drink!
Re Eggolsheim and Zentbechofen, bus 265 goes from Forchheim station to Stiebarlimbach which puts you maybe 5km from Zentbechofen?
Out of curiosity, when you went to Metzgerbrau did you go onto Loffeld from there or somewhere else? Where did that hike end? I remember seeing the sign to head to Uetzing on the way to Staffelberg and I was curious what that route was like.
IIRC its a nice walk through the country then down into Uetzing(from Vierzeinheiligen). We then went on to Stublang and Loffeld. Start and finish was Bad Staffelstein. It was a fairly long day!!
Andy and me did the walk from 14heiligen to Uetzing, even got a little lost and walked further than we should have done. Mind you, we took the bus up to 14h from Staffelstein and back from Metzgerei, but can easily imagine that slightly younger, and even slightly fitter, people could easily do the round trip.
The walk I'm doing from time to time: Start at Stublang (Dinkel), leaving out bloody Hennemann -> Loffeld (Staffelbergbräu) -> Staffelberg summit (having a St. Georgen and not liking it) -> Vierzehnheiligen (Trunk) -> Uetzing (Metzgerbräu) -> Stublang (Dinkel) for staying overnight. Makes approx. 20 km. Perfect.
Our plan is the week from Friday (July 6th) we're going to do the walk we had done with Juergen and Elmar before and that is the one I described above. This time though hopefully we'll get to drink the beer of Martin in Unterneuses. Nice thing about ending in Ebensfeld is the train connection back to Bamberg (after a stop the brewery pub there first of course - and maybe even the keller if there's time).
Juergen you're welcome to join us on that one and either of the ones we're doing that weekend. On Sunday the 8th the plan is to start in Reckendorf then over to Hoefen (probably detour for a bit to Freudeneck) then on to Ebing (probably stop at beer garden in Rattlesdorf on the way). I haven't decided for sure what we're going to do on Saturday the 7th but it will be another hike somewhere.
Although now I am contemplating skipping hiking over Staffelberg and instead go to Uetzing then Stubland then Loffeld. We'll see.
Have you been to metzgerbrau uetzing Mark?
Yes once before. By car thanks to Juergen. Enjoyed the beer and had a good laugh
Yea,Its one of my favourites. I like the beer a lot, and love the quirky layout with the metzgerei downstairs.
Yeah and the people are really nice there too.
I can't beleive I'm posting about this place for any reason however I saw the following comment in the news section over at the www.German.Breweries.com website. Not sure if I'm horrified or intrigued. I hope somebody is not investing money in refurbishing a brewery only to continue brewing horrible beer. Maybe new owners (hopefully)?
More on Wagner in Oberhaid. Apparently, the brewery is currently undergoing renovation and the beers are being made elsewhere until work is complete.
Quick, go before they finish!
I now know why keesmann was bad for a while - they replaced a lot of equipment and the beer was brewed at Göller in Zeil. Not a bad brewery but clearly they screwed it up somewhere.
Seems to have passed through.
Damn! one of my favourite beers may well be spoilt by the installation of new equipment.
Interesting about Keesman, I wonder why Goller? It will be interesting to see what you think of the flavour when the new kit is in use Jason.
Yes you liked it so much you drank mine down before I had a chance to protest!
I seem to recall yours ending up in the dishwashing sink!
Göller offers contract brewing and filling (in competition with Rittmayer in Hallerndorf, Binkert in Breitengüßbach - filling at Wagner/Kemmern, Kesselring in Marktstedt and others
At Ratebeer you can find many contract brewed beers, brewed in/by the Brewery Göller. Many others exist.
Speaking of Goeller, i just noticed something very strange looking at google map. On Obere Sandstrasse there is now a marker for Brewery Goeller (of Zeil) with a link to their website. Maybe it's just a google map glitch. But I found it odd that they would be linked on google map to Obere Sandstrasse. Are they opening a pub there or are they contract brewing for one of them (such as Ahornla)? The address is listed as Obere Sandstrasse 13.
Obere Sandstraße 13 is Göller Orthopädie, so that is the confusion, I guess.
Even if Goeller brewed the beer for Keesmann, it is up to Keesmann to make sure the beer is okay, and if it is not right then not to release it, or at least recall the beer that is substandard.
Thought Keesmann Pils was excellent this week in Stohrenkeller and the tap.
As I said, it's passed through, it was over a month ago.
It wasn't subtle, believe me.
This is Franconia. They can get away with selling the occasional sub standard beer because generally people are not beer connoisseurs, they just drink the stuff, and money talks. If they can get away with it they do - of course a brewery outside of Bamberg may not have that luxury, without the constant flow of tourists that allow the Bamberg breweries to get away with things like this. Klosterbraeu and Faessla have also had issues with beer quality in the past and they didn't suffer. Mahrs is the current consistent perpetrator - most people don't even notice that the beer is poorer now; the brewery lives off the brand and good marketing. And as I've said before, people I know and trust here agree, unamimously, and actually don't even go to Mahrs anymore, where it was a favourite.
Some people noticed Keesmann for sure, but not many. I even asked at the brewery if anyone had complained - of course the waitress gave me a sweet 'butter wouldn't melt' smile and said no. Contrast at Torschuster where, after I mentioned it, Thomas later sent 6 barrels back. Different mentalities.
Interesting observation, I notice that you exempt Spezial from the criticism, which I suppose is fair. But, I've never had a bad beer in Faessla either, though I know that it is not universally popular.
Of course, totally agree with the comments about Mahrs - AFAIK, I was the first to raise questions on this Forum, after discussiing with much the same 'people I know and trust'!
I suppose that it's the reason why so many of us spend so much time wandering the highways and byways of Franken - even that part in B-W, thanks to Juergen.
Goeller in Zeil and Goeller in Drosendorf are, of course, family related. I wonder if there is any connection between Goeller/Drosendorf and Keesmann that led to them choosing Goeller rather than, say, Ritmann, which is nearer? For example, Goeller/Drosendorf buy their malt from Bamberger (old Herr Goeller trained there) - where do Keesmann buy their malt, anybody know? Broadening that question, is it generally known where the Bamberg (and wider Franken) breweries buy their malt? I suppose Grigor would know the answer.
Re Spezial, actually the U sometimes has some diacytel in and Gregor sometimes mumbles about some off flavours in the lager but we are really being picky here. I never used to bother with diacytel but that Keesmann batch was just awful.
Re Faessla, just like John, as long term but occasional visitors it could be that you never taste it. But they had a period where they increased capacity and needed new fermentors - in the interim the beers were lagered insufficiently. Faessla is not so popular because the beers are average and give a hangover (apparently). I had the misfortune of meeting a friend in the Faessla Stub'n a few weeks ago, God awful place, and the beer was dire. Almost certainly dirty lines and glasses, but still. Had a pils in the brewery last week; uninspiring but no faults. That was my opinion and doesn't detract from yours btw.
Instant decision: just booked for 11 days in Eschawo, first week in September, followed by a quick train to Praha for 8 days of beer relaxation!
Nice! I see you've taken a liking to Prague. It's hard not to with such a great variety of beer and pubs to enjoy. I'll be drinking beer in the west of Ireland while you're there. No Roadside Tavern/Burren Brewery this time though.
Shame! Have you/will you sample the beers from Western Herd, Kilmaley?
I will if I find it in a pub in Galway City. Not stopping in Co. Clare though on this trip
Sacrilege! But I take it as a compliment to my absence fom the county. Not sure where you can get Western Herd, as it's a pretty small outift on a farm.
Well if you were still there then yup we'd probably be making a visit to the Roadside. Doesn't look like you can get Herd outside of Co. Clare just yet (according to their website). Oh well, next time.
Lot of time in Prague... just saying.
Wish someone would sentence me to eight days in Prague.
I have to agree Jason,but the old fella does tend to get lost.so he needs that long for let's say 10? Pubs.
1. Jason, in part, it's your fault but I'm pleased that it was!
2. Sorry that you can't Tom, it's a good place to spend 8 days.
3. The Russian language has no word for 'lost'; the nearest is to be temporarily misplaced (don't really know if this is true, is there a Russian speaker out there who can enlighten us?). I don't believe that I've ever been lost in my life, only temporarily misplaced. But, then, I don't spend a lot of time preparing notebooks full of directions, etc., I'm very happy to leave that to others. Nor do I mind asking directions or following those who prepare the notebooks - providing that I think it will be to my advantage.
4. If I can find ten pubs that I like, I'll happily spend 8 days in them. I/we owe a debt of gratitude to people like Fred who wander the mean streets of our cities to reveal hidden gems.
Yes indeed. For example leading us onto the last bus to Dudley. Only problem is that it was heading to Wolverhampton not Dudley!! Haha. Good times.
Nothing like having a 'local' to guide you around :)
Only temporarily misplaced! Don't think that I'd be accepted as a local!
I found a history of Batham's while I was 'surfing' for something else!
Maybe of interest to the recent expedition..
Having deliberately planned my visit to coincide with Nürnberg's Franconian Beer Festival, it was a bonus that the first full day of my holiday was Sunday 27 May, and I was able to visit the Schmankerlmarkt held in Nürnberg's Hauptplatz (10,00-18,00 hrs). 46 stalls of which 10 are from local brewers, the others being bakers, butchers, chocolatiers etc. I drank beers from Gundel (2), Altenberger (2) & Schober(1) my personal favourite being the Gundel - Helles. With the weather being so hot, my plans to undertake lengthy hikes to 1 "brewpub" each lunchtime, and a second early evening went by the board, so Monday I visited Mainlust in Viereth whose Vollbier I thoroughly enjoyed. Tuesday's excursion was to Kulmbach - I walked up to the castle (Plassenburg) which built up a thirst before visiting Kommunbrau Kulmbach for a couple of their Bernstein beers with my lunch. Wednesday was a full day, firstly walking from Bad Staffelstein to the top of the Staffelberg, then taking the train to Reckendorf to visit Schroll for lunch, washed down with 2 seidlas of their Helles. Good to find this place busy with locals at midday. On to N for the beer festival, stopping firstly, since the festival was not yet open, at the Balkon for a couple of beers from Nikl. Festival late afternoon / early evening was less busy than I expected and I was able to get a seat at each of the stands. My favourite festival beer on this first visit was the Held - Dunkles Bauernbier. Thursday being a Holiday / Feiertag I thought that I would take in 2 new (for me) "brewpubs". However Leicht in Pferdsfeld had Betriebsurlaub of about 2 weeks ending yesterday, and Martin in Unterneuses had their Betriebsurlaub starting on 31 May through to 17 June. So lunch was instead at an Italian restaurant in Bad Staffelstein with a glass of Püls - Weismainer Kellertrunk (vom Fass). Friday, my last full day was spent at the beer festival, having picked up a blister on my heel in the hot weather, I did not want to risk a walk in the countryside - 7 beers enjoyed - my favourites being Meister - Vollbier (thanks for the Tipp, Jason) and Hembacher - Stöffla. Hope to be back sometime next year...
Thanks for the report, nice mixture of the familiar and unknown (to me, anyway).
I'm full of awe that you could walk to the top of Staffelberg and be in Schroll for lunch. I had lunch this year in Schroll and it was the same - great place, lovely people and super beer. Right near the top for me.
Sorry about Martin and Leicht but glad that it will be all over before I contemplate a visit!
Yes, the Staffelberg thing is extremely impressive. Wondering why OP didnt stick around and try some of the breweries around Bad Staffelstein. Havent been to Schroll for years, might have a look in a couple of weeks.
Please do John, itsi a really lovely place!
I'm planning on visiting Schroll on our upcoming visit. We'll do the hike we did last time in reverse. Schroll first then Hoefen and Ebing with possible detours/stops in Freudeneck and the beer garden in Rattelsdorf on the way. I really liked Schroll but will get there a lot earlier to avoid missing a train. Good breweries sometimes lead to missed trains.
Mark, how's the walk from Schroll to Hofen? Looks reasonable on the map, but nice to hear from someone who nas done it.
Easy, small hill, up and down. And the beer garden in Rattlesdorf is one of the best (weekends and holidays only, May-August or so).
.... and nice views on both sides of the hills. A nice hike from one valley to another with excellent breweries on both sides and a train station on both sides.
Sounds great thanks for the info. BTW Jason, are you around 15-22 June? Be good to share a beer or two sometime.
Hi John, yes I am, I have some friends here visiting so I'll be out and about. How do we contact each other on the move?
Just to intercede in this tete-a-tete, I can confirm that it is a lovely walk and even possible for old codgers, so eminently suitable for young, fit things. I wasn't that impressed with my only visit to Freudeneck but worth trying of you are so near. There's also the Schloss Brauerei in Reckendorf but it doesn't compare with Schroll. Finally, after, Ratteldorf, you can meander down the road (couple of miles) to the lovely Schwann at Ebing. Wish I was going with you!
You guys must be in a lot better shape than me!
Our group of five from USA walked from Reckendorf to Ebing in April.
I'm from the flat frozen Northland, and we had a real cold and windy early Spring, so I was not able to get out and walk and bike (I hate gyms) in preparation for the trip to Bamberg.
I looked the hill up online, and think it rises about 400 feet.
The rest of our group was either younger or from warmer places, and didn't have as much of a workout!
We really enjoyed Schroll and the pub in Hofen. Schwann wasn't great, in our opinion.
I think the pub in Hofen had an afternoon opening time of 3 PM. (Also open for lunch, I think.)
Jason, my email is johnratcliffe 'at' hotmail.com. Drop me a mail and Ill send you my mobile number.
Looks like I'm overlapping with Mr Anderson for a few days. I arrive laste afternoon on July 4 and leave early afternoon on July 23. I'll be staying at Judestrasse 11. Hopefully I can meet up with some regulars...
No plans except ride out to some of my favorite kellers...
On the 4th of July is the Weyermann oldtimer festival (I believe also in this year). They tap Weyermann beers.
A video about the last year
We'll see you there Fred. I've got a couple of first time visitors to Franconia coming with me. Ingmar also meeting us. Arrive late afternoon on the 4th also. We're going to do some hiking of course. But first full day (5th) will be a visit to Merkendorf for starters. So feel free to join us if you want.
I may. My traditional "shakedown ride" (to make sure they bike is all back together) is usually down to Hirschaid (or Buttenheim) then back up the other side of the Regnitz with a stop in Pettstadt for refreshment. But Wagner/Hummel works as well :)
I'll most likely be recovering from jet lag at Schlenkerla the afternoon/evening of July 4 -- we can discuss then if you are about.
Gerhardt, I get in too late to do anything at Weyermann that day.
Schlenkerla most likely will be our first stop on the 4th as well. I'll shoot you a message.
Keesmann have had some serious diacytel in their Herren Pils the last month. I pointed it out to Thomas (owner) at Torschuster some weeks ago and he sent a number of kegs back. The lastest batch is back to normal (at Torschuster) but a friend ordered a Pils in Stilbruch last night and it was the same. And I'm not overly senstive to diacytel; the beer was a mess. For a city that should know a lot about beer, Bambergers are really very ignorent. And it allows the brewers to make mistakes and 'get away with it'. I asked in the brewery (after mistakenly ordering one) if anyone had complained and the waitress of course said no. I can actually believe that. Be more like Thomas.
I am shortly driving out to Melkendorf to try the new Brauhaus Melkendorf brown beer. Then to the beer fest in Nuremberg. Will update later.
For those on Facebook I found that there is a page for the new Brauhaus Melkendorf.
First I have heard of this place,got any background info Jason?
If you scroll down a wee bit - there's a whole thread about this subject. ;-)
Oh!thanks,I must have missed it.
Interesting article from The Morning Advertiser came my way yesterday concerning off- flavours in beer:
The article is from UK (and so has some content about cask beer) and is aimed at publicans. I was going to cut and paste the section on diacetyl but it is copywrite protected.
Mike and I are in Bamberg from 15 to 22 June. We would be keen to meet up if you are around. Assume Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday would be best.
no problem. Tuesday's not the best day for me though because I'm working until 5.00. The other days until half three only.
Great! Wednesday 20th works best for us I think. Happy for any suggestions, we can come out to Wicklesgreuth or meet you somewhere else. Cheers.
What do you think about a small Aischgrund tour, covering two great Bierkellers at Uehlfeld and Neuhaus?
Never been there so sounds great! Where would we meet?
On the ledge.;-)
At Forchheim station would be the best, I think.
Was listening to a bit of Fairport at the weekend! Forchheim is easy for us. Is 4pm OK?
4.30. Need minimum an hour from Ansbach to Forchheim when quitting work at 3.30.
OK, 430 it is. See you in 2 weeks.
How can I reach you on Wednesday? Might get a little later because I've to attend a meeting that starts at 2.00.
My email is johnratcliffe 'at' hotmail.com. You can use this or email me and Ill send you my phone number.
A group of me and 34 of my closest friends will be back in Bamberg on October 4th and 5th. We plan to hit up Schenkerla for the tapping and on Friday take our bus to the three village brewery bockbier tappings in Bischberg, Buttenhiem and Wurgau. Are these pretty good size parties? Are we able to just roll up and get some beers or do we need to contact them ahead of time and tell them we are coming? We have done this in the past and advised of our arrival, but not during the bockbieranstich. I figured since it was the Anstich that it would be a big party anyway at each place.
Check that I believe in is not Wurgau but Brauerei Knobloch in Litzendorf
Brauerei Knoblach in Schammelsdorf... (yeah, next to Litzendorf).
For Schlenkerla you are 100% fine. It's busy and assuming you are happy standing around then you're fine. I'm presuming no tables are required. If the weather is bad then that's a different story.
For Bischberg, last year they moved it from the brewery to the keller. I presume this will be the same. For both you will have space but I would be tempted to contact the keller and reserve tables as I'm not sure what capacity there is for standing around.
For Knoblach/Buttenheim it again depends on the weather. If you're outside then generally fine but inside is obviously going to be a problem.
That's a pretty huge group. Sounds like you've done it before but I hope you don't have any plans to visit anywhere in Bamberg apart from BBA...
And 34 of your 'closest' friends?! I don't even have 34 friends, nevermind close friends!
Aah Jason, you have dozens of friends!
I think the inside of Knoblach is large enough unless lots of other people get there first. As far as I recall, the inside has two rooms. I just looked at their site and they have 130 places inside. They open at 15.00 during the week and they are one of the best breweries in Franconia. I would try to get there at 15.00 or not long after. OTOH, if it's warm and sunny, you could arrive later.
Would dispute the one of the 'best breweries in Franconia' tag. Before anyone gets upset, their beers are fine, good even, but it is certainly not in my top 10. Might not even scrape into my top 20.
And again, before anyone gets upset; yes it's all down to personal taste and opinion, hence why I'm giving mine. And I know others like it, and I haven't a problem with that. At all.
But the fact that I rarely visit is pretty big indicator.
ps. I would ring ahead.
Well, FWIW, I was in a pub in Litzendorf and there was a table of 10-12 local guys. They left before me. I then went to Knoblach and there they were. One of them came over to where I was sitting and we had a brief but pleasant conversation. The staff at Knoblach have always been very nice, helpful and flexible. I try to stop there whenever I'm in Franconia. Sadly, I've never been there during Bockbier season, but I certainly wouldn't mind going there then.
(facepalm) I never said anything negative... the staff are great, the locals are fine, the beer is good. But that doesn't make it one of the best breweries in Franconia. It's not a discussion starter tbh, because I know people like it and I know why. I've just never had the same feeling.
To each his own: for me a really good brewery is not limited to the quality of their beer. Atmosphere, service, additional drinks or edibles - all add to the experience of a place, which is what makes a place good.
Huh? A brewery is judged on the quality of its beer. Nothing else really. A pub/outlet is judged on other things in addition to the quality of the beer they pour. But still, the atmosphere, service, additional drinks or edibles does not (in my opinion) make Knoblach any better than tens of breweries in the area. It’s solid. If you visit once or twice a year you might get lucky and think it’s exceptional. If you live here you experience that all over, if you know where to go.
Its fine. I’m writing this at Hummel in merkendorf. They’re throwing a party. 5 beers all bayerischer Anstich. 4 more on draft. Brass band playing. Great beer. Great service. Good food. One of the best breweries in Franconia. But yeah, to each his or her own.
I suppose if you're reviewing a place from Ratebeer or Beeradvocate, then, " A brewery is judged on the quality of its beer. " would be justified. I do agree with you, however, that there is a substantial difference between living there and visiting there occasionally and that your attitude is probably quite well justified.
IAC, as an occasional visitor, I much prefer a gaststätte or brewery that provides more than just good beer. Over the years that I've come to Bavaria, there are probably 10 or 20 places that I've visited and where I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being there. In fact, the first time I went to a Zoigl pub in Mitterteich it was almost like a dream becoming real. Something I still remember. Some years ago, I brought an old American friend of mine to another Zoigl pub (in Neuhaus) and he didn't like the beer or the experience.
As my father used to say: "De gustibus non disputandum est."
During the middle ages in Germany, there was no Germany, rather just towns, bishoprics and other areas were a prince or duke or king ruled. IAC, during this time, many of these places establish Brauordnungen (or brewing rules). Many of these rules involved the ingredients of beer, ie, what was allowed and what was not. But there were exceptions.
For example, on 21 June 1156 the town of Augberg passed a rule that anyone serving beer that is bad or less than the required Maß could be punished by the town. Punishing during the middle ages, could be pretty cruel, so this was not likely a small fine.
My personal favourite (sorry its in one of the books I've downloaded and can't locate at the moment) is that dancing is forbidden in a brewery. The rule does say that women are allowed in a brewery, but don't dance with them.
When I find the book again, I'll try to post more.
Does anyone know companies that make Holzdeckel for German breweries? I have searched with Google, but have not found much. I am interested in getting some made for a US brewery.
I would imagine you would be better contacting one of the breweries, I would suggest Hummel or Hoelzlein, both because they have their own deckend printed and because they are likely to respond.
Thanks, Jason. I will see if I can contact a brewery.
Have you tried these guys?
Thanks! Those are great links!
I'll be in Bamberg for a short stay in June and I'm planning a (full) day side trip down to Brauerei Neder in Forcheim and then up to Brauerei Witzgall in Hallerndorf with a stop in Buttenheim to check out St. Georgenbraeu and Loewenbraeu (either the Braeustueberln or the Kellers depending on weather) before returning to Bamberg. Based on my research, getting from Witzgall to Buttenheim requires some time - about an hour either by foot or by public transporation. Has anybody walked from Witzgall to the Buttenheim locations? Is this doable or would you recommend taking the bus?
FYI, I am planning this trip on a Sunday. Furthermore, I understand that this will be a full day trip and the Buttenheim portion may require a second day trip.
I appreciate the suggestions and enjoy reading the posts on this board. Good source of information! Prost.
Does the 265 from Forchheim to Kreuzberg kellers go by Witzgall? Runs every 2(?) hours on a Sunday. Buttenheim station to the kellers is 20-30 minutes each way depending on walking speed. Dont think theres a bus. Eggolsheim is the nearest station to Witzgall, maybe 30 mins walk. Hourly trains in each direction.
I've walked from Buttenheim to Witzgall (on a hot day when DB let us down - they were doing the traack for the ICVE and it was chaos!). The walk to Eggolsheim is ok but not so good up to Altendorf, which is where the station for Buttenheim is located. It's a busy main road, with no footpatch or cycle track. John's suggestion is the best.
Barry, do you know if the 265 goes past Witzgall?
Close enough, John, within a couple of hundred yards.
Sorted then. Train to Forchheim, quick one in Neder, back to station, catch 265 to Witzgall, walk to Eggolsheim, train to Buttenheim, walk to kellers, back to station, train to Bamberg. Could even stop at Hirschaid on the way back depending on your stamina. Enjoy!
Appreciate the input. I checked the timing and this tour can be done in a day. Looking forward to it!
You can make it easier on yourself and have a couple in the great Neder because you don't have to walk back to the station! The 265 wanders through the town and stops at Apothekenstr which is only a couple of streets from Neder, opposite the old Forchheimer Brewery. Saves you probably 15 minures - time for a Schwarze Anna!
Another idea; depending on the times of the train and the weather, it's probably better to get the 265 back to Forchheim, then train to Buttenheim. Don't bother with St Georgen (it was absolutely terrible last time I was in!), visit Loewenbrau Keller, then train to Hirschaid and walk to Hirschaada Keller (opposite side of track to Kraus) and have either Kraus or Huebner in a nice Keller!
Just ideas for you to consider!
Concur with Barry's comments re Georgenbrau and Haschaada
I have been walking Witzgall -> Eggolsheim train station a week ago. It takes about 30 minutes of a faster walk. (BTW we have started in Forcheim, then 265 to Roppelt, and then through Hallerndorf and Witzgall back to train station)
in past years, we have been walking also Witzgall -> Butenheim. You definitively shoult NOT walk from Eggolsheim to Altendorf; there are two much better ways
1) Witzgall -> Traildorf -> Seussling -> Altendorf -> Buttenheim (nearly not traffic till Altendorf, then footpath)
2) Witzgall -> Eggolsheimer train stop -> Buttenheim's kellers as here: https://goo.gl/maps/bSWbxji9xrT2
Both look really good ideas for a walk, no hills, flat all the way.
All good advice as would be expected on this forum. Except,I think it would be a trifle odd not to visit the st Georgen Keller which is the nicer of the two just for the sake of not wanting to drink one so so beer.
Thanks again for the excellent recommendations. I plan to take the Witzgall > Eggolsheim transit stop and then the tram to Buttenheim. Time permitting, I'll stop by Hirschaider Keller before heading back to Bamberg. Good info here.
Just a quick post to update on the day trip. I really enjoyed Neder - Schwarze Anna and the Export vom Holzfass were wonderful. Very cool, one-room, old-school Franconian vibe at Neder. Definitely, my kind of place. My stay at Neder was longer than expected so I decided to skip the trip to Witzgall and travel straight to Buttenheim where I visited both of the local Kellers. St. Georgen was the more scenic of the two, but both offered an idyllic biergarten refuge with decent, quaffable kellerbier.
Thanks again for the assistance and the excellent travel tips. Looking forward to my next visit where I will most definietly fit Witzgall and the other Forchheim breweries into my plans. Prost!
The brewer/owner at Orca Brau, Nuremberg is interviewed for a blog on the Bierfreiheit website:
>>>For me, Franconia is one of the most interesting beer regions to watch for the next five years or so. It could go this way or that way but we’ll see more diversity. We’ll see more breweries doing more interesting things but also a lot of closings as well. Not necessarily because the beers are not selling but because of lack of investment. And there are also some cases of the health department going to breweries and saying, “This looks horrible. You have to close down.”.
>>>They say that in Franconia, the world is still normal because beer and food are still cheap, which is totally stupid. People in the beer scene in Nuremberg, almost everyone says that Franconian breweries need to charge more. In a beer garden you’ll pay sometimes only €1.80 or €2.20 for a half-litre.
>>>Some beer gardens are doing well but most of them in my opinion are not doing well financially or in terms of quality of the beer. But Franconians don’t really care about this-they still have this strong connection to the brewery. But we will see a change in the future for sure. More breweries will definitely be closing down, while some will do really well.
Nothing really earth shattering. I don't agree with his comment that so much will change in 5 years - it will change, but not in such a short time. He hit the nail on the head though when he said the beer is too cheap.
I find the interviewer somewhat arrogant suggesting that no Franconian brewers reach 'greatness'. Or that you have to brew something totally off the scale to be a 'great' brewery. I wonder if that person (the interviewer) has visited even 10% of the breweries in the region? Or knows that so many people visit Franconia from places with an abundance of these 'off the scale' beers because they want something different. As do the folks in Rome and Stockholm, so he/she is contradicting him/herself.
The Orca guy seems to know his stuff generally though, but I've never had a bottle of his beer, it just doesn't interest me that much. There's a lot more I could say about the article but that;ll do for now.
Off to Stockholm's Zum Franziskaner now for some good old Franconian beer at just 8 euro a Seidla. Same as modern hipster grapefruit beer in other establishments.
Today's keg line-up: Keesmann Herrenpils, Hartmann Erbschänk, Herrmanns Kellerbier, Gänstaller GänsWeiss, Spezial Märzen, Schlenkerla Eiche, Gänstaller Pilsner. Makes it quite bearable to be away from Franconia at times.
Today's keg line-up: Keesmann Herrenpils, Hartmann Erbschänk, Herrmanns Kellerbier, Gänstaller GänsWeiss, Spezial Märzen, Schlenkerla Eiche, Gänstaller Pilsner. Makes it quite bearable to be away from Franconia at times.
Talikng out of his a--e, I would say. I wonder how many Franconian breweries either of these people have visited?
I'm getting the feeling that I'm living in some sort of parallel universe. This chap is probbly in the same universe as the brewers of some of the beers that we sampled over the last few days in North Wales and the Black Country. In my universe, Batham's and Ma Pardoe's, to name but two, are great breweries with lovely pubs and who also manage to charge quite low prices for their excellent beer, in all these respects, they are like the breweries in Franken.
Now, I know that I'm a dinosaur (follows with the age, sadly) and I appreciate that people have to try new things (at one time or other, all the beers that I like were new) but many of the beers that I tried this weekend (during which I had a great time, from what I remember, apart from repeated playing of a certain team's matches - BTW 100 points, 19 ahead of anyone, etc., etc.), tasted to me like some rather mediocre experiments in homebrewing. But, then, I don't know anything about beer and brewing - just like all the happy punters in Brierley Hill and Netherton.
Just stuffing different hops into the brew does not make for a good beer - IMHO, of course.
I mean, to try to zoom out of personal taste a little, people have to remember that the modern 'craft beer' phonomenon is a reaction to decades of average beer. American and British brewing had been decimated at various points in history leaving the consumer with a fairly boring landscape of choice (notable exceptions aside). The same goes for most other modern markets. Therefore there was a vacuum which has been filled. This has happened in Berlin of course, where 10-15 years ago the beer landscape was very different. People's tastes have changed and now they want less quantity and more flavour and variety.
In Franconia this hasn't happened. So where is the need? Where are the protests in the villages and towns around Bamberg calling for more variety and styles? Why are the breweries and beer gardens packed with people?
Why does beer have to be the centre of the conversation? What's is wrong with it being traditional in style in a place where it belongs? And if you'd really earned your stripes in this region like a number of us on this forum you'd know that variety exists. And as for greatness, well i'm a firm believer that the greatest things are also the most simple.
It's not perfect in Franken. But unlike craft beer, a relative speck of dust on the history of this great beverage, Franconian breweries have been doing their thing for centuries. Yes they need to modernise and try to be a little bit innovative to keep up with demand, but bottom line is I'll wager they'll be around long after breweries like Orca have disappeared.
i think your characterization of these beers as mediocre homebrew experiments is a bit unfair and insulting. I think the beers at the Green Duck were well made but I do understand you don’t like them. But that’s just personal taste and should not be a condemnation of the brewery. We talked to the brewer a bit and he seemed like a very nice bloke and very passionate and serious about what he’s doing.
There’s more I’d like to say but hard to type on my iPhone and I’m on holiday and I’m enjoying a very well made, hoppy, cask pale ale from Manchester Brewing co right now.
At the end of the day, as we've said many times before, it's all a matter of personal opinion. Enjoy your holiday and forget the hurlers on the ditch.
The traditional franconian brewers are the genuine "Craft-Bier" brewers, 'cause they do their "Handwerk" (craft) already many centuries and are therefore well skilled. Who really needs very "interesting" and incredibly "creative" brews, that are hardly drinkable...
Beer should be a "social" drink, not a hobby for crazy hipsters.
Whether or not any given beer or beer style is drinkable or not is a matter of personal taste and opinion. For example, on our recent trip to Black Country some preferred the IPA’s brewed at Green Duck over the Bathams Bitter not because they’re hipsters. Just because that is what they preferred after drinking both. Both beers were enjoyed socially. I find some of the comments on this thread a bit sanctimonious.
I'm inclined to agree - let's remember we're all friends of Franconian beer but not at the exclusivity of all else. Certainly, the beers at the Green Duck were very well brewed and I enjoyed them. I wouldn't swap it for what I have here but that's my choice. In the same way that | felt 'some' of the comments in the article were a little elitest and ignorent we should be careful not to be the same in return.
As I've written numerous times, it's about choice and a person's right to decide what they enjoy without disparaging the likes and dislikes of others. Our visit to the Black Country was heavily weighted to traditional pubs and breweries with a couple more modern interpretations thrown in for good measure. Not a bad mix at all, especially when not all our group wanted to drink bitter all day.
To be honest, even if I'm not hugely enjoying a beer but i'm with friends I can still enjoy myself. It's not the beer all and end all ;)
Couldn’t have put it any better.
Hold it right there! Whose post was sanctimonius? Hope it wasn't mine, I just tried to give my honest opinion!
I compared the Orca chap with some of the brewers of beer that I had over the last few days because it seemed to me that they have traits in common - very new, maybe experimental. I've embraced a lot of different beers since I ventured out of my comfort zone into Franken, the Oberpfalz and now Prague. All these places brew completely differently to my old-fashioned English taste. It took me some time to get used to them but, when I've had a good, well-made beer, I've said it.
One of the things that I think we like about Franken is the tradition but it's not just tradition for its own sake, it's because, by and large, the brewers have perfected their craft over a long period. Ok, some of them have started trying out new things but they still brew the old, successful stuff, as well.
I appreciate that many of my beer friends (like those of last weekend) are of a different generation and often want to try something new but the Green Duck, for example, had nothing but 'new generation' beers, none of which I liked or even thought were that good (it didn't stop me enjoying the time with friends, though).
Sanctimonious means 'holier than thou' - I hate to think that I adopt that attituide, I just know what I like - sorry!
P.s. And I did end by saying that it's all in IMHO!
Barry my sanctimonious comment was not in reply to your post. I had already replied to yours previously. I’m just going to leave it at that.
Thank you, you are a gentleman of the first water (or should I say beer).
Sorry, but I find this document highly suspicious. For one thing,why is Gose mispelled? It's only four letters and a real German can't even get those four right? Secondly, he uses the American expression "resume", while a German would use CV. And the writer's attitude seems more American than German. I don't know who wrote it, but I really wonder whether the author added his own opinions to the brewer's statements.
Having drunk German beer for many years, I don't agree that "craft beer" would improve it. Or that the author seems to understand the German beer scene very well.
I wouldn’t say it’s suspicious. It’s author is from Seattle (German name though) and yes i noticed the misspelling of Gose. However Germans could spell that wrong unless they know about beer. Anyway she’s American so resume is perfectly acceptable. In fact in German it’s Lebenslauf before CV. But if you’re translating both work.
I very much doubt the brewers words were doctored. But agree that she (like most Germans, nevermind Americans/ROW) don’t understand Franconia. Why would she, there’s no modern craft.
OK, so an article written about beer by someone who knows very little about it. To me it was suspicious as it was supposedly an interview with a German brewer and there were numerous errors in it that a brewer from Germany would not make.
I was in Leipzig a couple of years ago and to my great disappointment I wasn't able to find Gose that was made in the traditional manner. At the Bayrische Bahnhof, I complained to the waiter and he brought a brewer to my table. The brewer began with words that quite shocked me: Die Amerikanen sagen... (the Americans say....).
If Michael Jackson (not the singer) contributed anything to the world of beer it was that there were many local and/or traditional beers that could be enjoyed around the world. If everything turns to craft, that diversity will disappear and we'll all be drinking the same or similar beer regardless of where we are. Real Gose is already gone (although, hopefully, some small brewery will bring it back). Real Berliner Weisse is almost gone. These are real losses and a shame.
We have no idea if the interview was conducted in German or English. The translator (if the case) could be at fault. If it was the brewer who made these mistakes, that means just that, it doesn't mean he's not a good brewer or knowledgeable. You can ask brewmasters in Bamberg about Gose or Berliner Weisse and I wouldn't be confident they would know A-Z about the syle - why would they?
'A brewer from Germany' is just the same as 'a drinker from Germany' - they know about the beers around them and their region, but not necessarily from the other end of the country, especially obscure and very local styles.
I've drunk Gose in Leipzig and elsewhere and it's not something I find very drinkable, though I respect the style and history. That brewer had a point though, craft breweries around the world (led by the US I'm afraid) are proliferating all sorts of rubbish about European historic styles. Sorry but I know who I'm going to believe more, even if 'real Gose' has died out.
Visited a modern brewery last night in York. They have a bunch of beers on tap. One labeled a Gose and one a Berliner Weisse. We’re they true to the original style? No idea. But they were enjoyable. Shame on these UK brewers for proliferating this rubbish. I’m going back tonight to dispose of more and save the world from this nonsense.
Sorry meant to say: shame on these UK Brewers (no doubt coerced by the US) for proliferating this rubbish
Point taken - you know I respect what's going on across the pond, but you should also know that (compared with Brits for example) very few Americans can try the original beers in the original country therefore some breweries take advantage of that or are just as ignorent. Regardless, I know Ronald Pattinson bangs on about nonsense peddled by brewers globally to try and sell a product.
Like you say, does it matter? If it's good? Yes and no. Mainly no, but it's a pet hate of mine - if you're going to replicate a style, do it properly, get the spelling right, get the context right and educate the consumer. maybe in a small way, it'll help the survival of that beer in it's own country as popularity rises - Berliner Weisse and Gose are way more popular than they used to be (last 15 years I'm talking). But if the consumer visits the original producer (or modern local brewer) and finds the product is totally different they are going to be p***** off. And if they don't, a false perception of this beer becomes 'factual' and breweries start replicating the replica.
Then the world will end.
I'm friendly with a German (in the Rheinland area) who is both brewing and drinking. I've known him since he was a teen (he's now about 30). IAC, his experience in Leipzig mirrors mine. I asked him about Goselaar and he said it was even worse there. My parents are from Berlin and I went there many years ago with my father when we had Berliner Weisse. I remember how it tasted (although I did partake of a Schuss fruit syrup). I was in Berlin about a year ago and nothing I drank came close to what I had drunk with my father. Although there is a homebrewer in Berlin who is making the traditional Berliner Weisse. It is available commercially if you know where to go and what to ask for. You need to go here: http://wbb-pamkow.de, unfortunately I don't remember the name of the beer.
I’m curious what you think is the cause of the dissapearance of authentic Gose?
It seems like it was already well in decline before modern craft brewing would have had influence and it seems odd that Brewers in Leipzig or Goslar would be that affected by American new age brewing at any rate
Sorry, I can't really say. I would guess that perhaps some local (German) customers found the tastes too strong, so the brewers watered it down. Or as the one brewer told me "the Americans say..." Meaning that some brewers do read RateBeer and Beer Advocate. Many years ago when I tasted the "authentic Gose" at the Berlin Beer Festival, some American friends of mine were there and really disliked it.
There are loads of old German beer styles that have disappeared over the years and RateBeer and Beer Advocate didn't exist at that time.
In all fairness, you've given 1 example. And he's young. What's the average age of the Franconian brewer? Between 50-60 I would guess (and I live here btw). Most of them wouldn't have been able to travel to the East since birth to 1991.
Regards to Berliner Weisse, it's an interesting discussion, but with respect, as soon as you say you had Schuss then you lost me - nothing wrong with that but combined with 'many years ago' it would almost be impossible to find the same taste even if it was still brewed. The Schuss has probably changed as well, nevermind your taste buds. Maybe it was better, but perhaps some beers are better now with modern equipment and access to information etc.
I know I'm partial to complain every now and again but we really have to take a step back and see what we have. For me in Bamberg, I can visit 1 different brewery every other day for a year. Next month I'll be in Rome, Berlin and Barcelona trying beers from all corners of the spectrum I'm sure. I'm 3 hours from Prague, one of the greatest beer cities in the world, and I can drink Pilsner Urquell exclusively for a few days or mix it up with something more edgy in over 100 pubs, bars, breweries and shops. Last weekend I was in the Black Country drinking bitter.
When that Berliner Weisse you had was brewed I can guarentee that places like Berlin, Rome, Barcelona and pretty much most cities without an ingrained beer culture would have been beer deserts. All i'm saying is let's not be too nostalgic - a number of people on this forum will remember the dark days, and they aren't now :)
I'm generally quite happy with the beer I can drink in Franconia. I'm quite disappointed that Reidel closed as their beer was one of the best in Franconia. I used to go there regularly especially as there was a good train connection to get there.
Anyhow, when good places with good products close down, it is always disappointing. The same goes for good food stores or restaurants.
What is to me interesting is that while there are some negative changes in German beer, Belgian beer seems to be much more stable. The odd Belgian beers like Lambiek or Gueze have not changed or been influenced by modern brewing techniques (AFAIK) or information. There is something to be said for consistency. Some of my favourite breweries in Franconia make the same beer consistently and I really appreciate that, and when I'm in Franconia, I make an effort to visit them.
One of the best things about Franconia is the idiosyncrasy of the brewers. Sure, not all of them make excellent beer, but enough do that they keep drawing people to their Gaststätten, which, in turn, keeps them making beer. Why the brewers of Gose or Berliner Weisse have decided to drastically change their beers, is something I don't know the answer to. Alll I know is that I'm very disappointed that I can't get a "correct" Gose and that a genuine Berliner Weisse is not that easy to get.
One thing that has intrigued me is the subject of closures. I understand that, as the blog states, that many happen because there is no one in the family who wants to carry on the tradition of brewing. I would imagine that the lower birth rate has something to do with that. When families were having 6-8 children it was more likely that one or two of the offspring would want to go into brewing, or running the brewery tap. Now that many couples only have 1-3 children, the chances are less.
There also apparently seems to be a plain shortage of workers, as the blog states and is also touched upon in the recent thread on this site about Spezial Keller opening times. My question would be, is this because of low wages or no one wants to do the jobs? Would an increase in the price of beer help the situation?
I've been reading old books about beer in Germany. Before the industrial revolution in the 19th century, most towns in Germany had a communal brewery and individual houses in the towns had "brewing rights". This is similar to Zoigl today. IAC, I've seen a painting of a town where it was distribution day and the towns people were queing to get their beer. It turned out that so many people were so eager to get their allottment, that the milita had to be brought in to restore order. I've been in several towns (non-Zoigl) were there is still a communal brewery and the towns people (when there's a festival) will quite happily attend, drink the beer, eat food, etc. But no police are necessary to restore order. I suspect that in the pre-Industrial age, it was more dangerous to drink water because of the danger of infection. This was also the time before milk pasteurisation which could make drinking milk dangerous. Beer, OTOH, was safe. There were also stronger drinks like wine and distillates available, but beer was less intoxicating and cheaper, so more popular.
> My question would be, is this because of low wages or no one wants to do the jobs?
In general, there is a lack of working people. Unemployment rate in Upper Franconia is around 3,5%, somewhere else it is even "worse", below 3%
Many of unemployed people are actually not willing to work anyway...
It is even lower here in Czech (2,2% in whole country; 1,7% in area of Prague) - http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics
very hard to find a new workers...
Once the method of production changed from communal breweries to industrial breweries, the total number of pubs and breweries plummeted all over Europe. In Belgium, for example, in 1900, there were 3,223 brewries that produced 14,617,000 hectoliters of beer. In 2003, the number of breweries was reduced to 115, yet they produced 15,650,000 hectoliters of beer. In 1900, Belgians drank 221 liters of beer per person. In 2003, that fell to 96 liters. By contrast, the amount of beer exported increased by over 1,000 percent.
Likeswise in Bavaria, in 1960 there were 1566 pubs. By 2005, there were only 623. That number has stayed fairly stable and by 2014, there were 616 pubs. So, for the last 10 or 15 years or so, the number of pubs has gone up and down by only a few per year. There is, to put it mildly, no great loss of pubs in Bavaria since 2005. In fact, in 2010 and 2011, the number of pubs went up to 637. There is no great mystery here.
Well before industrial brewing took hold, in 1831 in all of the German areas, there were 16027 breweries (7428 in cities and 5463 in the countryside) and, of which 12894 were "commercial". The rest of the breweries (2679) were home breweries supplying households of 10 persons or more. These figures are based on taxes that were paid. The document also has quantities, but they are not modern. If anyone knows what "Rehl." is or a "Prussian quart", I'd appreciate an explanation.
According to statistics from the Brewers of Europe, German brewers produce about 95,000,000 liters of beer, breweries which makes it the European country with more beer production than anywhere else. The UK, which, is number two, produces almost 44,000,000 liters which is less than half of what Germany produces. Germany is also number one in Europe in beer consumption: over 85,000,000 liters. In 2010, it was almost 88,000,000 liters. However, a similar decline can be seen in the UK.
In Bavaria, in 1880, when industrial brewing started gaining a foothold, 210.7 liter of beer was drunk by Bavarians per year. Somewhat ironically, beer consumption increased over the next 14 years to 237.6 liters in 1914. Then came the wars. In 1960, beer consumption was presumably still affected by the war as it was only about 95 liters per person. It reached a peak of a little over 150 liters in 1977 and then started declining again. In 2016 it reached 104 liters.
As I wrote previously, industrial brewing saw old breweries die off in the thousands. With consumption also declining, pubs closed as well.
In summary, that article posted was full of nonesense. A German brewer who apparently knows nearly nothing about beer in Germany. The figures I've posted are easy to find if you speak some German, which that brewer presumably speaks.
"According to statistics from the Brewers of Europe, German brewers produce about 95,000,000 liters of beer, breweries which makes it the European country with more beer production than anywhere else... etc, etc."
I don't see how what you posted proves that this German craft brewer's opinions are "full of nonsense." Where does he say anything that contradicts your statistics? He is not commenting on overall decline in beer consumption in Germany and elsewhere but what he sees as the situation in Franken with some brewers producing less than great beer on antiquated equipment with no one to carry on brewing when they become too old.
As Jason said in the second post of this thread:
"The Orca guy seems to know his stuff generally though."
Whenever anyone starts waving statistics around like Harry Potter's wand, it's worth doing some quick mental arithmetic as their “argument” develops. So it is when one reads that “German brewers produce about 95,000,000 liters of beer”, which doesn't sit so well with a German population of eighty million or so. Sure enough, annual production is actually in the order of 95 million hectolitres a year – a hundred times greater.
As the closing line of Some Like It Hot points out, “Nobody's perfect!”
Some beer gardens are doing well but most of them in my opinion are not doing well financially or in terms of quality of the beer. But Franconians don’t really care about this-they still have this strong connection to the brewery. But we will see a change in the future for sure. More breweries will definitely be closing down, while some will do really well.
We’ll see more breweries doing more interesting things but also a lot of closings as well. Not necessarily because the beers are not selling but because of lack of investment. And there are also some cases of the health department going to breweries and saying, “This looks horrible. You have to close down.”
I don't see any evidence for either of these two quotes from the article. It is the switch to industrial brewing that caused breweries to close en masse. The article seems self-serving to me.
I think there is a difference between general long term trends and what's happening in localised markets. This brewer, who is from Bayern and now living and brewing in Franken, has opinions on the reason for recent brewery closings in the area and predicts more in the near future. Hopefully he is not correct.
"I don't see any evidence for either of these two quotes from the article. It is the switch to industrial brewing that caused breweries to close en masse. The article seems self-serving to me."
I find this confusing. When you say "article" the first time do you mean the one on the history of brewing you have been quoting from, and for the second use of "article" to mean the interview with the brewer?
"I think there is a difference between general long term trends and what's happening in localised markets. This brewer, who is from Bayern and now living and brewing in Franken, has opinions on the reason for recent brewery closings in the area and predicts more in the near future. Hopefully he is not correct."
I agree with your sentiment (he is not correct). I live and travel around Europe a lot. when I visit a foreign country, I don't look for products I could easily get at home - I look for local products. I will guess that you do the same or similar.
There have been for about 5-10 years attempts to bring American style beers to Germany. Some of those attempts are by Americans and some are by Germans.
On his website, the brewer lists his qualities as "traditional, creative" Well, it seems to me that you cannot be both traditional and creative. You can be one or the other.
Take a look here: https://mixology.eu/news/in-beer-there-is-freedom/?lang=en
Unless I am wrong, all the beer cartons in the photo are American and the caption is "in beer there is freedom." I think the caption would make a lot more sense if the photo included beer cartons from several different countries, not only one.
The article I was referring to was the interview with the brewer, who is listed on the mixology site as the PR manager.
I try to keep fairly current on the local beer scene in Franconia. One of my favourite pubs closed this year. It was not for any of the reasons listed by the German brewer. The number of breweries that have closed in Franconia over the last few years are extremely small in number. So small, that it would not constitute a trend.
It seems to me that most German brewers would know the beer history of their country - perhaps not in much detail, but at least the general trends. This brewer does not seem to know it, which is why I called the interview with him nonesense.
Here is another German brewer who previously made only American-style beers, but now seems to have included some German beers, including some rare ones, (although I haven't tasted any of those beers): https://www.hopfenhelden.de/ale-mania/
I would not say that Germans are particularly chauvinistic about their country, but most Germans grow up drinking their local beer and many of them would probably continue drinking it for much of their lives. With these isolated breweries trying to introduce Germans to American-style beers, I would imagine it is a pretty difficult task. I assume that is why the ale-mania brewer is now brewing German style beers in addition to the American.
Several years ago I got interested in communal breweries and have about 50 books downloaded from Google books about it. The oldest book I have is from 1722, however most are from the 19th century. All of them are in German. I haven't read all of them, but have looked through their index to see what subjects they cover. The Reinheitsgebot post is from one of them.
>>>On his website, the brewer lists his qualities as "traditional, creative" Well, it seems to me that you cannot be both traditional and creative. You can be one or the other.
This may be the most silly statement I have ever seen regarding the subject of beer.
Felix vom Endt / Orca Brau offers traditional, franconian/German l beerstyles p.e. Kellerbier and a Maibock, collab brews with Sebastian Sauer, brewed at the Brauhaus Binkert in Breitengüßbach. He brews at the Orca Brau in Nuremberg tradional, international beer styles p.e. differnt versions of ipas.
But he also brews "creative" beers, p.e a "Juicy Grape Ale" saison mit sylvaner traubensaft, collab mit olingerwein 6,2%. This is a modern beerstyle from Italy.
Or "lotusland", a hibiscus ale mit sumach.
In the first 17 months he has brewed 42 different beers, a coloruful bouquet of beerstyles trditional as well as "creative".
When he can brew a great beer and keep brewing that beer exactly the same for 20 years I would be impressed. This craze of brewing every style under the sun is becoming tiresome.
I did enjoy the pale ale and IPA at Binkert last week. Subtle and very German but somehow perfect on a hot day. Not overloaded with hops or alcohol. Worth a stop.
After a great three weeks in Franken (what else?), it was on to Prague. Sorry if this is a bit OT but contributions to the forum have been a bit sparse recently and the progression from Franken to Czechia seems to have become fairly regular for forumites recently, so please forgive this intrusion and move on if you're not interested in Czech beer!
I chose to forgo the pleasure of a coach trip from Nurnberg (the direct rail line was under repair) and went via Cheb - €14! Saturday, made first visit to U Tunelu, which I think is great (thanks for encouraging me, Jason). Very unspoiled, lovely Konrad beer, unhurried atmosphere, very friendly. In complete contrast, met Aaron and Liz, Don's friends, in Zly Casy. Lovely people and a nice night but it's not really my kind of place. Beer and service is ok but its a bit pricey and sort of trendy. Sunday was walkabout in Stromovska park: where I witnessed a bit of folk dancing (!). There is a pub/restaurant (Valcha) serving Urquell near the entrance. Called into Cafe Lajka, pleasant cafe/bar with a variety of beer. I had Pazdrat 11 from Pivovar Chric - quite nice. Later, met Aaron and Liz in Pivovarsky Klub; wide range of beer but just not my kind of place, too restrauranty!
The weekend weather was fabulous, so went for a walk around Vinohrady, then first visit to Napalme's new location. Initially looks a bit uninviting but is ok. Lots of new beers but stuck to excelent Uneticke 10 and 12. Then back to U Tunelu before finishing with a Matuska Apollo Galaxy at 5,3% in my 'home' bar - too citrusy and strong for me! Tuesday was culture day. Visited Museum of Technology (v. interesting, I want a 1931 Aero 10 hp sport!) before Pivonice Klasterni near Namesti Lasterni. Tried a Chotobr Svetly Lezak 11, which was fine, before moving onto Klaterni svelty 11, which was good. This comes from the Strahov Monastery brewery. Big tip: drink it in the pub at Kro 26/0,5l, rather than the brewery tap at Kro 76/0,4l! I love Pivonice Klasterni, my kind of place, bit like a Prague version of Neder!
More culture and walking on Wednesday, with a visit to Brevnovsky Klasterni Pivovarsky. It takes a bit of finding but its a lovely place; the beer is excellent and very reasonably priced. Later, an Urquell in the excellent Hrocha before back to Pivovar Klasterni. Final day, visited Pivovar Nalervarna: another lovely place, with really nice beers from Hostomice, including Fabian 10 and 12, which are excellent well-balanced beers at a very good price for the location. Then walked across Letna park to Hradcanska (hard slog up the steps), where Trutnova 12 was tried: quite nice but rather gassy, before moving on to Bubencsky. Beers still contract brewed, the Lezak 11, unfiltered was pretty bitter and interesting but wasn't keen on the 'Ale 11,5' - just a modern US-style, very citrussy. In the evening, a farewll visit to Napalme.
Sorry for the long splurge but I am really beginning to warm to Prague, now that I know my way about better.
Not sure which brewery are you talking about, when talking about "Klasterni", since that means that "Kloster" and there are many breweries with that name, naming beers according to it.
Anyway, if you ment Strahov Klasterni pivovar (Strahov Monastery brewery), then you definitively could NOT get it anywhere for 26,-/0,5
I'm following in Barry's footsteps this week. The beer he is talking about is from Pivovar Klášter. When I was there yesterday I took a picture of the taps
And my listing for the place is here.
If you do twitter, follow my twitter feed for updates for my visit to Prague and Berlin. I beleive you don't actually have to sign up to read them, only to reply.
If the Krakanos was fresh you defintely should have tried it Barry (was it because it was 11Kr more)? Klaster beers are meh (for me), but then in the Czech Republic they can turn the average into the sublime.
Yes, I got that completely wrong! The Klaster Lezak at Klasterni was from Pivovar Klášter,Klášter, Hradišt 283; nad Jizerou, , Czech Republic, 29415 (according to my quick googling). Sorry, chaps, if you want to sample the Strahov Beers, you've just got to pay the price (not me though, nuch prefer the Brezenovsky Klaster). But the Klaster beer was ok, if not the best in Prague, and I still loved the ambience of the place but, as Andy would say, I do like to get down and dirty.
Hope there's plenty of that this week!
I'm not quite sure exactly what Andy means by 'down and dirty' but all of a sudden the coming weekend is looking a little different than i imagined.
Not for me though, Bathams Bitter is calling!!
Wait, will I not be able to get a nice murky New England IPA in Black Country?
To clarify the Honourable Andrew's comments (before we meet at the weekend): during last year's visit to Czechia, we discovered that we had a slightly different taste in pubs/bars/Gestatte etc. Shall we say that, I quite like 'ordinary', no frills places, where food is not necessarily an option (apart from plain crisps and peanuts); as a lifetime observer of humanity in all its manifold forms, places that might be honoured with the epiphet that used to adorn a certain Sunday newspaper: All human life is there'!
Examples, for Franken, of course, Neder; for Prague, the newly discovered Pivo Klasterni; for the UK: The Bull and Bladder - you can rest easy Jason!
The description has nothing to do with the quality of the beer, which, of course, must be of the highest standard, such as found, mostly, in the above places. Rest easy, chaps!
Er, yes, but I hope not in any place that we might go.
No worries Barry. Tongue was firmly planted in cheek there.
My mind was on something slightly more sordid, especially as Andy was being quoted.
For me our digs (the lamp) is more of an example of neder than the bull and bladder from a customer point of view but happy to reflect on the comparisons.
Looking forward to visiting the Lamp for the first time. 'Down and dirty' might be interpreted as 'grotty' but I really just like pubs where the emphasis is on beer and person to person communication. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I would never to chose to go to a pub where I don't like the atmosphere but I might go to a pub where the beer was so-so but the atmosphere was great! The Bull and Bladder used to meet both criteria, I hope that it has not changed.
Moi! I am not the one talking of tongues in Cheek's. Or the strange uses that beer is put to in the CHANNEL isles.
Visited the terrific Hohenloher Freilandmuseum at Wackershofen near Schwäbisch Hall yesterday, which was their cheese market day. They've many different possibilities to purchase Faßbier and wine. We decided to stay at the Keller, formerly the Bierkeller of Weipertshofen village. Up there in the hills they serve fresh Haller Löwenbräu Kellerbier, which is quite good. Later we also found a small Wirtschaft that served bottled Gaildorfer Spezialbier and I really hated to be the driver once more... I really can recommend a visit but you'll need to spend a whole day there to see all of the museum.
One fir the diary! Maybe I should schedule a visit to Hohenloher.
The Spezial Keller has today publlished (Facebokk), that they will close on Sundays at 3 pm - for the time being
Reason: missing kitchen staff.
This appears to be a chronic problem in Franconia. Is this a case of national labor laws making it too difficult to employ people the extra hours or lack of available workforce or pay is too low or all of the above. It seems very sad that these small business cannot be open on a Sunday which seems to be their busiest day in an all too short of a season.
I'm surprised too that there aren't special provisions for seasonal workers. One of my clients has a farming operation and (at least in California) there is a whole different set of labor rules that apply. Mark, you must have similar issues on the Cape -- I spent Thanksgiving in Orleans once and boy was it dead (this was mid 80's)
Also Roppelt Keller (Stieberlimbach) is now closed on Sundays, they have reduced opening times.
Was going to set off for Stiebarlimbach in a couple of hours. Will change plans now, thanks
I don't understand why they don't just shut the kitchen after lunch if the reason really is kitchen staff. Not everyone has to eat every time they go out for a beer. Or revive an almost lost tradition of allowing people to bring their own food.
Clearly they earn so much money on the other days that they don't need to worry about it.
Totally agree Jason. I am presuming that an increased wage rate on Sundays may also figure.
I mean, I'm getting a bit cynical I admit, but my recent experiences at the Keller have not been great; poor quality beer (it has improved), surly customer service and a general feeling that I have no recourse given the floods of people descending on spring/summer evenings.
However, I understand that they have to pay rent (they don't own the keller itself) and that food contributes a lot to the business etc. But they have to hold some responsibility for keeping tradition alive - a Sunday visit to the keller is almost a way of summer life here. I'm sure they could offset any small losses across the rest of the week I guess without all the facts I shouldn't be too critical. But they also close all day on Monday and take all manner of private holidays throughout the year so I'm struggling to reconcile their apparent sadness (having read their 'press release') at having to close Sunday afternooons with these other elements.
On a brighter note, I enjoyed a couple of very enjoyable beers at the Mühlenbräu Keller yesterday. Excellent beer and a lovely keller. Thoroughly recommended.
I made one visit to Spezi keller during my visit, with Don, Cherie and Johnny. It was late afternoon, after sampling a couple of Zwickel beers in Greifenklau. We sat in the 'serviced' area because it was nice sunny spot. But the service was atrocious, we virtually had to beg for the bill. Beer was ok-ish but not a patch on the real Spezi stuff. There were no crowds descending on the Keller, in fact, it was nearly deserted.
Ok, the view is great but there are loads of better kellers, including one of my favourites, Hirschaada.
Hi Fred meandering around Prague, couple of questions to ask you - are you on What's app?
No, Facebook and Twitter (and email) are the limits of my socialability...
Ok email will do, be in touch.
Will be in Bamberg next weekend, Friday to Monday with a small group from Brockley brewery. One or two first timers so we wont be doing anything to radical. If Jason or anyone else is around, would be good to catch up with a few beers.
We miss each other again, as usual!
One day, Barry Im sure well raise a glass together in Bamberg!
Might well have a look up in Memmelsdorf, thanks Gerhard. Will probably pop into Abseits at some stage of the weekend as well
On Saturday (May 5) and if the weather is good, I recommend the Bierkulturfest in Memmelsdorf
26 beers from 7 breweries, beer is available in 0.5 and 0.2 l
also with some food stalls.
Memmelsdorf has 2 breweries, which partizipate.
A video about this festival last year;
Yes I recommend Bierkulturfest as well. That was a good time last year.
Did anyone attend?
And if so, how was it?
I had other things on this past weekend but if you like beer and sunshine I can't imagine you would have left disappointed.
Info regarding this year's Schmankerlmarkt now on-line.
Place : Hauptmarkt, NÜERNBERG.
Date : Sunday 27 May (10,00-18,00).
Currently 46 stalls listed of which 10 are local brewers as follows : Wiethaler, Altenberger Brauhaus, Zwanzger, Gundel, Schober, Windsheimer, Kanone, Eppelein & Friends, Dreykorn,
Ammerndorfer. Other stalls include Bakers, Butchers etc so no need to drink on an empty stomach...
Wow - very very nice lineup!
Hope Zwanzger has finally gotten rid of those diacetyl loaded beers. Friends told me, the beers are as good as they were before they brought the mistake in.
Not been such a good correspondent on this visit but mainly I've been doing the same as on previous trips, so you've heard it all before - endlessly!
Visited all the places as before but one new one was Huebner in Stettfeld, courtesy of a nice little ttrip with Juergen, which iincluded Sonne at Muersbach and the Metzgerei brewery at Uetzing, where we ffinally met up with the Scheidts and their friend Johnny. Lovely beer all round and a very pleasant day in excellent company. Thank you to my two chauffeurs!
I'd forgotten that yesterday was Tag des Bieres in Bamberg but was reminded by Frank and Jason. Of course, it was a great day - i drank Herrenpils all afternoon before we all (too numerous to name) decamped to Spezial before making the long trip to the Western Bar aka Faessla cubby hole. Don't remember a whole lot about the evening other than watching an entertaining game of Scharpkopf and Jason sitting sort of indoors with an umbrella while it bucketed down! I hadn't realised that this part of ththe pub was outdoors.
Oh well, only a few more days, then it's off to Prague.
Hübner in Steinfeld. ;-)
Just a thought, perhaps it would be good to mention that Greiss in Forcheim has a Gaststatte behind the brauerei which is open fairly reasonable hours and accessible by city bus lines.
And to clear up if possible whether Barnikel at Hernsdorf are truly still brewing on site, or having the beer brewed elsewhere. A recent conversation with Jason and Barry suggested that the beer is contract brewed,but their website seems to state that the beer is brewed onsite?
Yes, thats pretty much what Jason and Barry said. I assume advertising laws are less restrictive in Germany,as the Barnikel website seems to strongly suggest they brew thier own beer.
The romantic story is that they brew themselves their beers in the brewery in Aufsess (gipsy brewing).
You are right. In Germany beer bottles labels must not declare the place where the beer was brewed. Necessary is only the name of the enterprise which put the beer into circulation.
To use the name brewery pub or brewery for a location of an enterprise which don't brew is borderline. Maybe it's a case of illegal unfair competition. But You need a competitor who complains.
Strange that there is no no EU legislation on this matter. But copyright etc is just a total mess.
Our USA group stopped at Barnikel a couple days ago, but failed to ask specifically if they made their own.
The place needs some updating, probably not doing too well.
They definitely do not brew any more and haven't since 2013 or so. Even when it brewed the beer was very inconsistent (at least the couple of times i visited before 2013). But it's a famous pub in the area so i don't think there's any danger.
These gypsy breweries are getting more common and without proper regulation it will encourage even more. I'm not sure how many brands Brauerei Reckendorf brew but I recently learned Brauerei Fischer in Greuth no longer brews and their beers are brewed elsewhere.
Personally I would 'ban' it as it's an easy solution for a brewery that doesn't have the motivation to brew any more. Normal people don't ask or really care where the beer is brewed (or even who brews it). Beer is beer in Franconia.
Unfortunately that complacency will be a cause of it's long term demise.
Happens all the time in the UK. Classic case is Courage. I've lost track of ownership - at least 3 changes - and brewery moves. Now brewed in Bedford! Tetley's in Wolverhampton, etc.
Oddly enough and thankfully the practice has become less common in the US. Not sure why this is other than the explosion in actually breweries has made it very hard for gypsy breweries to compete. A brewery can compete because in many states here (like Massachusetts) a real brewery can get a license to open it's own taproom and sell it's beer directly to the consumers (i.e much better profit margin) whereas the gypsy brewers have to compete for increasingly crowded space on the shelf of a store or a tap at a bar they don't own. The last gypsy brewery near me on Cape Cod (Naukabout brewery) finally opened it's own brewery and taproom a few weeks ago and gladly for me very close to my house. I literally can kayak across a lake to get there which I have every intention of doing this summer (and yes I will drink moderately and wear a life vest - for those of you shaking your heads right now).
I was more concerned about the kayak Mark!!!
Whale ahoy! Capn Ahab.
Very apt so near to Nantucket!
Thank you to all at the forum for tips. We were a gang of Norwegians who traveled to Bamberg. We came Thursday last week to Bamberg from Nuremberg. We came by plane via Amsterdam. Here is our report.
Day one: First we checked in at the fantastic brewery Fassla. The environment here is amazing. The rooms are simple, but just what we need. The beer was good after a long journey from the north. The reception was efficient and solid.
We went then over to Spezial for lunch. The beer and food here exceeded everything. Both Marzen and U were among several in the group mentioned as the best beer they had ever tasted of beer. Afterwards we went to Wunderburg, both Mahrs and Keesman's beers fall in taste, especially the Bock at Keesman. Wunderburg is a residential area. We all want to buy us a flat there. Lucky residents who live here.
Then we went to the city centre. Bamberg is a city totally different from the cities we are familiar with. When we came to the Town hall ee all starting gasping. We know understand its a Unesco site. When we came to Schenkerla we werw a extremely happy and grateful bunch of of those beer tourists many people despise, but we were welcomed at this beer cathedral and shown a big table. After all the previous beers many if us remembered the german we learned we went to school, so I think that helped us when we got service. Both food/beer and ambience were fantastic. We had a excellent evening before we stumbled back to Fassla.
Day 2: We divided us this Friday morning. Some of started with coffee and sightseeing in Bamberg.
One group went to Andreas Ganstaller in Schnaid. They met both extremely hospitality and interesting insights in the art of brewing from Andy. What a guy and his beers were described as incredible!
We all gathered later at Brauerei Zehender for lunch after recommendation from Jason at this forum. The Lager Bier from wooden barrel was like heaven. Suddenly the sun came and we could sit outside in the patio. Once a again we were feeling blessed. Finally we returned to Bamberg. We visited Greifenklau and Spezial Kellers. Both were a overwhelming experience with good views and beers in nice weather. At the end we finished the evening with burgers at Zapfhenhahn and boozing in Sandstrasse.
Day 3: We checked out and took the train to Forchheim. We went to the Kellers here just to realize that almost all still were closed. That was a mistake, but we tried two of the kellers in the kellerwald and had fun. Afterward we headed for Nürnberg for some sightseeing, Beautiful and very interesting city. We finished the last day at hütt’n. The service and food were extremely good.
Thanks Franken and we will come back!
Great to see the positives and enthusiasm after all the negatives and cynicism all too often seen on these pages.
Yeah this trip report is a nice reminder of how lucky we are to be able to visit that beautiful city and Franconia overall
Great report, glad you enjoyed it. As a Norwegian, I bet you found the beer nicely prived in Franconia!
Beer prices are terrible high in Norway. Franconia had good prices on high quality beer. Glad you like the report.
Nice to read your report. It sounds like you enjoyed Mahrs, which is nice to hear. Thanks for sharing!
Sad news: The www.german-breweries.com website reports, that after the death of the owner Friedrich Weber last year brewing on the premises ceased. Does anybody know any further details?
I don't know about the Weber situation, but I am glad to see german-breweries.com back up and running. There had been no updates there in something like a year and a half.
I totally agree. After a break of nearly 18 months Steve Thomas is "on air" again!
I can report that Weber is open.
Visited yesterday with a group from USA; very good beer, VERY nice place.
Stephan gave us a nice tour of the place. He said he saw us from his bike earlier in the day in Bamberg. We rememered him as the rider who had some unintelligible words for some Americans walking in the bike zone!
Someone said they had hired a new brewer, who would be starting in some time in the near future.
I'm afraid after four days of Scientific Brewery Research, my details are fuzzy!
Plus, their English and my German aren't great.
Also visited Hennemann, Barnikel, Kraus, and Sauer on that journey.
Had a nice visit with Jason at Spezial, too!
Visited yesterday and it was a really nice warm evening with really nice beer and local company: Pils and Lager as it would have tasted in the seventies, I guess, and a darkish Landbier.
Lovely relaxed meeting with Jason in Eichorn last night, where he demonstrated his knowledge of Schafkopf (impressive) and became an object of some fascination to a group of local ladies of a certain age (but nearer mine than his!), with whom we shared a table! Oh yes, and the beer was pretty good - excellent Keller and a very pleasant Dunkel. Nice evening, I can report that walking from Hallstadt bhf to Eichorn took me 25 minutes.
South-East of the Bamberg railway station - directly adjacent- is a largely empty shopping mall (Atrium).
Until 2020 a part of this mall should be rebuild in a hotel with 150 rooms and a boarding house with 50 aparments.
Source (in German):
The Atrium went out of business? I guess it has been some years since I was in there.
Yes. The last big shiop Wöhrl has moved to the Maxplatz before 5 years.
The new plan is to have new shops and restaurants at the ground floor and a hotel about that. The cinema and the parking house should stay.
The Supermarket in the Atrium was where I bought some bottles of Absinthe years ago. I remember the name of the store.
Years ago! Talking to Jason last night who didn't remember it!
Btw, Neder as good as ever. Usual crew of strange customers but they were joined by a party (10?) of respectable looking ladies and gents who brought in baskets of grub and settled down to a feast! Never seen anything like it.
Fassbier excellent (as always) and several bottles of lovely Schwarzer Anna, in memory of Jacqueline - it was her favourite
Arrived last night, after a longish and rather tiring journey but managed a Dunkel and a Landbier (with a bottle of Pilsner mitnehmen). All excellent! Such a quiet place, no one around after early evening!
How did you travel? By Eurostar and DB?
Sorry, didn't notice this before Gunnar. No, flew Manchester to Nurnburg, then dB/Re to Ebensfeld. Leaving by train to Prague (via Cheb because no through trains during this period and want to avoid coach). Then flying back Prague to Liverpool.
One month 9-uhr mobicard now over 100 euro but I'll still get my money's worth!
Via Cheb is always the smart route. Your Mobicard should take you part of the way, for others, this (edited) quote from seat61.com may be useful:
Go the the Czech Railways website www.cd.cz, change the Czech flag to the UK flag for English at top right, enter Bamberg to Prague and - this is the important bit - click More options then Travel via and enter Cheb in the via box.
In the search results, you should see journeys taking around 6 hours with lower fares than those offered by bahn.de. They all involve taking a German train from Bamberg to Nuremberg, a fast regional train to Cheb, then a swish air-conditioned Czech regional express to Prague Hlavni.
You print your own ticket. Simples! And so much nicer than enduring a bus. Booking opens 90 days ahead.
Already booked and ticket printed, cost me all of £12! Seat 61 is great. What's more, as an over 70, local travel is free. Good to get something for our aged bones!
I'll be headed to both next month: Prague May 7-14 & May 19 & 20 with Berlin in between (it was way cheaper to fly home from Prague so I had to go back)
If I should cross paths with anybody, lets have a beer or three (or six)
Sorry Fred, just miss you in Prague by a couple of days! Have fun!
Hi Fred! Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin.
Looking forward to it. May 16 at Foesters, right?
Have just checked the website for this annual Bier Festival (30 May-03 June). 2018 Line up of local brewers very similar to previous years, and international guest brewery represented is Belhaven from Scotland - part of Greene King IIRC. I don't see Scotland being overun with Franconian visitors as a result.
I also found (to me) a new brewery Waldschatz, based at Hausen bei Wuerzburg, who appear to be related to Ines' Beerstore. From much of their website I was expecting a "craft" operation, which may in time be the case, although their one bottled beer currently shown in photos is their Helles. Photos certainly give the impression that they have their own brewing kit on site.
That's indeed a new one. I will be in the Wuerzburg are in a couple of weeks and will check out the shop. Your assumptions are the same as mine from reading the website.
I agree re Belhaven but you may also know that Franconians (and Germans) have a strong love of Scotland and Ireland and actually I imagine this is why they are serving Scottish 'beer'. Of course it's a very average product so I won't be bothering. If it was handpulled I might be tempted but that's not going to happen.
Definitely a chance to drink Meister while it's tap remains closed #geheimtipp
On Tuesday I spotted Helga daintily pouring beers in Spezial - she's back!
On the same night I managed to lock myself out of my apartment, went back to see if I'd left my keys in Spezial (shut, 11.03pm), asked Helga (standing outside) for help which she flatly refused and had to call Florian Merz to get Julia Merz's number to cycle back and let me in. I'm in the dog house with her as she had to get up at 5am. But then they shut too early, so my sympathy is limited.
My keys weren't there so I ended up staying the night in Spezi. I'd only drunk 2 beers. Cost me €20 (Frau Merz certainly had sympathy). Sure, Helga didn't have a key but she couldn't give a s***.
So, why do they emply here, I wonder? Surely other people must have similar problems and there must be other people looking for jobs, even in Bamberg.
Well there is nothing in my message that suggested she wasn't good at her job (that's another opinion). She probably couldn't do much but it's not like i'm a stranger, she could have at least called Julia.
I have started to be a lot more critical with my tip giving. Good service, good tip etc. Ironically I like the servers in Schlenkerla the best (front room).
Oh come on Jason!!. We're not this naive, Admit it, you locked yourself out intentionally in hopes that Helga would invite you back to her place. Sorry it didn't work out as you hoped.
Now that's some funny sh*t right there! I hope to spot Helga next week when I am in town to truely understand how funny this post actually is.
You'll have no trouble spotting her. That much I can assure you.
Nail on head Mark. "Please Helgy baby I have no where to lay my head, except your ample bosom"
All joshing aside hope you found your keys ok Jason?
When Helga is on Spezial property, she is all business.
During an impromptu ‘lock in’ at Spezial on Friday I heard that Brauerei winkler in merkendorf is brewing again, or at least will be in a few weeks. The details are hazy, on account of said lock in, but it is being reopened as a not for profit enterprise. I am not sure if the brewery tap will reopen or not. The recipe is new so anyone familiar can breath a sigh of relief.
If this happens it will be a Phoenix from the ashes; and not something I expected. Not many, if any, breweries I know have closed and reopened excepting Martin in unterneuses and Hausen.