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 Stachelbier  by  Jason  on  2018-12-13 08:00:26

I have decided to take a trip to the mountains tomorrow, staying in the excellent Bürgerbräu Bad Reichenhall. It's been snowing the last few days and the forecast is to be sunny so Saturday will see some 'winter wandern'.

First stop tomorrow though (or rather second stop as I'll have a beer in Traunstein) will be Augustiner Brau Salzburg. Right now they have their bockbier which I have never tried and their very seasonal (4 days) Stachelbier which is also new to me. The latter is their maerzen beer, I think a 33cl served in a 50cl glass, and a red hot poker is inserted for a few seconds into the beer (yes, the beer). The result is a maltier, caramalised beer which I reckon is a similar, much less labour intensive, alternative to steinbier. Any residual sugars in the beer caramalise. Whilst the beer is warmed it is only a slight change, so don't confuse this with Glühbier (or the beer warmers in Franken, which are definitely not the same). 

I can quite happily sit on one of the many beerhalls and drink just their maerzen, so having a choice of 3 beers will be a treat. I will report back tomorrow - maybe someone has had stachelbier somewhere? 

   Stachelbier  by  TreinJan on  2018-12-13 11:22:35

Lahnsteiner Bock, at the Festival der Bierkulturen in Köln, a few years back. Liked it (but liked the original as well).

   Stachelbier  by  TomM on  2018-12-14 14:40:32

I lived in Minnesota in the early 90's. Every February, the August Schell Brewery in New Ulm held an outdoor Bock Fest. They would put a red hot poker into your bock beer if you wanted. I didn't know that it was a traditional thing from the old country. It's very cold in Minnesota in the winter. A warm, malty beer was very nice!

     Stachelbier  by  Jason on  2018-12-15 09:57:56

I think everything comes from ‘the old country’. Or at least most innovations have been dove before. I should say the beer shouldn’t be warm... just the head is warmed. 

I enjoyed a couple of these yesterday. It was the Bockbier they used which makes sense. As expected the beer was maltier and somewhat caramelised (in a subtle way) but also the bitterness was extenuated. Anyone who cooks with beer knows that happens. 

The regular bock was less bitter - a fantastic drop I must say, much better than most Bamberg bocks, benefitting from a rich malt body and not  at all sweet. Augustiner remains one of the finest drinking establishments in the world. I’m going back now for round 2. 

 FeWo recommendations by  Carl on  2018-12-11 20:17:08

My wife and I are thinking about a month in Bamberg, maybe starting in mid-September 2019 until mid-October.
Could I get some lodging suggestions?
I think Barry has a place East of the Bahnhof he likes, but I couldn't find it for some reason.
Would consider a second bedroom if not too much more, for potential visitors.
I've been to Bamberg on bier trips at least six times, so this is not an uninformed thought!

Thanks !

[ What ever happened to the place just across the street from Klosterbräu?
It appeared it was a very reasonably priced hotel, but it was not available (undergoing renovation?) in 2018.) ]


   FeWo recommendations by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-12 00:37:26

Weve stayed here for the last 8 or so years. Just behind the Fassla. Both fewos are 2 bedroom, downstairs one is a bit nicer. Lovely hosts. 

Ive also stayed at fewo Albert. I believe a number of forum members have used this one. 

   FeWo recommendations by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-12-12 03:12:06

As a local I have not personal experience, but guests of the Café Abseits have recommended:
east of the Bahnhof.

   FeWo recommendations by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-12 09:24:23

I had to think where east of the bahnhof is!  To be honest, I rarely stay in Bamberg now - in November, I stayed in Frank's place by Sandstrasse, which is very convenient for Schlenkerla and the city in general.  Other than that, I can't remember the last time I stayed in the town, preferring to stay in the little towns that dot Franken, specially ones near the rail line.  It's so easy to get into town from that situation and it's much cheaper.

Bamberg isn't really a late night destination (for me anyway, others may differ!) and the trains run fairly late.  

     FeWo recommendations by  Jason  on  2018-12-13 01:54:22

Have to disagree here. There is very little appeal for people who want to visit Bamberg to stay in the stix. Bamberg IS a late night destination (others certainly will differ) and by contrast, life in the villages shuts down at 10pm latest. Even when here you're a rare visitor to Bamberg - constantly shuttling back and forth with trains isn't going to appeal to most visitors who do wish to visit most days. Plus if I really wanted to save money I probably wouldn't go on holiday in the first place. 

I know it suits your lifestyle, budget and preferences, but you know that they are not going to be shared by most visitors. 

       FeWo recommendations by  Mark Andersen on  2018-12-13 04:41:02

Barry, I can't help but think that you meant to say that you're not a late night person rather than Bamberg is not a late night destination.  Because the latter certainly is not true and that's been well chronicled on this forum over the years.  In fact, over the years since I've been visiting Bamberg has only grown as a late night destination with more late night bars than ever before.  It's even gained some renown for it's cocktail bars not just beer.  Not that I care much about that but other visitors (like my friend Ingmar) and plenty of locals seem to dig it.  

Anyhow it remains for me the best base of operations in Franken and I don't see that changing anytime soon.  There is plenty to do at night even after the breweries closed for those that want to carry on with plenty of good beer to be had.  Rotenschild, Catwheezle, Stohrenkeller, Am Galerie, Torschuster, Der Pelikan, Der Schwarze Shapf, the place with the burgers, places that Jason has shown me that I can't remember the name but could find in a fog, and on and on and on.


         FeWo recommendations by  Mark Andersen on  2018-12-13 04:42:15

.... and forgot to mention but should have Cafe Abseits.

           FeWo recommendations by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-13 08:50:46

Personally, Id always stay in Bamberg, but then Im a city guy. What I love is a hard day out in the wilds of Franconia, then a couple of nightcaps somewhere in Bamberg. 

     FeWo recommendations by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-13 09:49:15

I think that I'm being tracked by the Bamberg Tourism Politzei - I'm going to be careful going to the Red Lion on this dark night.

I think that you chaps seem to have missed my rider:

 for me anyway, others may differ!

I put that in because I knew that world would descend on my poor head   I'm really surprised at your comment, Mark, you must recall my last really late night in Bamberg?  (All day hike, Memmelsdorf Strassefest, Catweazle, carried home, Judenstrasse, nasty wooden staircase, blood pouring from shin - oh no, you were fast asleep on the couch by that time!).  Not to mention Rotenschild a few weeks ago, Jason, earnest 'discussions' about basket ball, etc.

Happy really to leave it to the youth!


       FeWo recommendations by  Mark Andersen on  2018-12-13 11:14:57

Too funny.

Well I'm glad you lived to tell the tale Barry.  I thought I would need a cattle prod to wake you (and Bill actually) the next morning errr I mean afternoon.  

Enjoy the Red Lion.  

         FeWo recommendations by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-14 05:04:55

Thanks but only just survived.  Moral of the story: don't try to compete with the 'big' boys - day or night!

It was as excellent as usual, with 'Old Trip' in good form.. Howeverr, we started with a couple in my new local 'The Black Cloak', which Maps tell me is 450 feet (120 meteres?) from my front door.  Too near for safety.  They've got a cute little one barrel mini-brewery in which they brew their standard session pale ale at 3.7% but very nice and tasty.  Then two more handpumps, which usually feature Heavy Industry beer (that's where the owners come from).  My US-friends would feel at home because it's really designed like a minature US-pub with a wall full of keg taps - looks quite ornate, even if I won't be trying them!

They also brew a bright beer i.e. fermetned and then stored in tanks under CO2 - not filtered and strong enough at 5.7%.  I tried a sample and it was quite tasty but oh so fizzy!  The decour is unfussy but pleasant and the owners are very friendly and chatty.  An excellent acquisition for the Bay and Colwyn's East End.

 Very good news - new brewery! by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-12-03 01:55:06

Andreas Falk, formerly owner of Brauhaus Rothenburg o. d. T., has opened a new brewery plus Wirtshaus in Wolframs-Eschenbach, just 8 km away from my home village. It's called Wolframs-Bräu. I'm going to visit it this week and will write a short report.

A new one in Mittelfranken - that's just great! 

   Very good news - new brewery! by  Jason  on  2018-12-03 02:33:11

Very good news indeed Juergen! Especially the Wirtshaus, that's an exception. Look forward to hearing the report and will try and get down there soon if it's positive!

     Very good news - new brewery! by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-03 02:49:40

Oh goody, another one to view.  Hope it's better than the other Wolfram (Eschawo)!

       Very good news - new brewery! by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-12-03 03:35:15

I guess the beers will be similar to those formerly brewed in Rothenburg. And they were fine! Well, and the Central Franconian Wolframs-Eschenbach is the birthplace of the famous medieval minnesinger Wolfram von Eschenbach. Yes, he was Franconian, too! 

         Very good news - new brewery! by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-03 05:54:33

Wasn't every great historical figure from Franconia? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Seriously, I've just looked the place up on Google maps and scanned through the photo's.  Suddenly, I feel an attack of memory coming on!  Didn't we go through there on that day out when we went down to Wettelsheimer Keller? 


           Very good news - new brewery! by  pivnizub on  2018-12-03 09:19:31

There was 'til 2005 a brewery called  "Gentner-Bräu" in Wolframs-Eschenbach... Does anybody know, if the old brewery will be "reanimated" now?

             Very good news - new brewery! by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-12-04 00:58:29

It won't. The building's still there but with a huge hole in the wall where the equipment was brought out. 

 Buttenheim by  Jason  on  2018-12-02 02:16:16

Yesterday morning I had the oportunity to visit Löwenbräu in Buttenhiem. It's been years since i've been in the tap. The beer was fine, better than I've had it outside the tap but still there are many better examples. 

St. Georgen Brau pub is closed until they find a new tenant. 

Today i'm going to Brauerei Martin in Schonungen. One of those much better than Löwenbräu. 

   Buttenheim by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-12-03 01:52:03

Martin in Schonungen is great. Have a Spezial on me, please!

     Buttenheim by  Jason  on  2018-12-03 02:34:45

I did indeed, very nice dunkler doppelbock too. 

The beer garden in summer is one of the nicest anywhere - this brewery comes highly recommended with good train/bus (or walk) connections. 

       Buttenheim by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-03 02:53:10

Does this hide under another name/place, as I can't find it in the directory?  Maybe I'm just being a bit thick (no comments please).

         Brauerei Martin by  moleha4 on  2018-12-03 03:30:31

Brauerei Martin is listed under Hausen-Schonungen.

           Brauerei Martin by  Barry Taylor on  2018-12-03 05:59:06

Gosh, I've even been there - with Juergen, of course!

I'm going to have to ry to list where I've been and not been - getting confused in my dotage.

       Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Barm on  2018-12-03 02:58:01

Good train/bus connections? I must have missed those. One bus every hour and a half or something, isn’t it?
Is there a bigger beer garden out the back? I have only been in the Stube.

         Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Jason  on  2018-12-03 03:17:03

Yes, you must have. Train/Bus connections every hour and the two are connected so the journey time is 1hr - 1hr10. In Franconia, that's generally a good connection, particularly when you're on holiday and you're flexible. 

If you look at the images on their website you'll see the garden at the back. 

         Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Mike on  2018-12-03 04:24:21

Look at bus line 71. Seems to run more often.

           Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-04 05:02:37

Is this out of the range of the VGN? Surely doesnt extend as far out as Schweinfurt?

             Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  TreinJan on  2018-12-04 05:17:04

The last station on that line in the VGN is Oberhaid. You could use a Bayern-ticket.

               Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-04 07:03:58

Thanks Jan, thought it was out of range. 

                 Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Jason  on  2018-12-05 01:15:33

Not 'out of range' John :) There is something called the 'Franken Hopper Ticket' actually which makes the return journey cheaper, c. EUR11,80 for 1 return or EUR23,60 for 2 return. Of course this doesn't include the bus so a Bayern ticket is probably more convenient and you can visit Goeller in Zeil (and Oberhaid!!!)f you wish or get the Bayern Karte on the Saturday and then use for something else on the Sunday.

You're well aware of all the options so not sure why i'm giving you the detail, but I recommend a visit in any case, especially in good weather. 

                   Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-05 01:25:43

Hi Jason,
   Didnt know about the 'Franken Hopper', though as you say, the weekend Bayern Ticket would be better. Suppose Ill have to go to Oberhaid one day.....

                     Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Jason  on  2018-12-05 03:45:17

No... you really don't. Although JUST in case it's improved I'd rather someone else took one for the team than me. I've done my time. 

Though I've heard Mark and Andrew are fans...

                       Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Mark Andersen on  2018-12-05 11:01:09

Andy is a much bigger fan of Oberhaid than me.  He even drank my seidla before I had a chance to savor it.

                     Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Mark Andersen on  2018-12-05 11:02:40

John if you do go to Oberhaid I recommend watching the movie Deliverance first to get you in the mood.

                   Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  TreinJan on  2018-12-05 03:39:51

BayernTicket weekend?

                     Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 04:21:20

Possibly means the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket?

The only difference in the 
Länder-Ticket at the weekend is that you can travel before 9am (AFAIK).

                       Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  TreinJan on  2018-12-05 05:00:25

SWT is also a one day ticket (saturday OR sunday). Maybe the confusion is with the VGN Tageskarte.

                         Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 06:05:18


                           Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-12-05 08:04:05

S-W ticket is for the whole country is it not? Only on regional trains, of course and is for Saturday OR Sunday, but not both. Same with Bayern ticket, but just Bayern. VGN weekend ticket is Saturday and Sunday. Fantastic value.

                             Brauerei Ulrich Martin, Schonungen: (was: Buttenheim) by  Jason on  2018-12-06 05:28:56

Correct, my mistake getting them muddled up. 

 Klosterbraue  by  Jason  on  2018-11-23 04:41:56

I refer to our estemmed colleague Barry's comments regarding his Braunbier at Klosterbraeu a few weeks ago. I don't dispute his experience, just reflecting my own. 

I did the underground Keller tour in Bamberg last week, under the Stephensberg. It was interesting if a little boring when you already know a lot of the beer history (it was focussed on the Bamberg brewing tradition). Anyway, afterwards we went to eat at Klosterbraue. The Croatian Igor was behind the taps and as usual his tapping was exemplary. The Kellerbier was very very good, as was the bockbier. Overall a very positive drinking experience. 

I was talking with Florian Merz on Wednesday and he said that all the beers are brewed at Klosterbrau... he asked the brewer himself. I've heard equally credible opinions to the contrary so I'm none the wiser really. 

Finally, yesterday a friend had A NEW RAUCHBIER that Klosterbrau have brewed from the tanks. It will be ready in 14 days - a very positive development, albeit perhaps commercially driven in an attempt to lure some customers away from Schlenkerla and cash in on the association of Bamberg with rauchbier. 

I will report back when I have tried it. But the take over by Kaiserdom is cautiously looking positive, albeit a shame they couldn't do this as an independant brewery. 

   Klosterbraeu  by  Jason  on  2018-11-23 04:44:05

Sorry, predictive text... Klosterbraeu 

   Klosterbraue  by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-23 08:57:09

I am at Klosterbräu now. The Kellerbier has good flavor, but the body is thin.  The Bockbier is good, typical maltiness with light sweetness.

i asked about a Rauchbier, but they said they don’t have one.

The food menu is mere shadow of its former glory.

     Klosterbraue  by  Jason  on  2018-11-23 10:40:22

I wrote that the rauchbier won’t be ready for 14 days. 

       Klosterbraue  by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-24 03:34:19

Interesting comments from my equally estemmed colleagues!

However, I was talking about the Braunbier, which neither Jason (or Jimbo) sampled.


     Klosterbraue  by  AndyH on  2018-12-04 05:55:27

I won't be viviting again until October next year. However, I've read that the Kellerbier is significantly different enough from the rest of the Kaiserdom Kellerbiere to indicate that it is not brewed at Kaiserdom?

No doubt the truth will out if it is.

 10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  JP on  2018-11-20 15:23:46

First, thank you - this board is a great resource! I scrolled through posts of several years and hope you might have further recommendations. First Franken trip for me, having grown up in northern Germany but living abroad since more than a decade.
I'm working in a small brewery abroad and during a trip some time back had an memorable Monchsambacher from Anstich, that convinced me to finally visit Franken. Interested in the beers, peculiar breweries and brewing installlations but also the local drinking culture. Love to meet for a beer if some of you are around!

Below is an ambitious outline to deviate from spontaenously.
Of couse keeping in mind alcohol levels ect.

I'm especially looking for Anstichs, any near garantees?
Breweries/pubs/beers I missed/you highly recommend? Especialy Frankische Schweiz?
Do any breweries require reservation to buy bottles?
Would breweries fill clean kegs if I show up with them?
Who are the extravagant breweries in Franken?
Recommendation for CZ?


Travel by car & road bicycle

DEC 14 (Friday)
--- Seinsheimer Kellerbraeu
--- Brauerei Zehender (Bockbieranstich!)
DEC 15 (Saturday)
--- Hartleb
--- Scharpf
--- Metzgerbraeu
--- Knoblauch

DEC 16 (Sunday)
--- Griess
--- Krug Geisfeld
--- Liebert
--- Roppelt
--- Witzgall
--- Rittmayer

DEC 17 (Monday)
--- Spezial, Schlenkerla, Mahrs, Abseits, ...

DEC 18 (Tuesday)
--- Roppelt (Hausbrauerfass!)
--- Gradl
--- Heckel
--- Zehender (visit?)
--- Gaenstaeller (visit?)

DEC 19 (Wednesday)
or DEC 20 (Thursday)
--- PLSEN (suggestions?)
--- Pivnice Koutské Pivo
--- Pivovar Modrá Hvězda
--- Plzeňský Prazdroj

DEC 21 (Friday)
--- Gloser, Windischeschenbach  
--- Bahler, Windischeschenbach  
--- possible to arrange visits in Neuhaus, Falkenberg, Mitterteich?

DEC 22
--- Ohne Bedenken, Leipzig (?)
--- Bayrischer Bahnhof, Leipzig (?)
--- or return to Franconia (?)

DEC 23
--- Dusseldorf (?)

Thank you!

   10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jason  on  2018-11-21 03:18:14

Hello JP, welcome to the Forum proper. You've asked for a lot of info and i will try my best to help you. I am also happy to meet for a beer when you're here; i will probably be at the Bockbieranstich in Moenchsambach. 

Your questions:

I'm especially looking for Anstichs, any near garantees?
I presume you're referring to bockbier, which means no, you only have Moenchsambach which is the last of the BBA before next September as far as I know. 
Breweries/pubs/beers I missed/you highly recommend? Especialy Frankische Schweiz?
This is a huge question. You have mentioned Heckel, i would add Held Brau not far off and, closer to Bamberg, Foerst in Druegendorf. Reichhold, Hoechstahl. There are others but I think you have enough. 
Do any breweries require reservation to buy bottles?
No, but you may find if you're not known they won't sell you the case as they don't think they'll get it back. The supermarkets have a good selection by the case.
Would breweries fill clean kegs if I show up with them?
I would just email them before and ask. If they have time and are in a good mood, you might, but it's not something I've ever done
Who are the extravagant breweries in Franken?
I'm not sure what you mean by extravagent. Some would say Heckel is extravagent whereas in reality it's just very quaint and traditional. Do you mean are they brewing 'out there' beers, are they only open on a full moon or what ;) ??
Recommendation for CZ?
Go. You need a month. Another huge question. 

On your itinerary:

First, be sure to check opening times and, if possible, call in advance if you're going out of your way. Krug in Geisfeld is now closed. Your Tuesday 18.12 looks hectic, going to Heckel and Moenchsambach in the same day is ambitious, even with a car, then remember both breweries' beers (Lager at M'bach) are nudging 6% so driving is not a good idea. I see it looks like you'll be driving on a few days - I don't judge but it's a risk. Also cycling in December could be nasty but then maybe you've got all the gear!

Re Gaenstaller, I find Andy to be too nice to say no, and almost everyday i imagine a line of well meaning tourists that must cause huge disruption to his job. Just my feeling, but if you know him, drop him a line. If you don't drop him a line :) 

Tell you what, if you meet me at Moenchsambach on Friday 14th December I would be happy to talk you through your plans. There is a bus from Bamberg mid afternoon. 

Bottom line, for a first visit you're doing a lot. I would say too much, just a personal feeling. If you want to tick, then fine, (i suspect not) but if you want to understand culture and get a feeling for this brewing rich region (I suspect yes), then I would go quality not quantity; yes breweries are closing but not that fast - they'll be there next time. And give time to Bamberg, it's a beautiful city and deserves some time outside of the breweries to explore it's history and culture. 

     10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-21 06:43:59

On 30. Nov. is Bockbieranstich at Sambach. I never tried the Bock up to now but will probably visit the brewery that day as I really love their regular Lager. If someone wants to show up...

       10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jason on  2018-11-21 14:24:37

I may just do that... their beers are excellent I must say and it’s on my way home from work! No excuses :) 

         10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-22 00:43:25

Jason, I've been there yesterday. All the entries in the local Bockbier calendars are wrong. The Anstich is tomorrow already. 23rd of Nov. Unfortunately that's my birthday, so no way for me. A shame. 

           10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Mark Andersen on  2018-11-22 12:06:26

Tomorrow is my birthday too and I’m visiting breweries.  It’s no excuse. 

             10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jason on  2018-11-23 02:38:25

Haha, happy birthday both. It’s not my birthday but I’m also going to visit breweries! 

               10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-23 04:22:22

Thank you, Jason! I've got Hennemann Lager, Bräuwerck Tagwerck (Helles Lager) and Gundel Zwickelt's at home. Will be a nice wee celebration... ;-)

                 10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-23 04:23:03

Good stuff!

                 10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Barry on  2018-11-24 06:08:38

Sounds excellent.  But tell me, Gundel, I think that we went there, as you were taking bottles back.  The Stube was closed but we sat in the nice garden in the sunshine and drank from bottles bought in the brewery (you had anticpated and brought glasses!).  Quite a hoppy beer, I seem to recall.

Hennemann, presumably Sambach?  If so, went with Nick.  Quite an interesting range of beers, a little bit different.  Braeuwerk, Drossendorf?  Don't know at all, not in Fred's directory of breweries?

Enjoy (as if you won't!).

                   10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  moleha4 on  2018-11-26 00:12:17

I believe that the Braeuwerk referred to is in Neudrossenfeld, and is listed. 

                   10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-26 07:22:56

You remember Gundel right, Barry. We were sitting near the graveyard in the sun. Hennemann Sambach, right, and Bräuwerck Neudrossenfeld. 

                     10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-26 09:32:38

It was a lovely day!

The Neudrossendorf fooled me, as I was looking for Drossendorf.

     10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  JP on  2018-11-26 16:50:33

Thank you, Jason. This were great informations. Looking forward to meet. (i'm not on fb, but hope to arrange something via mail soon!).Folowing yr comments I also decided to return for CZ next year instead and spread the visits over the extra days. Is my email visible in the forums? Please write me a short message!!

About the Anstichs; I might have wrongly assume that Franconcian bar culture might be very subdued at this time of the year and a majority of breweries would be switching to kegs for their normal offerings.

Extravagant may well be quaint and traditional! De Dolle would likelt be my extravagant referential point for belgian brewing.

are there some bars in franconia that have a varied selection of locall breweries available? since my originial post I stumbled over Stoerenkeller and thought to add Held-Braus, Wirtshaus Weiglathal and Prechtl.

Does anyone know contact information to visit the different Zoigl brewers (during their off times - if just for a brief exchange/purchase of bottles/party kegs)?

       10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Barry on  2018-11-27 01:02:02

Go to where you can find the contact details for every Echte Zoigl brewery. But remember that these people are not full time brewers and might be difficult to contact at times.

       10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Jason  on  2018-11-27 01:03:02

Hi JP, Fred will arrange email exchange. 

Regarding Anstichs: So you're referring to Bayersicher Anstich (BA)... why would Franconian beer culture be subdued at this time of year? It's still very busy, tourists don't sustain it. Downtime as such is January, Febuary and March when tourist levels are low, people are detoxing and the students are away. Unfortunately, many places have switched from BA to keg dispense, especially in Bamberg, where only Schlenkerla dispenses from gravity. Spezial (all) and Keesmann beer (the pils only i think) come from the lager tanks, which is fine. The country breweries are mixed, but I would say BA is rarer these days, especially outside of keller season. 

There are no extravagent breweries compared with De Dolle. There are a few craft breweries but they aren't really near Bamberg, except perhaps Binkert in Breitengussbach which has a porter, pale ale and other non traditional Franconian fare (though nothing mindblowing if you're into modern styles). 

In terms of bars, the famous one is Cafe Abseits in Bamberg. There are also other pubs that have maybe 3 or 4 beers but I wouldn't expect anything like there is in craft beer scenes elsewhere. Beer here is best drunk fresh as the source. Stoehrenkeller is fine, but I'm not a frequent visitor, which may tell you something. Uebelhack (weiglathal) has it's beer brewed elsewhere and they lager it (I understand). 

Re Zoigl: you will not be able to get any Zoigl from families whose stub'n aren't open at that time. They really only brew enough for their pub and as far as I know don't sell barrels or bottles to the public. You can take a syphon and they'll gladly fill it (when open). To be honest, zoigl bier is very much an enigma - it can be very good, but often average, the quality certainly lifted by the experience of the stub'n and their various characters. But the beer doesn't benefit from being taken away, I've done it a few times and it really dies after a few hours in a bottle. This goes for most breweries, just focus on enjoying the experience as a whole; the beers in isolation aren't going to amaze (aside from a few) but the experience as a whole is what elevates them. 

         10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-27 05:54:39

Sorry to contradict but I think that some Zoigl stub'e owners might oblige, if possible, in filling a container with Zoigl but you will have to fit in with them.

However, I totally agree with Jason that it really isn't worthwhile.  Jason's recent experience was with a really excellent Zoigl - at the Zoiglstub'n - but which was pretty dead when he tried it a few days later.  OTOH, a friend of mine reasonably regularly takes Zoigl back with him to the Erzgebirge and says that it is ok for a few days.  It's your choice but I agree with Jason, just go and enjoy what's on offer.  It's tricky because you can only catch 2 or 3 places in one weekend visit, which is what led us into going for long periods - 4 - 8 weeks!

           10 days itinerary (Franken, Oberpfalz, Plsen) by  JP on  2018-11-27 15:26:53

Wonderful, this is far more information than necessary to have a good time! The guidance regarding BA was exactly what I was after, thanks.

I'm not looking for anything craft-related, rather the opposite. And I'm hopeful that the variety of breweries and their beers are infusing a locality and lens absent in other current brewing communities.

Will write you an email in the coming days, Jason! Looking forward to meet at the Zehender Anstich.
Also if anyone else would be up to share a beer let me know. I'll share a more up-to-date itinerary in the coming week.

 I am in Bamberg! by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-20 08:06:06

   I am in Bamberg! by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-20 08:08:56

I arrived by train at 3 pm, settled into my room, bought a Mobi Card for the week, and then went to Spezial for my first beer at 4:45 pm.  Great to be back!!

     Spezial Bockbier by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-20 09:14:07

The Spezial Bockbier has a hint of cocoa from the malt. Smooth and süffig. It has been many years since I had their Bock.

       Spezial Bockbier by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-20 09:59:49

Great Jim, sorry to have missed you.  Enjoy yourself (as if you won't!).

     Pizzini by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-20 14:51:15

when the hell did Pizzini get taken over by only 20-25 year old customers?

       Pizzini by  Jason on  2018-11-20 23:16:38

Oh yeah that happened around 2 years ago, when old Wally passed away. For me it’s kinda ruined, not so much the younger crowd but the incessant live music nights almost everyday. 

It used to be a haven of quiet conversation late on a weekend night but now it’s just like any other venue. Shame, but it certainly remains popular so not everyone feels the same. Personally I just want some balance, nowt wrong with music, just not 4/6 nights a week. 

 St Georgen, Buttenheim by  FredW on  2018-11-16 16:09:29

Somebody just brought to my attention that both Google Maps and Trip Advisor show the Gastätte as permenently closed. Still looks like it is open on their Facebook page but their website doesn't  doesn't mention the Gastätte, just the Keller.

Did I miss something in one of my drunken stupors smiley

   St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-11-17 04:09:06

For another beer tourist who organises beer tours I have called end of October the brewery. They said, the Gaststätte is closed temporarily. They are looking for a tenant,

     St Georgen, Buttenheim by  pivnizub on  2018-11-17 08:42:59

The Gaststätte is closed since this year's spring, during summer their beautiful Keller (a Keller with a view...;-)) was still open. Better try to catch a beer at the gorgeous Löwenbräu! But it could become difficult, the place is nearly always "sold out"...

       St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason on  2018-11-17 10:09:29

I play football in gunzendorf. I don't want to see any brewery or pub close. But I drink a lot of loewenbrau in the pub in gunzendorf and a lot of st Georgen in the Sport heim. Loewenbraeu is frankly terrible. St G helles is fine but the U is worse. 

Both breweries are very poor. 

         St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Barry on  2018-11-17 12:50:15

Sad and surprised about Loewen, I drank a fair bit of it when we stayed in Buttenheim and liked it. It was also good in the Keller, whereas St Georgen was bad everywhere!

           St Georgen, Buttenheim by  pivnizub on  2018-11-17 15:39:52

De gustibus non est disputandum! ;-) I Think there is a big difference between the Loewenbräu beers served anywhere and served right at the source. Worth a try! Try it...!

             St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason  on  2018-11-19 01:48:04

It has been a while since I visited the brewery. But the beers I've had recently were served direct from the barrel - sure that's not a sure sign of freshness but it negates the possibility of dirty lines being an issue. I saw the beer being poured at the Kaerwa and it didn't look great to be honest. 

Loewenbraeu used to be one of my favourites some years' ago. 

               St Georgen, Buttenheim by  TomM on  2018-11-19 12:12:38

Interesting. It makes me wonder what the faults are with the beers from these two breweries. Diacetyl? DMS? Unbalanced? Bland? Astringent? Freshness problems. All of the above? Something else?

                 St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Barm on  2018-11-19 13:21:24

I think Jason is just spoilt for choice.

                   St Georgen, Buttenheim by  TomM on  2018-11-19 16:07:02

To be clear, I am not questioning anyone's opinion. I am just interested in how the opinion was arrived at.

A beer enthusiast living in Franken is a great resource.

                     St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason  on  2018-11-20 06:42:15

In respnse to the 'spoilt for choice' comment, I could quite easily say that those that visit Franken a few times of year put on their rose tinted glasses and, in holiday mode, can be very easily satisfied by frankly inferior products. And as a former 'tourist', I know exactly what it's like - maybe my memories of Loewnebraue are just that. Drinking beer regularly gives you a more balanced viewpoint and the most consistent breweries stand out like a sore thumb, good or bad. Plus I'm not looking for a great beer everytime - just one that ticks the basic boxes. Anything better is great, but not every beer needs to be a masterpiece. 

Tom - I really don't want to overcomplicate this, partly because I'm not an expert in beer faults, I just know what's good and what isn't. I have had a number of Loewenbraue beers from the barrel these past months and they just tasted lifeless, lacking in flavour and a bit like wet cardboard (oxidation). Not Diacytel - might actually make it taste of something. The biggest compliement would be: tastless. Now I may have had a second, so it's not necessarily bad, just 'meh'. This is almost worse, because clearly there is little enthusiasm for flavour somewhere. 

I will caveat again that I haven't drunk it fresh at the brewery - i will make a point to stop off soon and report back. I'm not optimistic though. 

St Georgen Brau used to be quite good too, but the U is most certainly a mess these days. We have the Helles at football and it's ok. 

For balance, tonight I will be making my usual Tuesday trip to Doerfleins, where, as usual the beer will be fantastic. 


                       St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-20 10:08:50

It's really hard to judge beers on an occasional visit, as you say.  I enjoyed Loewenbraue when I stayed in Buttenheim for a couple of weeks, both in the Keller and the Stube.  But I don't think it was great, just enjoyable on the occasion.  Certainly not a patch on Eichorn, where the Dunkel is adorable - too adorable!

St Georgen doesn't bare thinking about.  On my last visit to the Keller with Andrew, it was bad enough for us to throw away.  A rare sight with parsimonious pensioners!  Mind you, the Helles in Drosendorf was as bad but I struggled through it under the eyes of the owner!

                         St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason on  2018-11-20 11:05:31

And yet my last visit to Göller found the beer to be fine. Nothing special but certainly passable. 

Thats another point; even living here there will always be unexplained inconsistencies. 

                       St Georgen, Buttenheim by  TomM on  2018-11-21 04:07:37

Thanks for the reply, Jason. Sort of sounds like old stock or too much oxygen uptake before/during kegging.

When I went to Franken for the first time I really enjoyed the beers and brauereigaststätte so much so that I wanted to come back as often as I could. On the other hand, I was often surprised at the quality of some of the beer I was served. Some beers, often labeled Hell(es), had little more character than you would find in a typical mass-produced lager as found in the US or the UK. Other beers were downright foul tasting, exhibiting signs of rampant infection. It was really a bit hit and miss, maybe more than you would expect condsidering the reputation of Bayern beers

I haven't been back in so long now that I wouldn't hazard an opinion on indivual breweries. Was hoping to go this autumn but employment and health difficulties have got in the way. Maybe 2019...

                       St Georgen, Buttenheim by  AndyH on  2018-12-04 06:04:19

Doerfleins was the standout beer of my last visit to Franken.

So was the food, the menu said, "Heute Schauferla!"

               St Georgen, Buttenheim by  pivnizub on  2018-11-19 22:44:15

Löwenbräu is still one of my favourites, but maybe it tastes better at the source, because the pub is just great. I have to admit, that Lieberth and Witzgall are surely better, IMHO the best beers You can get in Franconia...

                 St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason  on  2018-11-20 06:51:11

Witzgall is very good, wouldn't disagree with that. But there are better, to my taste, niether would be in my top 10, not that it is important to anyone else but me. 

Interesting point: I drink a lot of Moenchsambacher in Rotenschild in Bamberg, served BA. It's never as good as in the brewery, and it's not just the atmosphere. Beer is always better at source, it's not meant to be put in a lorry and driven around etc etc. 

                   St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-20 10:10:22

I think I remember drinking the Moenchsambacher in Rotenschild recently - vaguely.  It was ok, good enough to inspire an argument about basketball!

                     St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Jason on  2018-11-20 11:12:24

Yeah it was a bit oxidized on your visit. Still, perfectly enjoyable. 

Ps. It was a discussion

                       St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Mark Andersen on  2018-11-20 11:35:06

Let me guess .... Barry is against Basketball?

Anyhow, everytime I've had Moenchsambacher at Rotenschild it's been excellent and yes even better at the brewery.  Although maybe better just because the place is fantastic.

                         St Georgen, Buttenheim by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-20 12:09:33

Not against basketball, just don't particularly like to watch it - probably better to play - if you're seven feet tall!  But, like with beer, there's room for all shapes and sizes.

And I do recall that the Moenchsambacher was pretty decent; it's just that it followed a lot of others.

 Fred by  TreinJan on  2018-11-14 03:19:31

It's Fred's birthday today, so here goes: Happy/hoppy birthday to you!

   Fred by  Barm on  2018-11-14 04:21:35

Happy birthday. I am honoured to have shared beers with Fred in three different cities, here’s to the next time, whenever it is.

     Fred by  pivnizub on  2018-11-14 13:43:24

Glad to have met You this year in Duesseldorf with a Sticke... Congrats!!!

       Meeting by  FredW on  2018-11-14 15:07:33

It was great to finally meet you in person after all these years.

I hope next time we have more time so you can educate me on Czech beer...

   Thanks by  FredW on  2018-11-14 20:22:26

Thanks the greeting and I hope to be sharing beers with you again soon (and Jan, I will be in Amsterdam for a week next month, plus the Kerstbierfest in Essen)

     Thanks by  TreinJan on  2018-11-15 00:18:24

Will be in Essen on the sunday. When are you in A'dam?

       Thanks by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-15 02:27:07

Did it on facebook already, do it again here: Happy Birthday, Fred

         Thanks by  FredW on  2018-11-15 20:16:42

Thanks twice smiley

       Thanks by  FredW on  2018-11-15 20:16:25

I'll be in A'dam Dec 4-11, then I head to Antwerp. I'll be both days at Essen (just finished iPhone and Android apps for the festival)

 Off to Franken by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-05 01:06:45

Just eating my breakfast porridge, then off to Franken for a week!

Not been in the autumn/winter for many years but the forecast is for a heatwave - well, a mild spell.

   Off to Franken by  Johnratcliffe on  2018-11-05 15:10:03

Enjoy, Barry, the beer is definitely better than Bangkok!

     Off to Franken by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-11-05 21:10:57

Sorry we will miss each other in Germany.  Have fun! 

   Off to Franken by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-06 01:06:10

When will you leave, Barry? Hope to get the opportunity to meet you - maybe for a Seidla or two at Neuhaus/Pegnitz?

     Off to Franken by  Barry on  2018-11-06 08:00:58

Hi juergen here now, just enjoyed a Seidla or two with Frank in Schlenkerla. I go back next Monday, until then, free as a bird, more or less. Maybe we could meet en route to Neuhaus?

       Off to Franken by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-11-06 23:59:58

That's going to be difficult. I'm on an outdoor camp in the Steigerwald with my kids until Friday, then fully booked out for the weekend. Monday would be okay, but that's your leaving day.

         Off to Franken by  Barry on  2018-11-07 02:47:24

That's no problem, I'll be here in the spring (if not before!), So we can work something out then. Enjoy your camping - you have good weather.

           Off to Franken by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-13 02:06:46

So, back from Franken - kitchen renovation still ongoing, house still a building site!

A very nice week, thanks Frank (even though you're probably not reading this!) for being a good host and Jason for being a good companion for so much of the time.  I'm still recovering - haven't not yet learned that I can't drink toe to toe with younger people nowadays!

Hard to know what to say, as I can't think of anything adventurous or different done during the week.  No, just the same boring trips around the same old beautiful places, including Markendorf (couple of times, sorry about the football result, Jason), Dorfleins (the Dunkel was so more-ish) and, of course, Forcheim (what trip to Franken could possible leave out Neder!).  I did venture into Mahrs for first time for maybe four years,  Same old lovely Schwemme but the U just a pale carbonated version of its former self.  Ditto visit to Klosterbraue - what is there not to like about this place: a proper Schwemme (even with seats, Mahrs take note), very pleasant inside but, oh, I forgot the Braunbier.  At first so fizzy that I was burping after three mouthfuls, then, after leaving for a time and a bit of swirling around, flat, flat, flat, and as bland and sweet as can be.  Probably another four years (if ever) I return to either.

What else, well I learned a bit more about Schafkopf - actually enough to persuade me never to get into a game where there's money involved (more thanks to JW) - drank a lot more than I should have but had a thoroughly good time and met some lovely people.  What more can you ask?


             Off to Franken by  Jason  on  2018-11-13 05:45:51

Nice report Barry, if it makes you feel any better, I am also still recovering. Sunday sessions are a very nice way to spend the day but they are not the best preparation for the working week. 


               Off to Franken by  Barry Taylor on  2018-11-13 07:10:02

It was an interesting day.  And also not the best preparation for my 11-hour cycle of walking, waiting, trains and planes.  But we both made it - somehow.

 Guided brewery tours through the tavern culture of Bambergs surrounding region by  Bierbus on  2018-10-30 06:48:56

Hey beer lovers,

my name is Daniel, I'm 35 years old, born in Bamberg and I'm an absolute franconian beer fanatic and I've just founded my beer bus tours company.
We offer an unforgettable view into the world-famous highest concentration of breweries of Bambergs region.
You will book a full service package - pick up and drop off service within the region of Bamberg - lunch and six different beers are included - minitasting during the ride - inside view of a brewery.
Individual arrangement can be made (other breweries than proposed), we can also arrange accomodations (with lead time).
The tours are available only on saturday and sunday due to the opening hours of the breweries. The minimum booking is 5 people up to 8.
For details visit my page

and leave like on facebook

I hope to see you soon on a ride through Bambergs beer culture!


Daniel Stenglein

   Guided brewery tours through the tavern culture of Bambergs surrounding region by  Jason  on  2018-10-31 01:23:08

Sers Daniel, 

I would recommend also posting something on Beer Advocate, there are lots of people on there and generally quite a bit of discussion regarding Franconia. 

Ich wohne auch in Bamberg, ursprünglich aus dem Vereinigten Königreich. Wenn ich dir helfen kann, mit Leute die der Bus buchen wollen, sag ich dir Bescheid.


     Guided brewery tours through the tavern culture of Bambergs surrounding region by  Bierbus on  2018-11-05 00:40:08

Hey Jason,

that's nice, thank you!

How can I contact you? Are you on facebook?



       Guided brewery tours through the tavern culture of Bambergs surrounding region by  Jason  on  2018-11-05 02:28:48

Yes, I'm on Facebook... Jason Watts, I should be easy to find.  

 Coming Back to Bamberg in November by  Uncle Jimbo on  2018-10-27 13:08:23

It has been too long since my last visit, so I am coming back to Bamberg in November (US Thanksgiving week).  I look forward to drinking a lot of Bockbier, and maybe visiting at least 1 Bockbieranstich (Greifenklau).



   Coming Back to Bamberg in November by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-28 03:54:42

Ah, that's a shame; I had to look up US-Thanksgiving snd found out that it's a fortnight after I leave.

Next time.

   Coming Back to Bamberg in November by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-28 14:29:51


 OT very: Bangkok by  Barry on  2018-10-22 05:19:45

May be in Bangkok in December, anybody know anything about beer there?

   OT very: Bangkok by  Jason  on  2018-10-22 07:35:24

You're not 'doing a Nick are you' and going off the rails Barry?!?

There's a Mikkeller bar there... I found Flensburg on Koh Samui and it was like nectar after 5 weeks of East Asian pils style beer. 

Go with no expectations and you won't be disappointed. 

   OT very: Bangkok by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-23 04:48:52

What on earth has you travelling all the way to Bangkok in December?  Just curious.  

     OT very: Bangkok by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-23 08:52:49

We call them "Schwanznutten". ;-)

       OT very: Bangkok by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-23 09:06:46

Too funny Juergen.  I'm going to be laughing all day now.

       OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-24 13:06:37

Very funny!  Um .... But, not in this case, see below.

   OT very: Bangkok by  DonS on  2018-10-23 11:04:44

Barry, email me. Rather than clutter this space up with an OT discussion, you could ask someone who's actually been to Bangkok relatively recently.

     OT very: Bangkok by  Johnratcliffe on  2018-10-23 12:47:06

       OT very: Bangkok by  Johnratcliffe on  2018-10-23 12:50:19

Sorry firing blanks. Barry, my wife and I go to Thailand every couple of yearsso I know Bangkok reasonably well. Email me on johnratcliffe 'at' if you have any specific questions or just a general query about beer in Thailand. Happy to help,

     OT very: Bangkok by  Jason on  2018-10-24 04:16:07

Barry: other people who know about beer and have also ‘actually’ been to Bangkok are available. 

       OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-24 13:14:03

Ok, in response to my 'friend' Juergen, a totally innocent potential visit but it's not going to happen now.  It's a bit complicated but I'm having delapidated kitchen renovated so I thought that I'd get out of the way and decided to visit my sister in Aussie.  But, as I didn't want to fly non-stop, and didn't fancy Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, UAE, etc., thought Thailand might be nice.

However, as I'm awaiting a final hospital diagnosis, I can't get get travel insurance, so I ain't going nowhere, including Aussie.   I'm writing this sitting in the wreckage of my house - consolation, 4 pints of nice Moose Snowdonia and quite a good meal in the Jalsa, Conwy.

Don, I so appreciate the opinions of my friends on this Forum (but only on beer), that I always float questions here first.  It's a Stammtisch and, on the Stammtisch, the conversation flows freely!

         OT very: Bangkok by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-24 13:21:28

Well IMO it's not so busy here on the forum that we can't have the occasional OT beer related conversation.  Hope your doing okay Barry and your diagnosis on whatever it is is not bad and good luck with the kitchen headache.  You just may have to spend a lot more time in the Albion and Red Lion until it's done.

           OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-25 09:22:10

Exactly.  Because of the free exchange of information, a number of contributors have got to know each other over the years (not an exclusive group, open to anyone!) and this has led to many enjoyable meetings.  As Isay, I value the opinion of my esteemed forum colleagues, so often float OT ideas here - why not, anyone can?

Kitchen is a headache and, as a matter of fact, I'm seeing if I can find somewhere to stay in Bamberg next week (at a reasonable cost for a penurious oap) to escape the banging and crashing and lack of amenities!

Don't worry about the diagnosis but thank you, I'm not too concerned.  Incidentally, I had a really nice Indian (well, Bangladeshi, like most so-called Indian restaurants in UK) in Conwy last night.  Excellent veg Madras and interesting conversation with the waiter/part owner.

             OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-25 09:56:28

I think that it was John R who recomended a nice Fewo somewhere close to Abseits?  I've only gone and lost the address - again - can you help?

               OT very: Bangkok by  Gavin  on  2018-10-25 15:07:04

Here you go Barry,

                 OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-25 15:21:52

Thanks, Gavin, much appreciated.  Unfortunately, already booked next week - not surprising!

                   OT very: Bangkok by  Gavin  on  2018-10-25 15:48:03

Shame , Sunday till Thursday is available but not the full week

                     OT very: Bangkok by  Jason on  2018-10-25 23:30:47

Next week there is a holiday Barry, on Thursday, which means most people (like me) will take the Friday too. I imagine getting a place in the city will be impossible. 

My parents really enjoyed staying in rattelsdorf. Could help you with an enquiry if you wish. 

                       OT very: Bangkok by  Johnratcliffe on  2018-10-26 00:55:08

I think I mentioned that a good few airbnb plaves are out near the Abseits, Barry, not aware of a specific place. Our fewo is behind the Fassla, but 2 bedrooms, so not really suitable for you. Theres always Bangkok!!

             OT very: Bangkok by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-25 11:19:51

Escaping to Bamberg while the kitchen is remodeled.  Brilliant!  Why didn't I think of that when mine was being done?  There must be some other home improvement project I can initiate though.

               OT very: Bangkok by  Jason on  2018-10-25 23:31:55

Sod it, just knock down the house and start again! 

                 OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-26 02:56:25

Unfortunately, it would take the rest of the street with it!

Thanks everybody for help and suggestions.  Now working on several alternative plans.

                   OT very: Bangkok by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-27 02:22:38

So, alternative plan A+ in action - off to Bamberg from Nov 5 to 12, staying at Franks, while kitchen man tiles floor, walls, etc., etc.

I wonder if there's any Bockbier left anywhere or did Fred, Don and the 'Warriors' finish it all?  I'm not too fussed anyway, 'tis a bit strong for little old me.  I'm sure Frank will know.

                     OT very: Bangkok by  Jason on  2018-10-27 02:49:22

Plenty of bockbier barry. You will be here for Spezial’s bockbier anstich! And Hummel, Kraus and Spezi Keller! A veritable feast. c. 80% of the bocks in the countryside will have been tapped by then. 

 The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jason on  2018-10-22 01:03:07

... they now get their beer from Püls Bräu. I have no further info but 

One plus, Brauerei Schneider in Weißenburg is now brewing again. 

   The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-22 01:15:50

Very sad. The Wichert Dunkel was outstanding! But good news about Schneider - as long as I knew it, it was great beer and atmosphere!

     The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Barry on  2018-10-22 05:16:06

Oh no, it's getting worse and worse. Wichert was really nice. Who are Puls, any good?

       The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jason  on  2018-10-22 07:38:10

Puls Brau is in Weisman, south of Burgkunstadt. Never really drunk it, it's probably comparable to Kitzmann; fine but boring. Or maybe i'm being generous. 

         The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  M. Berger on  2018-10-22 08:09:22

Unless the social culture in Bavaria changes, I'm afraid we can expect more closings or unwanted changes. And I'm not too optimisitic about the social culture changing.

           The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jason  on  2018-10-22 08:25:47

In many ways it's less about the culture of Franconia and more about existential influences. Legislation, changing society, the growth of cities, health awareness, lifestyle choices, technology, globalisation etc etc. And I'm not casting judgement on those examples. 

It's the social culture of Franconia that has preserved many of these breweries for so long - like nowhere else in the world.

The question is not why so many are closing; but how so many have lasted so long. 

             The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  M. Berger on  2018-10-22 09:25:44

Sorry, but I disagree and your last sentence is evidence of why you are wrong. The social culture I was referring to was the reluctance of children to take over the pub when their parents decide to retire. The pubs lasted so long because, until recently, the children followed their parents.

I'm not saying that there are no other factors causing the closings. But the children is, in my view, the big one. We had a similar case here in Amsterdam and the parents put the pub up for sale rather than just closing.


               The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jason on  2018-10-22 09:46:26

Wrong? Why does someone have to be wrong? Why can’t you disagree and leave it at that? It’s kindergarten stuff. 

The following generation often pass up the family business because of the factors I mentioned (AS EXAMPLES): globalization and the opportunities in cities. Do they decide to take up farming or rearing livestock? No. They go to study or travel and go to live elsewhere - because they have a choice. Villages are slowly dying all over Westen Europe. Social culture doesn’t derive from children all of a sudden just having no appetite for family business, that’s the result, and it’s caused by factors influencing the global western society - nothing to do with Bavaria or Franconia uniquely. 

The son of one brewery here is a brewer, and he won’t take over his fathers brewery because he prefers working at Kaiser Brau in Neuhaus where he has fixed working hours. Lifestyle CHOICE. 50 years ago that wouldn’t have been a choice. 

                 The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  M. Berger on  2018-10-22 10:42:19

Look, I said I diagreed with you, so obviously one of us is wrong. Sure, kids today certainly have more choices than our parents did. And yes, that's probably why they look elsewhere for a career. When choices are more limited, following your father or mother into a career must be a pretty easy choice.
Although it's got nothing to do with brewing or beer, Hitler's father wanted Adolf to follow in his footsteps. Hitler didn't and we all know how badly that turned out. Yes, a rather extreme example. I've got two kids who are both in their twenties and both have chosen a profession different from mine. OTOH, they are both doing quite well in their chosen profession, so I can't really complain.

                   The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  Jason  on  2018-10-22 10:54:20

You are free to disagree, but that remains your opinion, as it was mine. Saying someone is wrong, unless it is a tangible 'fact', is very different and unnecessary. It's just general etiqutte, which should apply to forums as well as in person. 

Anyway, moving on, I'm not sure your examples bring anything to the discussion, aside from agreeing with me, so I don't have anything more to add. 

                   The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  TomM on  2018-10-22 11:43:57

"Hitler's father wanted Adolf to follow in his footsteps. Hitler didn't and we all know how badly that turned out."

Wow, didn't expect Godwin's Law to be rearing its ugly head in a forum about German beer.

                     The rot continues... Brauerei Wichert no longer brewing  by  M. Berger on  2018-10-23 02:42:29

I see you left out the preface to the sentence: "Although it's got nothing to do with brewing or beer..."

As it happens, I know about Hitler's early life and I know that his father often beat the young Hitler because both father and son were strong-willed and both had different ideas about what young Hitler should become later in life.

When surnames were given out in the medieval time, many of these surnames described a profession, such as Müller (miller),  Schmidt (blacksmith), Schneider (tailor) Schulz (guard), Metzger (butcher), Bauer, (farmer), Zimmerman (carpenter),etc. While these names described the profession of the father, it was conventional at the time that the children would carry on the father's profession. Hitler's story is an example of that tradition. Other surnames included a place, such as Frankfurter, Berliner, Koelner, etc. since people at that time did not move around as much as we do today.

When the Bierbraurechten (brewing licenses) were given out in the early middle ages,  they were given to buildings, not to people. Why? Because the people would die and the recht would die with them. Buildings, OTOH, could last and do last for centuries, which would mean long-term availability of beer. Of course, that assumed (correctly for many centuries) that the family of the father would carry on brewing or that the house might be sold in the future to a family that would be interested in the profession.

I once found a real estate company in Germany, that let you search for homes that included a Bierbraurecht - meaning, you could buy the house and without any further administrative permission,  begin brewing.

 No trains between Bamberg and Forchheim 20th–27th October by  Barm on  2018-10-19 03:47:34

From this Saturday the line between BA and FO is closed while they work on it to expand it to four tracks.
Replacement buses will be running but do check the DB site before travelling and plan for longer journey times. The four tracks will be used when the new timetable starts on 9 December.;art216,3777747

 Endres / Goldenen Adler by  moleha4 on  2018-10-19 02:12:54

I recollect that when I first tried to visit this place mid October 2014, that they were having their 2 week long Betriebsurlaub, so I am guessing that this is why it was found to be closed earlier this week. 

 Brauerei Endres by  David Greenlee on  2018-10-18 07:14:57

Does anyone know if Brauerei Endres, Rattelsdorf is still brewing. If so, is it worth a visit?

   Brauerei Endres by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-18 08:40:13

They were as of last July and I thought the beer was very good as it has been in past visits.  I think it is well worth a visit.  However, Jason can probably chime on a more recent experience as I recall he found the beer not very good recently.  Still I'd give it a visit considering there are also other places nearby that you can visit such as Ebing and also if you don't mind a walk up over a hillside there is Reckendorf.

When it's in good form it's one of my favorite beers (and luckily it's always been in good form when I have visited - at least I never tasted anything wrong) and it's a really nice place and village to drink in.

     Brauerei Endres by  TomM on  2018-10-18 08:44:45

There's a five-star review on Google from just a week ago on both the food and beer.

Phone # is +49 9547 264.

       Brauerei Endres by  Mosquit on  2018-10-18 09:23:16

Have been there in the spring, opened as usual. I wouldnt comment the quality of beer, to not open flane war again :)

         Brauerei Endres by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-18 10:25:39

I think you should comment on the quality of the beer.  No flame war necessary.  I think the results in some of these small countryside breweries can and do vary.  While I have really liked the beer in my past visits I've also heard the occasional negative reports.  It's no surprise.

           Brauerei Endres by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-18 10:26:50

I think the bottom line is though, as it relates to this particular thread, is David should go and see for himself.  Worst case scenario is he doesn't like it and visits one of the other breweries nearby.

             Brauerei Endres by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-19 00:13:53

Still brewing and the beer is awesome. Sorry to sound too positive and non-critical for a "conoisseur".

               Brauerei Endres by  Barry on  2018-10-19 01:41:11

Bit confused at first because I always just think of Endres Rattelsdorf as just Goldenen Adler, Hoefen. Imho, what is there to dislike? Lovely dark beer (I've never had anything but excellent), good service, nice place. What more do you need? Food, no idea, couldn't care less, take my own to most places.

Juergen, great minds think alike! I've not often (ever?) found you wrong.

                 Brauerei Endres by  David Greenlee on  2018-10-19 01:52:54

Thanks to all who replied. I was asking on behalf of a friend who visited yesterday around 17:00 only to find the place closed. He did get to speak with some locals who seemed to think that the beer was being brewed on the premises but that's ony hearsay. I'll have to drop in next time I'm in the area

                   Brauerei Endres by  Jason on  2018-10-21 03:49:58

The beer is brewed there. They had Kerwa a few weeks nach which is why they are closed. I visited the week before Kerwa and the beer was poor, full of butter. This is an anomaly though, it’s normally good, though nothing special to my mind. 

Kerwa in snall villages can often lead to shorter lagering time as they try to produce more beer. A couple of corrections: the pub is called Goldemer Adler, the family name is endres, the village is Höfen and the beer is golden not dark. 

                 Brauerei Endres by  Barm on  2018-10-19 03:37:05

Are you a Brotzeit devotee Barry? It is one of my favourite things about the pub culture in Oberfranken.

                   Brauerei Endres by  Barry on  2018-10-19 16:12:33

Not specially, basically, I go to pubs to drink beer. Food, I can eat at home. Btw I'm a vegetarian, so franken/Bayern/German food not especially appealing. Strangely, the best pub for veggie food in Bamberg is one of the most traditional. Anyone guess (or could care less)?

                     Brauerei Endres by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 03:13:37

I'd be interested to know as I have a veggie in my group visiting next autumn.

 Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Jason on  2018-10-15 04:36:13

So i was in Griess on Saturday and it was confirmed that Krug is closed until further notice due to illness. It’s thought to be serious. 

Sad on many levels. Let’s hope the situation improves, regardless of whether the brewery opens again or not. 

   Brauerei Krug - Update  by  David Greenlee on  2018-10-18 07:11:24

Agreed, thanks for the update Jason

     Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-18 08:43:59

It is a bummer about Krug.  Personally I like it better than Griess and I really like the pub and the beer garden.  Nice atmosphere, good beer, etc.   It's a bummer.

       Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Jeff Romain on  2018-10-19 09:20:22

Totally agree, Mark. My heart really sank when I learned of this. I always enjoyed staying in Geisfeld. While I enjoy the beers just fine at Griess (esp. the Pils, which I believe has been discontinued, sadly), the barrel pours at Krug always seemed to have a lot of soul, and the brewpub felt cozy. I found the Lager to be a terrifically balanced and clean beer with a nice Spalter hop signature. Did you ever try their Rauchbier or Helles Lagerbier, by chance?  

         Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Barry on  2018-10-19 16:15:06

Agreed. What's the one with 'sheep' in it's name?

           Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Jason on  2018-10-21 14:18:00

Schwarzer Schaf i think. They did periodical specials. 

I was with Frank and Robert today and the brewery is highly unlikely to reopen. 

             Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Barry on  2018-10-22 05:20:48

That's it. Very nice. Real shame.

         Brauerei Krug - Update  by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-21 16:40:18

No I never did try their Rauchbier or Helles.  

 Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Jason on  2018-10-12 18:54:31

more details to follow, or not. 

   Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Barry on  2018-10-13 02:11:19

I really hope not, as i like Krug a lot.

     Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Jason  on  2018-10-13 02:58:51

There is no question that it's closed Barry, the question was whether more details will follow. I heard it from a friend and Fred confirmed he's heard something similar. I have sent a text to Robert for final confirmation. 

Kitzmann was nothing compared to this one, a real gem of a pub. Admittedly I wasn't a frequent visitor but i always enjoyed it when I did. I guess a small village with 2 breweries and a keller (plus at least one other pub I can remember) can't sustain all. But then I'm speculating. 

       Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Barry on  2018-10-14 01:45:06

Strange really - many members of this forum preferred Griess to Krug but, the few times that I was in Geisfeld, Krug was always more populated. Nice place, nice beer but rather odd opening times, if I remember correctly?

         Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-15 00:33:01

That's very sad news and I can't quite believe it. It used to be a very popular place amongst the villagers and the beer enthusiasts. 

           Krug, Geisfeld closes by  David Greenlee on  2018-10-15 03:23:49

Great shame, I always enjoyed my visits to Krug. Liked the beer and the Brotzeit and that thing that has all but disappeared in Bamberg...a warm welcome. There's no justice.

       Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Barm on  2018-10-15 03:12:12

You might well prefer Krug beer to Kitzmann beer (I think I probably would too) but it is wrong to counterpose Kitzmann as “nothing” in comparison. They are both aspects of the same sad phenomenon.

I think it’s very sad when a larger town loses its "own" brewery, one that – and I think this is the distinguishing feature – supplied significant numbers of outlets beyond its own brewery tap, sponsored the local festivals or football team, and “prägt das Stadtbild” – in a way that cannot be compensated by a couple of guys setting up in their garage to brew IPAs.

I have always found it comforting to arrive in a town and see that the beer is different, but nonetheless ubiquitous, to see the Hofbräu signs on restaurants in Würzburg, Brauhaus signs in Schweinfurt and Kitzmann in Erlangen (and I am old enough to remember Hiernickel in Hassfurt and Werner in Poppenhausen too). It doesn’t really matter if I thought the beers were especially good, that's not the point. The average citizens of these places are now all drinking Kulmbacher instead (whether they realise it or not).


         Krug, Geisfeld closes by  barry on  2018-10-15 14:43:21

I'm not sure that I ever drank Kitzmann biers but I do agree wtih your general point.

           Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Mosquit on  2018-10-15 22:43:36

I have been in Kitzmann in summer, directly in their Gasthof. 
To be honest nothing special, I would say we were not impressed at all. 

Another surprise was the price, which was about 3,60€ for a Seidla of usual beer  (Pils / Helles / Kellerbier) and 3,90€ for specials... 

Anyway its pity, as it was supplier for many pubs in region. 

With Krug: I like it much more than Griess, so this was shocking news for me. Hopefully they could get back soon, if any. 

             Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Andrew H on  2018-10-17 09:16:48

I am sure mosquito that you approached the Brewer,and advised him regarding his mistakes in brewing. I feel sure he will be most grateful for you advice.and learn by his mistakes.

               Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Barry on  2018-10-17 11:06:50

Are you taking the p___ Andrew? Naughty boy.

                 Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-17 13:02:06

It's professional jealousy perhaps.  I happen to know from personal experience that Andy is one of the toughest and most aggressive beer raters ever.  I think he feels threatened.

                   Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Jason  on  2018-10-18 03:31:22

To be fair to Mosquit, he (i presume he) never said there were any mistakes in the beer, merely that it was 'nothing special'. 

I side with Andy generally on the fact that so many people in the beer world talk so much about so many things they know next to nothing about. Like a lot of things these days, their opinion is based on things they read on the internet. Regurgitated ignorence. 

                     Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Mosquit on  2018-10-18 06:28:19

We (group of me + few brewers, some of them being certified beer judges) haven't detected any off-flavors in few samples of Kitzmann, to be fair. Just beer wasn't properly balanced as we would like to. In some beers, we had a feeling that too much hop extract was used, causing unpleasant bitterness. 

It simply ended as "OK, we have tested it, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't anyhow remarkable or exceptionally good, there is no reason to stop here next time". 

     Krug, Geisfeld closes by  Andrew H on  2018-10-17 09:11:32

Sorry chaps! Had lots going on recently. Will catch up when I get to a proper PC,not this bloody phone! Seems like there is a heluva lot going on.

 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barm on  2018-09-28 12:59:50

Shock closure of Kitzmann brewery in Erlangen – brewing ceases as of this Sunday, 30th September.

Brands and distribution agreements are being taken over by Kulmbacher. The 35 Kitzmann staff have been made redundant.

   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  TomM on  2018-09-28 14:33:35

Disturbing news, whatever you think about Kitzmann beer.

I have had no inkling of a problem with the brewery. Any others closer to Erlangen?

     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barry Taylor on  2018-09-29 09:21:04

Closure connected with Nick's defection?

       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Doug on  2018-09-30 17:10:49

I agree with Barry.  Nick, give us a shout out

         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  FredW on  2018-09-30 17:53:36

I'm not sure Nick is active online so much any more...

There was a court date on this earlier this year but I haven't heard anything about it. His facebook page has been inactive since then.

           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-01 03:40:58

My comment was a bit flippant, Doug; as Fred says, Nick's life has taken a wholly unexpected turn, far away from Erlangen.  We used to correspond regularly but I also haven't heard from him since the unfortunate incident, subject of the news story.

             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-01 04:22:49

He still has an active twitter account that he uses primarily to preach about carnivory.  But it does appear he has made his 10k bail as he is on the loose in Vegas. 

               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  TomM on  2018-10-01 14:42:46

This thread took a weird turn. Even weirder than usual.

           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Doug on  2018-10-01 16:44:19

Fred, thanks for the update.  Never met Nick but did enjoy his inputs.  Really hope this situation works out favorable for Nick.

             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-02 03:02:48

According to various newspapers Herr Kitzmann says, his reasons for the closure were the ongoing decline of beer consumption and "personal reasons". 35 people lost their job. The brand was sold to Kulmbacher - so we all know what we can expect when ordering a Kitzmann in a few weeks... :-/

Won't comment on Nick's questionable career. 

               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-03 04:31:03

Is there an 'ongoing decline' in beer consumption in Franken?

You are the 'sole of discretion', Juergen!

Tom: don't conversations normally take weird turns? Lrt's face it, people are pretty weird! 

                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-04 00:41:31

                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barry on  2018-10-04 02:12:44

Interesting but two points:
1. As  I understand it, the graph shows consumption per head rather than total production and consumption. Does this mean that the same amount of beer is being consumed by more people or less beer being consumed by the same number of peope?
2. It suggests that beer consumption per head is at 1960s levels. Presumably, the population was less then and Germany was split in two! Does this graph cover both east and west?

                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-05 02:01:55

Here is a chart with the number of working breweries per state in Germany from 1995 to 2017. By this time, German reunification had occurred.

Whereas almost all states saw an increase in the number of breweries, Bavaria lost 84. FWIW, Bavaria is the second most populous state in Germany. It is mostly rural.

                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barry Taylor on  2018-10-05 04:41:36

Um ... interesting figures but not quite answering my questions.

Someone else will have to calculate the minutiae; i.e. number of breweries per head of population, beer produced per brewery, etc., but what is obvious, of course, is that the number of breweries in Bayern is and was far greater than anywhere else by a big margin.  But, why did Nord Rhein-Westfalen (the biggest Laender) have, apparently, so few - after all, beer drinking is hardly uncommon there?  Why does Baden-Wuerttemburg (nearly as populous as Bayern, quite rura and which includes a slice of Franconia) have far less breweries than Bayern?  Incidentally, what is the proportion of breweries in Frankische B-W compared to the rest of the Laender?  Does Bayern have so many breweries because it is rural (transport problems, isolated communities, etc.)?

Another interesting thing is that, with the exception of Thueringen, every Laender has increased the number of its breweries?  Are they all aspiring to be Bayern?  More and more questions spring to mind, for example, the influence (if any) of religion: Bayern is by far the most Catholic Laender and has the most breweries.  If we combine the populations of the three most Protestant states (Hessen, Bremen, Nieder-Sachsen), the figure is only a couple of million less than Bayern but, between them, they have only a third of the breweries but nearly doubling between 1995 and 2017. Interesting.

I have no idea if anyone else is interested in this kind of thing.  You might guess that it's a slow morning, raining outside and I'm fairly stiff from yesterday's golf.  Thanks for providing the diversion, Herr Berger! 

                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Barm on  2018-10-05 05:01:32

Nordrhein-Westfalen is also the part of Germany that is most industrial, so much so that it is iconic. Krupp, Thyssen, the miners of Dortmund and Bochum. Brewing there therefore also became industrialised, so there were/are a fairly small number of large breweries producing a huge amount of beer. Dortmund was the biggest beer producing city in Germany at its height.

Baden-Württemberg is in a similar position, dominated by strong regional breweries. And it is also a very significant wine producing state, which Bayern isn't.

Bayern is the exception, not the norm. We should be asking why Bayern still had so many breweries, not why other states have fewer.

                           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Doug on  2018-10-05 07:08:05

Maybe we should also ask why is Bayern losing so many breweries?  Are there issues beyond less consumption. 
Hope Barry enjoyed his golf game yesterday

                             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  barry on  2018-10-05 08:35:33

Absolutely but I think most of the reasons have been given - fall of demand in rural areas, changes of taste and, probably most significant, lack of successors.  Volunteers for a serious study required.

And, thanks for asking: it was my first venture onto a golf course since a year last November (or thereabouts) and I was pleased to find that I wasn't doing much worse than before. Not that that was anything special. But, after 9 holes, today, I feel a little bit stiff and muscles that I didn't know that I had are aching!

                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-06 10:59:39

Bavaria is geographically unique in Germany. In the south of Bavaria are the German Alps. And while there may be hills elsewhere in Germany, there are no other mountains. Thanks to the unusual geography, Bavaria had a primitive sort of refrigeration centuries before the rest of the country.

In addition to the mountains, there were also lakes and ponds. There were also stone caves. The Bavarians would wait until the lakes and ponds had frozen, then cut out large blocks of ice and bring them into the caves. They also planted leafy trees near the cave entrances to keep out sunlight. Barrels of beer were stored in these caves over the summer. Because of the danger of fire, brewing was not allowed during the summer months.

In the early middle ages Bavarian rulers were giving houses brewing rights so that townspeople would have beer to drink. These brewing rights were given as early as the 13th and 14th centuries.

Gradually communal brewing houses were set up. Mostly these were established in the homes of people with brewing rights. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of these communal breweries in Bavaria. Many of them were still active as late as 1990. Since then,however, many have closed. However, there are local beer enthusiasts who often try to renovate the closed brewery and bring it back into service. There is one in Junkersdorf that's been renovated. Here's a photo of the interior:
and here's a photo of the building:

One could perhaps say that for many centuries, the Bavarian people were rather spoiled. Most towns and villages had at least one brewery and part of the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot is that the beer should be of good quality.

At some point after 1990, commercial brewing replaced some of the communal breweries. While German beer is generally quite good, the commercial brewers  were perhaps abit of a disappointment after centuries of communal brewing. When I visited a Zoigl brewery in Mitterteich for the first time I was shocked at how full of customers it was.

Perhaps for older Bavarians who had grown used to the communal breweries, it was a bit disappointing to switch to a private commercial brewery. For younger Bavarians, I suspect they are the prime target of the new breweries making "craft" beer.

Some years ago, it was probably possible for a Bavarian to walk to his local communal brewery and buy a bottle of beer. Or there might be pubs in the village serving the communal brewed beer. Today that is rather rare.

Here is the abandoned communal brewery in Waischenfeld:

And here's a view of the remains inside the brewery:

I cannot say with dead certainty that the slow demise of communal brewing is the cause of commercial breweries closing in Bavaria. But it's as good a reason as any other. 

                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Doug on  2018-10-07 07:12:16

Very good rundown.  Personally I see valid reasoning.

                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  barry on  2018-10-08 04:58:06

In the past, I wrote extensively on the communal brewhouse tradition, particularly in the Oberpfalz and, particularly in Windischeschenbach ('Eschawo') and Neuhaus, where I have spent many months over the last 10 years. I have got to know all the Zoigl brewers and spent many, many hours in the brew houses. I'm also the author of the authorised English-language introduction to Zoigl on the 'Echter Zoigl' website (  I stopped writing so much about Zoigl because, as some people pointed out, this is a site about Frankische beer! Introduction over!

There are several aspects of Herr (?) Berger's summary that I can comment on: firstly, the question of geography. You don't don't need high mountains to provide the kind of storage that the long lagering of slow fermenting beer requires.  There are no high mountains around any of the five Zoigl towns in the Oberpfalz (maybe the Steinwald?) and, in fact, in the past, the people of Eschawo and Neuhaus actually dug cellers to store the beer in - I know, I've been in them. There are lakes and ponds all over Germany and the use of ice from such sources is not unique to Bavaria or even Germany - it even happened in Britain!  As I understand it, summer brewing was not practiced because of the problem of cooling the wort in hot periods using only a the Kühlschiff and had little or nothing to do with fire hazards. 

I don't think that it is true that the communal brew houses were set up just 'so that the townspeople would have beer to drink', it was much more to do with control and taxation. For example, Eschawo, with a population of less than one thousand in the 15th century, had three brewhouses becauses the town was ruled by three different authorities, each one taxing and controlling production in their 'own' brew house. Incidentally, 'Zoiglbraurecht' (the laws controlling brewing Zoigl beer) were established well before the Reinheitsgebot, which, AFAIK, had no influence in the Zoigl towns.

The reason for the decline in communal brewing was really due to changes in the social structure of the Zoigl towns.  In previous times, the house brewers essentially brewed for themselves and only invited the neighbours in towards the end of the life of a batch of Zoigl, in order that it should not be wasted. AFAIK, most or all of the current Zoiglstube in Eschawo and Neuhaus, are relatively modern inventions, possibly with the exception of Zum Roud'n which was a farm and, historically, brewed beer for their workers.  As industry developed in the small towns and villages and people became factory workers and not self-employed craftsmen, so they had little time for house brewing. I think that the commercial breweries, which had developed through the improvement in brewing techniques in the 19th century, gradually took the place of the communal brewers.

As regards the contention that 'the slow demise of comunal brewing is the cause of commercial breweries closing in Bavaria', I can see no justification for this claim.  On the contrary, it might be argued that the rise of commercial breweries was due to the decline in communal brewing.  I feel that the demise of the commercial village brewery is due to other social and economic developments - too much to discuss in this contribution!

                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-08 08:46:53

Barry, while Zoigl is communally brewed, not all communally brewed beer is Zoigl. In the part of Franconia where Sesslach is, there are about 20 towns which have working communal breweries and, as far as I know, none of them call their beer Zoigl.

Have you even been to Reindl in Neuhaus a.d, Pegnitz? For reasons that I certianly don't understand,  the gemeinde decided to sell a working communal brewery to one of your countrymen as a residence. According to a waitress at Reindl, there was a second communal brewery, but it had never been renovated back into working order. Once the working communal brewery closed, the three (or is it four?) families that counted on it to supply  them with beer all had to look for a new supplier. They eventually found one in another village several kilometers from Neuhaus. I went back to Reindl (one of my favourite old standbys) and ordered a beer. It was nothing like what the communal brewry had supplied them with and was not very good. Some months after this experience I read that Reindl had closed for good. I imagine the other families that were supplied by the local communal brewery had to do the same.

All the information I posted come from German books and other documents  I have collected over the years. Little to none of it is based, on personal experience or observations.

                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  barry on  2018-10-08 09:38:11

Hi, sorry don't know your first name to respond in a friendly fashion!

Yes, I know that it's not all Zoigl but I was only talking about the communal brewing area that I know.  AFAIK, Sesslach is the only place outside the Oberpfalz where the communal brewing tradtion is easily regularly accessible.  I have a list of the other communal breweries, kindly supplied by Gernot Wildung but have never managed to visit any because of the logisitical problems.  Like with so many other things, to really know about them takes a lot of detailed study and, as Echte Zoigl is the only really operating tradition outside of Sesslach, it's worth concentrating on. I would actually like to know more details about the way that things developed but I have a pretty good idea of the general outline.

My observations on Zoigl are based on a combination of personal experience (I have spent a lot of time there), talking with the Zoigl brewers (particularly in Eschawo/Neuhaus, where I think that I know most of them fairly well) and also with lots of Zoigl enthusiasts. I've spent a lot of time in the brew houses, specially Eschawo, and also read all (AFAIK) of the books and relevant documents on Zoigl (what a wasted life!) and also the history (very complex, all in German - and I'm no export on the language).  

The relationship between the commercial brewery in Eschawo (Wuerth) and the Zoigl brewers is quite complex and interesting: a sort of a mutual dependency!  

Sadly, I missed the Neuhaus kommunbrauerei by a couple of years and it is sad that the tradition should have been so wantonly squandered.


                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jason  on  2018-10-08 10:33:57

Especially the selling of a functioning communal brewery to an Brit. I hope the townsfolk made his life a misery, I certainly would have done my bit to do so. There is so much land to build houses I cannot understand how that happened. 

I hope beer in one of the Neuhaus concerns, Reindl I think, and it was very good. 

                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-08 11:09:58

Yes, it was very good. It was really sad that they had to find another brewer. I suspect the former communal brewery in Neuhaus had the receipe for making the town's beer. Once they switched to the other brewery, I guess the recipe had been lost.

                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  TomM on  2018-10-08 15:23:24

I don't why there should be so much hate towards this British fellow who turned a decrepit, anachronistic brewery into a nice home for himself and his family.

Why, I am currently in negotations to buy Spezial Keller and turn it into something truly "Special".

                                           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jason on  2018-10-08 22:33:28

Ha, well good luck getting that one built... I’ll be there at the front of the picket lines smiley

The view is fantastic of course, the beer (sometimes) and service and general management not so. 

                                             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 00:30:59

Sorry guys, but as far as I know the Neuhaus facts are a wee bit different than told here.

True is, that British douchebag bought the old Kommunbrauhaus, started to renovate it, threw out most of the interior, then quit and disappeared.

But then the Kommunbrauer(s) haven't used that building for years already. They were brewing at the former Falkenlochbräu, which still stands in a quite good overall condition but with a lot of machinery to repair. So the brewing families decided to get the wort from Bürgerbräu Hersbruck. But still they treat it like their own wort and finish the beer at home. 

I'm there quite often and can't see any loss of quality, honestly. It's still a prodigious brew!  

                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  barry on  2018-10-09 00:46:26

I suppose that I'll just have to give it the once over!  Juergen???

                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 00:54:29

Aye, Barry. Of course! Whenever you want.

                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-09 01:34:35

Why would the Brit have to renovate a working brewery?

                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 02:23:49

Ooookay... old Kommunbrauerei, bought by that English bloke, derelict:

New Kommunbrauerei, former Falkenlochbräu, out of use:

Maybe that answers your question?

                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-09 02:53:22

Yes, and here's a different prespective: "Rund um den Burgberg herum, in ihn hineingehauen, befinden sich 38 Keller. Einer davon ist heute noch für die Kommunbrauer in Betrieb: Drinnen ist alles hochmodern. Stahltanks, Alufässer, im Becken gärt das Bier, und Paul Reindl der Ältere kontrolliert mit dem Thermometer den Gärungsprozess. Doch zurück zu seinem Kommungasthaus."

Or this: 


Das Kommunbrauhaus

Weiter wurde auch das Rätsel um das Kommunbrauhaus gelöst. Das Haus unterhalb der Burg ist wirklich stillgelegt. Ein Privatmann hat es gekauft und wohnt jetzt darin. Er scheint ein Brite zu sein, denn alle sprachen nur vom „Engländer im Kommunbrauhaus“.


And finally, I had been to Reindl for many years (also with an outstanding kitchen, btw) and the beer, after the sale of the kommunbrauerei, tasted nothing like it had previously and was, sadly, much inferior to the old beer. I have never been back, as  my last visit there had been so disappointing.

                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 03:11:24

No, that's not a different perspective. Of course the Keller is still working because the Kommuners get the WORT only from a brewery. The rest of the process is still done by the Kommuners.

The picture you show is the old Falkenlochbrauerei, which was taken out of use because of broken machinery. That's NOT the Kommunbrauhaus that was bought by the English guy. That's left derelict after that person has left.

And well, you should go back. The beer is great.

                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-09 03:43:21

I drank it and the beer is far from great. And what you wrote is different from your last message. 

                                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 04:53:54

I can't follow you, I'm afraid?

                                                           Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-09 05:29:14

I have drunk beer at Reindl for many years. Before the change in breweries, the beer was great, as you said. After they changed breweries, it was no longer great, in fact it was not even good. Which is why I have not gone back there.

You said the British man who bought the kommunbrauerei was renovating it then threw away the equipement and left. The news article I posted  said what I have said all along: that he only lived there and did not tryt to renvovate the brewery. And the kommunbrauerei still seems to be working as the equipement is "highly modern."

                                                             Beer at Reindl by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-09 06:04:15

I've never been there but now I'm curious based on this discussion.  

Isn't it possible that when the first changed breweries that produced the wort that the beer was not good but they have since improved?  It may have just taken some time to get things sorted out.

If Juergen has been there fairly recently and says the beer was great I'd be very surprised if it was not.

I think Barry has got the right idea.  It may require a once over.


                                                               Beer at Reindl by  barry on  2018-10-09 09:24:39

I think that we've got the makings of a good day out here - just need to get ourselves together at the right time - the usual problem!

                                                                 Beer at Reindl by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-09 12:18:31

Indeed.  I'll know my schedule better come January but I envision three visits to Franken next year.  Spring, Summer, and Fall 

                                                                   Beer at Reindl by  Barry on  2018-10-10 01:14:01

I don't know how you fit work into your schedule!

We should be able to coordinate some visit(s), after all, I only have to fly 2 hours east - just a day trip for you.

                                                                     Beer at Reindl by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-10 03:33:16

It helps to be the boss.  I've created a company with a European holiday schedule instead of an American one.  It works just fine.  More companies should try it.

                                                                       Beer at Reindl by  barry on  2018-10-10 04:42:12

Fair play to you, Mark; really unusual for US-companies. Goodness knows what will happen in the UK if we leave the EU. Fortunately, holiday provision won't affect me, only losing access rights, free medical care, etc., etc., etc.


                                                                         Beer at Reindl by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 03:50:00

There are many thousands of us working hard to sabotage brexit. The end game is close. :)

                                                             Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-09 07:21:39

Here's what I wrote:
True is, that British douchebag bought the old Kommunbrauhaus, started to renovate it, threw out most of the interior, then quit and disappeared.

I never said he finished any renovation. Well, if you say he didn't even start to renovate it, you may be right. 
And NO! Not the whole Kommunbrauerei is working. Just the Gärkeller is working. The wort is brought to Neuhaus, then finished at the Gärkeller, which might be of modern appearance. Don't know, I've never been inside. 
Possible though, that the three remaining brewing families started to brew again at the experimental brewery of Kaiser. But that's just a hypothesis. 

And if I say the beer is great, it's just my personal taste. It's always a matter of taste. For me it's in the same league as the beers from Nankendorf, Spielbach, Schlammersdorf (b. Forchheim), Pferdsfeld, Hetzelsdorf, Sesslach, Heilgersdorf, Leups, Gnodstadt and so on. Just to give you a hint of my personal taste. 

Cheers, I'm off to Gnodstadt right now!

                                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-09 08:27:20

Jürgen, what you wrote originally (which you've kindly quoted above) is without any evidence. I have posted sections of news reports that disagree with your story. In find it strange that I can find no news report that confirms your story of what happened.

But, OK, it is possible that I drank Reindl's beer on a bad day. I will go back and try it again, although I don't know when. I also like beer from Sesslach, Heilgersdorf, Leups and Schammelsdorf and Huppendorf.


                                                               Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-11 00:45:53

Jürgen, I posted this in another thread, perhaps you did not see it. There is indeed public transport to Spielbach. Here is the bus schedule:

                                                                 Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-11 01:06:25

Thanks M., that might be useful for the tourists. I'll still drive my car. ;-)

                                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 04:37:12

It's not even useful for tourists.  As I understand it the brewery in Spielbach doen't open until 16:00pm Monday thru Friday and the last bus stops there at 17:57 and forget about Saturday.  Really it's not worth the effort to just be able to sit down there for an hour to hour and a half.  Spielbach is a place that one should stay for a long time.


                                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-11 06:01:59

I'm not sure I understand this. Assuming you are correct about the opening time of 16.00, there is a bus that arrives there at16.30. How is that a problem? Secondly, there are two buses on Saturday one at 12.26. Also on Saturday there is a Rufbus (you have to call them to reserve a seat) #0900 and that stops at Spielbach at 1726 on Saturday. The 1020 bus also makes a connection with Bus 101 from Rothenburg. This seems particularly handy for tourists who prefer to spend the night in Rothenburg.

Return. Use Rufbus 0900which leaves Spielbach at 20.28 or if you want to stay even longer, there's another bus at 0.14. I'm sure you could ask the staff at the pub to call the bus if you would rather not do it yourself.

                                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 08:13:00

I was looking only at the bus schedule that you posted and unless I'm reading it wrong it appears the last pickup would be 17:57.  Hardly ideal if you arrving at 16:30.  Not enough time to really enjoy the place and the beer.  But you have mentioned there is a later bus (Rufbus) so I guess if one was staying it Rothenburg it could work.


                                                                   Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-11 06:04:08

Jürgen would you happen to know if Spielbach now serves a warm meal on Saturday? Last time I was there they told me it was only on Sunday. Thanks.

                                                                     Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-10-11 06:28:45

Opening times: 6 p.m. on weekdays, not 4 p. m. 
Normally warm food on Sundays only but sometimes also on Friday night and Saturday. Why? I've no clue. Maybe depending on who's available for the kitchen.
Always warm food on special occasions, e.g. there's a marriage or something in the house. 

                                                                       Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  M. Berger on  2018-10-11 07:17:08

I prefer a café to a kneipe.

                                                                         Kitzmann, Erlangen closes by  barry on  2018-10-11 09:44:36

Hi Chaps Can i suggest the we move on from this heading topic - it's been a long time since this discussion had anything to do with Kitzmann.

By all means, if you want to talk about Spielbach or Neuhaus, carry on, as they are interesting topics in themselves, but do it under appropriate headings.  Just think, if we wanted to advise a new colleague on reading about how to get to Speilbach, it would be virtually impossible - what do we say, find Kitzmann and work your way through all the non-relevant postings?

                                                                           Spielbach by  Mark Andersen on  2018-10-11 11:29:22

Yeah I'm not sure how this all wound up in a Spielbach tangent but it probably should have just had it's own thread.

 New hotel in Bamberg by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-09-24 11:27:58

completion: 2020/2021
120 rooms
low buget, b&b
Location; Hartmannstraße/ edge Starkenfeldstraße
650 meters east of Café Abseits
article in German:;art212,3711252

   New hotel in Bamberg by  Jason  on  2018-09-25 00:44:48

Enough already. 

 another closure by  gavin on  2018-09-24 03:08:04

looks like another place has bit the dust . such a shame

   another closure by  Jason on  2018-09-24 04:13:44

Just to clarify, unless I’ve missed something, this refers to the pub only, not the brewery. 

Not or saying it’s less of a shame. 

     another closure by  Gavin tierney on  2018-09-24 04:21:20

Sorry, yes just the inn , always found it cozy and welcoming

       another closure by  Jason on  2018-09-24 04:38:27

I’ve ridden past many times, not stopped, no real reason but always found the beer average until recently when I have enjoyed a few visits to the Keller and the beer was good (maybe it always was). 

I guess the pub could reopen in the future if they have a change of heart or a find a new tenant. It’s the only pub in the town so surely someone can make a go of it... 

Barry, pack your bags and get behind the bar! 

         another closure by  TreinJan on  2018-09-24 05:58:09

A few years back the Gasthof also was without a tenant for something like a year, iirc

           another closure by  Jason  on  2018-09-24 06:30:10


             another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-24 09:41:37

Slightly longer, I think but, no matter, it's a tragedy!  Really nice family running the place, very friendly.  But I couldn't see how it was going to survive.  I asked the young son (he was always wanting to practice his English) about the business and he said that people used to come from Staffelstein because it was the nearest place where you could get proper German food.  Don't know about that but, if true, it seems that maybe not enough people want to eat proper German food!

Anyway, it's a real shame, not the least because it is right opposite my Fewo!  But the beer was good and Dave Greenlee had a meal and he said that it was ok.  The Keller serves (not surprisingly) Kellerbier, which the Schwann didn't (Helles und Dunkles).  I'll probably still stay in Ebensfeld because its conveneint for lots of places.

Ok Jason, I'll add it to the list of pubs that I'm going to take over. 

               another closure by  M. Berger on  2018-09-26 03:05:39

Bavaria has been losing breweries for years. As breweries close, so do pubs. While the other German states have gained breweries, Bavaria has been losing them: between 1993 and 2017, Bavaria lost 126 breweries. As late as 1990, there were still a significant number of communal breweries in Bavaria. Most have since closed. While some have been renovated and put back into service, very few of them support or  are supported by pubs. I was in Unfinden for a festival celebrating the renovated communal brewery and speaking with the people there, I found the only ones who benefited from the brewery are members of  the club that renovated it. Sesslach is the only town I know where the  communal brewery has been renovated and the beer distributed to several local pubs as well as the townfolk. The communal brewery in Sesslach used to have it's own communal pub, but that's been converted by the town into a  tourist information office.

There is in Waischenfeld the remains of the old communal brewery (IIRC, it's across the street from Heckel Bräu). Apparently no one is  interested in renovating it. As I recall, the old brewery has large windows and it's easy to look inside at  the remains. I'm positive that Waischenfeld is  not the only town in this situation.

                 another closure by  Barm on  2018-09-26 04:02:48

This is desperately sad.
I have complained before that it would be much better if young go-ahead brewers took over these old family breweries rather than making bad copies of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There are exceptions of course, like Urban Chestnut in Wolnzach, but they are few and far between.

               another closure by  Jason on  2018-09-26 10:00:47

Just FYI, Brauerei Eichhorn has opened a fewo opposite. I’m not sure there’s a better location if you want to have a great local opposite plus ease of transport into Bamberg or the train line. It’s online if you want to check it out, under their brewery website. 

                 another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-26 12:29:10

Don't want to dampen your enthusiasm for all things Eichorn but Doerfleins is not great for public transport into Bamberg. I've stayed in Doerfleins (and Hallstadt) and the bus service from Bamberg is ok - unless you want to stay out after 7 pm!  The last 904 from ZOB is 1908, after that, it's the ALT service.

There are later trains but it's not a five minute walk from Doerfleins to Bhf Hallstadt.  Although comparatively aged, I'm a reasonably quick walker and it took me around 20 minutes from Eichorn to the station - and I know the shortcuts etc.  I've researched the railline for Fewo's pretty thoroughly in both directions from Bamberg over the years and stopped staying in Doerfleins (where we had a lovely Fewo) because of this problem.  This is not to say don't stay in Doerfleins, just to point out the facts.  On the website, the Fewo looks very nice but I can't see any mention of the price and I suspect that it's not going to be cheap - in general, Hallstadt isn't.

Incidentally, when I opened the Eichorn website, I was redirected to the website for Brauerausch, which is a collaboration with Wagner, Kemmern (both excellent breweries).  Very snazzy production (Miss Binz was rather different from the usual run of Doerfleins and Kemmern Kellnerin!).  Has anyone (Jason?) tried this beer, which sounds more like a contemporary British or American concept - at least in its marketing?

                   another closure by  Mosquit on  2018-09-27 00:47:19

ALT in area of Bamberg is actually very good service, so why not to use it? No extra fee, you just need to call one hour in advance... I have called many times and always the call center operator was able to speak english quite well... 

                     another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-27 01:49:34

I didn't say that it was a bad service, only that it was the only service! I've never used it and all the reports say that it works quite well. However, it is a bit different from simply turning up for a scheduled bus.

                       another closure by  Jason  on  2018-09-27 02:01:20

Well to me the 20 minute walk to the Bahnhof / centre of Hallstadt for the bus is no hardship, particularly as I'd prefer to drink in Doerfleins than, well, most places. The Kellerbier (from the keg, rather than tanks) was outstanding yesterday and accompanied me well on a good evening of Schafkopf wins. That aside, as you now have no options for drinking beer in Ebensfeld your nearest option is Unterneuses, Pferdsfeld or, in season, the Keller. None of which are an easy walk or possible with public transport to my knowledge. 

As for prices, well it's probably not viable anyway as it's for 4 people and newly refurbished so it won't be cheaper than Ebensfeld, though price isn't the only consideration. 

I tried the Rausch and it's fine. Can't remember much else. Prefer Eichhorn above Wagner considerably so I'd rather stick to the latter. 

                         another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-27 03:37:45

You're a young fit lad - my comments were made for those who aren't in football training.

No argument about Eichorn beer, it's excellent and has improved greatly (IMHO) since we holidayed in Doerflein a few years ago.  It also seems a much more popular and friendly pub than it did then but maybe we just weren't used to quaint traditions ,like unscheduled closing and shutting early because Bayern were on the tely.  All part of the charm of Frankische life, I suppose.  I'm certainly not saying don't go!

Don't rub it in about the Schwann, I'm still recovering from the news, though, in truth, I didn't go in that often; funilly enough, it was usual when I had visitors.  The Keller is about an easy and delightful ten minute stroll from the centre of downtown Ebensfeld and Martin is not a lot more.  Yes, all the other localish places are a bit of a stretch but there are plenty of them, whereas, apart from Kemmern, nothing is so easy from Doerfleins (apart from the insect-ridden but lovely Diller Keller and, possibly, the Goldene Loewven - if it's still open.  Oh yes, there's also a Faessla, which might appeal?)..

But the the other main attraction of Ebensfeld is that you are only five minutes from the Bahnhof and all the wondrous places that the Deutsche Bahn can reveal - especailly with a month's ticket!


                           another closure by  Jason on  2018-09-27 04:06:09

But in doerfleins you’re 20 minute walk from the same train line, close to Bamberg too, and there are day buses into the city from doerfleins. I know you’re not big on Bamberg these days but it’s an option. If you come in April and the Keller isn’t open then Martin is your only local choice that’s not too far. The beer’s ok but I wouldn’t see it as my local. And it shuts on Sunday I think. 

Long story short it’s about personal preference, but I’m not sure you can justify staying in Ebensfeld aside from your personal preference. To you of course, that is quite rightly all that matters. 

                             another closure by  Mark Andersen on  2018-09-27 04:43:12

Just stay in Bamberg.  All problems will thus be solved.  I know, not Barry's preference and it may be my age but I would think I'd get completely bored in Ebensfeld after a day or two.

                               another closure by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-09-27 05:57:36

I'd never get bored staying in a tent at Spielbach for a fortnight. With no public transport at all... ;-)

                                 another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-27 06:07:54

Hee ... Hee!

I think that we've just about exhausted this - all grist to the mill and really useful information from residents and regular visitors.

P.S. I still love Bamberg as a place and can understand the attraction of living there.

                                 another closure by  Mark Andersen on  2018-09-27 06:42:59


Hell I'd sleep on a pile of hay in their barn if they'd let me.

                                   another closure by  Jason  on  2018-09-28 00:57:26

Practically luxurious. Doubt you'd get a better night's sleet in your life!!

                                 another closure by  M. Berger on  2018-09-28 09:22:39

Actually, that's not entirely true.

It leaves from Schrozberg, which has a train connection with Nuremberg, though not particularly convenient. Nuremberg-Crailsheim is far better and it's a short ride from Crailsheim to Schrozberg. The bus runs Monday-Saturday. No service on Sunday, though there may be alternatives.

                                   Rufbus schedule for Spielbach by  M. Berger on  2018-10-11 11:34:07

If you or someone calls for you, the call should be placed at one hour before the bus arrival. 

                   another closure by  Barm on  2018-09-27 04:52:49

I think 7pm is a perfectly reasonable time to call it a night, if you’re going to be up at 6 again so you’re ready to start drinking at 9 like the locals. Adjust to the rhythm of Franken.


                     another closure by  Barry on  2018-09-27 12:50:00

Er ... no.  That's not my idea of any kind of holiday.  Calling it a day at 7 pm - I can tell you're not Irish, in the 15 years that i lived there, I hardly went out before 10.00 pm.  Even in the Uk, I don't go out much before 9 pm, excpet on the occasional afternoon jaunts.  Sober up!

Anyway, how many Franken pubs open at 9 - everyday?  I'll let you do the legwork but, in my experience, not that many outside the bigger towns and cities.

 Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-09-24 00:03:15

The website Braufranken says, Weber closed in May 2017; the beer comes from Rittmayer, Hallerndorf, as a Lohnsud now. 

   Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf by  Barry on  2018-09-24 01:30:55

That's another sad blow. The place was a bit quirky but I really enjoyed the beer when we visited a few years ago.

     Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf by  Jason  on  2018-09-24 02:40:29

Not one I visited often (twice ever I think). I'm really not a fan of all this contract brewing. People in Schesslitz stll think that Schmitt-Bräu is brewed by the brewery which has been closed for a few decades. 

It makes a hard decision much easier and means the public don't necessarily know that the beer is no longer brewed on the premises. Then they don't realise how many breweries are closing. 

       Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf by  Carl on  2018-09-25 07:21:11

In April 2018, my group got a tour of Weber (by Stephan?), and were told they had hired a brewer, and he was due there "soon". We enjoyed the beer there, wherever it came from.

   Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf - and other tidbits by  Mark Andersen on  2018-09-24 07:36:17

According to the below website this is due to the death of the owner.  

There seems to be a lot more updating of this site this year.

Also mentioned on here are that Fischer in Greuth no longer brews, Wagner in Oberhaid is being renovated (new owners perhaps?), and the sons of Beim Gloser in Eschawo have opened their own brewery.

     Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf - and other tidbits by  Jason  on  2018-09-24 08:22:11

Fischer in Greuth is not news to me, and I knew that the owner of Weber had passed. I also recently heard about Wagner. Not about Beim Gloser though. 

Agree it seems a good source of news. 

       Brauerei Weber, Röbersdorf - and other tidbits by  Barry on  2018-09-24 09:49:59

Sorry, that news was included in my not reporting my visit to Eschawo in detail!

Yes, young Moritz has bought a former inductrial brewing plant a few kilometres from Eschawo.  Apparently, it has a pretty big brewing capacity and he intends to brew craft beers!  Well, well.  But, I suppose that he fits the profile being young and interested in brewing (he is a Braumeister having served his time at Gambrinus in Weiden - must remember to ask him about the lack of draught beer in the tap next time I see him!).

He is also 'going steady' (maybe actually engaged) and, given all the circumstances (his current non-brewing job involves a lot of travelling), I suppose that he wants to branch out.  I suppose that he'll keep brewing for his dad and maybe stop experimenting with the Zoigl!

 Bockzeit by  Mads on  2018-09-22 12:05:16

Hey everyone

Going back to wonderland in a month or 2. I really hope to try heller bocks from
hölzlein, Roppelt Stiebarlimbach and Knoblach. Do Any of you guys know If they are released before december 1st or After?
cheers and Danke.

   Bockzeit by  Jason  on  2018-09-23 04:05:54

     Bockzeit by  M. Berger on  2018-09-24 03:41:54

Or this one:

 Ot: Do not forsake me ... by  Barry on  2018-09-14 03:14:11

No, I haven't but I think everyone has heard enough of Eschawo to last more than a lifetime!
Just to say that I had a lovely 10 days, as usual, and was pleased to welcome one of our resident Bamburg correspondents for a day. Sad to say that the Eschawo Zoiglstub'n put on a really poor show, with almost undrinkable beer (it was really undrinkable but I forced it down as a token of good will). Fortunately, the Zoigl in Lingl Neuhaus was excellent - good enough for Jason to take two litres back home. Talk about carrying coals, etc.

I'm now in beautiful Prague being guided by Fred's very handy, and comprehensive, guide. Rather than go off-topic anymore, if you are really desperate, you can read all about my time here on my FB page, complete with pictures, now that i've just about got the hang of it.

Only to say that it's great. Thanks to Jason for encouraging me to make the short trip and to Fred for his guide!

   Ot: Do not forsake me ... by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 04:38:08

Something that you might be interested in another year if you enjoyed Prague, AND might fit in with Zoigl country (no idea whether the transport links work but geographically close). The Sun in the Glass Beer Festival in Plzen.

You can stay at Purkmistr (hosts of the beer festival) which is itself a brewery/restaurant/hotel/beer spa.

 Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  David on  2018-09-12 14:28:03

Hi Boys. I hope Life is treating you good. A buddy and I will be in Bamberg the second week of October. We are visiting Nurnberg for a day. There appears to be many places to have a bier. Can one of you guys reccommend a nice place to drink with a good selection of biers and a nice local atmosphere? Thanks/ Danke David

   Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Jason  on  2018-09-13 01:43:14

As an extremely rare visitor to Nuremberg in spite of it's proximity, I'm not super enthusiastic about it as a beer destination. The obvious breweries and highlights you'll find on ratebeer. My recommendations would be schanzenbrau and cafe wanderer. 

If you're there to see the city and sights, go for it. Otherwise there are much better destinations in the area where you will get a better beer experience (Forchheim for instance). 

     Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-09-13 04:29:53

I recommend the three locations closed to each other and close to the Burg (castle), worth a look)::

Café Wanderer / Bieramt, nice seats outside

Hütt'n, a beer restaurant with a nice selection of beers, the most beers from Mid Franconia

Altstadthof, a brewery with destillery (p.e. whiskys)
Their onlineshop five an impression of their producs:

If You want to taste regional craft beers:
Kater Murr (near the railway station)

Mr. Kennedy, a pub. The owner with this name; is an American who has studied brewing technology in Munich. Together with an american friend, also brewmaster, he has founded a brewery brand NBG (New Beer Generation). They use contract breweries (Binkert in Breitengüßbah.

       Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Barm on  2018-09-13 06:37:24

I can second Mr Kennedy – it has everything David is looking for: nice atmosphere, good beer, central location. It feels like a local pub, not a "craft beer bar”.

         Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Steve T on  2018-09-16 12:10:22

In my experience, Altstadthof can be very hit and miss.

Balkon is always worth a quick visit before or after your train. Next to the Frauentorturm, opposite the Hbf. It's outdoor and operates on a similar principle to the bierkellers but is usually open all day in spring, summer and early autumn even if it's raining. Nikl Bräu beers amongst others.

Barfüßer is really only worth it if you want to tick breweries.

Although it does feel like a 'craft beer bar', Bierwerk is well worth a look. It's the tap for little-known Bierwerk brewery in Günthersbühl, most of whose beers are made by Dreykorn, but the Werkbier is brewed in house. They sell plenty of other beer, too, including Honig Bräu (Nürnberg, not Hönig Tiefenellern) when I visited last month.

I'm not a massive fan of Hütt'n (too touristy) but it has a reasonable range of beers, sometimes including their own Burgbräu.

Kater Murr is handy for the Hbf and good for Orca beers.

Landbierparadies solid but mostly bottles - go for the draught beer from the wood.

As stated, Mr Kennedy is very good but only opens from 20.00 Wednesday to Saturday. The owner brews his special beers in the pub kitchen using a Braumeister but the regular stuff (Der Franke) is made elsewhere (Binkert, I think).

Schanzenbräu Schankwirtschaft is very good.

Cafe Wanderer is excellent but tiny. Go when dry as you can then sit outside and admire the view.

     Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  John Ratcliffe on  2018-09-13 08:56:51

Second vote for Schanzenbrau. Lovely garden, good beer and a nice bohemian vibe.

       Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Jürgen Wening on  2018-09-14 00:19:50

Aye, Schanzenbräu. Go as long as the weather's good enough to visit the garden. Inside it's nice enough, too.

     Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  David on  2018-09-14 02:27:20

Thanks guys. I come up from Boston every 6 months or so. The truth is I was not overly impressed with the lack of breweries for such a big place. I'd much rather be at Brauerei Hummel for a bit!

       Nurnberg Pubs and Braustuberl by  Barry on  2018-09-14 02:58:12

I'd third (or fourth) Schanzi - the three beers are good, it's fairly handy for the hbhf and has a nice atmosphere.
Hutt'n is a vague shadow of the days when it was just below the Schloss and, nowadays, well matches the Altstadtbier place opposite as a tourist delight. The late lamented Nick took me to a couple of Landbierparadies once - I wasn't too impressed with the quality. More parody than paradise.
Don't know Wanderer but it and Mr Kennedy's sound worth a look, if I'm ever in Nuernburg long enough.

 Upcoming Beer Trip... by  FredW on  2018-09-07 21:29:48

When a group of us when to our first Uerige Sticke day in 1998 we had no idea that 20 years later we'd still be going.

So in case we are crossing paths with anybody, the schedule is

Prague, Oct 4-11
Bamberg, Oct 11-15
Düsseldorf, Oct 15-18
Antwerp, Oct 18-22
Amsterdam, Oct 22-25

   Upcoming Beer Trip... by  Jason on  2018-09-08 05:01:30

Funnily enough I’ll be in Prague Friday and Saturday with my parents. Obviously will be in Bamberg 11-15. 

 Weissbierhaus closing by  Barm on  2018-09-02 11:59:41

I’ve just learnt that apparently the Weissbierhaus (formerly Maisel’s brewery tap) is closing.

   Weissbierhaus closing by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-09-03 09:24:47

When I first started coming to Bamberg in the early 90s, we used to stay there, quite pleasant. Last time I went in I had the worst beer Ive ever had in Franconia, a seidla of Mahrs U which tasted like last week's waahing up water.

     Weissbierhaus closing by  Jason  on  2018-09-03 11:40:20

I'll have a look next time i'm passing. I've never actually been in. I'm not sure why. It's different here than in the UK, the pubs/brewery taverns are pretty samey to a certain extent, no real character outside of the obvious examples. And when you live in a city with some notable examples anything else is superfluous. 

I've heard it has a nice outside drinking area, but so does Spezi and Schlenkerla. Keesmann and Mahrs. Greifenklau. The Kellers. 

Guess there's the answer. 

       Weissbierhaus closing by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 04:47:59

And, of course, if you're in the central area Sternla is an excellent alternative.

   Weissbierhaus closing by  FredW on  2018-09-03 14:09:47

I think I've only been in once since Maisel stopped brewing. Used to stop in most trips to have a Maisel (liked their dunkel). Afterwards, there didn't seem to be much reason for a visit.

Friends have stayed at the hotel -- said the rooms were very basic but clean and staff friendly. With the shortage of hotel beds in Bambeg I have to beleive somebody will at least pick up the hotel part...

     Weissbierhaus closing by  JohnRatcliffe on  2018-09-04 00:04:39

Rooms were pleasant, but basic. Toilet was outside, which meant going out onto the balcony and walking a few doors down. Not ideal in February. 
Would have thought it could be a goingconcern if someone has the time and money to renovate.

       Weissbierhaus closing by  Jason  on  2018-09-04 01:43:18

I think it needs to be clarified firstly if it is closing. I'm not sure where Barm got his info. 

         Weissbierhaus closing by  Barm on  2018-09-04 06:11:38

It was on one of the local Bamberg Facebook groups. Cannot guarantee accuracy.

           Weissbierhaus closing by  Barm on  2018-10-08 13:03:55

Confirmation in the FT:;art212,3748864

The operators have no successor and they can’t find staff, apparently. The chef retired and they can’t get a replacement.

I have heard this complaint many times – are hospitality jobs in Germany really so unattractive?

It would be a shame if the nice wood panelled interior were to be lost to modernisation.

             Weissbierhaus closing by  AndyH on  2018-12-05 06:13:12

Sometimes I really wish I'd moved to Bamberg in 2008.

 Podge R.I.P. by  Mat Wilson on  2018-08-22 09:40:48

I'm sure a few of you cross borders and drink the occasional beer. 
It has been a sad week for us, with the announcement of the death of the Belgian beer stalwart, Chris Pollard, known to one and all as Podge.
Anyone who has been to any of the major Belgian beer festival will be familiar with the whirlwind of noise and colour that was Podge, as he arrived on his whistle stop tour of the fest before moving the  group all on to the next obscure Flemish or Walloonian cafe of bar.
He was one of those characters you meet as you go through life, who was utterly charming, and you couldn't help but be taken in by his enthusiasm for all things Belgian, be it Beers or Battlefields. I never got to go on one of his legendty Beer Tours, but I ran in to him on a regular basis all over the place. 
My sympathy goes out to Siobhan, his partner and everyone who knew him better than I did. We have lost an absolute legend this week. Rest in Peace Podge. I'll be raising a glass to you tonight.


 36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  BrianW on  2018-08-17 10:42:14

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.

   36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-08-18 04:26:15

The idea comes from the district administrator (Landrat) of the Landkreis Bamberg (the surroundings of Bamberg). The idea is to find 3 breweries which brew together (in one of these breweries) a "Landkreis Bier". The name "36 Kreisla" refers to the 36 administration villages of the Landkreis Bamberg. We have more small villages, but they are summarizend to administration units with only one major. P.e. administration unit: Memmelsdorf with the villages Memmelsdorf, Merkendorf, Drosendorf, Kremmeldorf. Laubend, Lichteneiche,
Meedensdorf, Schmerldorf and Weichendorf.

Each year since 2015 three different breweries have brewed different beers and different styles. They are only available in this 3 breweries. Sometimes they have brewed  further issues.

The 2018 edition will be a not filtered Kellerbier, brewed by the
Aichinger, Heiligenstadt i. OFr.,
Hübner, Steinfeld 
Ott, Oberleinleiter,
The "Anstich" party will be on the: 30 September 2018 in the Bauernmuseum in Frensdorf. After this event You have to visit one of these breweries to taste it. I don't know if they will fill it in bottles. In the last years the 36Kreisla was available also in bottles, but only sold in the brewpubs.

     36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Jason  on  2018-08-19 03:10:40

3 breweries all in the Fraenkischer Schweiz and the anstich is in Frensdorf.

I think what would be more interesting is if they revived an old recipe or something. Not necessarily from the breweries involved. But I guess none of these breweries have a kellerbier so maybe that's the extent of the innovation. 

       36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-08-19 05:12:24

The Bauernmuseum Bamberger Land in Frensdorf is in the ownerschip of the Landkreis Bamberg. So the Landkreis can use his own building. It is also a nice place for such events with a room for 140 guests, p.e. invited journalists and VIPs..

The individual breweries can organize their own beer taps in their brewery restaurants.

But I agree that the beers have been traditional - not to say boring - in the last years.
Only a special edition in the year 2016 (Binkert, Hertl, Sauer Rossdorf) was a little bit different: a dry hopped bock. It was a second beer in the year 2016 because of  the purity law (500 years jubilee)..


         36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Jason on  2018-08-19 11:21:03

No, not to say boring. I certainly don’t need a dry hopped bock. Just something in between. 

I was in a brewery in Prague the other day that had a beer on bayerischer Anstich which was called Ur Brau 1560. The beer was brewed to a recipe from that year, without hops and with flowers and herbs (from what my limited Czech could tell me). I could only drink a small glass, it was more interesting than good. 

Not or calling for such extremes, but I hope for more from 3 good breweries - perhaps that Kellerbier will be excellent, we’ll see. Would love to try something like fullers past masters series where they recreated everything from old recipes, including kilning brown malt for their outstanding brown stout. Of course that’s expensive. 

           36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Barm on  2018-09-07 02:59:54

I wouldn’t mind a dry hopped bock. It would be preferable to another "Bavarian IPA".

             36 Kreisla -- Bamberg Landkreisbier by  Jason on  2018-09-08 03:22:58

Not sure why you would have to drink either in Franconia. I get by perfectly well without drinking an ipa. 

 Major fire at Weyermann by  FredW on  2018-08-09 07:33:34

Malthouse Weyermann in Bamberg in flames: Forces fight for hours against the fire

More info here

   Major fire at Weyermann by  Jason  on  2018-08-10 02:07:09

A bearded man wearing a metal band hoodie was reportedly witnessed escaping the scene laughing hysterically... 

 Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Jason on  2018-08-05 13:01:05

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. 

   Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  TomM on  2018-08-05 16:16:51

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?

     Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-08-05 23:48:36

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
Weißbierbrauerei Miesbach

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
  • Grüner
  • Humbser
  • Losunger
  • Patrizier
  • Sebaldus Weizen
  • Siechen
  • Tucher
  • Zirndorfer
  • Falkenfelser


       Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  barry on  2018-08-06 03:19:25

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! 

         Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2018-08-06 04:10:06

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.

           Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  barry on  2018-08-06 04:46:39

Not sure what a three or two-tier system is?

But it's certainly true that Kulmbacher beers flood the normal supermarket outlets.

             Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Carl on  2018-08-06 06:55:33


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!)

               Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  barry on  2018-08-06 08:52:27

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.

                 Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Nick Cowley on  2018-08-07 01:59:02

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.

                   Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  barry on  2018-08-07 04:24:42

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.

   Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Mike on  2018-08-07 01:46:34

Personally, I much prefer Trebgast which has two nice breweries, plus a butcher with rooms to rent.

     Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Jason  on  2018-08-07 03:12:02

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. 

       Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Mike on  2018-08-07 07:27:39

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.

         Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  TreinJan on  2018-08-07 08:28:10

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.

           Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Mike on  2018-08-07 09:02:35

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.

             Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  TomM on  2018-08-07 09:16:11

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.

               Kulmbacher Bier Woche by  Jason on  2018-08-07 12:22:38

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). 

   Maß servings (was: Kulmbacher Bier Woche) by  Barm on  2018-09-03 04:32:42

How strong is this idea that the Seidla is the one true Franconian size of drinking vessel?

Perhaps there should be a map of where only Seidla should ever be used. (It could be combined with one of where Brotzeit mitbringen is allowed).

My first ever beer festival was in Schweinfurt in Unterfranken and the Maß was used there.

Mind you, I think the Maß is in decline these days even in Munich. When I first went to Forschungsbrauerei in München-Perlach many years ago it was the only serving available. But last time I was there, everyone was drinking halves.

 Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-04 10:28:15

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!

   Kraus Hirschaid by  Gunnar H on  2018-08-04 13:48:45

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.

     Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-06 05:12:19

OK, ta. Must have missed the calendar page;

       Kraus Hirschaid by  Mosquit on  2018-08-07 10:27:29

Today was Kraus Gaststätte closed (Urlaub), but the beer garden way open.

         Kraus Hirschaid by  Jason on  2018-08-07 12:26:47

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. 

           Kraus Hirschaid by  John Ratcliffe on  2018-08-08 01:08:12

Surprised. Havent been in the tap for years, but the beer in the keller has always been good when Ive been there.

             Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-08 12:29:58

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.!!

               Kraus Hirschaid by  barry on  2018-08-08 13:18:18

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.

                 Kraus Hirschaid by  Jason  on  2018-08-09 00:59:11

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. 

                   Kraus Hirschaid by  barry on  2018-08-09 04:21:25

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! 

                     Northern bitter (was:Kraus Hirschaid) by  Barm on  2018-08-10 03:23:15

I would expect something described as a northern bitter to be pale, especially in Yorkshire. So there you go. 


                       Northern bitter (was:Kraus Hirschaid) by  barry on  2018-08-10 05:06:18

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!

           Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-08 06:43:46

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

             Kraus Hirschaid by  Mosquit on  2018-08-08 11:26:43

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...

               Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-08 12:09:13

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.

               Kraus Hirschaid by  Jason  on  2018-08-09 07:27:33

Hummel? Nothing wrong with Hummel at all. 

                 Kraus Hirschaid by  Mark Andersen on  2018-08-09 07:51:49

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. 

                 Kraus Hirschaid by  Andrew H on  2018-08-09 08:08:47

I wholeheartedly agree.

                 Kraus Hirschaid by  FredW on  2018-08-10 07:45:58

Says the man who was drinking it by the Mass at Canalissimo smiley

I tend to spend more time at Wagner (love that big FW mosaic in the entrance) but both are good breweries.

 "Real" ungespundetes Kellerbier by  BrianW on  2018-08-03 13:17:42

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?

   "Real" ungespundetes Kellerbier by  Jason  on  2018-08-04 02:19:49

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. 

   "Real" ungespundetes Kellerbier by  Jason  on  2018-08-04 02:39:58

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... 

     Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  Barry on  2018-08-04 02:55:36

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?).

       Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  Jason  on  2018-08-06 03:58:38

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. 

         Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  barry on  2018-08-06 05:01:56

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! 

           Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  BrianW on  2018-08-07 05:06:33

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:   

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.

             Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  barry on  2018-08-07 08:32:55

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?

               Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  BrianW on  2018-08-07 09:55:56

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.

                 Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  Jason on  2018-08-07 12:38:18

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. 

             Real ungespundetes kellerbier by  Barm on  2018-09-03 04:43:40

Temperature is a big factor in how long beer will keep and the amount of CO2 it will retain.

Some of the big pub chains in the UK heavily chill their real ale and I’m sure they do it for reasons of shelf life. The lower temperature slows down the progress of acetobacter and other spoilage organisms. It’s become quite rare to get a vinegary pint.

If your Keller is very cold the beer would last a fair bit longer than a cask of British ale would last at UK serving temperatures. I don’t know what temperature the Keller are but if you can lager beer in them they must be pretty cold.

   Real? by  Andrew H on  2018-08-04 10:22:42

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.

     Real? by  AndyH on  2018-12-04 06:57:53

Oh there's certainly a difference in "mouthfeel" at the very least, I personally think there are other significant differences.

 Changes in opening hours by  Mosquit on  2018-07-31 23:53:27

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? 


   Changes in opening hours by  TomM on  2018-08-01 03:28:18

Ropelt Keller, Stiebarlimbach closed on Sundays because of working hours law.

     Changes in opening hours by  Jason  on  2018-08-01 05:49:04

   Spezial Keller shut from 3pm on Sundays. Think Lohndorf now opens from 15h on Sundays. 

   Changes in opening hours by  Mike on  2018-08-02 06:44:07

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.

     Changes in opening hours by  Gunnar H on  2018-08-02 09:54:34

Griess-Keller is on Facebook, their latest photo states new opening hours from August:
Mo-Fr 16.30-23.00
Sa 15.00-23.00
So 11.30-23.00 (also holidays)
Knoblach changed their times on the website.

       Changes in opening hours by  Mike on  2018-08-02 23:35:19

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.

         Changes in opening hours by  FredW on  2018-08-03 00:07:38

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...

     Changes in opening hours by  Jason on  2018-08-02 22:46:01

Griess Keller is a separate business from the brewery and it opens on Wednesday when the sun shines. 

       Changes in opening hours by  Mike on  2018-08-02 23:36:58

Huh? They use the same name as the brewery, but are a separate business? I've never heard of such a thing before.

         Changes in opening hours by  FredW on  2018-08-03 00:03:58

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.

           Changes in opening hours by  Mike on  2018-08-03 00:40:43

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: 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.

             Changes in opening hours by  Barry on  2018-08-03 02:52:07

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.

               Changes in opening hours by  Jason  on  2018-08-03 03:04:44

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. 

                 Changes in opening hours by  Gunnar H on  2018-08-03 04:34:08

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:

 Introduction by  BrianW on  2018-07-31 09:56:30

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.

   Introduction by  Mark Andersen on  2018-07-31 11:56:05

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.

     Introduction by  BrianW on  2018-07-31 13:02:02

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.

       Introduction by  Mark Andersen on  2018-07-31 15:54:57

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):

BTW, you mentioned that there is a local pub near you that has Mahrs on tap.  I'm curious which one it is?

         Introduction by  BrianW on  2018-07-31 17:47:03

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
Steinwald Zoigl
Schlossbrauerei Friedenfels
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Brauerei Heller
1831 Schwarzbier
Pfungstädter Brauerei
Aldersbacher Urhell
Klosterbrauerei Aldersbach
Weihenstephaner Pils
Bayerische Staatsbrayerei Weihenstephan
Rothaus Tannenzapfle Pilsner
Staatsbrauerei Rothaus

           Introduction by  Mark Andersen on  2018-08-01 03:41:15

Okay, I've been to Deep Ellum.  They usually have something good on.  Too bad it weren't easier (for m) to get to.

   Introduction by  Jason  on  2018-08-01 06:07:57

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. 

   Introduction by  Barm on  2018-08-13 07:05:49

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. 

     Introduction by  BrianW on  2018-08-13 09:12:36

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!!

       Introduction by  TreinJan on  2018-08-14 00:44:49

If she likes cider, try to plan a day in Frankfurt am Main for Apfelwein (Ebbelwoi in local dialect)

       Introduction by  barry on  2018-08-14 03:43:38

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! 

         Introduction by  BrianW on  2018-08-14 10:34:42

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.

           Introduction by  barry on  2018-08-14 14:40:02

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.

           Introduction - Sesslach by  Mark Andersen on  2018-08-15 03:21:51

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:


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