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I will be in Eschawo from September 10 to 15 (Weisse Schwan Stamtisch + Gloser and Schoilmichel); September 15 to 20 back in Prague!
I hadn't intended to go back to Prague so quickly but a friend in Eschawo reminded me that I'd promised to go with him this September - so, a promise is a promise and this one is so difficult to keep! We've only got 5 nights and I bet several of my Forum friends will have little difficulty in naming the most likely places for a visit! Hint, unlikely to include beers selling IPA (east or west coast), stouts, porters, pales, etc. Well, mostly.
Annafest was a great time as it has always been for me. We had a fairly good size group of about 10-11 people and Annafest is perfect for that. No trouble finding seats. Easy to get to and from and no admission price as always. We were there on the 1st Saturday so naturally it did get crowded as it got into the evening, especially at the kellers at the bottom of the hill and we left at about 9:30-10pm once we got fed up with that. But still the atmosphere for most of it was great.
We started out at the top at Neder keller. Their festbier was good as it usually is. Then to the Hoffman keller for a Greif. Very bland. Eichhorn keller was next and their festbier kicked up a notch and was very good. Next was Hebendanz which we all agreed was the best festbier that we had that day. But we all also enjoyed the beer from Schanzenbrau. Not brewed specifically for Annafest. It was their Rotbier but it was a nice departure from the festbiers and you could get a seidla instead of a mass if you wanted. Never did get to have a Loewenbrau from Buttenheim as we decided to bail out after the crowds got too big.
In conclusion ... Annafest hasn't changed thankfully. It's still a great time. Don't let the beer prices ruin it. It's worth the few extra euros spent over the course of the day.
Canalissimo on the other hand .... well now the entrances are controlled and limited and there is a 3 euro admission fee which I guess is to pay for various things like the shitty bands they have playing. I think the event has shrunk a bit and just doesn't appeal to me as much as I thought it did from the first year I went. Breweries there were Hummel with their nice kellerbier from the barrel. Knoblauch, Sonne from Bischberg, Moenchsambacher (from keg), and a couple of others. Just meh. I wouldn't ever plan a future trip around it. Admittedly part of the problem is that the days we went we were in the middle of a nasty heat wave so that didn't help. Metzgerbrau was there the first time I went and they weren't this time. That also didn't help.
Just a note on Canalissimo: there is a nasty resident in the area who will stop at nothing to get the event cancelled. Unfortunately (in this case, of course in other examples it’s more benign) in Germany 1 person has a lot of power. Rather than just taking a holiday, this person has (I understand) been in constant contact with the authorities (perhaps via a lawyer) to trip up the festival organizers in any way possible. One is safety and crowd control. Hence the artificial bridge and now the control of numbers at the entrances. The 3€ covers the extra costs. I’m sympathetic, but I agree that it has lost something as a result and the beer selection isn’t too exciting. I’m pretty sure the turnout was lower this year, but it was hot. Maybe Gerhard is more in the know about this.
Completely agree re Annafest. I’m weary of hearing people going on about crowds. It’s a big event and is for all, families, groups of guys and girls, young and old. And they all have a right to party as they see fit. And as for the prices, it’s once a year, the beer is strong and there’s a great atmosphere. If it helps boost the profits for local breweries I don’t begrudge it, beer is too cheap here anyway.
Most of what you say sounds eminently sensible to myself Jason, I would expect crowds, drunks, high prices,and bearing in mind the fairground,families.
But young sir, to a man with empty pockets beer is never too cheap!
I wonder that paying 9 EUR a Maß is not a bit of a culture shock to the locals though, or do they just accept that beer at the Fest costs more?
Just imagine you're in Munich, then the beer price seems normal. :)
I was about to post this in response:
“That is what I was thinking of really. Of course beer is much more expensive generally in Munich, and the Oktoberfest is notorious for being extortionate – but even then a Maß at the Wiesn does not cost nearly twice what you would pay elsewhere in Munich.”
Well, that’s what I thought – but it turns out you can get a Maß of Augustiner Helles at the
Augustiner-Stuben for 5,60 compared to 11,80 for Festbier at the Wiesn. That's 110% more. If we compare it to the Annafest mark-up (9 EUR ÷ 5,20 EUR) which works out at +73%, it is even more expensive.
On the other hand, a Maß of Helles at the Hofbräuhaus is 9,20, so a Wiesn-Maß is only +28% more expensive than that.
So it really does depend where you drink. I am sure there are plenty of bars in Munich that are charging way more than the equivalent of Oktoberfest prices without anyone complaining!
(Yes I know Festbier is stronger than Helles and I'm not comparing like with like)
Finally got around to doing this wander on our trip three weeks ago with some friends (including Jason and Barry) and found it very worthwhile and something I will absolutely aim to do again on a future visit. I had been to Hoffman and Lindenbrau previously this year on a driviing tour around the area but never did the hiking part of it.
Firstly it's fairly easy to get to the starting point from Bamberg. We took a train to Forchheim and then a bus (off the top of my head #223 but I'd have to look it up to confirm) from there to Weissenohe. While the bus ride was fairly long (about 40 minutes I think) it was also scenic and got us there in plenty of time to do what we came to do.
So we started off visiting the brewery in Weissenohe and it was well worth the stop as we all seemed to enjoy their beers. Of course their "Altfrankisch" Dunkel was fine but I particulary enjoyed a pilsener they had that was well hopped with Hersbrucker. They kind of gave it a craft beery name which made me skeptical but in the interest of science I ordered one and really quite enjoyed it.
Now in order to give us plenty of time to enjoy our stops we cheated a bit and didn't exactly do the entire hike. For example from Weissenohe we took the train to Grafenberg and then hopped a bus from there that dropped us off near Thuisbrunn. We would walk our way back from there to Grafenberg. I think that approach worked very well and kudos to Jason and Roonnie for working out those details.
Elch Brau in Thuisbrunn was excellent! It was a first visit there for me but I'd put this one on my ever expanding top ten list. Wonderful beers in a really nice beer garden. Worth the trip out there all on it's own.
The walk mostly up hill from there to Hoffman didn't take too long (40 minutes-ish). Hoffman was okay but not as good as I remembered it in May. I suspect the rush of visitors in the summer maybe puts some strain on their capacity and maybe they have to rush batches a bit more but while I loved it in May it seemed just kind of meh in July. In fairness Thuisbrunn is a touch act to follow IMO.
The hike from Hoffman to Grafenberg was interesting in that we split off in to two groups for some reason and my group (unfortunately following my lead) got a bit lost and added an extra 1-2km distance to the hike. Honestly I found the signs for 5 Seidla Steig not as clear as I expected compared to other hikes I've done in Franken. Anyhow, experience is the best teacher and sometimes you learn more about an area by getting lost in it than otherwise. So as it turns out we only fell about 3/4 of a Seidla behind.
Lindenbrau was good as usual and I think we actually had one seidla from the barrel and one from keg (as I recall) and the one from the barrel was noticeably better we all agreed. I was pondering this morning as I thought back on this trip that Grafenberg would be a nice place to stay for a night or two or three on a future trip because there is actually plenty around there to interest the beer lover. Granted it's not the nightlife of Bamberg but I really could see staying at Lindenbrau for a short stay. Anyhow that's a side note.
Friedman was our last stop. We had barely enough time to get up to the keller for a couple of beers and a bit to eat. Those that have been there know it is a really nice keller with a great view. The beer was also good. We did stop quickly at the pub on the way down towards the station. I have to say the Friedman beers were better than I expected. I've always heard that it was average at best (compared to Lindenbrau) but I disagree with that assesement. I think Friedman is well worth the stop both for the keller, the beer, and the brewpub.
We bought a few bottles to take with us for the journey home and that journey consisted of ..... actually I'm a bit foggy on this. We took a train from Grafenberg to somewhere and then a bus to Erlangen station. Maybe Jason can fill in the exact details. But finally a train ride back to Bamberg from Erlangen. I know this is a bit different than what I thought was the usual route through Nurnberg. I guess we saved some time this way? Next time I think I'll just stay a night or three in Grafenberg and just catch the bus back to Forchheim during the day.
In conclusion, a very worthwhile excursion that includes 5 breweries (all of which I enjoyed) and nice scenery to boot.
Complements to Mark for an excellent informative post. Well done.
Thanks. More to come. I've been busy since I've gotten back and I'm now over the post-Franconia depression phase so I can talk about it again.
And by post-Franconia depression phase I basically mean the depression and shock of returning to reality after yet another wonderful visit to may favorite place in the world.
I can see a book coming... Mark’s Top 10 50 best Franconian beers!
You’re memory served you well! We took a train to Eschenau then bus to Erlangen (where the driver scolded us for having open bottles- deplorable- and we all sat quiet as nice for the journey) and then the train to Bamberg. It saved us going into Nuremberg and probably around 45mins as the connections were good. If it’s more than the time it takes to drink a seidla I’m all for some public transport adventure!
Also agree with the beer. Hoffmann was definitely on form in May. The extra stall outside in the garden tells it’s own story.
As a more than willing participant, I concur with all of this. Friedmann was a great surprise after the reports. The view from the Keller is breathtaking and, when it rained, the people there went to a lot of trouble to make sure we stayed dry. Amazing to meet a chap who had spent a considerable time in Kirkaldy!
We managed to locate the rest of the party in the Friedmann stube, we had a quickish beer, which was excellent; in fact, I actually preferred their beers to Lindenbraeu, though the one vom Fass in Linden was pretty decent. It's a bit of a trot from Friedmann to the station and, somehow, we managed to lose Ronnie enroute. However, he managed to make the train ok!
Sounds like a cracking trip chaps, though a trifle too energetic for me I fear. But Its good to experience it vicariously,so keep posting!
I took a trip out last Saturday to visit Regensburg and Laaber, with a plan to visit Proeslbraeu in Adlersberg. Also stopped in Neumarkt for a swift one in Gansbraue. Laaber was very pleasant but Kneitinger in Regensburg wasn't as good as I remember. Nothing wrong, maybe I just expected too much. I went into the craft beer shop near the bridge and left without buying anything and went into the getraenkemarkt down the road and left with a full rucksack. Kloster Mallersdorf, Proesslbraue and other local breweries make this a must visit and even if the beers can't be taken home all are refridgerated for immediate consumption.
I decided to save Proesslbraue for another time and went to Fuchsbeck in Suzbach Rosenberg as previous visits had impressed. It's a traditional tap in what is a very attractive small town with 2 breweries (Sperber is a little more modern and foody but OK). I must say I think their Helles is one of the finest beers in the region and at just 4.5% also extremely drinkable.
Given how close it is to Amberg (4 breweries), it comes throughly recommended as a day trip with the train.
Great stuff, Jason, think that might alraedy be a plan for next year.
The Metzgerei Liebold is closed until 14th August. If you are in the habit of taking a Leberkäsebrötchen into Schlenkerla for breakfast, you need to make other arrangements.
Right, I am travelling from Hirschaid to Regensburg and it turns out the Bayern-Ticket is the cheapest ticket in any event.
Obviously there is enough at each end and en route to keep me busy (especially as I have never been to Regensburg before) but it seems like an opportunity to fit in a short detour to another destination at zero additional cost, as I can theoretically go anywhere in Bayern that I can get to on local trains.
It has been a number of years since I've been, but Amberg had some nice breweries.
I don't know how much time you'll have in the Regensburg area, but I would promote Kelheim for beer and sites over Regensburg.
I (we) were not overly impressed with Regensburg as a tourist or beer destination.
If you stay there, Kneitinger has a nice restaurant, and if you ask nicely at the gift shop across the alley, you may get an impromptu tour. Beer is OK.
Spitalbrauerei has a nice biergarten, beer is OK. If you're into glassware, I recall they had a unique glass available in their gift shop.
Fine cathedral is the main draw for tourists; ask at tourist info for accomodation.
I think that's about it for Regensburg.
Alternately, Kelheim, 25 km away:
Schneider Weisse Brauerei: one of the very best wheat beers. Very nice place. Usually friendly.
Nice pub and rooms at Gasthof Bertzl.
Wonderful boat ride up the Danube to Weltenberg Abby/Brauerei. Excellent beer, magnificent (small) cathedral, nice beer garden.
Nice pub Brauerei Frischeisen, we enjoyed the beers, but it was a while ago.
Befreiungshalle: Enormous beautiful monument at the top of a hill. You can walk (if you're in shape), or (I think) take the bus.
Organ museum: in an old church at the base of the hill; many old pipe organs on display, and the attendent will probably play a couple for you (if it's still open).
Nice town to walk around in.
Surely Kelheim is close enough to visit from a Kelheim base?
Definitely somewhere not to miss.
And yes, Schneider is an all time classic.
In Munich with the Schneider and Tegernseer pubs opposite each other, not much reason to leave Tal.
If you do go to Kelheim try to put Schneider in Essing on the list. Really nice place and beer and I believe can be reached from Kelheim by a short boat ride up the river.
Don't confuse the Essing Schneider with the Kelheim Schneider; two different outfits.
We stayed in Essing once, and I didn't know the difference.
Also in Essing, the Tazelwurm, a few years ago it was billed as "the world's longest wooden pedestrian bridge". We were back in Essing in 2018, but it seemed kind of depressed. The nice hotel we stayed in was closed, undergoing reconstruction. It's a very small town.
If you want to see a (17mb!) pano of the bridge, click here.
The picture is 10 years old so so and the path straight ahead is the Fünf Flüsse Radweg. The bridge is a bit outside of Essing proper (you can kind of see it up the hill in the upper left background).
BTW, I think Barm was just looking for places where he could hop off a train and have a beer since the Bayern ticket is good all day. Amberg has direct trains from Nürnberg and to Regensburg -- and the train station (IIRC) is not far from the Altstadt and a couple of the breweries. I am hazy on that as I've only been on Amberg by bicycle
I thought about Kelheim but does it have a railway station?
No train; closest station (end of the line, I think) is Saal on Donau.
You can get a bus from there, or from Regensburg, or maybe from Nuremburg.
I'm sure you know how to check Deutsche Bahn for routing.
Auch Winkler Brau, Lengenfeld.... Kupfer bier
Well, I ended up stopping off in Amberg as Fred suggested. Nice enough for a couple of hours. Beer at Schloderer-Bräu was poor to mediocre, Kummert was much better and the beer hall lovely.
I think Regensburg is definitely worth at least one overnight. I should have gone to Spital instead of the Weissbierhaus (clearly formerly a Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht) where I did go. Kneitinger was as brilliant as expected. I arrived too late and left too early to get much of a chance to make the acquaintance of the Bischofshof beers. I hadn't realised they brew a lot of the Weltenburger Kloster stuff.
They also brew an ersatz Zoigl. No further comment needed.
I visited Bischofshof brewery tap a few years and wasn't madly impressed with the beers. Quite bland, commercial suit all tastes type of stuff, IMHO. However, the garden was pleasant and the weather delightful. Most interestingly, they were filming or photographing a commercial for their beers that involved a female model (looking like a typical beer drinker!) walking across the garden holding a Seidla of beer. But, no matter what they did, they couldn't get the head (Schaum) to remain for long enough to take a shot! Might say something about the beer. I think that I've got a photo of it somewhere but not sure where!
All the beers without the word “Kloster” on the label are brewed by Bischofshof. It’s a poor brewery that doesn’t warrant a visit. Schloderer is little better than home brew, Bruckmüller is the best of the center breweries.
For it’s size and University, Regensburg isn’t really that interesting. It’s unfair to compare with Bamberg, but with over double the population I would expect more. Beer aside it is a very interesting and historical city and looks much better now they’ve eventually finished the bridge repairs.
There are a lot of interesting breweries around that can be accessed by public transport though.
Careful, Jason !
I've been a homebrewer for 30 years, and can make beer as good or better than any commercial brewery!
I know other homebrewers around that also produce great beers.
True, it’s a turn of phrase. At least in the British vernacular.
As in from a Boots kit.
Understandable turn of phrase. I was a member of a local homebrew club for a few years before I just got fed up with the nonsense. Mostly shite beer and all the BJCP nonsense. I swear a good number of the people there only attended because they just wanted a place to hangout and really weren't all that into brewing.
But there were two or three home brewers in the rough that really knew WTF they were doing. Naturally I was one of them :)
Laaber, for Brauerei Plank. Maybe Kloster Mallersdorf. Also: Amberg (5 breweries) plus maybe Sulzbach-Rosenberg (2).
Is Amberg worth a day trip? Anything to see? Its on the VGN network so cheap enough to reach.
Definitely. Old town is very nice, city wall and various old buildings and churches. A lot less touristy than Bamberg. The railway station is 50 metres from the old town. And some nice breweries.
Thanks Jan, I may give it a go next time.
Booked myself into Brauerei Kraus for a couple of nights. Anyone stayed there, is it nice?
I know some people are not fans of their beer, that's not what I'm asking.
Hello Barm, Ihave stayed there several times. and in fact it is now my first choice.comfortable accommadation, decent food, friendly locals (mostly),close to the main train line, and GOOD! beer.( cant understand the whining about the beer I find it perfectly acceptable).
so whats not to like! Hope you have a nice stay.
I made a reservation for Kraus several years ago. Showed up to check in and was informed there was no room available. Instead I was sent to the "Drive Inn". I understand being full but I won't try to stay here again.
When I "guided" the tour bus/coachload of Nebraskans there years ago, the same thing happened. Quite a few rooms were "not available" and so people had to traipse off to a motel a km or so away.
By that time, the driver had settled into a beer, and so couldn't drive them over. The morbidly obese lady of the house called for a taxi van, who showed up. I went along (I forget why, I wasn't going to stay there with the group, being that I lived in Erlangen, AKA the City That Won't Be Named Openly) and the driver wanted to charge 5 EUR per person for the pleasure of being driven a km or so. I told her that was a shameless ripoff, and should only get 1 EUR per person.
One older Nebraskan complained of sewer gas in his room.
Kraus come across as a bit full of themselves...don't miss it much. Captive market and all that. Somebody should open up some competition in Hirschaid for them.
Strange, I have never had any trouble. A lot of the overnight trade is from men working away from home who, like myself, book well in advance. And e- mail them direct via their website.
So as they say, " If you dont like it dont go back"
Well, I did end up staying here for two nights and I have no real complaints. My room was perfectly decent, it is very near the station and the price was right. I thought the Wurst on offer at breakfast could have been more impressive considering they have their own sausage kitchen, but breakfast was perfectly OK and didn't cost any extra. I could leave my rental bike in the beer garden overnight (in a hotel in NL I saw someone had parked their bike in the corrider outside their room!). It is also very nice to sit out in a beer garden late at night and know your bed is only a flight of stairs away.
When I arrived it was scorching weather and the restaurant was closed with only the beer garden open. I guess if you understood no German at all and didn’t get how things work in rural Bavaria you might be alarmed or put off by this. I just asked at the same hatch where people were queueing for beer and was immediately handed my room key. Very relaxed, considering some places still make you fill out a form with your passport number.
I also asked if I could see the brewery and was turned down because it was summer and they were so busy. Which is fair enough, I wouldn't want strangers looking over my shoulder at work either.
Would stay here again.
So file this under “it’s a small world” but as we were enjoying our first beer today, Neder btw and it’s very good, we randomly met Joris from Lithuania who posted recently on this forum asking about Annafest. The power of beer and the internet at work again. Nice to meet you Joris!
Ronnie got interviewed by BR Fernsehen yesterday evening.
Wow! Ronnie media star, well done, there'll be no holding you now!
Ah Barry,he may not cast you aside now that he is a media star,and still might wish you to hold him. tee hee.
Wow! Ronnie media star, well done, there'll be no holding you now!
That is brilliant!!!!
What a a great day we had there today. It was tough herding the cars and getting them all to the Bahnhof at 10 pm but well worth the effort.
Cats I mean.
Yea! I reckon we got that lol! sounds a great trip.
I like those two guys behind the correspondent at the beginning of the video: already staggering drunk during daylight.
I never met Ronnie, but good job, sir.
So ... any reports?
There was still some Annafest paraphernalia about when I was in the (quiet!) Kellerwald last week. I did not realise that they double the price of Bier when the fest is on!
It was great. As always.
There are so many here but little comment, maybe because we have exhausted novel things to say? Ok, so tonight I and Marks party went to Canalisimo, the scene of probably the first ever attempt to organise a group from the Forum to meet up? To be honest, I got pretty hopelessly inebriated, so much so that Jacqueline said never again! So I defied orders but was it worth it? Really, no. My nemory, which is probably skewed by time and alcohol, was of a pleasant local beer fest. However,Canalisimo is now a 'cultural event'. I'm not sure whose or what culture because the only thing vaguely cultural were a couple of rocks (didn't impress my younger and more knowledgeable companions). Otherwise, it was a typical German strassenfest, lots of food, lots of people promenading, a few beer places. Beer content: nice Seidlas from Fischer Greuth and Zehendner. Finished off with a couple 9f pils in Faessla. Excellent.
So many here and none of them are on this forum other you and I. I haven’t been posting while here because of lack of time and don’t really like typing a lot on my iPhone.
Canallisimo is pretty much what what it was back then. Main difference is now there is a 3 euro entrance fee and no Metzgerbrau. Otherwise I see no difference.
Anyhow we’re off to Annafest today.
It hasn’t changed as you say Mark. Remember these things aren’t put on for tourists, and much of the fun is about meeting people you don’t always see and meeting friends.
Street fest/canal fest/Bier fest - they’re all the same, beer, food, music and people. I’m not sure what more is expected. If it’s not your thing, avoid them.
Same: too busy biking or enjoying the keller
Mursbach, schroll, Karin, Kemmern kellers, Dorfleins yesterday.
Note: Br. Endres was way off, our only dumper of the day.
Fischer Greuth brews no more. There were some rumours about it already, I got that confirmed 2 weeks ago from one lady who lives in Greuth. AFAIK now they getting "their" beer brewed in Rittmayer.
The Seidla that I had at Canalisimo was ok, nothing great but nothing bad. Just a bit too sweet for my taste. Hummer in Breitengussbach sell Eittmayer beers but I can't really much about the Seidla u had some days ago, which probably says something about it.
Fischer in Greuth uses contract brewing at Rittmayer in Hallerndorr since 2018. Mr. Fischer has talked with me at Canalissimo 2918. But they use the old. own receipt of Fischer.
I have not posted much because my visits to Germany are fewer due to lack of funds. Reading about all these beer activities is less enticing if you can't join in.
Well hopefully things turn around and you’ll be back here soon. You are well thought of and missed in Franken. This year I’ve told stories of past Annafests that I was at with you. A lot of good times
Yes, I love Annafest. If I had my way, I would go every other year, and this should have been one of those years. It is ironic that I have all the time in the world sitting at home, but no money to go. Well, next year or the year after, I hope...
Are you not working these days Jim, ? Me neither. Have to fix that.
Big changes coming, and I'm not one that deals with change well. Imma move back to the US, maybe within 2 months. Mrs is likely going to follow me.
But...where? And to do what? I was a mfg engineer -cum- application developer (back when "application" didn't mean something on your phone) in my previous, pre-German life, then English "teacher" part-time in Erlangen for a good 8 years or so.
I don't want to go back to programming, nor would it be very easy, having been out of it for 15 years. Or...would it, Fred? My last gig was doing VisualBasic (and Borland C++) user interfaces to Oracle and MS databases to track automated and manually-entered production data. Maybe there's legacy support work to be done that I could pick up?
Although I cooked and washed dishes in high school and college, I never waited tables. That actually has its appeal now: dealing with people rather than computers, being up and on my feet rather than sitting (developed psiatica whilst programming), earing tips. Should be theoretically easy to find work.
Texas? Lived in Houston as a kid for a couple of years when Dad was getting post-doctoral training in medical physics, after having been let go at NASA in New Orleans, when Nixon cut the budget for the research he was working on (effects of zero gravity on bone density or some such rocket science). Houston was where I had about the most fun as a kid, I guess, after New Orleans. I'd lived in KS, PA, LA, TX, and MN by the age of 9, so moved around a lot. Not an army brat, but a physics brat.
NOLA would be interesting, but too humid. I want near-desert conditions, and so I'm thinking of west Texas. A small city rather than a big one.
ARE THERE ANY TEXANS ON HERE? If so, suggest a city to consider! I have great memories of childhood fun in San Antonio when we visited my aunt & uncle there, but they're long gone and I have no relatives there. A dream would be to open a TX BBQ place, or a butcher's. (Sorry veggies--health comes first!)
Another issue is my 2001 Toyota Sequoia, which I stupidly imported when I returned here in November. It is STILL in limbo because of the headlights. I am sorely tempted to just eat the loss and ship it back for $3-4k and get it registered in the US again. Its Nevada registration will have expired by the time I get around to shipping it, I fear.
AFA beer goes, I'm averaging about 2 US pints or less a day now (80 cl) of Koelsch and Bitburger. Sorry about that. I would actually go sober entirely, but don't have much to do with my time, nor people to do it with. I've gotten into the habit of spending too much time down the pub in the evening.
I miss Erlangen. Ah well, I miss lots of things.
ARE THERE ANY TEXANS ON HERE? If so, suggest a city to consider! I have great memories of childhood fun in San Antonio when we visited my aunt & uncle there, but they're long gone and I have no relatives there. A dream would be to open a TX BBQ place, or a butcher's. (Sorry veggies--health comes first!)
Sorry, I meant more west, desert-ish Texas. Even El Paso. Never been there, seems quite small. Safe though?
I think that I'm probably the only livinig vegetarian on this Forum - certainly the only one that I've met face to face. I'll take your apology as read!
You know, in all our many conversations on the meaning of life, etc., I never imagined that you'd move back to the U.S. (and certainly not with Becky! Does that mean you'll become a two-dog family?). What happened to dreams of Thanet? I suppose that's all tied in with Adidas and Brexit, etc. It's funny, in all our conversations, these were never concepts that came up. Just shows you that you can't predict the future.
Do you miss Erlangen or Franken? Putting the beer aspect to one side (as if that was possible!), Franken still seems to me to be nice place to live for many reasons, as does Prague, apart from, in each case, the cold winters! With what I know now, I wish that I'd bought an apartment in Prague a few years ago when they were really cheap. But they're not any more.
One of Mark's friends who accompanied him in the recent trip to Bamberg lived in Albuquerque for a while, didn't sound too attractive; many years ago, I had a friend who lived in Austin, said that it was great for music (also with a big historic Irish population) but I don't know if it's still good for music.
Anyway, good luck on whatever you decide.
Well I guess its a "to each his own" type of thing. I personally would not want to live in those hot, dry Southwest US places whether that's El Paso, TX, Albuquerque, Phoenix, etc. For me there are three places in the US I'd live and I'm in one of them already. New England, Colorado/Wyoming (i.e. Rocky Mtns), or Pacific Northwest (Portland, Seattle, etc.). But I Iike the cooler climates and mountains so there it is. Plus those are some of the best beer regions in the US IMO (no offense to San Diego or upper midwest)
Austin is still a good city for music. The city has grown tremendously over the past couple of decades (I first went there in the 90's) but I still personally think it would be my favorite city to visit in TX. It's not the near desert like conditions that Nick is looking for though. Austin can be very humid.
Just move back to Franconia. Do you have EU citizenship?
Getting hired in the US is extemely difficult if you are over 45, and gets harder each year above that age. Of course, I am speaking of well-paying professional jobs. Your mileage may vary if you are just looking for a job in the service industry.
I'm a bit confused. Our party were planning to go to Staffelstein on Sunday. But I've looked at the website and this weekend seems to be a general town festival with usual stalls, concerts, etc. The annual beer festival is in a couple of weeks? Anyone confirm?
It's the Altstadtfest this weekend, nothing to do with the beerfest on the Mariahimmelfahrt holiday. There will be medieval themed events and I'm sure there will be a few beer stalls, but there's no guarentee of interesting selections. Pretty sure Mark was aware of this.
Yeah I was aware that it was not specifically a Bier fest and have looked into it further and found there a limited selection there. Metzgerbrau is one of them. We will weigh options
Quick update on opening times , just cycled past and new sign states Friday to Sunday only from 16.00 in brauerei leicht . I was a bit gutted coming back from Coburg but reblitz needensdorf is on fine form.
Just waiting a bit of time while rest of your party arrive from Roppelt. Couple of Seidlas in Neder, Fassbier excellent, specially sitting in sunshine outside. Witzgall Vollbier lovely , auch.
17.08 - 3.09 inclusive.
Thanks. Looks like I get 5 days of Amber Nectar without walking up a hill...
Think of the view!
And the inconsistant beer quality...
Never quite got this thing about "The view" mostly rooftops and a low hill in the far distance.
Oh philistine! These are the rooftops of Bamberg, not just any old place.
It's a beautful view, especially when the sun sets. And especially when 3 of the 4 major spires aren't covered in scaffolding, as they are now.
Have they all been scaffolding free at some point? lol
They have... but the Dom is likely to always have it as it takes a long time to dissemble and the towers need almost constant renovations.
Just to check out a few beer sampling dates: I really lost my overview on who's when in Franconia? Mark, Barry, Andy...
If only there was a calendar on this site so people could put their dates in.......
That's good. I'm not sure when we'll have your august company.
my August company? Well I’m off on Monday 29th to Barcelona to Saturday 3rd. On the next Friday ill have my birthday as usual with a few barrels in the Hain park. To be honest I’ll be joining where I can / want to in the next few weeks as I have to work and play football.
Don't think that's a problem. I think Mark published his schedule to allow people to drop in-drop out. Can't see me surviving for the whole show. Second Saturday is certainly a miss for me!
"I think Mark published his schedule to allow people to drop in-drop out."
Yeah pretty much. There's a lot of moving parts on this particular trip (i.e. various different friends arriving at different times) so I felt some effort to coordinate was necessary otherwise I'll be getting multiple text messages every morning asking what the hell we're doing today.
So I created a schedule, with Ronnie's help, for my own sanity if nothing else.
While I hate Facebook as a place for discussion it does have it's uses. Such as the private event page for this trip. Which, btw I will be using during the trip to keep everyone posted on things like "It's 11am and we're off to the bahnhof now. First stop Brewery/Keller (insert brewery name here)". So stayed tuned to it.
It's good. I never imagined that things would become so organised when I first mooted the idea of a meet-up (is that a word?) on this forum just a few years ago.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man!
Incidentally, I've now sorted out where to get the train and booked my ticket. As i've got two hours, is there anywhere civilised where one can buy a half decent beer? I might sample the Asia Snack Box as I'm flying into T2 but I've got to go to T1 fro train. Any suggestions, O wise ones?
I wish I knew. I've never found a bar in Frankfurt airport that I really like. Hence why I'm glad I'm flying home from Munich this time. At least there is Airbrau there.
I had a Franziskaner while waiting for a flight recently. Cost nearly EUR6.
I would just have a coffee.
€6 for a Franzikaner! Gulp - I'll make do with an Asian snack.
It's a pain - the flight departure time is nice - mid-afternoon - but I don't get in Ebensfeld until nearly 11 pm and the transit in Wuerzburg is only 7 minutes and the same in Bamberg. I could pay double for a quicker train but it only arrives an hour earlier, so not really worth paying an extra €17 for a run down to Koenigstr and a rapid beer or two. Specially as I believe there'll be no shortage of amber nectar in the next couple of weeks!
A great shame that Airbräu is land-side. The beer is not always great but is usually at least decent and sometimes very good. I have spent a lot of time waiting after security at MUC for a delayed flight with only the air-side snack bar and its uninspiring choice of beers.
There is one airside... Terminal 2. Called “next to heaven”.
Had a 12 hour delay in Seattle in 2015, returning from Portland. That was horrible in the sense of everything being ridiculously over-priced and over-done.
Then September, LV - YYZ (Toronto) - Halifax - FRA...overnight delay in Halifax due to fog. THAT is a strange place. Actually, its strangeness and 11:30 PM end of alcohol sales was a good thing in the end, gave me something to keep occupied and not get drunk.
What a great idea John! Fred would this be possible? Oh wait there is one ... and look there is actually a person that used it in July. Good on him!
Hi Juergen You may get this direct from Mark but, anyway, here's the 'rough' schedule - no doubt it will be amended as we go!
Wednesday July 17th Barry arrives (very late pm!); also I think Ronnie.
Thursday July 18th Ronnie is planning to visit to Ochsenfurt, I plan to recover from Wednesday and get ready for the onslaught.
Saturday 20th - Funf Seidla Steig (5 brewery hike) (Barry: Gulp!)
Sunday 21st - (Nedensdorf to Weisen to Pferdsfeld, Unterneuses, Ebensfeld)
Monday 22nd - Probably a day in and around Bamberg.
Tuesday 23rd - Grassmandorff, Moenchsambach, etc.
Wednesday 24th - Isa arrives (don't know when). Otherwise open
Thursday 25th - Brauerei Ulrich Martin in Hausen - later around Bamberg, maybe Dorfleins or Bischberg
Friday 26th - Mark's daughter Jess and friend Marian arrive in Bamberg. Canalissimo starts in Bamberg.(more gulps!)
Saturday 27th - Annafest (but probably not for me!)
Sunday 28th - (Annafest recovery day). Schmausenkeller to Muhlendorf/Debring hike.
Monday 29th - Mark & friends to Munich. Train leaves at 12:17. Barry recovering.
So, I hope that you can find a sport with us somewhere.
Juergen let us know when you have some free time. Maybe you can join us Sunday the 21st?
August 11 to 30 for me. Most of that with my brother.
Making my first trip to Bamberg! Sadly far too short and only part of a trip that starts in Berlin and ends in Munich. Will have a car (with my wife driving and not drinking). Missing both Annafest and Kanalissimo.
Tuesday, July 23rd--arrive in Bamberg (driving down from Erfurt--stoppping in Coburg, Sesslach and Reckendorf on the way down)
Wednesday, July 24th--Bamberg
Thursday, July 25th--Forchheim and Kreuzberg. Evening in Bamberg
Friday, July 26th--Leave Bamberg. Visit Pottenstein on the way to Nürnberg
Thanks for all the advice I've gotten from you guys!
Enjoy your trip Brian. We may see you on the 24th. I think that day we'll be wandering around Bamberg visiting breweries waiting for one of our group to arrive from Hamburg.
I will be on the lookout for you.
Sadly not me Jurgen.And I am krank as the proverbial schwein.
Shame Andy, we'll miss you.
Hope you get well soon, Andy. Still I have no clue who's here when because of so many answers with no relation to my question and I simply have no time to read them all. I'm off to Galicia for the next two weeks from Wednesday the 24th of July onwards. If someone's here after that time, please feel free to contact me. After my last cellphone crash I lost all your numbers by the way. Think it was the last windowsphone on earth. A water bottle hit it.
Hi Juergen I'm here now until after you leave!
Hi Juergen I'm here now until after you leave!
Juergen I messaged you about this weekends plans. Hopefully you can join us
Try to join you and Barry on Sunday, but I'm not sure at all I can make it. Lucky bastards. ;-)
Thanks to Ryanair's constant changing of routes, next week, I'm flying into Frankfurt Flughafen. Never done this before, only the dreaded 'Frankfurt' Hahn! So, can anyone tell me what it's like getting to the train station - is it tricky and how long? Ryanair fly from Terminal 2.
From Terminal 2 there is a Tram that will take you over to Terminal 1 then you can walk to the Fernbahnhof from there (assuming you're taking a long distance train to Wurzburg).
The walk from Terminal 1 to the Fernbahnhof is fairly long but well marked and easy to follow. So it is kind of long but not tricky.
do not get confused, there are two railway stations at Frankfurt Airport. The Lokalbahnhof has track nrs 1-3 and is served by the S-Bahn and local trains. The Fernbahnhof has tracks 4-7 and is served by the long distance trains IC/EC and ICE. I do not know the distances from the terminals (never flown there) but the distance between the two stations is about 10-15 minutes, depending on how busy it is. (I have changes trains there inclusive of a change between the two stations).
There also is a shuttle bus that leaves outside of T2 baggage claim and drops you off right at the escalator up to the Fernbahnhof.
If I have checked luggage I find the bus quicker as the tram ("Sky Train") is on Level 3 and you have to work your way up theescalators.
More info here
As Treinjan said there are two train stations there but the signage is very clear in both German and English. I usually catch at train at the Long Distance Station (Fernbahnhof) since it's saves having to make an extra changover at Frankfurt main station.
Hello, good people!
Have a trip planned this year to visit Annafest. Read a few articles there and there, heard about this whole bunch of celebration while visiting Nurmberg last year. To cut short - nowhere I encountered the need to reserve tables like at infamous Oktoberfest, but now a fella from my team is texting about me the need to do so. So how does it work @ Annafest?
So far from what I had gathered, it seemed to me that whole experience is quite liberal, you can move from Keller to Keller, grab yours stoneware and join the company, no need for reservations But maybe my mate is right, there is a need for reservations? Any experience to share?
I've been several times and going again this year. There is no need to reserve a table. Now it can get busy on certain days (such as the first Saturday for instance) but I've never had trouble finding a place to sit, or getting a beer, etc. even on a busy day. Some people do reserve tables but I think that is mostly larger groups that do this and really only if they are planning on staying at one keller. I think if you're planning on bouncing from keller to keller you're better off not reserving and you'll find it very easy to do.
Oh and go early, especially on a weekend. When it gets really busy is usually in the evening so i highly recommend that you get there early in the day. We are going on a Saturday this year and will get there at 11am.
Yup, agree with Mark. As he said, if you’re more than 5 people and want to go at peak times AND are really fussy about sitting together then I suggest going at non peak times. Reserving will probably be more hassle than it sounds.
Gutted I can't do Annafest this year as I was hoping to but definitely aiming to make a trip to the Kellerwald before the end of the season.
Thanks for info, good people. And what about the healthy need for food - if the group of 8 wanna have a dinner on festival area, so also no need for reservation?
Again no need for reservations. Not sure I would use healthy in the same sentence as food at Annafest but it's easy enough to get at most of the kellers.
Does anybody know off hand when Spezial starts their summer vacation? Back in the day it was right before the Sandkerwa but it seems like the last time I was in Bamberg in August it was earlier than that.
No sign up yet. If you want I can text Florian, always good to know when the dark days will be upon us again. I'm 99% sure it'll straddle Sandkerwa.
No need to text, not that urgent. Just ask next time you pop in for a beer. I know they are closed during Sandkerwa, just want to know how much before... Thx
To the joy of many fans out there, the owner of Neder has decided to lease out the brewery and pub to the 23 year old who some of you may have seen working in the pub. I had heard that breweries such as fässla were interested and we could have lost an institution.
He’s a trainee brewer and from my experience in the taproom is a very good choice. Neder geht weiter!
Good news indeed! Thanks for sharing, Jason.
Let's hope he doesn't change a thing!
Is that the big guy who has been there a lot recently? It's great news as long as everything stays the same - no weird coffee/vanilla stouts, no double ipas; in fant absolutely no ipa's of any kind. I might be in there next week, so we'll see if any changes.
That's him. He's been there a while, so wipe the sweat off your brow Barry, I'm sure he'll keep things just as they are.
You never know, look at Mahrs.
Had Mahrs Pils on draught in a pub in Hereford at the weekend. The first mouthful was a shock!
Why, was it good?!! Whilst i appreciate the reference, I'm 100% sure that you couldn't have two characters so different as Herr Michel and the young man at Neder.
I had it some months ago in the brewery. So buttery I couldn't finish it. I complained and the waitress was like, "what do you know".
But never mind the diacetyl, you can get it in cans!
It wasn't buttery but had an unpleasant hop extract edge on the first mouthful. This dissipated the longer it was in the glass. By the end it was OK at best but hardly earthshattering.
I've now read the article - it's the same guy as served me on a few occasions and all sounds well - phew!
Sorry chaps but I fear you are being a tad optomistic. The dread phrase "for the time being" is mentioned twice,and bearing in mind possible duff translation the owner says " stay the same on the outside" I smell change in the wind.
With respect Andrew, the article doesn’t suggest what you are saying. I translated it without any tool and whilst I understand where you saw these issues, I didn’t. The first “zur Zeit’ just meant that he had been doing his Ausbildung to the point he was appointed. The “stay the same from the outside” just means that everything remains the same apart from the “ownership” (the inside).
My german is better than most on this forum, but I haven’t spent a lot of time on this, and I’m far from perfect. But it’s positive in my opinion.
Correction; he’d done his Ausbildung and brewer training and he’s been at neder for 7 years. He said he wants to continue the pub without disturbance: you can bring your own food, the beer will be poured from the barrel and the beer quality will remain the same.
That's what I understood from the translation. In any case, it will probably outlast me in it's present form. If not, c'est la vie - or whatever the equivalent is in Deutsch.
So ist das Leben!
Mea culpa Jason, I was using google translate. so could well have been mistranslated.
(I truly hope so!)
No worries. Google translate is really rather good these days, but it’s the subtleties that are often lost.
Today I visited Klosterbrauerei Irsee near Kaufbeuren. A bit expensive and touristy but very pleasant place with excellent beer and some of the most beautiful Krugs and glasses I’ve come across. The Starkbier was excellent.
Then to the zoigl brewery in Kaufbeuren. In terms of authenticity, this is almost more ‘authentic’ than the ‘real’ thing. Excellent replica of a Oberpfälzer Stub’n, even with that meaty smell. The beer was quite dark, poured from a sole tap in the corner. Typical zoigl co2 levels, quite malty but also a little odd. A sign told that it was brewed at the end of April and has been lagered since then. For me that might be too long, as it had almost no sweetness to it, although as said it was quite dark. The hops came through to add to the bitterness of the malt. If it just kept the malt sweetness it would have been good.
That said, it was really worth a visit, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to visit.
I met the chap from Kaufbeuren a few years ago when he was at Abseits demonstrating his beers. He was an interesting character and we talked for quite some time.
At first, I was really quite in opposition to the idea of brewing Zoigl in the Allgaeu but, in the end, I was pretty convinced of his sincerity in loving the tradition of Zoigl and not just perpretating a rip-off, like some other breweries. I had always intended to go and see for myself but it's a tricky place to get to without a car, so have never managed it.
In the end, the Zoigl beers are simply another type of Pilsner beer, as most use mainly pilsner malt, with different proportions of Muenchner etc., but German hops, as opposed to Czech ones, which I suppose is one of the things that make German Pilsner a bit different.
Good to get a first-hand report on the experience, save me going!
You would definitely like the stubn and attention to detail. I only stayed an hour, would have stayed longer if the beer was marginally better.
In some cases the beer was also zoigl like ;)
I went back in '14. The very friendly proprietor apparently recognized that I was a beer geek and took me down the road (Kappeneck 1) where he was going to be putting in a new brewery. Better yet, he decided to tap a beer that he described as a Tripel Bock which almost like a strong porter and was excellent.
The stube is very homey, and the Zoigl beer itself was only fair on this occasion.
I've heard through ratebeer.com that he has passed away. I regret having been hostile to him on here (never met him in person) way back when he was new to Franconian beer and travel.
Terrible news. He was way too young.
Agreed. All of the things that may have been debated on this forum pale into insignificance when you talk about life and death. We all share a love of Franconia and no matter how this is manifested we should always remember we are batting for the same team, and even if we’re not, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
That is really sad. I met him in the Oberpfalz, actually in Schoilmichel in Neuhaus, which a lot of you will know well. He seemed to me a very nice person, chatty and friendly, and we spent a really good night together; sadly, now, it will never be repeated.
Just for the ignorant like me, is this the Mike who used to get into arguments with people on here?
Not with me!
What are the 4 or more Franconian beers you enjoy most?
Be it for flavour, drinking settings, memories or reasons beyond.
And how/where do you drink them (bottle, tank, keg or bayerischer anstich).
1. Any beer that I enjoy anywhere in Franken from any dispense with or without good company 2. Eichhorn KellerBier (Tank) at the brewery or BA anywher
3. Moenchsambacher Lager BA at the brewery or in Rotenschold, Bamberg
4. Spezial Rauchbier (Tank) at the brewery
The first point is important - beer and beer drinking is nothing if not fluid. I’ve said before that the best Czech beers beat the best Franconian beers hands down, but in terms of sheer drinking experience Franconia wins every day. Within the region you have so many variables. So lists are a little futile in Franken in my opinion.
My top 3 were just random, though I would say Eichhorn kellerbier is the best beer in the region, to my taste.
- Slowly grown on me over the times. Sadly the pub isn't too special and it's quite far out of my way. But sitting in the mornings outside the facing the church and sipping the Landbier while trying to get a laugh out of the locals is fun. Great beer!
- Absolutely love this beer. Only ever consumed it from bottle at the pub and lately elsewhere since I learnt to bring empties. Saison-esque!
- Stunningly beautiful Keller. Incredible sessionable Kellerbier often enjoyed at the Keller and Restaurant, both from tank and several BA here and there. & Franz and Fritz are jewels.
- Not been to their Keller yet, which is a serious miss in my book. I've barely noticed its uniqueness in the pub, but multiple outstanding BA experiences later I drink it at any opportunity. A delighting doughyness (Gaenstallers Zwickelpils also does it well) and sublime herbal-spicy hop notes.
- Yes, great one! While visiting regularly, it easily slips my memory. Less rustic than the others mentioned, but oh so very süffig. I should try a bottle soon again. If you haven't, venture out to taste their new Rauchbier.
The Hallerndorf style of delicately hopped mineal rusticness pleases me without fail. Happily new and tried beers fade in and out of preferences!
Impossible for all the reasons you and Jason suggest!
But, for me, place imparts a special nuance to a beer, so I can't fail to mention the awe-inspiring Neder of Forchheim!
Easily the best beer in Franconia is Gradl in Leups. If you go in summer, you need to get the beer from inside and then sit in the barn to drink it.
The Spezial Keller in Bamberg for the views. And Brauerei Knoblach in Schammelsdorf for their lovely garden.
Went to Gradl last year and loved it. Hard to beat Spezi and Schlenkerla for beer. Kraus at the Haschaada keller. Otherwise any keller with a view on a warm day.
I would like to say Gradl is on my list but unfortunately I was the designated driver in my only visit there.
The Gradl Bock is among the greatest beers I've ever tried, surpassing the excellent Dunkles and fine Pils aka Vollbier.
Very, very, very difficult to limit it to just four. In no particular order
1. Golden Ochsenbrau in Spielbach - I like the beer a lot but the atmosphere for me puts it on the list. Sitting down at a table with the grandmother and paying is an experience all unto itself. Besides if I didn't include this on my list Juergen would rightfully be dissapointed.
2. Hoffman in Hohenschwarz for the Dunkel
3. Lindenbrau in Grafenberg - nice village, classic place, great beer, their own malzerei across the street.
4. Roppelts Keller - a lot of people disagree with this but sorry it's my favorite beer keller and I love the beer.
The list could just go on and on. Hoefen, Pferdsfeld, Moenchsambach, Spezial, Schroll Reckendorf, etc, etc. My top 4 will probably change in the next 5-10 minutes if I keep thinking about it.
And just thinking about this reminds me why I'm going back every year.
Both for the beer and atmosphere:
- Gold-Ochsen in Spielbach
- Neder in Forchheim
Also most of the most known breweries in Bamberg, but the 2 above are probably like no others. You'll know what I mean when you go there.
Impossible to say as it depends so much on place, weather, company, mood, etc.
A few that spring easily to mind for the whole place, beer experience are:
Schwarzes Keuz, Eggolsheim (closed)
A list. Oh my goodness. Could write forever. But to mention my top five for now:
1. Goldochsenbräu Spielbach. Type: Spezial; malted on site!
2. Brauerei Scharpf, Heilgersdorf. Type: Märzen
3. Brauerei Gradl, Leups. Type: Dunkles Vollbier
4. Brauerei Düll, Gnodstadt. Type: Pils
5. Brauerei Prechtel, Uehlfeld. Type: Kellerbier (at the Voggendorfer Keller only)
As Mark said before, the list would probably change in a minute, if asked again. ;-)
Spannend. Not heard of Düll, but will try to pass by. And as Goldochsenbräu been mentioned multiple times now, just the same. Which leads me to another curious interest: who is malting on site? Vague memories suggest Mueller in Debring does, but I'm sure there are more.
Happy to read some appreciation of Scharpf. The beers remind me of English milds, the way the malt is treated to build the body. I've just picked up two 5L barrels last week and I'm looking forward to emptying them!
Who'd you mention if I'd ask you again
Asked again today I'd go for those 5 ones:
1. Brauerei Strauss, Wettelsheim. Type: Märzen, on the Wettelsheimer Keller
2. Brauerei Schroll, Nankendorf. Type Landbier bernsteinfarben
3. Brauerei Leicht, Pferdsfeld. Type Vollbier
4. Brauerei Martin, Hausen b. Schonungen. Type Spezial
5. Seinsheimer Kellerbräu, Seinsheim. Type Helles Vollbier
Tomorrow - who knows? ;-)
So many beer, so little time. :)
Four or five, who cares...;-)
1. Witzgall Landbier, my absolute #1 not only in Franconia...
2. Lieberth Kellerbier! When served at the Dorfkeller, sometimes better than Witzgall...
3. Spezial Ungespundet (without Rauch !) Countless Biers in Bamberg, this is the best...
4. Heckel Vollbier. Not only the Gasthaus is worth a detour...
5. Aufsesser Bock Hell. Superbly balanced Heller Bock...
I tried to organize all the suggestions given so far.
I gave a "weight" to all entries by the order in which each person gave them; #1 had a much higher value than #5.
I plan to visit in the next few months, so may actually use it to look up a few places.
So, if I did everything correctly, here's the list !
Surely this is the FINAL LIST !
(I was unable to change the font to unispace.)
1 Goldochsenbräu 3
2 Gradl 3
3 Eichhorn 3
4 Neder 2
5 Witzgall 2
6 Spezial 4
7 Anywhere 1
8 Hartleb 1
9 Lieberth 2
10 Hoffman 1
11 Hummel 1
12 Roppelt Keller 3
13 Scharpf 1
14 Greifenklau 1
15 Knoblach Schlammersdorf Garten 1
16 Lindenbrau 1
17 Schlenkerla 1
18 Zehendner 1
19 Düll 1
20 Heckel 1
21 Kraus Haschaade Keller 1
22 Aufseßer 1
23 Mühlenbräu 1
24 Prechtel 1
25 Strauss Wettelsheimer Keller 1
26 Schroll 1
27 Leicht 1
28 Martin 1
29 Seinsheimer Kellerbräu 1
Just a note on the 'top 2'. Even as someone who lives here, I visit Gradl maybe 1-2 times a year and Spielbach 2-3 times per year. Juergen visits Spielbach more of course. I think there's a bit of romanticism involved here (nothing wrong with that), as with Heckel which has developed a cult status that it doesn't really want. When I was there with Mark et al a few months ago the beer was fine, but on balance not mind blowing (should it be? another question). The place was great of course. It's just a feeling.
Not sure where I'm going with this. Witzgall is fine, but honestly I was drinking it out the bottle last weekend on a football training camp... it's ok (better on draft) but I'm not visiting often. Knoblach is way overrated IMO. Griess deserves to be in that list, as does Sonnenbraeu Muersbach. Martin in Hausen deserves to be higher. Leicht as well, it's an extremely consistent product, though the pub is lacking in atmosphere. I really like Scharpf, but again, it's so hard to get to without a car I don't get there often.
I guess my point earlier is that 'hard to reach' places tend to be judged differently and romantiscised. And as visitors get 'used' to the places closer to and in Bamberg they are more attracted to these harder to reach places. That doesn't always make them better.
But then it's only a bit of fun.
Martin is wonderful. Bit ironic that it is in wine country in Unterfranken.
Strange, not a vote for Schwanne in Ebing, nor Hellmuth in Wiesen - what happened to the best Pilsner beer in Germany? Certainly no votes for perhaps the best brewery in the world across the oradand justifiably so. And what its proprietor would make of this little list that includes a lot of very respected and experienced enthusiasts - pronably very little as the money rolls in
There;s just too many good beers for this competition for it to be meaningful.
Incidentally, a recent visit by two of the above suggested that the beers of Mueller, Debring were much better than those of Muhlendorf. ISHO.
To add some fuel to the fire. A little dated but here is another view
Lieberth ( )
Hello again, it's been a while.
Where in Cumbria can I visit for both (cask) beers and sausages? (Cheese and lamb would be great too, of course). Problem is, we have to use public transport. Is it doable?
PS: yes, I still go to Germany but the most recent holidays were not planned around beer. I did manage to find some German craft beer (bottles) where I visited.
I'm considering Staveley. Can be reached by train from Manchester.
Stavely is good - the eagle and child pub and the hawks head brewery plus the watermill at ings if you can get a bus. Would also recommend Ulverston and a visit to the Prince of wales pub in foxfield and the manor arms in broughton in furness - all should be ok with public transport as most on or near railway lines. That aside it’s a hard place to traverse without a car.
Thanks, Jason. Ulverston is doable. It's a little more than 2hrs by either bus or train from Staveley. I hope to do a bit of walking every day in the area (weather permitting). It'll be nice to drop by a local pub for beer and sausages along the way.
Hawkshead is one of the reasons I make Staveley my base.
Iwould imagine Keswick would fit the bill. Lakes not that easy without a car. I know a lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages.
Dear U Forget the Lake District, come to North Wales. Two hours by train from Manchester Airport, lovely countryside, historic castles, good-ish public transport, excellent beer and pubs. As recommended by fellow Forummers! What more could you want!
Hahah... would love to visit Wales in the future. It's on my "list".
Well, both are worth visiting IME, but yes, Wales is Wales.
Thanks! Keswick seems very nice. I plan to base in Staveley for a week and do some walking in the area but now I also want to spend a few days in Keswick. Looks like I need to split it up, 5 days in each place. OK, suggest no more or it'll turn into a 3 week trip. :D
local delicacies of Cumberland sausage, tattie hot pot, Borrowdale tea loaf, rum butter and plum bread. Sold! (from this site)
PS: where's that lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages? Maybe I've been there, or nearby.
PS: where's that lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages? Maybe I've been there, or nearby
Why Düsseldorf, of course
DUS is great for both, indeed. I still go there at least once a year to drink/eat at Uerige and Schumacher after shopping at Lebkuchen Schmidt. I miss Lebkuchen from small bakeries in Nürnberg. "Eigene Herstellung" Lebkuchen are the best.
If you’re there for a week I would strongly recommend the prince of Wales in foxfield. It’s a bridging pub institution and famous across the country. The train stops right in front and a short 30 minute walk and you’re in Broughton - the manor arms is a great pub with 10 handpulled ales all served in very good condition.
Also agree with keswick, the dog and gun is a lovely pub (though I haven’t been for years).
Sorry Barry, I’m sure north wales is very nice but the lakes are spectacular and one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. The pubs are also fantastic and the local breweries overall of a much higher quality than average. Not saying don’t go to wales but not above the lakes ;)
Dunno, I wouldn't wish to start about which is best - although I live in north Wales, I am a Northerner. Strangely, the Lake District has never been a big part of my life, though it was pretty close at hand.
I'm not sure that the Lake District has anything to compare with Snowdonia, possibly the most beautiful part of the UK, though I'm there's plenty of Highlanders, Cornish, etc., etc., who would disagree.
North Wales is incredibly accessible by train and bus and has more breweries now than you could shake a stick at (not sure what that means!). U: you'll be welcome here anytime and, if you're lucky, I might be here to reveal the wonders of Wales (if I'm not wandering around somewhere else!).
P.S. To all our techy friends: I need a new mobile/smart/handy/cell phone. Budget: up to £200. The best reviews that I've seen are for the Moto G7 Power (around UK£180) - fantastic battery, good camera. Any views or suggestions?
Ive had a Moto G5 for about 18 months. It was the cheapest smartphone available at the time. Works absolutely fine for me.
Thanks John. I've currently got a Moto E3, bought nearly 3 years ago. It''s been ok-ish but the battery is pretty run-down and doesn't hold it charge for more than 5 hours and it also is pretty erratic (though part of that may be the operator!). It was my first mobile and was pretty cheap at about £80 from Argos. I'm just wondering if I spend £180 whether I'll see a lot of improvement.
The Nokia 7.1 is a similar price and it's, well, it's a Nokia, as reliable as ever.
The Nokia 5.1 might do if you don't need bells and whistles and it's half the price.
Thanks Andy, I have a look at that!
Barry, I like Almasty. I met some people from the brewery when I had their beers at a tap takeover.
Public transport accessibility is so important as we don't drive. Gonna check out the beers when we make it there.
Hi I didn't recognise the name among the hundreds - no thousands - of new breweries, so I looked it up!
They're in Newcastle, which is almost as far as you can get from North Wales and still be in the UK - it's even in a different country! Seriously, never had the beers but there's loads of North Wales breweries to go at whenever you make it here.
I remember when you were first enquiring about Neder - glad that you liked the place!
Yes, Almasty is up here in Newcastle, they brew some lovely beers, including the best Pilsner Ive ever had in the UK.
Sorry, it was supposed to be Odyssey brewing (https://www.odysseybrewco.com/) in Herefordshire. If I remember correctly they said "in Wales".
Yeah, you remember. I love Neder! Stayed a week in Forchheim and went there every day. The regulars kind of stopped staring hard after a few days. One regular chatted with us every time and told us how curious the other regulars were about us. A group of regulars who sang in the choir shared a table with us continuously burst into song on new year's eve. After a few days some regulars sat at the same table or invited us to sit at theirs.
Have read other tourists' experiences at Neder and too bad they thought it was intimdating or unpleasant but ours were great. Only one (good) beer and we couldn't stop drinking.
Odyssey is connected with the "Beer in Hand" micropub in Hereford, a converted Laundrette. I think the brewery is in an industrial unit on the National trust's Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire (so not quite in Wales). The Beer in Hand focuses on Ale and Cider served by gravity and is well worth a visit. I haven't been for a while as to get there I have to walk past a bottle shop and tap room (Hereford Beer House) selling a wider range of international beers but I must make the effort again soon.
Incidentally, it's the Hereford Beer Festival this coming weekend. :)
Enjoy! And thanks for the info about Odyssey.
Funny, I've never found Neder odd or intimidating, though I know that a lot of people do. Probably my beer upbringing in Manchester - the rougher bits.
Jacqueline and self stayed 200 metres from Neder, just behind the Rathaus, for two weeks, a few years ago and went in every night. I suppose that they just got used to us. Nowadays, I fit in as one of the aged regulars. I tend to drink the Fassbier at first and then graduate to the Schwarze Anna, as a memory of Jacqueline - it was her favourite beer - and it's pretty good!
I discovered recently that Elisenlebkuchen (the flourless ones made of almonds and candied peel) are much easier to make and more impressive than any other kind. They are absolutely extortionate to buy but if you make your own they really cost very little. All you need to do is save up your citrus peel in the freezer all year and by November you'll have enough to make Elisenlebkuchen for all your friends.
Obviously, stick to organic/unsprayed fruit if you're planning to turn the peel into edible Christmas gifts ;)
I'm a lousy baker. Should have a go at making Elisenlebkuchen.
Has anyone ever been there and can recommend a pub/restaurant from personal experience?
Worth a visit if only for the bus ride to the "Eagles nest" and the scenery in general. youtube has some good videos to give you the idea. Just forget about the quality of the beer for a day.
Worth a visit if only for the bus ride to the "Eagles nest" and the scenery in general. youtube has some good videos to give you the idea. Just forget about the quality of the beer for a day.
Huh? The beer from Berchtesgadener Hofbräuhaus is perfectly fine for a large brewery. Nearby is Bad Reichenhall and Bürgerbräu which is excellent (and I recommend overnighting at the brewery). You are also a short distance from Salzburg and Augustiner Bräu Mulln. The quality of the beer is not a concern - Bürgerbräu is as good as any Bamberg brewery.
I been to Berchtesgaden many times and I love it, it’s one of the most scenic regions in the German alps. The eagles nest is of course an ‘attraction’ but there are many more natural pursuits worth investigating. Like hiking (with plenty of mountain huts serving the local beer at reasonable prices) and tours on the Konigsee.
Thanks Jason. As usual, ever helpful!
Mrs & I spent a few days in a Wohnmobil at a campground above Berchtesgaden. We enjoyed the Hofbraeuhaus pretty well, I forget what else. Of course, a boat tour of the Koenigsee.
Oberbayern. Mountains. Some sweet Hefeteig dessert thingy at the campground restaurant that I'd always wanted to try and...well...sweet. Arterties-cloggingly sweet.
Much like the rally grounds in Nuernberg, I found the Eagle's Nest to be much smaller than what I'd expected, though of course sobering and thought-provoking. A beautiful part of the country, very well worth visiting.
Visited last weekend by accident the reopened „Ahörnla“ (Bamberg slang for „unicorn“); they claim that their Hausbier, which was not very good, is exclusively brewed for them. Does anybody know the source?
A place I avoid. It used to be brewed by Mahrs, no reason to think it would have changed.
It used to be the tap for Brauerei Einhorn many decades ago - the keller of the same brewery still exists, though it's history has been similarly sulied by now being 'run' by Faessla.
ps what do you mean by 'reopened'? It's been open in its current form for at least 5 years and probably more. Presume you're going back further.
Yes! But I usually avoid drinking in the Bamberg party zone, so I saw Ahörnla for the first time…It was mentioned on the „ Braufranken“ web-site and I became curious… A second visit is not planned!
Back in the "old days" it was the Nelson Lounge and sold Paulaner. And Einhorn keller sold Hacker-Pschorr -- Fässla is an improvement on that.
When Ahörnla was new the beer was decent and I remember one time having a nice bock -- but that was also when new. My guess is they've found a cheaper supplier.
The Keller sold Sonne Bischberg in recent years until Fassla took over.
My ‘guess’ is simply that the beer quality is aligned with the decline in quality of that brewery. Plus some poor cellarmanship, if I’m being generous ;)
My name is Ryan and I’m an American brewer in need of some recommendations. In a few short weeks I’ll be making my second trip to Bamburg and I am hoping to get a chance to speak with a few Franconian brewers and/or tour brewing facilities. I’m just looking to talk shop and learn as much as I can about brewing processes. I’ve reached out to several breweries in the Bamburg region via email and social media with very few responses. Does anyone on the forum have recommendations on brewers or breweries to contact that may be interested? Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Ryan... you're not the first person to ask this question, and while there's no definitive answer, there are a number of things that will make your quest rather difficult.
Firstly, Franconians are conservative by nature. Brewers more so; they won't just start chatting to people about their work. In some cases, it's akin to alchemy, and any questions will be treated with suspicion. Secondly, very few brewers would speak sufficient English for even a casual conversation, nevermind a technical discussion about brewing. Thirdly, some breweries do do tours (Schlenkerla) but not many.
These things combine to explain why you haven't had many responses. There is 1 guy I know who fits the bill, Andy Gaenstellar. Andy brews in Schaid and recieves foreign visitors daily it seems, to the point where I don't know where he finds the time to brew. People just turn up and expect him to drop what he's doing and drink beer with them. With this in mind, please contact him in advance.
Finally, and most importantly, it's Bamberg, not Bamburg ;)
Thank you for the quick and informative response, Jason! That all makes sense and I appreciate the insight into the mindset of the brewing culture. My apologies on my misspelling! Please excuse my haste on posting and the autocorrect(or lackthereof) on my damn phone.
Though some people around this board aren't fans of him, Stephan Michel of Mahr's always struck me as friendly and forthcoming in discussing the brewing side of his beers, and speaks excellent English.
Peter Griess of Brauerei Griess in Geisfeld was also very forthcoming, and I suspect he speaks English. Franz Roppelt of Roppelt in Stiebarlimbach might not speak any English, but was as forthcoming as could be with me.
Now...I was talking to these guys in terms of my having been a homebrewer, which might have had a different impact.
When are you planning to visit?
Ryan, this is a slightly 'off the wall' suggestion but, if you want to talk to brewers about brewing in Bavaria, why don't you go to the Oberpfalz and look at the Zoigl tradition. In either Windischeschenbach, Neuhaus, Eslarn, Falkenberg or Mitterteich, you'll find the Zoigl brewers happy to discuss brewing. In the end, it's just another 'untergaeriges Bier', made from Muenchener and Pilsner malt and, generally, using Hallertauer hops.
If you're not familiar with this tradition, you can read my English intro at [https://zoiglbier.de/an-introduction-to-the-tradition-of-zoigl-beer/] and I'll happily put you in touch with someone.who'll introduce you to the right people.
Barry, thank you for the suggestion! I wish I had enough time to make it over and try some zoigl on this trip. I will be in Bamberg from July 15-20th and we have our itinerary pretty well mapped out. Perhaps next time. Also, I read your introduction a while back and found it extremely informative. Zoigl and its traditions seem fascinating. I will try it one day!
That's true regarding Stephan Michel. And it's true some aren't fans, because under his watch he's eroding what was one of the best breweries in the city. People will have their opinions of course, but for it to go from my favourite to a place I go to once or twice a year as a resident is some sign.
But yeah, he likes the sound of his own voice and if he's not tarting around the US i'm sure he'll be happy to meet ;) (sorry but he really makes me angry). His English is OK.
Peter Griess is a character... you're more optimistic than I am about his English. His son-in-law is the brewmaster though and he's much more accomodating I would say. If you catch him he may well give you a tour. But who knows.
Back in 2001 I had a nice brewery tour from Peter Griess and his English was fine. Most of the tour he was worried about how this or that piece of equipment was old and he had only daughters so he didn't know what he would do if it broke.
Went up to Binkert in Breitengussbach about 5 years ago, which is new. Bloke there was happy to talk to my friend who is a partner in a microbrewery. German only thoigh.
Rock star! Cans (in a place with a functional returnable bottle ecosystem)! Craft beer!
I guess maybe my impressions of Germans' English is coloured by my years "teaching" them English.
I should point out for anyone that hasn't heard it before, that I used to dislike what I knew of Herr(n) Michel myself, until I spent time chatting with him about non-beery things. For whatever reason, he is somewhat blessed in life, with good looks, charm, and whatever has enabled him to move in what we might call "high-society social circles" both in and out of the non-local-to-Franconia brewing world. I mean, yes, he's friends with "rock star brewers" in the US like the Stone guy, who he put me on the phone with one evening when I was there.
He's also got connections to great rock-n-roll heroes of mine -- Led Zeppelin. That in itself is reason enough for me to fall smitten with him.
Anyway, when I used to obsess about beer, I spent ages on here decrying how thin and bland Mahr's U was, which NO ONE ELSE on here seemed to agree with. I loved the tavern, the Schwemme, and the food, but the beer...meh. Gimme a Mahr's Hell instead of an U. And I found Michel to be a bit full of himself when I first met him and talked beer with him.
"Tarting around the US..." That sounds a bit hard, Jason. Are you not tarting around Europe? Guess I don't know how to interpret "tarting" here.
I've lost track of exactly what some on here find so objectionable about what Michel has done to Mahr's, having had other things to worry about in the last couple of years. Is it that he's brewing different beers now? Table reservations in the tavern? Too famous?
Be careful, because if we were to demand that Franconian taverns revert to a specific level of traditionalism, we'd have to pick a point in the past to have them revert to. Would that be before flushing toilets? Smoking? Electric lights and refrigeration?
Anyway, just more holiday musings, nothing meant to be taken too seriously. Speaking of which, back when I was new with German, I mis-read the name of today's "Corpus Christi" holiday to be "Frohenleichnam" rather than "Fronleichnam". So I thought it translated to "Happy Cadaver". I can't get that out of my head to this day.
I have no idea about Griess's English, but he spoke good proper Deutsch with me, having recognised that I don't speak Franconian, because of that I figured maybe he could manage some English, compared to Roppelt.
There are also issues of class and educational background that will impact how well a given brewer or brewmaster will speak English, as well as whether they have simply had opportunity to do so since school, what with working and raising a family every day for the last umpteen years.
I've been to the area quite a bit over the years. Tours to tend to be impromptu and the brewers will oblige if they aren't busy. Arranged in advance some want a certain group size and will charge you.
Just say you're a brewer and you would like to see the brauhaus.
Email Rittmayer in hallerndorf. Wagner and Hummel in merkendorf. Metzgerbrau in Uetfeld.
Being a probrewer helps, bring some bottles of your beer that opens doors.
Good advice and good to hear personal experience like yours.
I also had a couple of nice conversations with a brewer at Rittmayer, now that you mention it. It's not a favorite brewery for many people on this forum, I think, because it's kind of large and maybe not so "traditional" in their business dealings, what with brewing beers under license or contract for others and whatnot. But in light of what's been happening with traditional breweries closing down over the decades, I have to give them respect for doing what they need to do to keep in business themselves!
I have forgotten -- does Roppelt (Stiebarlimbach) still brew his Weizen there, or did we (or I) find out that he's started brewing it himself?
Good call also on Metzgerbraeu being very forthcoming, though some might not consider him "traditional" since he's new to brewing and all that. And a bit of a TV star. I just went to look up the video of him from BR3 TV that I subtitled and uploaded to Youtube years ago, but can't find it. Maybe it got deleted bc of copyright or whatever grounds. Youtube have been accused of deleted lots of things recently, as part of some vegetarian conspiracy or something, and with him being a butcher...?
It’s not really to do with being traditional or non traditional, whatever that means. But on account of playing football for 2 clubs that had rittmayer beer in the sportheim I can just say that I prefer other breweries. The beers are ok, but nothing special. I much prefer rittmayer in Aisch.
Not that this has anything to do with brewery tours, but metzgebrau beer, as much as I love the concept and wish the guy every success, can be rather inconsistent. But I don’t think you’ll ‘learn’ anything from a visit, though it may still be fun and interesting.
I thought we (figuratively) have argued (figuratively) quite a bit in the past about how traditional a given brewery or Bierkeller should be or not. But then, I (literally) have argued about way too much such nonsense on here in the past, and can't be arsed to care any more.
Agreed, of course, that Rittmayer is uninspiring and yes, Rittmayer in Aisch is well worth seeking out, especially when the little Biergarten (or is it a Keller?) across the road from the brewery is open.
And yeah, the Metzgerbraeu beer...too dark and a bit...funky for my taste. Only had it a few times, and it wasn't one I ever wanted to have more of. I forget if I've visited his place. Manfred is his name, that I remember from the TV program(me), when the little old lady came in to his butcher's shop and demanded a beer, which she then said "slid down like oil" or something quaint. (She's so old her taste buds are long gone.)
When I ever get my desktop computer out of storage in that nasty city between Forchheim and Nuernberg that nobody ever wants to mention, I'll find the video and upload it to Youtube again. It was cute, and interesting to see how you can brew beer in a big sausage kettle...it was before he installed a proper brewing kit.
Speaking of Erlangen, we (the Nebraskans and I) had a great tour at Kitzmann (RIP) years ago, ending with lunch at the Gaststaette, which I hope to visit again someday. While it's perfectly fine to rag all over Erlangen and Kitzmann, it is a tragedy that the brewery closed up. It was a great example of a centuries-old brewery built into the old city wall.
Erlangen *was* once a huge exporter of beer, even to the US. One might quip that Franconians had good enough taste and sense not to drink Erlanger beer, to export it all, I guess. But still, it was a lovely old brewery.
Really hard times for such breweries as those. Very expensive real estate, and a very, very hard business to make a profit in. Makes me wonder which brewery of similar size will we see go next.
I went to Metzgerbrau in April. I thought the beer was clean and flavorful. I watched the video you translated many times and it got me inspired to find the place.
Being Rittmayer is currently in charge of a brewing trade organization. The name is Private Brauerein Bavarian. Or similar. I was a guest on 2016 and got a brewers tour. They do a lot of co packing but that seems like an emerging trend with several larger breweries in the area.
I've not had Metzgerbraeu in a couple of years. He seems the sort of guy that would want to get things right. Glad to be of help with the video!
I remember getting on your years and years ago about your plan to tour by car. Please forgive my old zealotry -- I was brand new to cycling around the Franconian countryside back then.
Aren't you from Minnesota, BTW? Apple Valley Class of 83, me.
The great reputation of Munich beer in the US is, I believe, a 20th-century, possibly even post-WW2 phenomenon. Pre-prohibition texts seem to refer a lot to Erlanger and Würzburger.
Würzburger Hofbräu of course, there’s another city brewery swallowed up by the Kulmbacher.
When I started visiting Franconia the saying was still pretty much true that every decent-sized town had its own brewery and that was what you drank at the local festival. The local sports clubs would all serve it and it was advertised on the sides of local buses. Hiernickel in Hassfurt, Brauhaus Schweinfurt, Würzburger Hofbräu, Kitzmann.
Elsewhere in Germany Königsbacher in Koblenz, Schwelmer, Iserlohner. And of course the catastrophic decline of the Dortmund breweries. All washed away by a deluge of Krombacher and Radeberger.
People have been bemoaning the crisis of overcapacity in German brewing for decades. Many breweries that find themselves in trouble attempt to save themselves by brewing cheap own-label beer for supermarkets. It fails because the business is built on sand: the supermarkets will switch to another supplier in a heartbeat if it saves money, and indeed the own-label commodity beer, with no producer listed on the package beyond “Made in Germany” is designed to make the actual brewery abstract, anonymous and replaceable.
Interesting stuff. You seem pretty knowledgeable! :)
Since some of you have been to one or both places, I thought I'd pass this news along.
Hang on, wasn't Zupaty Pes the one on K. Botici, near Bohemian's foottbal ground? If it is a little bit of a style jump from a one person fairly downmarket operation down an obscure back street in Vrsovicke to an all-singing, all dancing, fairly upmarket place near Namesti Miru!, Mind you, 'Zupaty Pes' favoured IPA's and modern beers, like 20 Pip, and only had 2 lagers out of 12 beers available when I visted in May. I wonder if they'll do away with 0,4 L glasses?
Yes, that is the one. Same guy (Aleksei). I didn't make it to 20Pip this past trip. Tried, but they were unexpectedly closed and I guess now I know the reason.
Looking at his current list, 3 lagers -- but he does have Fullers London Pride Also selling .3L and .5L for all but the stronger beers.
Actually, I can't remember if I got the 0,4l crrect for 20 pip - maybe it was 0,3 and 0,5l.
Anyway, news is, Fred, that I'm back in Prague for the first week in August! As I was in Franken anyway, hardly seemed worth not nipping over to Prague before returning to the Queen of the North Wales coast!
So,I'm ready and available for any checking that needs doing!
I'm in Bamberg Aug 11-30 so let me know if you do a day trip.
Yes, all checking gratefully accepted. I also could use a nice landscape photo of the new Zubatý Pes (and any other new places you stumble upon). Aleksei sent me one but it was portrait orientation and that doesn't work as well for me.
Ok, try to remember Zupaty Pes. I'm staying close to Andel this time, so chance to renew acquaintace with the couple of places we visited there and to see if there's anything new.
I won't be making it to Bamberg, as I'm there from July 17 to 30 with Mark and mob! And I go home from Praha on August 7.
I know it's not on anyone's must-do list when in Bamberg, but it looks like the Bamberger Weissbierhaus has received a refurb and re-opened last month.
Was there accommodation before? That might be interesting for some people, if price is more important than luxury (not all the rooms are en-suite).
I've stayed there before. Very nice and the lack of an en suite didn't really seem to be an issue for a couple of nights.
Stayed here a couple of times back in the very early 90s. Lack of ensuite was definitely an issue when it was -5C outside!
Had the worst pint Ive ever had in Bamberg here just before it closed(Mahrs U or it could have been dishwater, hard to tell).
Hopefully will be better now. May check it put tomorrow!o
So, I won't bore everyone with a long winded report on Munich, I'm sure everyone has been and had a beer in most of the obvious places. I'll just recount a few observations on the city from a beer point of view as I found it.
In general, I found the beers from the outlying towns to be better than the Munich city ones (Tegernseer, Schneider, Ayinger, Andechs). Getting Weissbier out the way, I still have a softspot for Schneider Original (Schneider Braeuhaus Muenchen) although the first mouthful of the Tegernseer Weissbier (Hirschgarten) was very moreish and had less ferocious carbonation (wonder who makes it).
Of the Munich beers, I really didn't get on with Augustiner beers or their pubs and Keller and their staff were uniformly appalling! Bizarrely, my top Munich beer was HB. My only Paulaner experience was Paulaner am Nockherberg where the beers were very dull with the exception of the Roggen which was really rather good.
Franken connection, at Meisterstuck I had a Zirndorfer Kellerbier (I know) and it made me think they make their own Weissbier as the Kellerbier highlighted why it's not a good idea as it tasted infected with Weissbier yeast. That or the beer line was infected but it didn't weem the kind of place to let that go unnoticed.
Zirndorfer Bier is brewed at Tücher. I wouldn’t touch it, but I’m a bit snobby in that way, and i have many, many other choices.
In all honesty I wasn't listening properly, I heard "Kellerbier" and said yes. Especially as there were better options on offer, especially from the next door brewery.
Just to clarify that: The Zirndorfer range is brewed at Brauerei Zirndorf which belongs to Tucher Brau Holding. But it's a way way smaller brewery than the monster at Fürth.
The dark Kellerbier was undrinkable, the regular lager was not the worst beer in the world.
An ex-colleague of mine in Oregon was in the army, stationed in Zirndorf back in the day. When I announced I was leaving Oregon for near Nuremberg, he asked if I could send him some Zirndorfer beer and a Krug. I did, eventually. I have a bit of a soft spot for it because of that.
I quite enjoyed the Augustiner but found it difficult to ever get a full glass! It seemed almost always to be at least a centimetre below the line and the issue was endemic in Augustiner places, much worse than anywhere else.
Don't think I'll be going soon.
Just be glad you don't live in the US !
You don't even know how big the beer is; many beers are sold as "regular", "large", etc.
No content lines; imitation pint glasses only containing 14 oz; no regulation on liquid level or head size, and prices on the rise.
Thank goodness I'm a homebrewer !
No offence to all my lovely US friends, I am glad that I don't live in the USA.
None taken. Like I've said before. It's not as bad as you may think nor as bad as some make it out to be. There is a really wonderful, dynamic, and ever changing beer culture here. Some it is shite but there are some real gems. We've got our problems but then again who doesn't (Brexit anyone?). I've got a very nice life here on Cape Cod. Beaches, golf courses, good beer and a couple nice local breweries, and direct flights from Boston to Europe.
All that said I have to agree with you. If I lived in Europe I'd not pine for living in the USA. I do love Europe and it's beer culture among other things after all. There is a reason I'm here on this forum for so long.
And just to clarify my love of Europe goes way back before my love of Franconian beer. I was always fascinated by the history, culture, and geography of Europe since I was very young and read often about it and studied the maps, etc. I'm glad I finally arranged my life in a way that I can visit often and i'm fortunate to be able to do so. My family sometimes asks me why I just don't move there. Well I like it here too and I'm happy here and family and most of my friends are here. I get the best of both worlds. I can't wait to be back in Franken in July and will be in Switzerland this year for New Years Eve to celebrate with my Hamburger friends.
I understand what you say Mark. We owe Fred a big vote of thanks that he's managed in some strange way to unite both sides of the pond.
Cheers to Fred
I’m still rather uncomfortable with making sweeping statements about somewhere I haven’t been. I had a great time in the US some years’ago.
The older I get the more I realise that being open minded is one of the best attributes any person can possess, and I’m determined to hone it.
I'm glad that you're so impressed with my being open minded - the feeling is mutual.
But ... I've also realised that a person can't just be a blank sheet of paper, waiting for others to write their opinions on; you've also got to have some views of your own, some principles, whatever, be prepared to state and defend them (politely) and then accept that it is possible to be wrong!
These OT's are getting to be philosophical discussions. Many apologies, Fred, try to stick to beer and Franken iin future. The forthcoming gathering at the end of July should provide loads and loads of copy.
Whilst the core of discussion is always going to be "Frankenbier" related, the breadth of discussion is one of the things that keeps us all interested. :)
Like a virtual Stammtisch.
Nice to learn that about you, Mark. If you don't mind my saying so, it's a bit of a surprise, that you had the interest in Europe prior to being bitten by the beer bug. I wouldn't say that I was the opposite, but I never thought about *visiting* here until my thirties, when I had already been bitten by the Belgian beer bug...our first trips over were to Belgium & the NL...is that other discussion board still active, I wonder?
As I got more and more worked up about politics (!) around the turn of the century, our move to Europe came at a very nice time. Once we got over here, I managed to detach completely from American politics. I suddenly couldn't be bothered to care about it any more. That served to be a big ... relief. It was facilitated in big part by complete immersion in learning the language and making friends and contacts over here.
And no American TV. German TV is fantastic in comparison, especially for those learning the language. The history of German TV is sort of opposite to that of American, with it having started out as a state-funded thingie, more or less. Think of having regional, well-funded PBS channels first, with the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, et al, having only sprung up since the 70s (right Gerhard?) with the advent of cable. Documentaries up the ying-ying. Even the amateur cooking shows are done seriously...like Come Dine With Me done seriously without hijinks.
Not like any of youse would spend your time sitting around in front of the tube if you moved here. Though...you might spend some, eventually. Once you turn 40 or so, moving house and making friends becomes more challenging. My German teacher, Marc, my age, told me that. I was 39 when we moved here, and the friends I left behind in OR were all basically beer drinking and homebrewing friends. And I'd only been living there for 11 years, spread over three different locations. My point is, I've moved around a lot, my whole life, even going back to childhood. I don't have even any friends left from high school, save one, and I've not been in contact with him in over 20 years.
What I'm leading up to, Mark, is, it's good that you're grateful for your situation. It sounds wonderful, except for being surrounded by M@ssh0le$ all the time. (Joke...I like New Yorkers and New Englanders more than most other Americans; they have their own distinct ways of being, unique among Americans.)
The west has the landscapes and geography, the east has the best people. Though, last year, I had occasion to get to know and spend time with quite a few people from "the jungle" of south central Los Angeles. If you'd told me two years ago that I would go from being a married, 50-something part-time English teacher in Germany, to being a friend and companion of economically dis-advantaged young single mothers from Rodney King's neighborhood, I'd have thought you were a looney.
Also being befriended by hardened career criminals and sitting in a notorious jail for 2-1/2 weeks...that was a surprise. A learning experience. Humbling. Not as humbling as nearly dying from pneumonia though. Germany is a good place to get sick and land in hospital. They typically send an actual doctor out with an ambulance, also in a seperate car. The food though...I need to write up a report on my experience with hospital food and nutritionists.
Friends and family are nice to have. I'm slogging through a lack of both at the current time, but it's kind of how I grew up. Onward and upward. Mid-life crises!
I'm sticking here for a while, at least through the autumn. Life in the US is too...Koyaanisqatsi. Have to find a new career though, and one downside to German life is their tendency to view 50 as the cutoff age for hireability. I could theoretically go back to programming, but it's been 15 years. I'm a bit too young to "retire".
Back to your Thursday morning...
No the Burgundian Babble Belt message board is no longer active. Not that I ever posted there but I did read it once in a while. It's a testament to this message board and it's longetivity. I think this is the longest running, active, internet message board I've ever been a part of. It's amazing that it goes all the way back to 2002 and i've been on here since 2007.
Yeah my love of European history goes all the way back to when I was probably 6 or 7 years old and developed a fascination with WWII which then branched out as I got older into many other periods and events in time from the Roman Empire onward. My parents and friends had trouble tearing me away on weekends from my books and maps and wargames. So discovering the great beer cultures of Franconia, Czech Republic, UK, and even Belgium once has been really nice icing on the cake and a great excuse to keep going back.
BTW, The Burgundian Babble Belt does continue to exist on Facebook -- It may be a closed group but I think I can issue invites. I copied the design of this board from theirs. The biggest advantage I see is that older topics that aren't commented on tend to scroll of the main page so if you want to open an old argument you have to make the effort to start a new thread -- and most of the time we seem to say "it's not worth the effort"
At risk of sounding pretentious, a Forum such as ours (I know that it's Fred's really but we mere contributers have made an attempt at colonisation!), and others like it, have made a huge contribution to developing understanding between people of different cultures.
There is no better way of dispelling myths about people from other countries and cultures than a discussion over a pint, seidla, whatever of good beer!
For some cultures, that may have to be over a shisha.
It is interesting, going out and socialising without beer. This is where big cities like Aachen are a bit easier, as the cultural mix means I'm not the only one NOT drinking beer all the time.
Praise be unto Fred!
The only other board that comes close for me is a Lord of the Rings one I used to be active on, up until over a decade ago. That one appears to still be going.
Moving away from family might also be a reason for you, Mark, to stay put. As one of those childless (or child-free, if that's your attitude) sorts, I can't imagine wanting to move overseas away from one's kids.
That was another thing that happened to me last year, even one that got me started wondering if I had been cursed by a voodoo priestess or something: I got 3 different pregnancies going (all with women of a particular racial mix: African-American & Cherokee...long story) but two had to be terminated on medical grounds, one of which because my nearly-baby-mama got struck in the abdomen whilst being robbed of her phone. The second was an ectopic pregnancy.
The third supposedly resulted in a baby girl on Valentine's Day, but I've lost contact with maybe-baby-mama because of...never mind, another long story. She's got...issues. But young yet, only 22.
AFA phone thefts go, one got pinched from me in a crowd on the Fremont Experience one night (be careful down there!), and another almost got robbed when I was jumped from behind by a big, crazed druggie (meth kills!) just outside my apartment, WHILE I was on said phone with the police, reporting said junkie chasing me. I crouched down & held onto the phone for dear life, yelling for help as loud as I could. Druggie lad ran off when my neighbors came out to see what the commotion was.
Saw him the next day and he apologised! That was about 3 months after the time I was attacked by different great big druggie that resulted in the head injury portrayed on my Twitter background pic, FWIW. It was that head injury that led to memory loss.
I've always thought that we didn't have crystal meth when I was young. Well, we didn't where I was from. But it turns out the Nazis gave it to soldiers in WWII, and it was even marketed and what not. We did hear about angel dust when I were young, that supposedly made people crazy, but this meth is really bad stuff.
2018 was a very, very weird year for me. And Vegas is a very, very weird place. I would suggest staying away. Especially if you're vulnerable to the temptations it provides. There are places with cheap lager though: $1 bottles of PBR, and the brewpub at Ellis Island ain't bad. Cheap. 2 pound prime rib for $28...ask for the "Nick special" and they might cut you 3 or 4 pounds.
ObFranconiaBeer: I found none in Vegas. Best stay away.
I've been to Vegas a few times. My company used to run an annual conference for our customers there. It was a good time but I was always sick of the place after 2 or 3 days and I have no interest in ever going back. However I did find Franconian beer there. There was a bar in a newish hotel on the strip (i forget the name) that had bottle sof Schlenkerla. I ordered one and a women next to me from Wurzburg saw this and introduced herself and we had a nice chat about Franconia. I also did drink the cheap beer at Ellis Island. I think it was $1 a glass or something ridiculous like that when I was there and it wasn't half bad.
Yeah, conventional wisdom seems to be to get sick of the place after 3 days. If I've not said it before, there are startlingly beautiful parts of town (2 million inhabitants now?), if you like desert. I had never really been to the SW before I landed there; the closest I'd been had been a couple of wintertime trips to Reno with Mrs in like 1992, and then regular trips to the High Desert of Oregon when we lived there.
The drive to LA is good for one thing: the solar energy towers surrounded by mirrors. I remember seeing how that would be a thing in the future on TV back in the 80's (?), and then there they are. Why there's not more of them is beyond me. Seems like that would be a good use of federal land out there.
I was all excited to find Black Butte Porter on tap at the MGM Grand, and at a reasonable price. Then there's a stand right on the strip that has $4 pints of Hamm's, an old Minnesota treat. (I'm sure it's brewed elsewhere now.)
Barry or other Britons...check out the Hamm's sign on the wall in the Piccadilly Tap in Mncr sometime. My mate Jeffrey Bell, ex-London-barrister -cum- refurbisher-of-pubs (Holborn Whippet and another in London) and landlord of the traditional-yet-somewhat-foody Ypres Castle Inn in lovely (though posh) Rye oversaw its opening a few years ago. I helped him haul kegs (not barrels, sorry Barry) up and down steps once, which helped cure a hangover.
He has a thing for Lager, and had something Franconian on for a while at the Whippet, which seems gone now. Koestritzer ain't bad at all in a pinch though! He is a friend of the evil Stephan at Mahr's though, so be careful. And he seems comfortable with weird Yanks showing up with big swords:
Good kid, Jeffry. I left the sword with him there, where he says it's still hanging somewhere. Make me an offer on it -- I wanted to sell it for charity, but couldn't get any takers other than in the US, and that would've just covered shipping.
Ellis Island beers were terrible, really bad. Had some in Dec of 2017. Never again. Even if they were free.
Really? They got better after you left, as I started going there a month later.
Well, the Light and IPA were crap. I liked the stout. But I didn't drink much beer there then. It was a great refuge from the strip...and that prime rib...now I'm hungry, and I've not eaten anything yet.
BTW...you still in the same line of work? Let's just say that I have gained tremendous respect and admiration for your profession. Had some truly great experiences with your colleagues in LV, even considering what happened to me. It's like they knew from looking me up, that I had been a victim of incompetent people running the casino and were on my side.
Nick, I've been out of it for 2.5 years. Don't miss it one bit. Glad to have finished my sentence! I'm free!
I wanna thank you for meeting up in Germany in the past...bike rides, beer kellers, breweries, festivals. You gave me some great memories and experiences.
Cheers. And perhaps on a future visit, we'll hang out again!
I'd love to! Glad to hear you've moved on to something that you're hopefully at least as happy in.
Great report! I was also in Munich last week instead of Franken. First we traveled to Andechs. Great views, lovely monastery and good beer. Secondly, it was Munich where we visited most places. I agree with you when you say that HB had good beer. Several of my followers commented on that. Paulans disappoint, Scheinder was amazing, Augustiner impressed. Finally we traveled to Weihenstepan which was very good, both food, beer and location with views. But will I go back? Hardly, next time it will be Franconia.
Off topic posts are find so long as they are generally related to beer. And leeway is granted to long time contributors who inform us about major happenings in their lives. Other than that, please remove the conversation to email, Facebook, shouting out the window -- that is, some other forum.
Oh good. I think that I may be classified as a major contributor, so I'll now start relating all the interesting things about my life. Or maybe not.
Sorry Fred, couldn't resist, but will heed the warning. Where are you going next?
The main thing I'd like to hear from you, Barry, is where you are finding FeWos at the best prices...IIRC, you were finding them at websites for the various villages in which you stayed. I would imagine I'm not the only one on here (active or lurking) that would find that of interest, even helpful. I believe Frank Wetzel's place is pretty well known, but the number of people interested in staying outside of Bamberg might be greater than zero.
Heck...I THINK I recall Brauerei Witzgall having a room upstairs. THAT would be cool. Nowadays, I need a kitchenette. And of course, dog-friendly.
If I ever get my Toyota situation sorted out, I hope to tour around in it, maybe also with a tiny caravan in tow. I do remember seeing some parked at Roppelt (Stiebarlimbach) in the past. There was a delapidated one parked near our home in Erlangen for a year or two, right there on a street. I guess that means it's not illegal to do that there, at least. Not that anyone in their right mind should want to overnight in Erlangen...
It's not very complicated! Early on in our visits to Franken, I twigged that getting to many rural pubs was difficult. Fred has often warned of the difficulties of local bus services, many of which are really there to serve schools and, therefore, only available during term-time (which can be a bit unpredictable) and during the day, when many local Wirtshausen (correct?) are not open.
So, I started looking at towns that were on the main north-south rail line, as the service is, generally, quite good (you could link it with the branch lines like the ones to Ebermannstadt and Ebern). Then I looked at the town's websites and found that many had tourists guides, with accommodation and - bingo - the problem was on the way to being solved (Oh no - now you're all going to be doing this!). Bamberg was and is a problem: I've stayed at many places in the city and they are uniformerly expensive, if you intend to stay for longer than a few days (remember that I was and am an impecunious pensioner - stop laughing there). I partially solved the problem by staying in Drosendorf a couple of times but the bus service finishes around 19.30, which is why I've spent a lot of time in Goeller and walked up and down to Merkendorf many times.
So, I stayed in Drosendorf, Buttenheim, Seigendorf (near Hirschaid but up a big hill past the Hirschaada Keller - never stayed in Hirschaid, as the Fewo's were a bit pricey) and Forchheim (lovely but also a bit pricey) before I ound Ebensfeld, which is only 18 minutes from Bamberg by train, has lots of quite reasonably priced and good Fewo's and had a nice Stube (closed again now) and very nice Keller.
It sometimes means that you spend a fair bit of time in one Stube but that can be interesting and you have to be sure that you're going to like it (we thought Loewenbrau in Buttenheim was great - good beer and very friendly - and packed most nights!).
I'm not sure how dog friendly these places are - I suppose it varies from place to place. I'm an animal lover (possibly the only person on the Forum who chooses not to eat them) but, personally, I wouldn't choose to stay in a place that's animal friendly (inside the apartment) because I don't think that you can ever really get rid of the smell and, if it isn't your animal, it's not that appealing - whether it be dog, cat, alligator, possum, or whatever. Just my personal choice - if it's your animal in your home, I take a different point of view. Lots of my friends and family have animals and I'm happy to stay with them (this is not meant as a big hint!).
Schlammersdorf wouldn't be great choice because you're a fair way from the railway and the 265 bus doesn't run that late. It's a fair walk to Eggolsheim and not so many trains stop there.
It's easy really, if you take a bit of time.
BTW: I have abandoned my German conversation class. Not getting anywhere, I'm afraid. Sorry, my old brain just couldn't cope. Switched to gypsy jazz guitar instead. Is this progress?
A fairly major happening in my life, regarding that legal situation I got myself involved in: I do not have to return to Las Vegas for the "sentencing" hearing, tentatively scheduled for early October. I was originally charged with a couple of felonies that could have led to 40 years to life (arson!), the details behind which I may explain in detail later (basically, real cops are great, rent-a-cop security people not so much), after everything is settled.
Suffice to say it's good to be a white man with a lawyer. (It's bad, OTOH, to be a middle-aged white man who acts in the slightest bit out of the ordinary in the hyper-paranoid environment of Las Vegas casinos, especially in the months following the worst mass murder shooting in US history.) One of the charges (the more nefarious sounding one) was dropped entirely, and the "arson" charge was reduced to "intent to destroy property", which I pled guilty to on the advice of my lawyer, to avoid the expense of a jury trial. I may also go into further detail as to what my actual intent was --it was a joke, as anyone who's watched the security video on here can hopefully see-- when everything is settled, hopefully in October.
My lawyer wisely advised that of the two charges to be dropped, the "arson" was the worse choice, since the event was captured on video, and did occur 30 hours before the casino bothered to call the police about it. Both of these will hopefully be argued at the sentencing, to influence the judge positively in my favor.
Whilst getting arrested, spending 2-1/2 weeks in a notorious jail among hardened career criminals, and going to court are fascinating experiences, I don't know if I would recommend that anyone else do what I did (remember, kids, Just Say No -- stay away from the Amsterdam-strength marijuana that they're legally selling in the western US these days!) just for the life-broadening experience!
ObFranconiaBeer: Haven't drunk any since 2017. Had some Koelsch yesterday...meh. I've had worse.
Just planning our upcoming trip. I had the idea to do a walk Breitelesau-Waischenfeld-Nankendorf-Breitenlesau. Unfortunately the bus times dont work for Waischenfeld(bus arrives Breitenlesau 1130ish, Waischenfeld closes 12, bus leaves 1615ish, Waischenfeld opens again 1630). Am I missing something? Has anyone managed to visit Waischenfeld this way?
Wed also stop in Heiligenstadt on the way from Brietenlesau to Ebermannstadt.
I presume that's a Saturday? Looks right to me. I have never been to Waischenfeld without a bike or car. It's not a place i'd want to be stuck wanting for public transport. Best bet is to find some accomodation in Waischenfeld, it's reasonable enough and surprisingly touristy.
Weekend yes. Would be fine if they were open in the afternoon, but, hey, thats Franconia. Sure I'll get there one day, staying over in Waischenfeld would be fun and would mean we could have a proper drink there, rather than an hour and on to the next place.
Nothing, no information at all, can be found in the web about this brewery... Just the adress is indicated (Schmiedsgasse 3)... Does anybody know, if this only a "fake" or a real existing brewery?
I already posted the story of this little brewery further down. It is indeed an existing brewery and the new project of Andreas Falk who formerly ran Brauhaus Rothenburg. The beer is great and there's one historical pub in town, that sells the beer straight from the cask. But it's open only on Fridays. The brewery's open all the time and you can pop in, have a chat with Andi and buy bottled beer.
Schönen Dank! Cheers!
Juergen: I'm pretty sure that I remember going through Wolfram-Eschenbach during one of our beer tours, a couple of years ago (I think that we were on our way to Tirschenreuth, bars in quarries, etc.!). It had a large building that I think you said was used for storing hops or something like that? Of course, its congruity to the name of a town in the Oberpfalz stuck in my mind!
I remember that it looked a lovely place - well worth a longer visit one day!
Funnliy enough, my parents managed to inadvertantly visit on the weekend. They had mentioned a place we'd been before that they wanted to visit - Merkendorf. Assuming they would know I wouldn't drive over an hour past Nuremberg, I didn't clarify anything more. They put it into the Satnav and set off to visit Merkendorf (neben Wolframs. E), not Memmelsdorf.
They said they enjoyed their visit, it was indeed a nice town, and had a nice meal in a local restaurant in Wolframs Eschenbach as there was a fest going on in (the other) Merkendorf and it was too busy.
And I haven't even visited yet!
Lol!as they say in young parlance. love the story Jason.
So, in a few weeks time I'll finally will do another trip through Franconia. And excitingly a brewer friend is accompaying me. I've noticed him struggle with the low bitterness to malt sweetness and softness in some of the Franconian beers before (think ie. Monchsambacher or Heckel) and want to combine that with visit a few new breweries. Think of beers like Witzgall, Roppelt, Hartleb, Knoblach, Griess or even Gradl and Scharpf.
Any particular recommendations?
Region doesn't matter. Thank you!
Would said brewer be one a little too heavily influenced by American-style IPAs, whether West Coast, New England, or other? Time to broaden one's horizons and realize not all beers are hop bombs, nor is that part of the tradition in some parts of the brewing world. I'll leave milkshake IPA and pastry stout to the New World brewers.
Otherwise, you're looking for something from Gänstaller's range or maybe the MainSeidla/Binkert beers. Some of those qualify as more hop-forward. There are numerous other German brewers who've opted for beers broadly termed "Craft Bier," and specialist bars have sprung up here and there in Germany, mostly in bigger cities like Köln, Düsseldorf, Berlin, and München... or to the east in Prague.
Also, some of Düsseldorf's Altbier, particularly Uerige, has more hop focus as well.
They certainly have sprung up in Prague, to the point that, sometimes, it's difficult to find a lager in them.
The reaction to the new wave of beers (the US style IPA's etc.) is interesting, though my range of personal connections is a bit limited to my home area. My regular drinking companions tend to be of my approximate vintage (let's say 65+, though older in some cases!). Generally, they (and me) prefer beers that might be though of as traditional English, such best bitters, rather than the extreme hoppy types. It's the balance of malt and hops in such beers that is the attraction.
A number of my friends from the Franken forum are from the USA, where the IPA revolution has been ongoing for some time. Not surprisingly, they find easy acceptance with the sort of beers that are predominating in the new bars in Prague, though are revered founder, although happy to drink the IPAs, names the Fabian and Uneticke beers as his favourites (or, at least, near the top of the list?), Perhpaps it is because he is fringing into my/our age group (apologies Fred).
A few local surprises this week: yesterday's visit to the Albion, Conwy, found that nearly all the beers were of retatively strength, with at least half under 4% and none over 5% - lovely! Second came whilst talking to the proprietor of the Bay Hop, Chris. I was trying a stout from Big Hand (Black Knight, which was quite good) and asked him about the growing number of darker beers on sale. He, and his assistant, Tom, both like these beers and he informed me that they were much in favour with the younger element - interesting. Back to the Albion: a chap came in looking for draught Guinness, which, of course, is not sold in the Albion. Between Rhian (barmaid) and myself, we persuaded him to try a cask stout (it was Snowdon Nomad at 3.8% - I tried it later and it was good) and he rather reluctantly agreed. The good news was that he really liked it. Maybe it will tempt him away from the dreaded nitro-keg stuff in future - one can only hope!
Well being one of your Franken forum friends from the USA that was just in Prague I'll also chime in. Just like Fred and you Uneticke is one of my favorites among other traditional styles in Prague (Vinohradsky lagers, Hostomice, PU, etc.). I go there to drink those beers and indeed with probably the one exception (a Matuska Raptor IPA) that is all I drank.
That being said ...the presence of the plethora of new age beer bars in Prague with a variety of beers on tap (including IPA's, sours, chocolate oatmeal stouts, and yes even a traditional type lager or two) does not bother me in the least and I do enjoy visiting them from time to time when there. Why? Because I think it shows the enthusiasm that the younger generation in Czechia has for beer and this can only be a good thing in the long run. I would be very concerned if there weren't new breweries (like Uneticke) brewing traditional styles. But there are plenty of those also amongst the breweries making US style IPAs. So it's not like we're being deprived of what we want. And for full disclosure ..... every once in a great while I like to break it up and have something different than a lager if for no other reason out of curiousity to taste how breweres over there are doing at brewing ales.
I've always said that the thing that I find really amazing about the Prague beer scene is that it blends the old, traditional beer culture beautifully with modern day, youthful, enthusiastic beer culture. It has it all and is lacking in nothing. I mean even Matuska which is known for it's American styles (they even name one of them California pale ale) is now making a credible attempt at a traditonal style lager in it's new brewery in Karlin. If only they didn't serve it in a .4l glass (gasp!).
Oh and one thing I'm going to add about these crafty beer bars in Prague (like Beer Geek, the Craft House, Maly Velky, etc.) is that the typically younger staff I've encountered at them have been very friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful. In other words, in my experience, they have been pleasant places to visit. They're doing something right.
I don't think that we disagree in principle, Mark, only in a few details. Re 'new' breweries: I'm not sure that we should categorise Uneticke or Hostomice really as new breweries, though they do have new owners and new buildings. However, their traidtions go back centuries and they claim that their brewing styles are based on historical designs, to some extent. It's a bit like Zoigl: the brauhaus in Eschawo less than 200 years old but the tradition goes back to the 15th century, at least.
I totally agree about the staff of the craft beer bars in Prague and also about enthusiasm of younger people for beer - it seems to me that it's much the same everywhere, which is not surprising because the modern beer types are really a new invention. It will take some time for us oldies to get used to them (not sure if I, anda lot of my generation, ever really will!).
However, it is a fact, easily observable, that, in the new bars, the overwhelming number of beers are not traditional lagers - viz. Dva Kohout, Lya, Galerie, Trilobit, Napalme, Zupaty Pes, Bubenec, Nubeerbar, Lajka, - you could go on. Fred's Facebook postings where he includes photo's of beer boards are fairly instructive in this matter.
Is this a good or a bad thing? Like beauty, it's probably in the eye of the beholder - or in this case, the mouth of the drinker.
True the brewery (Uneticke) has a long history but according to their website they shut down in 1951 and finally reopened in 2011 and had to be revived and rebuilt. So for all intents and purposes it is a new brewery with new ownership. I'm glad, as I know you are, they have revived the traditional styles along with it and have done a great job at it.
As to one of your other points. You are responding as if I had suggested that the new bars we're talking about are not overwhelmingly not the traditional Czech styles. I never claimed that they were. I stated that they usuall have a lager or two available. I've been to most of the places mentioned and have seen the beer boards first hand. But thanks for picking a nit once again.
Well maybe you weren't really picking a nit. But for the record I do agree with you that these new beer bars in Prague are mostly the new age styles. In case I hadn't mentioned that before.
Just trying to discuss matters of mutual interest!
Bewohner, apologies - apparently I've formulated my quest that unclear you were forced to jump to unjust assumptions. I hadn't even mentioned hops in the question, yikes.
There is a huge range of diversity in Franconian style Keller/Land/Zwickls. Whereas ingredients are mostly the same, there are distinct differences between many beers cherished by the fact that the classifaction system doesn't so much describe flavour, but process. It's not uncommon to hear locals say that so-and-so beer is ie too bitter, too sulfury, too dry, too malty, .. for their tastes while they gulp their own local. Isn't the whole pride of Franconia that breweries often have very unique profiles compared to the eversameness of "Craft Bier"? I agree and therefore I ask.
Examples of beers of interest I mentioned:
Witzgall, Roppelt, Hartleb, Knoblach, Scharpf, Griess, Gradl.
* * *
We had a good laugh reading your respond :D
But would still be curious for recommendations.
I admit I also assumed you were looking for recommendations on more hop forward beers and Knoblach for instance would fit the bill. Also Brauerei Zwanger in Uehlfeld (should visit Prechtel while there if you go).
The list of breweries to visit is excellent. There are many that could be added. I'd suggest also Eichhorn in Dorfleins, Zum Goldener Adler in Hoefen. Bayer in Theinheim. I recommend these two because they brew nice balanced beers.
I could go on and others may have other suggestions. When I visited Franconia for the first time in 2007 I was really blown away (in a good way) by the really soft, malty beers in Franconia (like Moenchsambacher for instance). I had never had anything like them before and loved them and still do. But have also come to love the variety in the region within those traditional styles all the way to the really bitter beers like Knoblach and Zwanger and everything in between.
Let us know how your next trip goes.
Thanks Mark. Bayer Theinheim will be a certain visit. Like the Eichhorn Keller and bring it along regulary but the bar isn't the most entertaining stop. Let me ask about a few breweries. Mind sharing some impressions about the beers? - Elch-Brau - Meister - Nikl - First (Kühlschiff!) - Reblitz - Hoh - Hartmann
I'm not familiar with the first one.
Meister is a very soft, malty, rich, copper colored Franconian vollbier that I personally love.
Nikl is okay. Decent beers. A newer brewery. Nothing ground shaking but respectable and enjoyable IMO.
First? Do you mean Forst of Drugendorf? If so I really like that one.
Reblitz is decent. They brew a small variety of beers including a Rauch.
Hoh. I didn't like it at the keller at all but at the gastatte I thought it was pretty good if nothing spectacular.
Hartmann. I've not been there since around 2013 or so and Jason had mentioned previously on this forum that they are no longer brewing onsite and he has good local info to base that on even if it doesn't appear that way looking at their site. In the past when I've been there I enjoyed their beers especially the "Erbshank" Dunkel. The rauch and pils I thought were good too but I particularly liked that Dunkel. However, things may have changed since. I know when we visited the owner, and I had a chance to talk to him for bit, was very old and I'm not sure he'd even still be around.
Ooops I was thinking Hohn not Hoh. Disregard my comments on that one. I've never had the beer from Hoh.
I have been to all of those breweries, most with the admirable (or Admiral?) Juergen. I seem to recall that Juergen wasn't enthusiastic about stopping at Elch but I sort of forced his hand after we'd found Alt at Dietzhof 'urlaub' and even Juergen couldn't charm the lady into letting us in - a rare failure!
Anyway, I remember Elch as a fairly homely place, quite crowded but they squeezed us in. I think the beer was pretty decent; it surprised J a little bit, if I remember correctly. I seem to recall eating something as well, which wasn't really a big part of our beer expeditions. Meister has been commented on but to add that the bar doesn't open now. I think someone told me that you can buy bottles from a machine and sit in the garden - or paddle in the river! Nikl, see Mark's comments - it's nice to see the brewery while you're drinking but I didn't find the beer very interesting.
I been to Reblitz a few times, usually after a visit to Wiesen, on a walk or bike ride from Ebensfeld (I actually fell off a bike coming back from one of those visits), but it's also an easy walk from Bad Staffelstein. It's an a nice place, quite food orientated but it's easy just to sit on the terrace and drink beer. The brewer is pretty inventive and it's one of the few lager breweries that also brew its own Weizen (perhaps my least favourite beer - if it is really beer, IMHO). I also shared a Rogen beer with Andy Harvey - well, actually, had a few sips of it - again, IMHO, it was horrible but, then, I am a bit of traditionalist (what, you say?).
Hoh was another place that I visited with Juergen. We certainly tried the Dunkel, which was excellent, and I think another beer - maybe a Pilsner? Something a bit different, anyway, which was also ok. Didn't try the chicken: we are both vegetarian!
Finally, Hartmann: one of my first country pub visits, quite a few years ago, with Don and Cherie. Not really my kind of place; think Drei Kronen in Memmelsdorf. The beer was pretty good at that time, specially the Rauch, but, as Mark said, Jason told us that they don't brew any more. Maybe you'd like to go and confirm? (Actually, I remember that I went a second time with Don - a few years later. Nice garden and ok beer).
But, from my memory, none of these places had beer with a 'crisp-bitter and biscuity' taste. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a Franken beer that really meets that description - sounds much more ale-like to me. Perhaps you could give us a few examples?
Just checked back through your first postings. You list quite a few places, I presume that these are meant to be examples of 'crisp-bitter and biscuity' but, really, none of these in my memory fit that description. I think of Franken beers as rather 'soft' in taste, not bitter hopped but more 'flavour' hopped.
The lack of hoppiness used to be a regular complaint/comment from Nick (formerly of Erlangen!), who went so far as to brew his own beers, using a range of different hops. A fond memory was his demonstration of his home-brewed beers when we were staying in Forchheim for the first time - all of them were very decent, except the one brewed with New Zealnd hops. Remember that Nick? You had to leave the car with us and come back and collect it the following day! Happy days.
Was it the lack of hoppiness or the lack of <4% ABV beer that I was so motivated by? Both. That was fun, having someone else try out my hausgebrautes ale. I've forgotten by now, if I was doing a proper secondary fermentation or not at that point. For a long time, I just bottled right after primary to shorten the process by a week or so, which resulted in very "farty" beer with a massive pile of sediment in the bottles.
I took some of that sort of stuff to a bier café in Utrecht once...they dumped it. Way too fruity and funky from yeast for them. Prompted me to go back to doing a real secondary.
Griess and Loewenbraeu (Buttenheim) Kellerbier were often hoppy enough for me.
Ironically, now, even Koelsch seems bitter and hoppy to me. Next time I'm in England, I might be on the lager. Or cider. Or water.
Yep, it was a good afternoon. I think that it was both the lack of hops - I suppose that you had got used to the new breed of US-stuff - and the strength - you used to prepare some strange mixtures of normal Franken beers, 'watered' down with low alcohol stuff. Sounded dire but there you are, it's all down to personal taste.
I can't really remember how Koelsch tasted - I only remember that it came in little glasses (one mouthful), was full of froth and cost a lot!
There's loads of quite low strength beers in the Uk now - see my posting about the Albion in Conwy. And certainly no shortage of hops, especially those from your native country!
Was winding you up a bit. Back then, I was craving that which I could not have in Franconia: low-gravity session ale, like I had discovered on our various trips to your funny little islands. And yes, that was when I was still a massive capitus lupulus (or whatever Latin is for "hop head"...the late owner of the Rogue brewery in Oregon once gave me an honorary plaque declaring me such, and put my name on a bottling of their seasonal well-hopped St. Patrick's Day oatmeal stout, because I had convinced him to be more up-front in labelling their various beers over something or other...I forget exactly, this was over 20 years ago...), and so I was brewing my beer with ridiculous amounts of hops, which negated any economic advantage of brewing your own beer at home.
But it wasn't about being frugal, back in those happy days of living off Mrs's good-paying job and my part-time "work"...now I understand the concept of living on a fixed income. Except right now, there is no income.
If I ever get my vehicle situation sorted out, I shall return to your Isles, except it will be to enjoy them withOUT the help of socially lubricating ale or lager. Been enjoying cheapo red wine the past few nights with Missus, but even that doesn't feel right any more.
Which makes it all the more strange to be posting here, other than to help others out. Let me know if you want to meet up again someday. I promise not to set fire to any granite countertops as a joke or commit any other crimes that might carry a sentence of 40 years to life!
I suppose that it's all a question of balance, not overdoing any particular thing - 'old wives' used to say 'a little of what you fancy etc ...'. My mother used to say everything in moderation. I suppose that they knew what they were talking about.
Of course, always happy to meet!
Good, you're not afraid of meeting me! No sword this time, fake or otherwise. New doggie though.
One thing about my new way of eating...cutting way back on the number of different things you eat led to an increase in palate sensitivity. IOW, all I need or like on my food these days is salt and pepper, where I used to be a garlic & onions freak. This translates to beer in terms of hoppiness -- I like my beer a LOT milder these days...when I was in Thanet in December, I found the Courage and Harvey's to be nearly overwhelming. The sorts of stuff I used to crave -- no thanks.
Good timing, actually, since as they say, your palate becomes less sensitive as you age. Guess I'm getting younger.
I think I know what kind of beer you're looking for and would recommend Hölzlein/Lohndorf, Först/Drügendorf, Penning/Hetzelsdorf and the Keller at Schlüsselfeld (Brauerei Scheubel). Meister/Unterzaunsbach you don't get from tap because of the closed Wirtshaus. If you want to try maltier stuff as well, I'd go for Leicht/Pferdsfeld and the Voggendorfer Keller of Brauerei Prechtel, Uehlfeld. Enjoy!
Meister’s Wirtshaus is closed???
Think this goes back a year or two. The gastro trade ain't easy and ain't hugely profitable, especially in rural Franconia. Ergo, lack of youthful entrepreneurs to take over when the oldsters retire.
Does anyone else recall the uproar that occurred a few years ago when a lady working for a tourist organisation for the "Little Swiss Franconia" dared to suggest that rural inns and taverns might consider raising the price of a Schaeufe[r]la by an Euro or so, to help keep things running?
It's a vicious circle: the bulk of their trade is from locals who, being German (and Franconian at that!), are traditionally very much of the mind that "Geiz ist geil" (frugality is fabulous). And yet places are having trouble making enough money to keep in operation, especially if it means attracting young people away from the bright lights of Ebermannstadt or Forchheim.
I say we draft Juergen to take over the next Gastaette or brewery that closes up. Might not be as personally rewarding as his current line of work though. I remember that I was thinking I should take over the Witzgall Keller a few years back. Then I went insane/regained my sanity.
(*Is* Witzgall still operating?)
Actually, now it sounds like a nice idea. I forget what the story is with having to fix up the massive cracks in the foundation and whatnot.
Witzgall is still going. The keller is not. I'm hoping to finally visit Witzgall in July. We'll see. I've said that before. Things don't always go as planned.
Worth a visit. I remember it as a convenient stop on the long walk back to the train from the Kreuzberg Kellers with Nick and Uncle Jimbo. That must have been ten years or more ago now?
Did we walk it? I remember walking it at night with someone.
Thinking about it, you may have been on your bike?
Highly probable. That bike is, sadly, no longer with me. I told Mrs to leave it with the new owners of our house, Brazillians. Lots of Brazillians in Erlangen...Siemens does a lot with them. Love how the Brazillian wives at my language school would say "baconbier" when talking about the beer in Bamberg. Lovely accent. Lovely wives.
You've not been there? I forget now, but I THINK the Gaststaette had pretty reasonable hours. Mrs & I had a blast on Tag des Bieres 2005, when there was a special beer on, I think. And some older lady tried to tell us a story about how a bra and corsette is related to the wood in an attic of a barn. Or something like that, our German wasn't so great back then, let alone Schlammersdorfer Franconian.
The tavern is great. The normal Vollbier on tap there (also from a tank...did anyone ever figure that out?) has a nice peppery note, otherwise lightly buttery. Completely different to the famous Kellerbier that is only on tap at the Keller, in bottles at the tavern.
Right off the bus stop, also easy bike ride from Eggolsheim Bf on the way to you-know-where.
Full of characters, the likes of which Gerhard and Uschi would warn us away from (ex-convicts!) like at the one Brauereigaststaette in central Forchheim. I forget which one now, but not the great big one everyone loves so much. Hebendanz?
It's a must, Mark. Utterly local.
I don't know about the ex-convicts, we always had a nice time when we were there - very hospitable people. Sort of reminds me of Zehendner, for some reason. Gerhard and Uschi were a bit odd! We once walked from the centre of Buttenheim to Wizgall, while DB were messing about with the track and there were no trains. It was not a very nice walk because there was no pavement on the road from Altendorf to Eggolsheim. Our one visit to the Keller (actually, may have been twice?) was not successful. The Kellerbier was so carbonated that is was difficult to drink. I nearly threw it away but that's reserved only for the St Georges Keller.
Forchheim? You must mean the lovely Neder - centre of the universe! Next to Hebendanz, of course, which is now more of a restaurant. Andy and self had a nice afternoon there a few weeks ago (well, actually, Andy had very nearly a full day!). We got into a conversation with some 'interesting' blokes. Always a great experience and you can take your own food! Like an indoor Keller, people even have picnics there! And the beer is pretty good as well - mostly.
Right, Neder is the beloved one, Hebendanz went through a facelift years ago, to up-scale the place a bit, though even so, Gerhard & Uschi (my old Stiebarlimbacher Kellermates, for those keeping score at home) said they wouldn't want to be seen coming or going from the place, lest their reputations be soilt.
AFA G & U being odd...who isn't? Why be normal? I've been weird my whole life...at least since age 9 or so, anyway. They've had an interesting turn of it, most recently being bee keepers before retiring from that. She's from Hamburg, he's local. Have a lovely daughter, at least, whom I met once or twice. And I thought you would like them just based on their musical interests.
My German teacher, Marc (also a Hamburger), my age, could not believe that people would actually travel from the US to Germany just to go touring around the countryside drinking the regional beer. "That's weird", he said.
Prior to the smartening-up, Hebendanz WAS full of interesting characters; look up the hilarious report(s?) from a certain English beer writer whose name escapes me at the moment, whom I met once at the Annafest. He didn't like my attitude against the filthy practice of recycling drip tray slops typically done in northern English pubs (autovac?) or my proclaiming his favourite Münchner beer "bland", even in the context of comparing and contrasting it to Franconian beer. Not John White (?) who passed away...never mind. I think googling "Hebendanz ghost stonch" should turn up his reports of early Monday(?) morning Bierkultur in there.
Having grown up in the places I have (New Orleans, Houston, let alone suburban Mpls) and travelled to various big US cities --just being from the US, actually-- I have no fear of being in close proximity to rehabilitated grey-haired German murderers (as Gerhard said they were) sitting around supping lager. The things I've been through since leaving Erlangen...heck...now I'd love to hear their stories!
That reminds me...the Hebendanz-serving tavern you found on the way out of the Zentrum...I suspect that is where the ex-con's have all gone to since the smartening-up, based on the characters I saw there the couple of times I called in.
Greif was actually my favourite of the three Brauereigaststätten located there on the Markt. They gave it up and sold it off (or leased it out) to an accounting firm quite a while back. Prior to that, it offered a fine balance betwen drinking and basic Franconian food. And the 500 (est) pound blond lady working was funny, in that sort of what's-her-name-at-Spezial sort of way.
Ah, memories...didn't someone once say that the Spanish steakhouse (?) sort of place a door or two further down towards the Pfalz was also a former Brauereigaststätte?
I remember finding certain Britons' insistence on keeping their beer-drinking and food-eating separate to be weird when I first started spending significant amounts of time with them (present company not intended!). The common German practice of having warm food available with beer at Brauerei- and normal Gaststätten seemed natural to me when we moved here. Why WOULDN'T one want to drink beer with their lunch or supper? Why wouldn't one want to eat something to soak up" the alcohol? It's pretty common knowledge that eating something in the course of an evening's drinking will help offset the deleterious effects of over-drinking, isn't it?
It was explained to me that the Briton will want to keep room in his belly for beer, not have it get filled up with food. Then, maybe drunkenly gorge on a kebab (Döner) afterwards, before collapsing into bed or having ab big fry-up the morning after. That just never seemed healthy to me.
Of course there are plenty of corner bars (Eckkneipen) in Germany that don't serve food, but compared to what I've seen in England, Germans seem to combine their eating and drinking more like midwestern Americans do. That shouldn't come as a surprise, I guess, since midwestern America was settled by Teutonic immigrants more so than say, New England was.
But going back one stage earlier in my life...it was weird to me when I moved from Minnesconsin to Oregon in '93, since there was a law that required any place that served alcohol of any sort to also serve hot food -- not just bar snacks. And there was some licensing difference between places serving only beer & wine and those serving spirits in addition to that. The former were pubs and brewpubs, the latter were bars and restaurants. I suppose it was all to protect the children...I understand that distinction in law has been dropped since my departure from OR in '04.
I guess none of that is necessarily "weird", rather, just different to each other.
It was an adjustment for us to see people drinking on the street without shame when we moved here. Also, a fest like the Altstadtfest in Nuremberg serving beer that wasn't fenced in and guarded by security or police, like in the US -- how do you avoid drunken fights breaking out? My wife was so embarrassed when I took a beer to-go from the Altstadtfest and walked with it to the train, until I pointed out that I wasn't the only one doing so. I think it's now verboten to bring your own beer on the train...anyone?
There's a LOT to be said for having three years of Kindergarten like they do here IMO. People learn to play nicely together. You can take the American out of America, but the America out of the American...not as easy.
As the Irish say, never eat on an empty stomach.
Or as the Japanese say....
No, let's not go there.
I can't say that I found G & U particularly welcoming but maybe they just didn't like us - hard to believe! But your other two Roppelt Keller friends the late Hermann and ?? were really nice and friendly.
I vaguely recall someone telling me in Forchheim that the former owner of Hebendanz, during it's 'interesting' period was some sort of spy for the Stasi or something. I only went there once during our first first visit and, as it was a lovely day, we sat outside. The following day, it was closed! To add insult to injury, Neder was Urlaub, so I had to wait until the following year to enjoy its particular delights, by which time, the customers from Habendanz had transferred their allegiance. As you say, we used to drink Hebendanz beer in Schloessle (think that's right). It had, shall we say, a mixed clientele but we never had any problems. It was pub strong for FC Nurnurg and the temperature could get pretty heated if Bayern were on the telly. Sadly, Nurnburg have just been relegated from Bundesliga 1, which leaves only Muenchen and Augusburg from Bayern.
Re eating and drinking: I don't think that there is any evidence that food affects the level of alcohol in the blood stream (it does affect the sugar content, which is why I'm often seen munching some snack or other). You have to look at the social context to understand British drinking habits. The tavern style places that proliferate in Franken, for example (e.g. Schlenkerla, Spezial, Faessla, etc.) largely withered away during the 19th century (though some survived) and left mainly your 'Eckkneipen' - like that word! We tended to finish work, say around 5 or 6 pm, go home, eat tea/dinner, and then go out for the evening, drinking, going to the pictures, dancing, whatever. After, the pubs closed (in my youth, at 10.30 pm), we were often a bit hungry, being young lads. So we went for a meal - note, not kebabs but Indian or Chinese - after all, what's the point of having an empire if you don't gt something good out of it.
I suppose that is why I like Neder - it's the closest you can get to a proper pub - I suppose a proper Eckkneipen (good). However, I have noticed an larming tendency for the bringing in of a a sandwich or a cut of meat to be extended to full grown picnics - do you remember all those ladies coming in with food in baskets Jason?
I had an interesting conversation wit Fred about US-licencing laws in Prague - it seems like a minefield. Of course, one of the things that Europeans can't understand is that it is possible to buy a firearm at 18 (and even younger if from a private vendor) but you can't buy a drink until you're 21 - astonishing to us. Florida has just raised the age for buying certain guns to 21 but no all, I believe.
Regarding alcohol on trains: not 'verboten' as far as I can see. I see loads of people drinking cans of beer on trains and the waste bins are often full of empty bottles and cans. On the train out of Schwandorf for Prague (an ALX), a chap came round and took our orders for drinks and we were still in Bayern. If you get on a train that's heading for a festival (my last experience was one going to the Kirchweih in Erlangen), slabs of beer are literally stacked up! Last year, I saw one chap open a bottle of white wine at Ebensfled and he had finished it before we got to Forchheim, where I got off, thank goodness!
I think it is a pretty well established fact that eating food slows the alcohol uptake into the blood stream. A quick internet search confirmed this. I always have thought the one of the keys to a succesful pub crawl is food.
I have been out with some who have the "Eating is Cheating" mentality and you really don't want to be around them by the end of the night.
Agreed. When leading beer tours, regular snacking is one of the things I encourage, together with not staying in one pub too long and walking between pubs.
Well I've done my web trawling and come to a completely different set of views! The one thing that is clear is that drinking on an empty stomach is bad - see my earlier comments about having tea/dinner before a night on the razz! Eating while drinking only delays the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream. Knowing the people that I know (no names, no pack drill), the sessions go on for so long that this is totally irrelevant!
There is a nice little article about fruit bats: apparently, they get drunk while eating ferment fruit (is that why they fly in circles?) but that the fructose in non-fermented fruit helps to delay the effect!
The foods that are recommended before and during drinking include milk, spaghetti, chicken, quinoa, avocado, almond butter,and cereals. Doesn't sound like the menu in many Franken Wirtshaueser, though Spezial are doing their best. Really sounds more like my like my veggie diet than that favoured by most of my friends. Chewing cereal bars seems to be much better than Schlachtschlussel (is that correct? Never thought that I'd ever be typing it!) but Kaesespaetzle seems to hit the spot, only that it's so filling!
It seems that not only does eating on an empty stomach make you get drunk faster, it also increases your overall BAC.
"According to several studies and experts on alcohol, a lot. In 1994, one team of Swedish researchers set out to answer the question by having a group of 10 people consume a few drinks on two separate days.
In one case they drank after an overnight fast, and in the other, they drank after they ate a modest breakfast.
On the day the subjects ate, the rate of intoxication was slower, even though the amount of alcohol had not changed. But the subjects also reached significantly lower blood-alcohol levels over all -- on average about 70 percent of what they were on the day they skipped breakfast.
In some cases, the study found, having a meal before drinking kept a person from climbing over the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving in most states."
If the above is true, it would seem that any food comsumption before/during a drinking session would mean less intoxication.
I don't think there is any debate about this at all. I have done more than enough drinking in my lifetime both with food in the stomach and without to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that having a meal before or during a session reduces intoxication. There is no doubt whatsoever about it. If you think otherwise you are simply just wrong. Period. End of Story.
And it doesn't seem like there is any disagreement about this on this thread as we all have plenty of experience at this.
Sorry Mark but the facts we suggest that there is a difference between drinking before, during and after. As far as I can see, that's the scientific evidence. However, really I'm not really concerned about the matter. As you well know, I'm not concerned whether other people eat or not whilst sharing my company - sitting with you and Dorothy while we all consumed our different grub did nothing to spoil the social experience. Personally, I prefer to have something reasonably substantial to eat before drinking, backed up by a small snack whilst drinking but, like my veggie habit, I don't demand that everyone else does the same. My comments were really intended to show to Nick the reasons for the 'weird' British drinking habits. It's a socio-economic thing, really nothing to do with science. We simply did not have pubs that sold food, apart from the odd packet of crisps, maybe the odd packet of salted peanuts. Nowadays, I don't have a huge appetite, so it's all a bit academic really. The thing that I would say that my choice of pub is never determined by how good the food might be or even whether they sell food (another reason why I like Neder, probably). In my experience, there are always more eating places than good drinking places, though being vegetarian in Franken (or Prague!) can be tricky. Sorry, slow Saturday morning, trying to get over a bad cold - again. Probably due to my diet - before anyone else says it.
"Sorry Mark but the facts we suggest that there is a difference between drinking before, during and after."
I think the facts suggest that eating at any of those times is going to slow alcohol uptake and lead to less intoxication. If you have been drinking for three hours and plan on drinking for three more, then having something to eat in between will help you be less drunk, and probably feel better the next day. If you eat after drinking and there is still drink in your stomach, that should reduce alcohol uptake also.
I don't think I'm splitting hairs here.
Thanks, Barry, your original response was in fact informative and interesting. That was exactly what I was after.
This "eating is cheating" business though...I've heard of that before, I think. I don't quite grasp it, but that's also OK.
I'm still fighting off the lung infection I've been plagued with 2-1/2 months now.
Glad to help!
Sorry to hear about your lung infection - check diet!
"Eating is cheating" connects with he English preoccupation with drinking to get drunk (I've never understood it myself).
I've never heard of this but can imagine that it exists. Groups of lads (& lasses) on the tare?
Jürgen, wonderful - thank you!
I've stopped at Holzlein a few times but not really heard of the other ones.
Excited to pass by!
Really taking advantage of OT now.
Called in to my nearest micropub last night for a night cap (it is only 120 yards away from my front door) to find that they had brewed a Ruby Mild at 5.1%, which is a bit less than the Sarah Hughes at 6%.
I asked Andy of the Black Cloak whether their Ruby Mild was a sort of homage to Sarah Hughes and he smiled and replied sort of! They just decided to have a try and to see how it worked out. Well, I'm pleased to say that it worked out very well! The last time that I was in the Beacon Hotel with Don S., the Ruby Mild was not too good - I ended up drinking the Pale Amber (probably this was a temporary glitch) - and the Black Cloak version was much better. Probably back tonight!
Andy of the Black Cloak and Barry of the Black Hat - just need Terry of the Black trousers and you’ll have a full house!
I'm sure we've discussed this, but have you had Purple Moose (?) Dark Side of the Moose dark mild? IIRC, it was 4.5% or so, and just...wonderful. Enjoyed it in the Welsh sunshine, of all things, years ago near Port Mad Dog with Mrs.
Have had both Ruby and Sara Hughes, but memory is foggy.
I'm sure we've discussed this, but have you had Purple Moose (?) Dark Side of the Moose dark mild? IIRC, it was 4.5% or so, and just...wonderful. Enjoyed it in the Welsh sunshine, of all things, years ago near Port Mad Dog with Mrs.
Have had both Ruby and Sara Hughes, but memory is foggy.
Yes, had it, it's good, like all PM beers - except the awful Elderflower hotchpotch (IMHO, others love it!).
Never one to miss the odd OT posting! So, now back home after a great month, first couple of weeks in Franken, then on to Prague. This time, I opted not to stay in Holesovice, not out of any negative reason but, after 3 times, I thought that a change of scenery would be good, so I opted for Vrsovice. I was really lucky that my stay coincided, firstly, with Mark and Dorothy and then with Fred. It was really good to have others to go to the pub with - a plethora of lone sessions can get a bit wearing and all 3 were great company.
I'll not attempt to describe all the sessions that we enjoyed - to be honest, I don't remember a lot of them that well! But, to be sure, the beer business in Prague (I didn't get out of town) is certainly booming. As I've remarked elsewhere (FB), there do seem to be a few trends, notably, the growth in availability of ales of various types (IPAs, APAs, etc., etc.), the increase in new venues and, like in the UK, a sort of age line, where the new pubs attract, predominately, the younger set and, the more established bars, perhaps an older age group. However, there were plenty of young people in longer established bars, such as Hostomice Nalevarna, Napalme, U Tunelu, etc., which are among my favourites.
A lot of the newer bars seem to follow the UK micropub style - fairly basic and, in the case of Dva Kohouti, decidely industrial. That there's money in this business seems to be indicated by the crowds in the new places and upmarket developments like the one in Karlin (it must have cost a mint to set). Also, there's an increasing tendency in newer places to serve beer in 0,4L pots, which, to my mind, is a rip off, specially when it's not clearly indicated. In addition, the price of beer seems to be creeping up but perhaps those with longer experience of beer in Prague would have views on this matter. A couple of places were selling Faro from Oud Beersel at Kc 40,0,10L - I wonder who would bother to order 0,10L of beer!?
As regards my favourites, they remain Hostomice Fabian and Uneticke - as far as I can recall, I only drank one non-lager/pilsner; I've no problem in finding ales of all types in my home town, so really can't see the point in going to Prague to drink them, any more than I would in Franken. But, each to her/his own.
Once I got to know Vrsovice, it turned out to be a good venue. The local Bernard bar serves very competent beer, there is a Pilsner Urquell Tankovna place, and a couple of specialised newish bars, including Zupaty Pes, run by a Russian guy and serving a profusion of ales, plus a bottle shop, which Fred hasn't added to the directory yet, but is worth a visit. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk to Krymska are area, which has a profusion of bars and restaurants, mostly worth a visit (get off at Ruska, visit the three bars near the tram stop, then walk up Krymska for the Bad Flash Bar and others before getting back on the tram at Krymska).
I went to two Fortuna Premier League football matches - at Bohemians 1905 (tiny run down stadium), who are likely to be relegated, and Slavia (very nice modern all-seat stadium but only about a quarter to third full), who will probably be Champions. I was very unimpressed by the standard of football and find it hard to understand how Slavia gave Chelsea a run for money. But, it was a good experience and certainly indicated the way that Czech football has declined in recent years, while ice hockey has blossomed.
So, as usual a lovely experience; I probably rode as many trams in two weeks as some Prague citizens do in a lifetime, though they are incredibly well used and provide excellent coverage and great value for money (especially for us old folks). I've managed to bring quite a few Kcs home with me, which means that I'll have to go again!
Nice report. It certainly is a beer wonderland and as you pointed out with a great public transportation system to help get you there.
Dva Kohouti did remind my of the layout of many new breweries with tap rooms here in the US. Very industrial setting but I suppose that is to be expected as it's more affordable to setup in such locations I'm sure. I thought their beer was pretty good but not up to the standards of Uneticke and Hostomice or Vinohradsky Pivovar for that matter. Still nice to see new breweries brewing traditional styles to offset all the IPAs.
Napalme is now officially one of my favorite pubs in Prague.
Speaking of hockey .... my team the Boston Bruins (who on monday begin the final series against St. Louis for the Stanley Cup championship) have a player on the roster (David Pasternak) who is from the Czech Republic and apparently quite well known judging from the number of compliments I got on my Bruins jersey from locals while walking around Prague. Note to self: always bring Bruins apparel when in Prague. He is the teams best goal scorer btw.
We enjoyed hanging out with you there. See you soon hopefully.
.... apologies for bad grammer, spelling, and run on sentences btw.
The IPAs, etc. seems to be a new thing. The early entrants into the Czech Craft scene were mostly brewing traditional styles. There was rarely an ale to be seen at the couple of "Sun in the Glass" beer festivals I visited at Purkmistr, Plzen a few years ago.
A nice report Barry.
I would only add a couple of things 1. I think I need to visit Napalme and 2. I'm equally disappointed with the 0,4L issue. I don't think it's just because of where I live, in that many locals would equally bristle at being given a 0,4L, nor do I care so much about being 'ripped off' - that will always be my choice to go in or go on. It's more that I don't like the sneakiness of it in many cases. I feel like i'm being condescended - a half pint / full pint and a quarter / half litre are adequately different to not need a 0,5L. A 0,4L is a complete anomoly and offers nothing to the consumer. I will pay more for a 0,5L, just provide the glasses.
Anyway, I don't really appreciate places like beergeek either because it's Prague and there are so many better places for my taste. So I don't go, problem solved. Although I would say the quality of czech brewing also comes through in many of the ales I've tried, they are generally very well made. I just find these multi tap pubs are often ubiquitous and a little soulless, but there are many exceptions.
@AndyH ales in Prague have been around a bit before 'a few years'' though I agree it's grown a lot in the last 5. Cheaper to brew and you can charge 20-50% more, so no surpirse perhaps. Even living in Franken I'd still kill for a Svetly Lezak. When it's good it's unrivelled here.
I always try to buy a Svetly Lezak or a Cerny. I can't imagine being in Franken and drinking an IPA but I'm know that it's possible. Doesn't Andi brew some bottom fermented versions, which will probably be pretty good but they're not what I want to drink? Likewise, I don't drink Franken beers in Colwyn Bay (chance'd be a fine thing), though I have been known to drink the odd bottle of Urquell (Jason holding up a cross before me) and Duvel.
In our conversation with the Russian brewer (I think that he's from Beergeek but Fred will confirm), he mentioned that raw materials in Czechia (i.e. malt and hops) were fairly cheap. So I asked why the new brewers were charging so much for ales that didn't require extensive lagering. As far as I can remember and understand, the answer was basically that you charge what you can get.
I hope that you won't be disappointed with Napalme, when you get there, Jason. It's a bit basic and quirky but genuine, friendly and I've never had a bad glass of Uneticke. I also like Jamayka, Pivo Gallerie and Indigo, all for different reasons. And, of course, Nalevarna and Hrocha (for the atmopshere) and ... etc., etc. I know that some people find it incomprehensible but I'm a pub afficanado as well as a beer lover - though I wouldn't drink in a nice pub that had bad beer.
The brewer was Ruslan who does Sibeeria as a contract brewery and has an interest in (if not owner of) BeerGeek.
I remember the converstion a bit differently. Czech malt and hops are very cheap so a traditional Czech beer shouldn’t cost a lot in ingredients. But imported (i.e. American and NZ) hops are very expensive as is imported malt to get the right flavor profile for “Modern” styles. So they cost more. After a bit of pushback he did acknowledge that the reduced brewing times (brewday to beer shipped) for ales offsets some of that. He says the breweries were his beers are brewed don’t want him to do lagers because it ties up the tanks to much. As a contract brewer he doesn’t see that as a direct expense, where a physical brewer would.
As for the .4L I agree with Jason — not only is it not made clear (where the new pubs are upfront when a stronger beer is only available in .4 or .3 size) they also usually don’t serve a .3L size for when you don’t want a full beer.
And Jason, you should check out NaPalmé but be aware the Utiněticé 10º and 12º are often the only lagers on tap — maybe another one — the rest are all newfangled stuff.
Yes Russlan is (one of) Beergeek owners.
Foreign (NZ, US, ...) hops are more expensive... however it is still very cheap. You could get malt and hops for lager for 3 CZK / Seidla, while for IPA you would get to 7 CZK... you see, no difference at all, taking into account, that you are buying a beer later on at pub for 70 crowns.
IPAs sold by brewery in casks aren't that much more expensive; usualy pub "surcharge" makes the difference... as generally people are willing to pay more for "new, interesting" beer, rather than "usual" lager...
I'm sure that your recollection is better than mine, Fred; also, it was a bit noisy (lots of customers and an echoey industrial building) and I was sitting opposite rather than next to the chap.
But the essentials are much the same and more or less confirmed by Mosquit. It seems reasonably obvious to me that many of the new places in Prague are enterprises that have come from a revival of interest in beer and this seems to mirror experiences in many other parts of the world. This is fair enough and we should be generally grateful for what's going on, particularly the interest that younger people are showing in beer.
However, it shouldn't stop us walking around with our eyes wide open and being willing to voice an opinion - and discuss!
The very best commercially-brewed American-style "IPA" I have ever had on the continent was at the one proper old pub (well, sort of proper, except they had multiple beers on tap including a couple of IPAs) there in Prague back in autumn 2015. It was pale, clean, dry, bitter, around 6%.
I remember trying Andy's bottom-fermented IPA at Abseits once...no thanks. Lager is already dry enough, and something just doesn't go right when making it really hoppy like that.
Otherwise, Jason's post above seems to be very agreeable. The one Czech restaurant in Erlangen was, sadly, a restaurant and not a pub, so not great for going and enjoying a few Seidla(s) of big-name Czech beer, and the food...why bother when it's just blander versions of Franconian starch, pork, and carp? I totally get craving Czech beer in Franken. All the Pilsner Urquell we used to burn through at home...
Hostomice nalevarna: even though I spent hundreds of days in Prague, I've never heard about this pub. Sounds very interesting, i guess it serves as a *brewery tap* of the brewery of Hostomice pod Brdy, istn't it?
It is fairly new, early 2017 I beleive.
Location wise, it is lot far from Bierhuis (though I expect you, like me, don't go to Prague to drink Belgian beer).
They have three regular beers, Svétlé 10º & 12º and Tmavé 14º There is a fourth tap that sometimes has a special beer -- last week a Vienna Lager brewed with Unêticé
You are absolutely right! I would never drink foreign beers in Prague. I prefer Czech Lagers right at the source...
I'll be in Munich the week after next. If anyone else finds themselves in "Darkest" Bavaria at the same time, it would be great to meet for a litre or two of factory swill.
On my group's last visit to Munich, we found the unfiltered Helles at Nockherburg (Paulaner) to be at least a step above the normal swill !
Augustiner was pretty good, too (as usual).
I'm revisiting Munich for 4 days at the end of July after 10 days in Franconia. I'm really quite looking forward to it. Haven't been in about 7 years. I'm okay with drinking lots of Augustiner and also visiting the Ayinger pub across from Hofbrauhaus and occasionally drinking other swill in a beer garten or two. There will be a daytrip to Salzburg as well. I've got Nockherberg (Paulaner) on the to do list.
When I visited Munich after Bamberg I hated it. Even Augustiner was meh.
When I visit Munich without having been in Bamberg I find it tolerable.
Maybe I should have gone in reverse order. Too late now. Although it will be very convenient for me flying hom from Munich direct to Boston. Might be the easiest going home day I've ever had in Germany.
Of course I'll never like Munich anywhere near as much as I do Bamberg but my expectations are reasonable going into this. Besided I'm really looking forward to that side trip out to Augustiner in Salzburg.
Also I've got a couple of first time visitors to Munich travelling with me so it will be interesting to see what they think of it in comparison to Franken.
Yes, much better to do Munich first. I'm kinda doing that this year with Munich in May and Bamberg in October (slight break between the two). Technically the Munich trip is a family holiday not a beer tour but when in Rome...
Augustiner Salzburg is amazing, easily one of my top 5 beer experiences ever!
Augustiner is good for sensitizing oneself to DMS, as it plagues every single one of their golden lagers-- especially the helles and pils. All in my very humble two cents.
My (perhaps anbitious) itinerary includes:
Paulaner am Nockherberg
A beer garden in the English Garden
Augustiner am Platzl
Ayinger am Platzl
Schneider Bräuhaus München
Andechser am Dom
Max Emanuel Brauerei
Thoroughly recommend a visit to Tegernsee. Beautiful setting, the beer gets a bit of a rap these days but it’s perfectly enjoyable.
Why's the beer get a rap these days? The Spezial (?) is the most characterful beer in that part of the country, IME...actual malt flavour and aroma. Cheerios-like, as I've always said. And the setting...spectacular.
Ditto those commenting on Salzburger Augustiner. Hopefully not so crushed with tourists, but oh well, we're all tourists when we're there.
It just does, partly due to a bigger presence across the country over the years, think it’s a bit cult in Berlin. That increased output may have affected the quality slightly but when I’ve had it at the brewery it’s been very good.
Augustiner Salzburg is one of the best beer experiences there is. Period.
The anticipation of standing in the queue at five to three, waiting for Augustiner Salzburg to open is the first part of the experience. From then on it's amazing beer theatre from start to finish.
I'll be going to visiting the Tegernsee pub in Munich, Unfortunately there's not enough time to visit the brewery, even in one week. There's a lot of general tourism stuff to fit in including:
And plenty more visits in Munich itself including Old Town, Olympic Park, BMW World, etc...
Mrs & I did all those Munich things save Olympic Park & BMW, back when we spent a week there around the turn of the century. Except Dachau. Don't think I could handle that.
Oberammergau and Neuschwannstein are great too.
Dipping the Krug in the fountain before getting it filled at Augustiner...Bierkultur! Beer's a bit fruity too...or maybe that was the Starkbier during Lent. Only been twice.
Completely agree about Augustiner Salzburg.
Don’t forget Nürnberger Bratwurstglöckl across from the Frauenkirche. I’ll be there next week. Safe travels!
there’s a back entrance... and a Schwemme. The beer is cheaper there and if you can squeeze in it’s a rare treat in Munich.
The schwemme sounds OK,not sure I fancy the back entrance though.
Thanks, yes am aware of the place and its cheaper entrance. You'd think a week would be long enough to do everything but it's really not. Trips out to Aying, Tegernsee and Andechs would be good if time permitted. Salzburg I tend to visit separately as it justifies a few days.
Sorry but that’s nonsense - i have never tasted DMS in Augustiner helles. And I’ve drunk a fair bit. Maybe what you tried, but that was a very sweeping statement, not really humble.
The Helles and Edelstoff are fine beers, when served fresh, and so are many of the places to drink them in Munich. Again, (and again and again), don’t drink the beer in a vacuum. It’s not mind blowing, but it’s a good all round experience.
Perfect! I could use some sensitivity training.
Swill!!? I feel the Augustiner master brewer would welcome your inputs to save him from producing many more millions of litres that nobody wants to drink.try to set up a meeting asap.
Andy who are you addressing this too? I used the word swill but totally in a sarcastic/joking manner. I personally really like Augustiner (in case I wasn't clear about that before)
The original post mark, the forum doesn't always behave the way I expect it to regarding replays.
Why so much discussion on Muenchen, which, to my simple mind has little relationship to Franken.
Well it does say OT in the thread much like OT discussions regarding Prague, Eschawo, or wherever.
I intended to use the word "swill" in a tongue in cheek way but of course text is not as nuanced as the spoken word.