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We leave early for our zoigl trip on friday 23third March. We wanna hit Seinsheim in their opening hours 16-20 But their website is not Updated. I mailed Them twice without any answer. Then I had Some feedback that worried me even more about them not wanna sell beer to foreigners and such. Anybody have in info on this?
Cheers and Thanks!
The opening hours are uptodate.
As for their message, I can kind of understand, if the reasons behind are what i believe they are (i.e.. I'm pretty sure it isn't some form of racial discrimination). It's a small village and the brewery open days are a community get together - everyone knows each other. They have very limited capacity and a lot of local customers so they cannot brew enough for their regulars. I had to order 6 bottles 1 month in advance.
So a group of 'foreigners' come wanting to buy beer to take away is not something they welcome. Just show up, drink a beer and move on, I'm pretty sure this will be fine.
Beer tourists are not always welcome, we should remember that. Some people have a view that they are 'helping' these breweries to survive by giving them custom - very noble, but not the case. Heckel closes Saturday evenings April-October because they don't want drunken groups coming in after tourng the local breweries for example. Big groups are discouraged because they disturb the ecosystem of the pub. Understandable.
Outside of Bamberg it's the locals that sustain the breweries, not inquisitive foreigners.
Truer words were never spoken on this forum than the second half of Jason's post.
Even in Bamberg it's the locals, up to a point
i completely understand that. I leave my hauling gene home. But from What you guys get out of the website they should be open friday 23th march?
yup... every Friday except the first Friday in the month. 16-20uhr.
Beer drinking yes. Revenue (food etc)... would be interesting to see.
Places like Klosterbrau and ambrausianum seem to rely exclusively on tourists. Of course I include German tourists / day trippers in that.
On my first visit to Brauerei Hölzlein in 2001-- arranged by Frank W when he had a car -- like any tourist I was talking pictures. I told Herr Hölzlein that if wanted to see them I would put them on the internet and give him (thru Frank) the address. He got quite upset (not really upset, you know what I mean). Paraphrasing, "Don't put me on the interenet. Then I'll get lots of tourists drinking my beer and I'll have to work harder so that my regulars can have beer. And my Mother won't be able to get a seat on Sunday afternoon." He was really mostly worried about tour buses but you get the idea.
Stopped by for a couple of beers after work at snowy Kaiser. As usual very good, pils and fest weizen. This brewery really has grown on me and is a favourite. If anyone is in bamberg on a Tuesday when Ruhetags bugger up plans try grasmannsdorf, mönchsambach, Burgebrach and debring (all by bus). The latter couple are nothing special but the Keller in burgebrach is very nice.
I also sampled the fastenbier in Schlenkerla yesterday. Well I had 5. It was superb. Obviously it only lasts for 40 days so not such a well known beer. Smoky, unfiltered and 5,5% (and of course gravity dispensed). That’s the extent of my tasting notes.
Since the person who seemed to use it the most has left us for the bright lights of Los Vegas -- and I have to admit I have forgotten to use it the past few years -- I've removed it from the page. If anybody wants to start tweeting with the hash tag #FranconiaBeer let me know and I can resurect it.
That means the lovely picture of the chap holding a book will be forever lost from our view. Tragedy!
As many of you know, a rotating group of us have been going to Düsseldorf every year since 1998 for their October release of Sticke. Since 2000 we've been coming to Bamberg as well.
Anyway, this years schedule is posted at www.StickeWarriors.com -- I've also created a Facebook group for those inclined that way.
We'll be starting off in Prague (Oct 7 or so) then Bamberg (Oct 11-15), Düsseldorf (Oct 15-17) and Antwerp (Oct 17-22). If anybody is interested in meeting up along the way, just let me know.
The beer is to be brewed in Northamptonshire. The article doesn't seem to indicate whether it will be called Mahr's or something else.
‘I’m not sure if this beer will offer Franconian character or reflect it,’ says Michel. ‘The most important thing is to offer the British customer a great lagerbier. Mahr’s Bräu is loved all over the world – that’s the taste I want to bring to the UK.’
I did see the Mahrs U at a number of "modern" London pubs -- the Euston Tap, the Waterloo Tap (which are releated) for example. And I think I saw it at their sister pubs in Sheffield and York, so I guess it makes some sense. But I would sort of expected a tie in the Sierra Nevada or some US brewery -- a "Reverse Stone" so to speak -- as its a much farther difference.
Though maybe this is a Brexit thing -- does anybody know how that will effect beers from Germany? I could see there being a big increase in duties and having the beer brewed in the UK would get around this.
Or you could call it jumping on the band wagon, as there is any number of supposed German style lagers being brewed in the UK now. Presumably, in response to demand?
At least the supposed German-style lagers now being brewed in the UK don't pretend to be German. Remember Greenall Whitley's oh-so-wittily named Grünhalle Lager, Hofmeister, etc?
Oh but they do: my micropub sells lagers from Geipel, which is a brewery run by someone from the USA (I think?), who lives in Manchester and brews in Bala, North Wales. His most regular beers are called Pilsner, Hefeweizen, Dunkelweize, and two that really 'offend' me: Zoigl and the strange Zoiglator - there's a mixed message, if I ever saw one!
Now it entirely up to the proprietor what he brews and what he calls his beers - but who is he kidding? I'm sure if I tried I could find more examples from microbrewers.
I suppose he could point out that Hefeweizen and Dunkelweize describe the styles that he's brewing more accurately than any English translations. Pilsner, of course, despite its geographical identification, has long been accepted worldwide (for example, the authoritative Dutch dictionary Van Dale defines the use of Pilsener in Dutch as meaning "(1) a light [coloured] beer; (2) a glass of such beer", and the Czechs could have a go at the Germans for (mis)appropriating it. Mind you, I share and sympathise with your distaste for the hijacking of Zoigl, although who should feel more ashamed of themselves for this - the German commercial breweries who slap the label onto a bottle of cloudy beer, or the Americans who are doing an IPA on it?
But when all is said and done, how do his beers actually taste? The website suggests that his heart's in the right place: does he really need to label his beers "Hefeweizen-style" or some such? After all, he's not trying to pass his beers off as actually being produced in Germany, which was the case with the German-sounding names given to the "lagers" that I mentioned (a Gothic typeface was used in the advertising material, for example). The borrowing of words to describe styles (of all sorts of products) has been going on for as long as people of different cultures have traded with each other, and we all manage to understand the difference between a slab of industrially produced "Cheddar" cheese and one produced by an artisan who knows the herd of cows that produced the milk.
Any chance of a tasting report on the Geipel beers?
Worse than all this in my view was a trend that I hope has died a death in the UK microbrewing scene - such rubbish as 'cask' lager. What a load of nonsense that was. Sure the beer was often ok but the concept...
In terms of brewing German styles in the UK I have nothing against it so long as they are done properly. They do a generally pretty good job in the US so no reason why not, though their lager histoiry stretches back a long way. The Zoigl terminlology is a nonsense though; it's not a style of beer it's a brewing tradition that really cannot be exactly replicated outside of the Oberpfalz. Ignorence fueling more ignorence.
Finally, Mahr. I was in the pub last week for the first time in 8 months or so. Both the Helles and U were uninspiring shadows of their former selves. Perhaps Herr Michel should focus on getting them back to their best before looking farther afield. Of course, Bamberg is revered amoung beer drinkers who have been here but it remains relatively unknown to most of the drinking world so using the brand in the UK is somewhat optimistic in my view. I'm not fussed either way, good luck to them - it may turn out to be better than what we get here!
If you mean by cask lager, the key cask versions, no they're still around. Of the top of my head, Geipel use key cask but I can't remeber the others. If it's important, I could find out. Actually, I found the key cask idea quite good - as far as I can see, it's more or less a small-scale version of Tankovna or the system used by Roppelt (the once favourite of one of our more prolific contributors) and the Griesskeller - maybe others?
Don't have to repeat my oft repeated views on the Zoigl nonsense.
Oh dear Mahrs, the problem of inheritance, I'm afraid. How many businesses have I seen ruined by descendants? I wonder if Herr Michel has increased the profitability of the company by his policies?
I mean the brewing of ale (top fermented) and calling it a lager. Schiehallion by Harveistoun was an example - a good beer, but not a lager. Just using a lager yeast, European hops and a few weeks extra cooling does not make it a lager. Does Kolsch taste like an cask ale? No.
I'm not so fussed how they serve it - if they brewed a proper lager I would expect it to be colder than a real ale. The carbonation needs to be right too. It surely can't be cask conditioned either. It's just different.
Although I have been a strong critic, i think 'ruined' is a little too much. Ruined for me/us but others would be perfectly happy.
Yeah I think it's a long way from ruined. In fact, for all we know, the business is healthier than it has ever been. Although I do lament the loss of the gravity poured U. I just think it was something that made Mahrs even more special. So why give it up? Too bad.
I'm glad I'm bringing two Bamberg newbies with me on my trip in July. It will be interesting to see, without trying to influence them one way or the other, how much will like Mahrs and will compare them to the other breweries in town. I suspect they will like Mahrs a lot but I also suspect they will like Schlenkerla and Spezial better.
Of course I didn’t mean the business (nor did Barry) just the beer. Still a great pub.
I think the brewing side has gone down though, not just the dispense method. Good beers remain good beers on keg or even in the bottle, they are just elevated on gravity (normally). As always it depends on your preference.
But both the helles and U were average - and believe me I wanted them to be good, I wasn’t looking for fault. As a plus they have replaced their own weizen with Gutmann.. so there’s a positive.
It will be interesting with your newbs... thing is of course you might have a beautiful sunny afternoon in the Mahrs beer garden - who knows, and who really cares, if you’re on holiday you don’t tend to give many s****.
Well I know you didn't mean the business but Barry did say "How many businesses have I seen ruined by it's descendants." so that's kind of what I was replying to. Now I know Barry really is more talking about his dissapointment in the decline of a beer he used to truly enjoy. I think. But he may be right about the business as well. Time will tell. It just doesn't appear that way from the surface.
As far as the beer quality itself goes. I wish I could really tell the difference between the beer today and years ago. I admit I haven't had it often enough to be that tuned in. I haven't been there in about 2 years now but will go in July maintly because I want my friends to get the full Bamberg experience and well I'm curious myself.
Chaps, it was a kind off hand comment that referred to both the financial aspect and the 'quality' of the business. I've seen good, well-run businesses (good working conditions and also making a bit of money - not too much though!) destroyed by children who haven't a clue and no interest other than just asset stripping.
Re Mahrs: you've probably seen Gerhard's posting about Mahrs' tie up in the UK on FB, but, for those who haven't: [http://imbibe.com/news-articles/beers/from-bamberg-to-braybrooke-exclusive-story-of-this-years-most-interesting-new-beer/ ] will take you there.
Sure you'll like this:
Interesting where this thread has led.
On Zoigl, as Mr. Cowley says, it is too bad the Germans don’t sort themselves out on this. I wonder how many German drinkers know the difference between genuine Zoigl and the imposters. Has there ever been an initiative to define Zoigl properly and legally?
Cask lager. Don’t really understand the problem with this or why it should be a “load of nonsense”. If a beer is brewed with lager yeast at lower temperatures, then cold stored for a month or more, it is a lager. Certainly putting it into a cask to let it naturally develop a mild carbonation isn’t such a bad thing, if you like cask beer.
Frankly, I wish I had a brewery like Geipel around here. There is little decent lager about and the micros who do brew one seem to use Carling or Fosters as their model of excellence.
Just on Zoigl: yes, the Zoigl brewers of Eschawo, Neuhaus, etc.,etc., tried to get preferntial treatment for Zoigl but it was rejected on the grounds that is wasn't a different beer, i.e. one that was brewed to a different recipe ,etc., etc. Probably true, it is the tradition of Zoigl that is important, not the beer.
Because they didn't have the money to pursue this through the law courts, the decided to try to 'trade mark' the name 'Echte Zoigl'. Were they successful in the sense of protecting the concept? Probably no. But they are a bunch of small part-time business people, part-time brewers, in 5 different small towns, separated by quite a lot of kilometres, fighting against a lot of money. It just wasn't worth their while proceeding.
I could discuss this all day and all night but people on this Forum have heard it so often, they probably wish I'd go away - but someone has to do it!
If I said Lager yeast then that was my mistake. Ale yeast, warm fermented, European hops and cold stored (after warm fermentation). Then served on cask. Sorry but that’s an ale in my book.
On Zoigl, they have tried. Not sure who mr Cowley is but simply saying “the Germans (whomever they are) should sort themselves out on this” is a little simplistic. It’s hellish expensive and is a matter for the EU aa far as I’m aware. Anyhow the stipulations would be a nightmare.
Ah Mr. Cowley on our forum... sorry. Yes of course it would be great if Zoigl were protected. But Barry will explain why that isn’t possible. Despite efforts to do so.
Thank you very much barry for explaining the Zoigl situation.
Perhaps it is simplistic to expect this to be easily taken care of. Doing a bit of research, I looked in Steve Thomas' Good Beer Guide to Germany, written in 2006. He said that "Zoigl" was produced by about a dozen commercial breweries in Germany. A quick look at Ratebeer now shows many more German breweries using the name. The Wurth Brewery in Windischeschenbacher used to produce just two beers out of seven called Zoigl according to the GBGG. Now it seems all their beers are called Zoigl (including, most shamefully, a Zoigl Radler) and they have renamed their website wurth-zoigl.de. I guess it would be silly to expect them or others to stop using the Zoigl name without a huge fight.
Yes, he doesn't call his beers Hofmeister or any of the other ersatz German names but, I think that the uninformed would get the impression that s/he is drinking something German - but I suppose that's the idea. Actually, it's not a lot different from calling a beer IPA when it bears no relation to IPA. If you read this Forum regularly, I won't have to tell you about my views on so-called Zoigl!
I haven't drunk a lot of Geipel beer - I don't like Weizen, so they're out; I did try to Zoiglator and the Zoigl about a year ago and they were nothing like any of many different ypes of Zoigl that I've had (I reckon by now, I've had just about all the Echte Zoigl beers). Other than that and that I didn't particularly like them, I can't remember anything about them. Quite a few places around North Wales sell them, so I suppose they must have found a market.
The last few days have been unseasonably warm in southern Germany, 13 degrees i think in Oberfranken yesterday. Possitively balmy (or barmy, for January).
Although winter will return, the past few days have stirred up thoughts of Spring. Have I mentioned how rubbish the winter is here? Sure it's different for a while, but i'm over it now. On the flipside, it does make one appreciate the Spring... the smells and sound of nature, the symphony of glasses klinking and the gentle hum of contented drinkers from a nearby beer garden. The gradual warming of the sun...
Perhaps the arrival of spring will wake up the forum, where it's been pretty quiet without N... (ahem), in general. I don't have a huge amount my end admittedly. I have been mainly frequenting Spezi, Schlenkerla, Doerfleins and Rothenschild with the odd farther afield brewery thrown in. I nearly went into Faessla the other day (Barry), but our table in Spezi wasn't fully reserved so we stayed. In a beginner kind of way I'm becoming quite good at Schafkopf.
Spring is a lovely thought. Especially after this frigid winter we've had here. I actually found myself looking at Franconian bus schedules today out of boredom looking forward to bier keller hiking in July.
Ah well two more months of winter to go here. I've got a busy beer travel schedule lined up this year. I'm anxious to get on with it.
Ha, wow! Bus timetables?! :) Try google maps with the satelite images, you can rehearse the walk right up to the door of the brewery :)
If only Germany would allow that.
I have done that though for other countries. And actually it does come in handy for figuring out directions in places like Prague where it could be confusing. First time I drove into Prague I drove straight to the hotel though all the narrow confusing streets without having to use GPS. My friends were astonished. How did you do that? Well I practiced (virtually). It really is an amazing tool.
.... and for the record lest anyone think I'm nuts. I don't recommend driving into Prague. I don't do it myself except that one time years ago and that was mainly because we needed a car for other stops on our itinerary. I just take that bus from Nuremburg nowadays. It's very easy as you know Jason.
I've done that with a couple of bike tours -- taken to the next level: If you can convert your route to KML you can load it into Google Earth and it will "fly" along your route. In places where there are hi rez satelite images it will even try to make it 3-D.
What I did was use QuickTime (I'm a Mac guy) to record this flyover and make it into a video which was loaded on my iPad. Each morning we would do a quick review of that day's ride. It really helped in a couple of tricky spots where the maps were unclear.
Strongly recommend to visit Spezial now. There is some Bockbier on tap left from December, and the new U is on tap at the same time. Do not miss that constellation!
Indeed, I was in last night and indeed tried the bock. Losing it's smoke unusually, but still good.
The 'new' U? Been around many years now.
All getting a bit lyrical now - but why not. Lovely day here as well, I've just put out the washing!
That sulphury nose, amber colour, slight caramel, subtle hops, low carbonation... Discuss (25 marks).
(To follow: Dunkles is dark mild and Abt 12 is a Scotch ale.)
I have never smelled sulfur in Mahrs U (nor in Bass for that matter).
You would if you'd drunk cask conditioned Bass.
Ah. Can't say I ever had Bass from a cask.
It's ok Jim, had a pint last week but, like so many beers, it's changed greatly over the years. It's lost that great yeasty taste that U reminded me of. Of course, it's now brewed by Marston's but not in the Yorkshire squares.
It does beg the question what's in a name? You've got Young's, which is now 2 breweries away from its origin, Courage, I don't know how many breweries away, and you could go on and on. Surely a case could be made under the Trade Descriptions Act about ththe veracity of these names?
The original Draught Bass was brewed using the Burton Union system. Bass stopped using them, I believe, around 1980. Marston's took over brewing Bass, but don't use their Unions for anything except Pedigree, if I am not mistaken.
Not sure where Yorkshire squares fit into this at all.
With so many great beers around being brewed by the breweries which actually exist, I have never understood why there is so much concern about beers from breweries which are long dead.
I'm not sure anyone is particularly concerned... but these days there is very little scope for brand loyalty. Many of the breweries in the UK have been around for no more than 5-10 years. Bass would have been drunk by a lot of people in the 60s and 70s and I guess has a legendary status, even though it is no longer what it was (as I understand).
If (heaven forbid) in 30 years Spezial was bought out and production transfered and the brand abused as Bass was I imagine I would bore many younger people about the legendary spezial of yesteryear. Taste is one of the main triggers of memory of course, so it's not just the beer that people yearn for, but the memories and youth that come with it. It's not so simple as merely being a liquid that can be replaced.
But of course these days with an almost obsessive demand for variety and taste escalation, the liklehood of modern breweries' beers being remembered in 50 years' time is remote. When i think about the best British beers I don't think about many micros - in spite of some of their undounbted quality. I think of Bathams and Harveys.
Yes, I guess I can understand the nostalgia for these beers. It's just when the brewery has been closed for years and years and the beer changed beyond recognition that I don't understand the loyalty. Why not support actual breweries that exist rather than dying brands being milked by large corporations?
As far as recent breweries brands being remembered in 50 years all I can say is that probably some will and some won't. Some of the UK micros that started in the 70's and 80's are still around and rather popular. Think Crouch Vale, Nethergate, and Ringwood (now owned by Marston's but still brewed in Ringwood). One of the pubs in my village stocks Butcombe Bitter (1978). There are now quite a few breweries that started as micros and are now just as big or bigger than many of the old family firms.
I like both Bathams and Harveys, but even if I lived in the Black Country or the South Downs I wouldn't only drink those beers to the exclusion of newer ones.
Anyway, to each his own.
This is very interesting. First, apologies for getting Yorkshire Squares and Burton Union mixed up. Of Course, it's the Burton system that is used for Pedigree and for Pedigree alone. As an aside, I wonder why so many of the younger real ale enthusiasts turn their nose up at Pedigree? IMHO, it's still a good beer and one of the few that you can easily get bottle-conditioned (cheap as well, £1.27/500 mls in Lidl!). Yorkshire Squares are a related system of brewing used once upon a time widely in - Yorkshire!
I tend to agree about beers that have changed (see my last post) but there may be exceptions to the rule, as this article suggests (https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/analysis/video-can-you-tell-midlands-tetley-s-from-the-yorkshire-original-1-4596400). I've had the new Tetley's and it's quite good. I also drank the old version during my days in Leeds (1974 - 77) but I don't think that my taste memory can honestly tell me how the two compare.
Having now drunk a lot of the micros in the last 12 months, I can say that there is,generally, quite a difference between them and the older beers. I think that it mainly is due to the hops used. So many of the new breed of brewers have become infatuated with new world hops and in producing these crisp, citrussy beers - Golden ales and the like. Now, I quite like some of them but some are just bloody awful - really experimental brews that shouldn't have been let out of the brewery!
In the last few weeks, I've been going to a couple of pubs that tend towards the older breweries and, really, I prefer them. I'm sure that this is down to age and we tend to like those things that we remember from our youth. But, and I've said it before, there's nowt wrong with Fuggles and Goldings and with beers that are around 4%.
I think that the conclusion to this little discussion is variety. As Tom said, if i lived in Dudley i would drink a lot of Bathams but I would also want to try other beers, probably regularly.
It's another topic entirely but the problem comes when landlords do not cater for every taste. It's hard, especially with real ale and the challenges as a modern landlord, but having 5 hand pumps and 5 of them are dispensing pale, hoppy beers is not variety, and it's killing traditional styles (the same applies to strength, a good range is important). Again, it's a challenge ordering the beers, rotating them in the cellar and planning ahead, but the best landlords put the time and thought in.
It's interesting, I learned recently that historically German beers were weaker than today, around 4-4.5%. And Weizenbocks were a pitiful 5.3%-5.5%. From Ron Pattinson so, a reliable source. I recall (though I may be wrong) that it was down to lower attenuation (perhaps obviously), I'm guessing due to rudimentary brewing equipment. It would explain why the Czechs still brew low gravity beers and indeed that their premium strength beers are a few degrees lower than the German equivalent. But this is getting into science and serious beer history, niether of which i am qualified to speak of.
I think that you can take these things too far but...
If you go back in the Forum far enough (not advised), you can find my reaction to my first taste of Mahr's U - BA, mind you, not the dumbed down product that we get today. I was struck by how much it tasted like a pint of old-fashioned Burton-type bitter.
As to the other tastes/smells, I'd have to defer to my friend Jeff Romaines, as the real expert on such matters!
Göller in Drosendorf is now also closed on Tuesdays.
Unfortunately for me I found this out by standing in front of a closed pub, then it started to rain…
After all your received some liquid stuff.
I should say that the opening hours are updated on their (very modern and flashy) website.
Please (all) remember that books and the like are out of date as soon as they are published - always best to check the websites or better still call in advance.
Looking at their range of beers on the website, I don't see a rauchbier. I really enjoyed their rauch on a visit several years ago. I found their regular lager and dunkel to be quite bland.
I said it several times but I think that Goeller Drosendorf is a perfect example of a typical Franken brewery Gestaette. A reasonalbe selection of beer, nearly always good but not outstanding, moderately priced food and very hospitable. Not surprisingly, it is very popular for families.
A few years ago, brewing was taken over by Herr Goeller Senior's son (I'm not sure whether the Herr HGoeller that we knew is still alive bcause he was quite ill last time I met him). Since then, the beer range has been expanded quite a bit. As I recall, the Rauchbier was a seasonal special, brewed only around Easter.
I recall you mentioned you were in bamberg this week... if you see this and want to (and I understand if you don't), I would happily meet for a drink or two at a venue of your choice. Obviously I work during the day but I'm generally back in bamberg between 6-7.
I think I’ll probably be in Keesmann this evening (Tuesday), or I was thinking of checking out Kronprinz as I’ve never been there. Let me know if the latter is a bad idea!
I've been to Kronprinz once since it opened. I wouldn't warn you off but i wouldn't expect much.
Keesmann this evening sounds good. If you see this before let me know a time otherwise i'll probably be there around 7pm. I'm home office today though so can be flexible.
See you in Keesmann then, 7pm sounds fine. I’ll post on here again if I'm going to be late.
Don't worry about that, I'll settle in and grab a helles or two.
See you then.
Far wall opposite the door. Phone out. Pretty full in here.
Hi Barm, good to meet you both last night. Restaurant/Pub in Forchheim is called Voegelgassler:
Maybe see you in Schlenjerla on Friday.
I imagine it is extremely busy on a Friday night even in January, no?
Schlenk? No, extremely busy is full inside and outside (high summer). It’ll be ticking over, but I think finding seats will be possible.
Let me know if you wish to meet.
If you're going to be there anyway we might drop in. Heading to Eichhorn right now but as you know the last bus back from there is early.
Very nice to meet Jason (at last). None of us were terribly convinced by the Keesmann Bourbon Gold, a very sweet beer gaining vanilla notes from the bourbon cask, giving the impression that you are drinking vanilla fudge.
Checking up on zoigl dates and see that 30 march - 2nd April no place in Windisch. is listed as being open? I was there doing easter last year and both Roudn and one other place was open. Could it be that they havent decided yet or does it happen that no places at all is open during a weekend?
I'll check up for you.
It doesn't loom good on booking.com... and the owner had been ill in the last few years.
Hopefully it's just a technical error.
Found an article saying the owners want to sell he hotel as they are getting older. Also, the hotel website now leads to a page about a Gästehaus, run by the same family.
Well that's ther Oberpfaelzer Hof but you could try the Weisse Schwann or the Waldnaab in Neuhaus. Schoilmichel and Teicher are open in Neuhaus, also Zum Posterer in Eschawo (it's not a member of the Echte Zoigl team, so doesn't show on their website.
Oppl is open in Mitterteich and is excellent. Also Wolframsctube may be open, as they haven't published their Termine yet.
It doesn't look good for the Oberpfalzer Hof. It looked like a garage sale when I was there in October. The entrance hallway was filled with junk as it looked like they were in the process of emptying the place out.
It is sad to hear that the end might be near for Hotel Oberpfälzer Hof, but honestly the place has been in need of some rejuvenation for years. The couple of times I stayed there, I rarely saw other guests, even in the breakfast room. Let's hope someone takes it over and gives it some new life as it is one of only two hotels in Windischeschenbach.
Unfortunately, the story of the Hof is the story of Eschawo. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere: the porcelain factory closed down, the glass factory closed down. When I first went there, the Hauptstrasse was full of shops, now mostly gone. The last big shop was Dieter Weiss's shoe shop, went last year. Even the Norma supermarket has gone.
There's no future for the kids who all move to Regensburg or Muenchen. They have tried to exploit Zoigl but then dozens of ppeople have jumped on the bandwagon. Thus, the Echte Zoigl idea, which I have tried to help but, to be honest, apart from my friend Norbert Neugirg, they don't have much in the way of ideas. I mean why would you arrange it that no Stube is open at Easter?
Oh dear, it's not a happy picture.
Thanks a lot for the help guys. We arranged to visit 23-27 March (2 zoigl nights + 2 Bamberg/area nights) Beim Gloser, Schwoazhansl and Schafferhof (Last 2 are new to us all)
Found a cheap apartment in Windisch/nehaus - Gartenstrasse which I think was the only option during our stay.
So next million dollar question is: Which breweries should we stop by driving from Widisch to Bamberg (Been to Heckel).
Lots of good choices there.
Gradl in Leups
Schroll in Nankendorf
Held Brau in Oberrailsfeld
Herold in Buchenbach
just to name a few. If it were me Gradl in Leups would be priority 1 and maybe Pottenstein second.
Rarely I disagree with Mark but hey ho. Pottenstein is a lovely little town but in terms of beer I've never thought much about either (my experience). I would say the beer at Schroll, Held and Herold and Gradl is a lot better.
I've found the beer at Mager to be excellent and a nice little old school type place. Hufheisen is okay but not the reason to go there. Hey to each their own. I'd take Mager over Schroll based on our last visit there. Found the beer at Schroll to be a bit metallic and the place (which looks like it had been remodeled) to be a bit modern and sterile. Admittedly I've never been to Held but added it to my list because I've heard from folks like you that it was very good. Herold I liked a lot (even though as des. driver I only got a little taste) but it didn't seem better than Mager to me.
I might suggest Mads give Pottenstein a try as well as the other places. It is fairly convenient to get to coming from the Oberpfalz
Small correction on my last post: on first visit to Schroll (Nankendorf, not to be confused with the related and wonderful Schroll in Reckendorf) with Juergen, I liked the Dunkel (if that what it is) very much; the second time (with Mark), not quite so much. Re Pottenstein: I was mentally confusing it with somewhere else! No experience of Hufheisen but loved the beer in Mager (another visit with Herr Wening!); Pottenstein is also a lovely town in a beautiful area, well worth a visit!
Leups, Gradl, Held and Herold, absolute musts!
That makes sense. I would have been surprised if you didn't like Mager.
As usual, when you do things too quickly, you make mistakes! I was confusing it with Ebermannstadt and Schwanenbrau, which isn't my kind of at all, although I seem to recall (visit it long ago with Don and Cherie) that the beer was ok.
Haven't been o Schwanenbrau in 5 yrs but have stayed there several times. Beer was ok but hotel wa very nice, food was exccellent and I was treated well. Planning for a return.trip. If you have a car there are lots of excellent beer.
Just for the record, Barry and Mark: When we'll be in this stretch of land next time, Brauerei Stöckel, Hintergereuth, is also a must.
If that's an invitation, Jawohl! Looks great, I wonder why I've never been before?
Yes agreed!. We thought about visiting that one on the last trip through but didn't have a lot of time. Still we managed Gradl, Herold, Schroll in Nankendorf, Scharpf in Heilgersdorf, and finally Sesslach so all in all a great day. But yeah more time could be spent out that way.
Not sure whether I really want reminding of that day! Well, alright, it was great but could have done without the running for a train, oh, and nearly falling down, etc., etc.
Off topic: Mark, I went to Conwy on Wednesday for usual visit to Albion. When we got there, it was closed! But, don't despair, only for one day for 'essential maintenance', whatever that may be. Their sister pub, The Bridge, was also closed and, looking thorugh the window, it seems to have been totally gutted (believe it's going to re-open as a sort of burger bar/pub!). So, we spent the afternoon in The Bank of Conwy. Plenty of money has been spent on this job and it is quite nice but not especially pubby. Four real ales from local breweries, the Heavy Industries Diawl Bach (Little Devil) was nice at 3.8%. Typical modern US-type, with Amarillo, Cascade, Citrus and Columbus hops but well drinkable. I ignored the keg/craft pumps.
For a taste of a real pub, last night, I went to the Red Lion in Old Colwyn - put a note 'in your north Wales visit diary Thursday night, Red Lion' . Super proper pub, nice crowd but not crowded, eight real ales, mixed between old, established and micro's, all at £2.50/pint on Thursday. Perfect! Even better, as the landlord of the Cross Keys was playing pool and bought me a pint!
A trip to the Red Lion on Thursday sounds like a plan Barry. Does public transport back to Conwy run well into the night?
Actually disregard question. Just looked online and answer is yes.
It's not too bad. The last bus is the number 13 at 2302, which goes to Llandudno Junction. From there it's about a 15 minute walk (depending on how much you've drunk, of course) to Conwy. It's actually a lovely walk and is the way that I usually go, across the estuary of the River Conwy, past the Castle, etc.
If you search for Arriva Bus Wales, you can find details of all the buses, timetables, journey planner, etc.
I have stayed at Zum Waldnaabtal in Neuhaus a few years ago, it was very nice, and very close to the Neuhaus Zoigls. I little walk to Windish Zoigls, but not bad.
Of course, if you stay in Eschawo, you have the walk up to Neuhaus - but the esy walk downhill going home!
I like the walk between the two towns. It's a bit of exercise to burn of some of the beer calories and somewhat scenic to boot.
I heard from a friend yesterday that no one answers the phone at Oberpfälzer Hof and that their website is gone.
As it’s so quiet I thought I’d post something about Klosterbrau. Most regulars will know it has been a rather inconsistent place to drink over the years and up until a few weeks ago I’d only visited once in a few years. However, a friend of mine has been talking about this tapper, Igor, from Hungary, who turns the beer from ordinary into nothing short of fantastic. As the Czech proverb goes “the brewer brews the beer, the tapper makes the beer”.
A few weeks ago we popped our heads in and Igor was behind the bar. We sat in the Schwemme and enjoyed a Milka of pils, a Czech technique of pouring the beer very high but crucially with very fine foam. The level of visible liquid in the glass is probably less than an inch but if you left it sitting it would rise to 2/3 of the glass. The pouring completely alters the taste dynamic of the beer – it’s glorious. We then had a seidla of the pils which was also superbly tapped and tasted pretty good too. It almost looked like a weizen with all those fine bubbles swirling around to eventually settle forming a crown on top that remained throughout, coating the glass with rings of 'Brussels Lace'. The best was the Schwarzla bock schnitt, the creamy mouthfeel giving all the coffee, chocolate and vanilla flavours license to play.
I’m not sure how I can better explain this but all I know is that the beer was infintely better than the usual fayre in Klosterbrau. If every brewery had an Igor then Bamberg would truly be the best place in the world to drink beer, displacing the Czech Republic in my opinion. If only he would move to Spezi or Keesmann…
If you're lucky, I might take you along and if we're lucky, Igor just might be working his magic behind the taps.
I wondered about this Milka in Czechia. Sounds interesting, as I have only recently really discovered the importance of the head or Schaum to the taste of beer. I suppose that, coming from Manchester, I was so used to a nice, frothy head that I just never thought about it.
As a matter of economics, is the price of a Seidla of Milka the same as for a 'normal' Seidla in either/both countries?
I knew that you would ask that question Barry... no, in Prague I've seen it actually more expensive which makes little sense aside from ripping off tourists (in the otherwise good Lokal chain). In Bamberg I'm not sure as we paid together. I imagine it's the same price as technically it is not 'for sale' in Klosterbrau, only Igor does it for people he knows or who ask for it.
I wouldn't drink a Milka often, but it helps to understand how important the tapping of beer is. Milka aside, the head on a beer is so important; it offers protection to the freshness of the product. Like the fine foam atop a well made cappuccino, it should sit atop the liquid and the drinker should drink 'through' it, not the two together. For this to happen it has to be lighter than the liquid, with extremely fine bubbles protecting one another from the air. This can only be acheived by driving almost all of the carbonation from the liquid into the head, leaving the actual beer soft and smooth, not fizzy and prickly.
This happens naturally when pouring real ale or beer from gravity (plus with only a fraction of CO2), but from 'keg' it needs special skill to tap. Plus scrupulously clean lines and cold, wet glassware. Any grease or dust will completely disrupt the head formation. I hate it at home when I forget to rinse my glass or there is some residual grease and the beer foams up, all the carbonation is gone and you're left with a flat, unappetising mess.
As for drinking beer from the bottle or can... well i do sometimes if i'm out or at a party but it really isn't the way to drink beer.
It is i called "mliko" which basically means milk
See also here (time 2:20) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtzNj9d9BIU&t=140s&has_verified=1
A specialty in all of the Urquell Tankova pubs in Prague.
I had Gold Pils and the dark bock on th 28th December. Pretty underwhelming I'd say. The dark malts in the bock tasted like christmas calender chocolate and very artificial all around. The Gold Pils I couldnt drink.
Just depends on how it’s served. Like I said Mads ;)
Maybe Igor was there when Dorothy and I went in October. There beer was fine. Didn't blow me away but we enjoyed it. But there was a guy pouring that I hadn't seen there before.
Anyhow, do you know if they still brew on site there anymore or is it all done at Kaiserdom? Also did you try the Braunbier?
They still brew SOME beer there but as ever with breweries and the like unless you actually know there is no point in speculating.
I'm only chancing my arm here because it's so quiet on the Forum and I know that many Forum readers are really expert with IT issues.
Actually, my question is quite simple: I wish to transfer everything from my antiquated Medion PC, which is running on Vista to my much newer Dell running Windows 10. Vista is actually fine for me but is now becoming impractical as it is not supported by Microsoft.
I've looked at some of the possibilities and Laplink's PC Mover seems the most complete option. I know there are free programmes that offer transfers of files but not programmes and all seem to have their downsides. I don't mind buying PC Mover (it's only £25) but has anyone had any experience of using it or can suggest a better solution?
Sorry Barry, not my bag I'm afraid.
Hopefully someone else can help...
My usual instructions for transfering stuff: "Open up Migration Assistant on the first Mac..."
Back in the day -- 15-20 years ago I did use Laplink to move stuff around. Even came with a special cable with multiple variations of serial port connectors. It worked fine, though slow, (but that was the serial ports). Obviously that is not much of a recommendation for current software.
At first I was surprsised that Microsoft doesn't have something built in -- Apple's Migration Assistant is simple, painless and works. But I realized Apple wants you to buy new hardware so they want moving easy. Microsoft makes it's money (in your case) of the Operating System and that comes with the hardware so they've got their money. And Dell doesn't want you buying an HP or Lenovo the next time so they don't want to make it too easy either.
News that Mark and party are visiting my part of the world in May helped me to decide on April for my next Franken trip. I'm going to stay in Ebensfeld again, same place, which is nice and hospitable, and easily accessible with a VGN card. Also has bikes and I'm a bit more confident now than last year. Having had plenty of practice since on my own machine, I hope to avoid falling off but, then, there's the 5% plus beer to consider!
I'm going to finish off with a week in Prague and hope to visit all the places that I missed last time but also will make a couple of trips out of town.
Sounds good Barry. Spring will hopefully be nice this year, because one thing is for sure, winter in Franconia is awful. Really awful. Forget the cold or snow (minimal) or whatever, just the lack of sunshine is hard to live with. I'm considering vitamin supplements. Or a holiday.
Take the latter Jason, it has much better all round benefits!
It looks like being a really interesting Spring, with the visit to Franken and Prague, where I WILL visit all those places that you listed for me (or try very hard to) and then the visit of the Cape Cod contingent. My local micro (The Bay Hop) has been closed since New Year's Eve (benefits of running a micro), so I've been travelling about to different places and discovered some really good places. All in time for the May visit!
Excellent Barry! Looking forward to it. Spring can't come soon enough. Lots of goods stuff on the plate for 2018 so far starting with Hamburg and Dublin in early April. Visit to your neck of the woods in May (along with Black Country, York and Edinburgh). All set at the Lamp Tavern in Derby. Finally Franconia in July. I need another Festbier binge at Annafest.
I've seen what you mean about winter in Franconia Jason. I did one visit in winter years ago and did not see the sun once for the entire 11 days and I thought to myself "how do these people do it?". Winters can be harsh in New England (it was last week for example) but at least we have bright sunny days (albeit cold) mixed in. German winters just seem to be grim throughout. But hey Meditterean climate is not too far away so there's a temporary solution waiting for you.
True, but it's not quite the same in winter, even in southern Spain. But yeah, better than here. Just moved house so budget strings are tightening.
The thing is there is this 'weather line' that seems to split Bavaria north/south of the Donau. In winter they get predominently sunnier weather near the mountains while up here there's a roof on. And it seems the opposite in summer. Of course this is just a feeling rather than being based on any facts at all (though it's a trend for sure). And I could drive down to the mountains on the weekend which i may do Saturday as the weather looks sunny. But then driving and sitting in the sun with a radler or worse? No fun is it.
I know, hard life. But even biervana has it's downsides.
How’s the weather right now? I’m over next week, do I need long underwear and ice shoes?
No, just a tolerance for rain, wind and depressing skies.
But if you’re from Britain you’ll be fine.
Well, Eschawo is north of the Donau and it seems pretty grim there in winter.. Also, lots of mist and fog - probably because it's on a high plateau, as you helpfully pointed out to me last year!
You Whiners !
Try winter in North Dakota, where I live !
-28C last night and the night before !
(And that's not the coldest we've seen this winter.)
At least it's normally sunny when it's that cold.
I realize you are a little further North, latitude-wise, but I'm not sure that is an adequate excuse!
I'm expecting tropical conditions when I get to Bamberg in April !
In fairness carl, the cold isn't really the problem. It's the sunshine. I'd swap with cold and sunny any day of the week.
Overcast, grey and damp - you can have that if you like.
Back in 1998 (wow 20 years ago) I spent the first week or so of January in Düsseldorf. I wasn't really enjoying myself as much as I thought I would.
I had a very early flight out of DUS to Amsterdam and then a bit of a layover. As I was waiting for my flight it was the first time I was a bit sad about the trip ending. And then I realized: the sun was shining and that was the first time on the whole trip it wasn't grey and dreary (they don't call it "Drizzeldorf" for nothing).
It is epsecially bad for someone from LA -- we usually don't go more than a couple of days without some sunshine, even during the "rainy season."
I think a winter in Bamberg would drive me to drink...
Ah, c'mon. Think of the people living near the arctic circle.
But they are born there and are used to it. I'm not.
After a day in the mountains and some sun yesterday in Bamberg I have charged up my vitamin D levels and feel much the better for it.
Now the 'roof' is back on for a week or so.
It's exactly what you to depress us (and, especially, Jacqueline) about living in the west of Ireland. We used to say that it was like having a concrete roof over your head. although the overall climate in north Wales is not massively different from Co Clare, there's a lot more light and shade, which makes it more bearable.
Don't know about all of the Arctic Circle, Juergen, but I understand that the rate of suicide in many Scandinavian countries is quite high, particularly in winter. I've not spent a lot of time in really northern climes but I found Estonia and Sweden curiously depressing in the summer. I was very hard to sleep in Talinn, because of the almost perpetual daylight (and laco of adequate curtains in the hotel).
Don't suppose that there isn't anything perfect place to live.
Where were the bin liners Barry?
I just opened the 'new discussion topic' page and up popped the picture of your's truly at home with his book! It's like having a personalised website.
Anyway, I'm heading off for a few days, during which I hope to sample the products of Holt's, Robinson's, Hyde's, Lee's, etc., so I'm sure that many of you will gather where I am going. Might be a bit harder to work out the destination for the second leg of my festive tour, where I may get a chance to enjoy Joule's, Titanic, Salopian, and others.
So, just taking the opportunity to wish all old friends and new, a very happy and peaceful festive season and hope that at least some of us will get the chance to meet up over a convivial Seidla in 2018!
Easy, Staffs / Shropshire. Enjoy.
Ive just collected a 10litre barrel of kaiser (grassmannsdorf) festbier after enjoying it very much a few weeks ago. It will accompany my 10litre of Eichhorn dunkel. Don’t judge - my dad likes a seidla or two too. Tomorrow night is a tour of forchheim with friends and Friday I drive to Brittany via Unterbibert (lunch) and Michelsbach (Brauerei Adler) for bottles. Overnight in Homburg.
After new year at franks I will be moving to new premises at the alte seilerei near the Europa Brücke. Hopefully I’ll be all done before 3 kings day on Saturday 6th for stärk antrinken- the Franconian tradition of getting absolutely rat arsed in the name of luck for the coming year. And I’ll have a sofa bed Barry, in case you ‘miss’ any last trains.
Always (normally) keen to meet visitors so aside from the usual suspects if you need any company or assistance just ask.
Fröhliche Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch im neues Jahr an alle. Bis 2018.
Oh good, I can clopy your greetings in German and use it for all my German friends!
Shropshire actually but only just over the border from Staffs! Well done, should have known that you would guess. I admire your choices for a seasonal tipple, loved Kaiser when I went there with Ronnie and John earlier this year on the way to the excellent Zehendner. Nice people and excellent beer. Unterbibert and Michelsbach definitely Juergen territory. Pity that it's so difficult to visit Adler because the Schmetzer beer is excellent. Have to see whether Juergen can wangle a visit to their tasting room next year.
No problem with Eichorn Dunkel either, seem to remember that it was pretty good when we went a couple of years ago (don't think that it was last year). No argument with any of their beers, only the atmosphere in the Gestaette (better than 'Stube'?) can be a bit cold at times.
Alte Seilerei appears to be some sort of club? The offer of a sofa bed could be interesting - and tempting, might be a rash offer!
So, enjoy your festive season with parents, actually, 20 litres over the period is just a sip for you;I wonder if your dad will get a look in! See you next year.
I’ve got him his favourite; Schlenkerla. Should keep him quiet for a few days. I love doerfleins, great atmosphere and nice people, plus you won’t find a better brewery for my money. But I get that sometimes ad how visitors get a different impression. Different times etc.
Its ts not the club; it’s called Schaeffler 2.0 and includes a number of developments in the old Schlosserei and Seilerei. And you can only use the bed with a recently expired train ticket and a good story including such villains as Messrs Anderson, Illic and fish headed accomplices.
Oh damn, i always buy a Mobicard - but can easily meet the other conditions!
Meant to say, give my best wishes to Frank, hope to see him in 2018. Correction, will see him in 2018!
Ahh but the Mobicard does not dictate when the last train leaves. You simply must miss the last train. So there's your loophole. I'm certainly glad to help with this.
Anyhow, good luck with your move Jason and Happy Hoiidays and New Year to all.
A busy year coming up in 2018 as usual. First Franken visit though not until July. Then I expect also Novermber or December for bock.
Got you and Ronnie mixed up... Messrs Anderson, Andersen... either or but given that I would probably also be party to such debauchery i will be on the look out for fraudsters.
you get the idea. Cheers, all the best to you and Dorff.
Oh sorry I just saw the phrase "fish headed accomplices" and figured it was a reference to my friends from Hamburg as they have been referred to as such being from the North.
But anyhow glad to see you are one of the few that remembers to spell my last name correctly after all.
I did mean our friends from Hamburg...
this conversation is going nowhere. Let’s leave it there haha
Yeah good idea.
I hope everyone had a Merry Merry Christmas. To those who do not celebrate Christmas I wish them them the merriest of merriness. I would like to thank everyone on this board. Thank you Gentleman for you honest opinions. They have made my trip from Boston every eight months better and more knowledgeble.
Happy New Year David! I hope you have some Franconian beer in your future for 2018.
So I have put some feelers out with local experts (Frank) and a resident of Baunach and the responses told me enough without having to go up there and see for myself.
Sippel is not brewing and it is highly unlikely it ever will again. I'm not sure what was communicated but we'll put it down to a langauge issue or some admirable marketing tactics.
If I hear anything to the contrary i will report back. No harm in asking though.
Thanks for the info, Jason. My friend can be a little impulsive, and I can just imagine his enthusiasm getting the better of his limited language capability.
A friend of mine recently returned from a trip and told me that Brauerei Sippel in Baunach is brewing again. Apparently Peter Sippel's daughter, who was brewing under his supervision before his death a few years ago, has started up again. Can any of you locals confirm this?
(If confirmed, presumably Fred will update the entry in the Breweries section?)
Interesting... I will do some digging.
I learnt the other day that Brauerei Hartmann in Würgau now contract brews. Where I don’t know but the old owner died and there was no one to continue. Not a favourite but certainly not bad but either way another one gone.
Thanks, Jason - it's an easy train ride from Bamberg - as I'm sure you know - and I found it interesting to see all the keller doors dug into the side of the hills when I took a walk around the outskirts. Looking at the entry for the brewery on this site, I see that the owner who died was Baptist Fößel - I don't know why I thought it was Peter Sippel. Mind and memory playing tricks, I imagine.
I have to say I am rather skeptical but will pay a visit during the week. I hope she’s improved her brewing skills.
I went there a good while ago just after they ceased brewing,and if memory serves?a local told me the equipment was no longer useable,do to rules and regs.
Due to rules and regs.copper vessels get thin with age and use.(pity I don't!)
I'm actually surprised the Hartmann would stop brewing because of the old owner dying. I met him back in 2008 when we stayed overnight at the brewery inn and he didn't look like he was physically capable of brewing even back then so I just assumed the next generation had already taken over. Too bad.
It's always bad when a brewery stopped but, to be honest, Hartmann is/was one of my least favourite Franken breweries. On a par with Drei Kronen in Memmelsdorf.
Breaking news! Following his flying visit to sunny Colwyn Bay, Erlanger Nick (now on Facebook) has posted a picture of a our North Wales correspondent on his Twitter account (can be seen at the foot of the discussion board).
The world famous author is shown holding a copy of his recent best selling book 'Music in a Breeze of Wind'.
Have yet to read it, sorry Barry.
Everyone would do well to visit Barry in Wales or the Black Country, where "or" actually means "and". The Lamp (or Lamb) in Dudley do rooms for 35 quid with breakfast. Rude not to, etc.
Don't think I'll be on here much in future as I just don't care about beer much any more. I am slowly beginning to use Farcebook, so those that think they need info from me that Jason won't be able to answer can contact me there.
Thanks for sharing the time that day Barry. It was a l-o-n-g drive round to Aberstwherever indeed, in the dark. On the wrong side of the car. I was sober though.
Either or both! People welcome to North Wales, some good pubs within a short distance, at least five local breweries.
I knew that it was going to be problematical to get too far on that journey. But it was good to see you, pity not for longer and a few more beers. Pity also to lose you from this Forum, your pithy and informative comments are always welcome.
Thanks for the recap, Nick. I may just have to visit Barry in Wales one of these days and explore the real ale scene (and say hello to John Cale, one my musical heroes, while I'm at it). Have for a long time wanted to visit that part of the U.K.
It's a nice part of the world Jeff!
Which are the Best oberfranken heller bocks?
And are the breweries normally open between Christmas and N.Y eve?
Best Oberfranken Bockbier I ever had was from Hölzlein, Lohndorf. Just don't remember if it was light or dark...
My personal favorite is Brauerei Hummel in Merkendorf.
They had it available in November last year. I don't know when this year's release was.
Thanks guys. What about opening hours between 27-30 dec. Are breweries normally
open during that period?
There are a lot of good Bocks in Franconia... The diversity down in Franconia is great! My personal favourites are Griess-Bock, Knoblach-Bock and so on...
No one seems keen to help and I'm not really expert but, from what I've seen, the period around Christmas and Sylvester is a bit dodgy for visiting pubs. Contrary to how it is in the UK, German people spend this time at home and don't visit pubs too much, so a lot tend to be shut in the evenings. Ok, open for lunch and early evening but not at night.
Those who live there, please contradict if I'm wrong.
Sorry I've been in Prague the last few days.
I can't really comment on the 'best heller bocks'. The older I get the less i wish to get involved in beer recommendations.
The question of opening hours was answered well by Barry. Each place will have it's own calender of opening and closing so to cast general rules on that doesn't benefit if you choose to visit 3 places that all happen to be shut.
Same rule applies as normal - call in advance, check online etc etc. But be prepared for disappointment. It's not a time of year I recommend.
I just had a check on the Echte Zoigl site (http://zoiglbier.de/zoigltermine/): in Eschawo, no Stube is open from Dec 20 until Binner opens Dec 27 (until Dec 30 only); the next opening is Fiedlschnieder on Jan 5! The other Echte Zoigl towns follow a similar pattern.
Spezial Bamberg is much the same (see http://brauerei-spezial.de/), as I suspect do most of the Stub'n in Bamberg and surrounding country.
So, if you want to drink real Zoigl or good Frankische bier, don't go in Christmas or New Year.
Better get stocked up Jason!
Hmmm... well I’m in Brittany for Xmas and I shall be taking a barrel or two to keep me covered.
Just a note; stub’n are generally cosy pub/restaurant rooms - so in Zoigl country this is correct. But pubs with breweries ‘attached’ are not called stub’n. These are Brauerei Ausschänke, Brauerei Gastätte or Brauerei Gasthöfe. Much bigger concerns. Most people know the latter. Stub’n also strikes me as a Barvarian concept - not really Franconian- though of course exceptions like Fässla stub’n exist.
Not being picky, just trying to prevent misunderstandings from the less familiar.
Just to explain Franconian vocabulary: "Stube" (Hochdeutsch), which is spoken "Schdumm" in Franconia is the Franconian word for "Wohnzimmer" (living room). Alas it's used less by the younger generation. Most pub owners write it "Stub'n", which doesn't make a lot of sense. Anyway. In most parts of Bavaria this word is known as "Stüberl", normally in Oberpfalz as well. So, interesting that they call their Zoigl places "Stub'n".
Nothing is normal in the Oberpfalz!
But, thanks chaps for those comments. I suppose that it is like in the UK, with a plethora of different words for pubs. How many can you think of?
So in Franconia Stub'n means "dive bar". Interesting. Nothing like a liter of Faessla Pils at the Stub'n at 2am.
Okay, if you're a Franconian and if you're going to the brewery pub you're going to the "Wirtschaft" or to the "Wirtshaus" (spoken "Wäddschaffd" or "Wäddshaus"). After entering the Wirtshaus your way instantly leads you to the "Wirtsstube" (spoken "Wäddsschdumm"). Regardless if the High German words "Gasthaus" or "Gasthof" are written onto walls or signposts.
Mark was being funny I think Juergen (and I laughed)...
Again, the Stub'n (High German and bastardised) or Stube, is a room (normally a 'cosy' room, unless you're in Brauerei Faessla, sorry Barry). So Wirststube is the Landlord's room - the best room in the house and where the locals go (usually). The front tap room in Schlenkerla is the perfect example.
Landlord and Wirt are not quite the same though. In Bavaria the general staff serve the beer and food and the Wirt is usually the man who overseas behind the scenes and is in the front of house greeting people and being generally sociable. The guy in Schlenkerla whose name escapes me (looks like Billy Connelly) is a Wirt. Mahr's have a Wirt (but as a smaller concern he also chips in as waiter as well). Heine at Hoelzlein is the perfect Wirt - he welcomes people and makes sure alles in Ordnung ist. Spezi doens't have a Wirt. A lot of the smaller brewweries don't either of course.
I'm sure Juergen will correct if I'm wrong.
Good of you two to try to clear all this up, though, to be honest, not sure that I am much clearer - sorry!
Regarding Stube - yes, a room, understood. It makes sense in Zoigl-land because the front room of someone's house was the original venue for serving Zoigl. The development of such locations into fully fledged pubs/bars/what-you-will is a pretty late development - maybe in the last hundred years or so, not long considering the duration of the Zoigl tradition (in the case of Neuhaus, back to 1415, a hundred years before some obscure ordnance on beer purity was promulgated). I'm not sure whether the practice of serving beer in the living room of the family house can be found Bavaria-wide but I wouldn't be surprised. Apart from anything else, the Kommunbrauhaus and local 'Braurecht' traditions are not exclusive to the Oberpfalz.
As for 'Wirt', I have always found this word to be quite confusing. I understand that it means landlord or host but host can have several meanings; host as the landlord and host as in 'every parasite adapts to its and evolves' (taken from an online dictionary). Ok, as Jason says, you can add Stube and/or Haus and get Landlord's room/house but add 'schaft' (die Wirtschaft) and you get economy - that takes a bit of a leap of the imagination. Again, the suffix 'schaft' has always puzzled me. In itself, it seems to mean shaft or shank, so how does Wirtschaft become economy or Mannschaft become team? Incidentally, what is a female team called: Mannschafterin, Frauschaft? We shoud know!
I can say for certain that a female football team is Mannschaft but they are denoted as Weiblich (female) - it's the same as in English, we don't call a female team anything different. Team is team. A femail footballer would be a Fussballerin.
The term 'schaft' in this case means -ship. Freundschaft - friendship. Wissenschaft - knowing ship (knowledge). Mannschaft - man ship (team). Of course in the latter two it sounds a bit odd in English but they kind of make sense. A ship holds something.
Wirtschaft is a classic example of why trying to understand a language by logic doesn't work unless you go back to the etymology of the word (the website German is Easy is great at explaining how words evolved over time). A Wirt looks after the administration of the house; the running and upkeep and keeping the customers fed and watered. Maintenance and distribution - then you start to see the link. It now makes more sense as 'econony'. The key is to look beyond the literal meaning and at the function. Oekonomie is also economy and is more like the English derivation.
Ok, took me a minutes to work out what you meant by 'ship' - at first, I thought that you were referring to a vessel, then I twigged (gosh, how would you explain that!) that it was -ship as a conditional or demonstrative suffix.
Mannschaft for team is interesting: its root suggests that, in its origins, a team was considered a masculine affair, though I understand that it is a femine noun - how odd. It's interesting that German uses an adjective to denote a female team - why not say Frauschaft? German is good at combining several nouns to make a new noun - such as all the famous examples, such as Unterseeboot, etc, whereas as English just swipes a few words from Latin or Greek, as in submarine.
I'm guessing you've tried most of these, but here are some of my faves that were available in Nov-Dec over the past few visits to Franconia (as always, in my very humble opinion).
Having had the good fortune of trying three different batches of Hoehn Goerchla vom fass, that one remains my all-time favorite heller bock. If you enjoy a well balanced beer which doesn't skimp on the Hallertauer, yet is a full-on melanoidin bomb, this is the one for you. Very high drinkable given its astounding complexity.
Brauerei Wagner Bock Hell (from bottle) is a pleasingly lean hopcentric version that's surprisingly clean yet brimming with old world charm. Very pilsneresque with a tad more muscle.
Bottles of Moenchsambacher Weihnachtbock were very nice, and eight-week-old pours from the lagering tanks were sublime.
Draft pours of Brauerei Eichhorn Bock (Hallstadt-Doerflein) were enjoyed immensely, although that was back in 2009 when I last tried it.
The growler of Uetzinger Metzerbrau Bockbier was well balanced and luscious back in 2013.
Roppelt Bockbier (Hallerndorf) was a crisp an dminerally rendition, if not particularly memorable, from draft.
Huebner Brau Helles Bockbier (draft) was another decent one. As with Roppelt's version, this one wasn't especially dynamic but perfectly drinkable nonetheless.
Thanks Jeff. Hüebner Wattendorf?
Happy to help! Huebner Steinfeld, actually. As for Huebner Wattendorf I would love to try theirs, as I quite liked their Naturtruebes Zwickelpils, but I believe they release their heller bock in May.
Status so far:
Hohn Memmelsdorf - Open
Knoblach - Open
Metzgerbraü - Open
Hölzlein - closed
Zehendner - closed
reblitz- No answer
roppelt - No answer
bayer Theinheim - No answer
gradl Leups - No answer
goller drosendorf - No answer
In case anyone is interested and not yet familiar with this Franconian card game often seen (and heard) in pubs across the region, here is a 'brief' description of the rules:
Firstly, Bierkopf, a simple version of the game.
There are 4 suits (in hierachical order):
There are 8 varients:
Ass (ace) (11 points)
10 (10 points)
Konig (4 points)
Ober (3 points)
Unter (2 points)
9 (0 points)
8 (0 points)
7 (0 points)
There are 3 Trumpfer (trumps - in hierachical order)
The object of the game is to score the most points by winning each hand. It's very tactical and you have to watch which cards have been played to thendecide when to play your best cards. You start with 6 cards and each plays a card per round. You have to play the suit that the first player plays. If you do not have that card you can play any card. If the first card is a Trump then you have to play a trump (but any trump is fine). So if someone plays Ober Eicher then they will win the round, so better to play your weakest trump/card to avoid giving them points.
That's it in a nutshell. Often you will play with another player (there are always 4) and then you have to help each other against the other two. Again this is where knowing what cards have been played is important. Schafkopf is the same in terms of the cards and rules except that there are mini games you can play where you either team up with other players or go solo. But i haven't mastered these yet.
Thank you very much! I can't count how many games I've watched in Stub'n without having much of an idea of what's going on. I've even been invited to play! Don't think that I'm up to that yet but could be on my way.
Fortunately I’ve some patient friends to help me learn... not sure I’d be keen to be thrown into the pit with locals... you need to practice, I’m just a beginner.
I'm fine, only made it to Aberystwherever though. In the dark.
Now I understand about the trains here.
Thanks for the book. May make it to Bath today, via St David's.
Given into the farcebook, ta Jürgen's for t' help!
Yep, trains are a bit tricky in parts of Wales.
All connected on Facebook. Enjoy Bath. Make sure that you go to the Bell and the Star and give me a report.
Went to visit breweries Scheubel (Schlüsselfeld) and Bayer (Theinheim) yesterday to fetch beer boxes for a minor festivity tomorrow. Have to say that this time I found the Helles at Schlüsselfeld extraordinary compared to former visits. The dark Festbier - with a hint of smoke - was as brilliant as always. The Landbier at Theinheim was premium class as always.
I don't know how long ago it was that you had tried the Helles at Schluesselfeld but I had been there thanks to Gerhard driving me, Jimbo, and Ingmar around to places (Theinheim included) in July of 2015. I thought the Helles was outstanding then and yes the Festbier also. It's a place that needs to be visited more I think.
Was at Schluesselfeld a few weeks ago with Frank. I had a 0.25 of the helles as i was. I thought it was very good, but I'm not sure i'm quite in the same place as Mark or Juergen (on this ocassion). Very tricky place to get to without a car though Mark.
I've been to Bayer once and liked the beer a lot - I think i will visit this evening on my way home :)
Good idea, Sláinte! Think they also have a Bock on now.
So I visited Brauerei bayer in Theinheim this evening on the way home from work (well it's a bit out but worth it). Their Landbier was as juergen said; clean, hoppy and very drinkable - excellent. But their dunkel doppelbock, served in lovely 33cl glasses is a world beater. The best dark beer i've had in Germany. Without question.
Thick, rich chocolate, coffee and vanilla, totally unlike any German lager I've ever had. They also have accomodation for anyone interested, prices from EUR28 per person, and there are buses from Bamberg in the afternoon/early evening but there is no way to get to the brewery by public transport and return the same day. Bus there, overnight, bus back (very) early morning, or lunchtime. The food looks great so although a bit of a faff it would be worth it.
I know what i'm buying a few litres of for Christmas...
Sounds amazing, Jason. Damn - I didn't try the Bock because I had to drive! Wait... I'll bring back the empty box in a week! :-D
Yeah the bus options appear to be limited. I'd say if one were going to go there without a car and spend significant time then it's best to plan on spending the night at the hotel nearby.
Well if it works out I could take you for a couple of beers but yeah if you want longer... keller will be open too. Or grab a 3 liter takeout and drink auf der unterer Brücke with the students. Then you can enjoy a ‘slightly’ different side to Bamberg.
Most of my life has been spent doing 'slightly' different things, even drinking in Franken is considered by most people I know as 'slightly different'. And when I desribe the walk from Tiefernellern to Memmelsdorf, the Strassefest and then Catwiesel... they think I'm totally insane!
I normally have to take an atlas to try to describe to people where I'm going! Theinheim looks a bit familiar though. Juergen, is this where we rolled up and it was 'urlaub' and all the locals were there and someone was serving direct from the brewery tap? If not, that was a great pplace, though only accesible with a car and friendly driver!
Exactly Barry. That was the place! Closed but lots of beer consumers. Despite. :-D
Drove by there Sunday. Didnae stop for a drink. Would though...maybe on my way back next week.
I can humbly vouch for the Landbier as well. Hallertau Tradition, Hallertau Hallertau and Saphir delivered in a glass of crisp harmony. Their other kellerbier, "Knoerlzla", wasn't too shabby either. I hope to revisit the quaint little brewpub someday. Still have yet to manage to visit Schluesselfeld, so thanks for the encouragement Juergen! They brew three beers, I see: two rauchbiers and a kellerbier. To that I say "yes, please."
Thanks, Jeff. At Schlüsselfeld they normally brew only two different beers: Vollbier Hell and Festbier Dunkel (of which only the dark beer contains a small portion of Rauchmalz). I'm not sure the Kellerbier is a different beer. Could well be the Helles served from the cask.
Props to Jeff for proper 'ue'!
Back to business. Today I ventured out to two new (for me) breweries - Brauerei Martin in Hausen (between Haßfurt and Schweinfurt, 3km from Schonungen Train Station) and Brauerei Goller in Zeil am Main.
Brauerei Martin is a resurrected brewery. Oddly I haven't seen it mentioned on here, even though it is easily reachable and deserves our support, such as it is. Founded in 1850 with its own maltings it existed for 100 years before both closed with just the pub remaining open. In July 2008 brewmaster Ulrich Martin, in the words of the description in the menu, 'realized his dream', and brewing recommenced. I could actually feel this place was run by people who love it - just something about it. The Spezial Bier was very nice: malty, slightly sweet and very drinkable. The pils was quite hoppy,pretty good, but not really my style outside off the Czech Republic. The dunkel Bock was also good. The pub was cosy, basic in a tasteful way and with a large collection of litre Krugs knocking about. It was fairly busy when I arrived at 16.20 and only got busier. It was good to see a healthy Stammtisch and couples - all drinking beer (in wine country) - another sign of a well run establishment imho. Speaking of signs, there is a simple but very nice pub sign with a star hanging beneath. And in the menu gives a description, which i quote below as i think Barry and others may find it enlightening (pardoning the pun):
This six sided star, in the form of the Star of David, is the oldest representation of the brewer. It is also named the "Brauerzirkel" or "zoigl".
I am not sure if I have heard this corruption before - Zirkel (compass or circle) to zoigl. Sounds very plausible. And this is in Unterfranken. I will let my learned friend (and others of course) comment.
I can only thoroughly recommend a visit. Easily reachable by train then bike/foot, it has friendly opening hours and serves good food. I saw a bus stop, though you'll have to do your own research on that, but I'm guessing it's a good service
It is perhaps odd that I've never visited Goller. Years ago I had quite a few of their beers in bottle (even before visiting Franconia) and they tasted good then, though the breweries' reputation isn't so great and I haven't had hem since. Still, even the less interesting Franconia breweries are still above average and Zeil is a lovely little town easily reachable from Bamberg.
I didn't make it to Zeil.
It has been mentioned before - by me! My visit came, of course, courtesy of Juergen, and at the end of a long day's 'visiting'. It was a few years and more than a few breweries ago but I can recall it quite well. Rather bare room, quite crowded in the evening and decent beer, which probably paled a bit compared with what had gone before but was well worth drinking.
I do recall that it was pretty out of the way.
The 'other' Goeller is a sort of sister brewery to Drosendorf, as their proprietors were, I think, brothers and worked together to some extent i.e. Zeil bottle Drosendorf's beer, as well as for quite a few other small breweries (AfAik). I think they have also cooperated on some beer. Whether this has continued since Herr Goeller's son took over at Drosendorf, I'm not sure.
Woke up Sunday morning and decided to drive to that London to pawn off the bottle of Bourbon I've been going on about for a while. And have a nice long driving adventure before I sell my car off. May well head for the Black Country. Pity I don't know anybody who knows anything about it.
Barry, clear your Calendar. We're headed your way. "We" and "when" still TBD.
Not for a couple of days though. Today, to that Leicester. Then Tandleland, incl Stuckpit. Then....stay tuned.
I'm bringing my sword.
Have you SEEN my Twitter feed?
Actually quite a lovely town to get pissed in. That Everards...darn.
Everards? Dear oh dear
Horrible, I know. Can't choke the cacky stuff down. Especially not that Tiger.
I'm afraid that I'm not around this weekend, visiting friends. Back in Wales next Tuesday.
You mean you don't keep your weekends open as a matter of course in case Nick pays a visit? Just not on Barry.
No sorry, travelling to Dewsbury on Thursday. Giving lecture on Irish music Friday, then pretty well occupied all weekend in music in Leeds. Back Monday or Tuesday, not sure yet. How long are you in UK for?
I'm swooning. In Spoons now, more later. http://www.twitter.com/erlangernick
How about we travel together then?
Right. It's morning and I'm awake now. Good on you for letting me putter off on my own like that above.
Today's settled: Dudley.
Thu & Fri: presumably Rochdale.
Dudley: Lamp Tavern (Bathams beers - if you can't visit the others)
Gornals: Britannia (Upper Gornal) Bathams plus a beautiful Victorian back room
Sedgeley - The Bull, Holdens pub
Sedgeley - Beacon Hotel, Sarah Hughes, must visit
The black bear, Stumps and Lower Gornal pubs are interesting but not better than the
Netherton: Old Swan / Ma Pardoes - institution, classic turn of the 20th brewpub, must visit
Brierley Hill: The Vine / Bull and Bladder - institution, Bathams tap, great example of a Black
Please don't waste time in Wetherspoons or other pubs - the above are classics and cannot be missed.
Regarding your text, I have plans this weekend and i've had 1 trip to the UK this year which is more than enough.
Interesting fact: my mum was born in Rochdale. It's a dump (it wasn't always), and depressing. But enjoy the Baum I guess.
I don't remember eine SMS asking you to visit. But I'll take your word for it.
I've actually been to Rochdale, and it is the chapter of CAMRA that has been headed by the Tandleman for ... decades? It is good to know the Tand. (@tandleman on Twitter).
I recall your Mom's story now that you mention it.
I'm booked into the Quality Hotel (?) in Dudley. I shall be heading out as soon as the caffeine pills (200 mg from the Apotheke, none of this 50 mg Boots shite!) kicks in.
Ate well in the Baum.
I quote the SMS - "Ryan air to Manc for the weekend, eh?"
I know Peter (sorry I'm not on twitter) from a number of years working at the Winter Beer Festival in Manchester. Always good to chat to.
Well Barry, will your busy schedule allow you time to show me round some Edwardian castles? You're driving, as I'll be drinking.
I'll have to let you know later in the weekend, as I'm not sure whether I'll be back by Monday.
Regards the car, no way will I be driving! I haven't driven since March and don't intend to again. We have good public transport, depending, of course, on how you want to go. But train/bus to Caernarfon from here is easy.
Joke. My idea was to run out to Harlech for a quick re-visit, my fav of the Edwardian castles.
And you remind me, yes, you can train about that stretch of Wales quite easily.
Keep me updated on your movements about the country. I'll do the same. Now lodging in Joey Holt's old residence, the Woodthorpe Hotel. Lovely pint of Bitter here. Doing Bury with a couple of others today, never been there.
No breakfast, not even coffee or tea here though, aside in the room, and I don't trust the looks of the kettle.
Surprise turn of events yesterday led to this photo.
That's the Bourbon selling for 4300 pounds in London. Gonna try to sell it to Robert Plant.
Jason, I'm regularly visiting Uli Martin and wrote a lot about the brewery here on the bord. Love that place and the Spezial beer.
Hmmm, it may have been before my time but i also can't find any posts using the search function. Doesn't matter, I think when we both give somewhere the thumbs up it must be a good place.
Quite right, Jason! :-)
I was trying to remember where we had been when we visited Martin. I recall whizzing along the autobahn and seeing the lights of a big city (Schweinfurt?) below us, then coming off and meandering through a town before coming across Martin in a sort of backstreet.
But where had we been? It was at least 3, maybe 4, years ago. Hohenlohe? But it seems a long way off. Can you remember Juergen?
Of course I can, Barry. We've been to Spielbach and Brauerei Spall, Ballenberg, before. Herbsthäuser Brauerei and Frankenbräu Riedbach were unfortunately closed that day.
Thanks Juergen - gosh, we covered some ground that day! Spall was something else.
I wrote about Brauerei Martin here: https://refreshingbeer.blogspot.de/2016/06/brauerei-ulrich-martin-franconia.html Agree that the beer is outstanding.
A nice write up. I agree with most except the franken / Czech pils comparison. While they are related when it comes to relatively high hopping (not all Franconia pils of course, fassla being a notable example of being more of a helles), the malt profile of the Czech svetly lezak is normally mich higher to my taste. I’m not technical, I just know that I can taste every ingredient in a svetly 12 degree but a Franconian pils is normally lacking in malt body. Martin and keesmann pils are well hopped but are too pale and one dimensional - though it’s a great dimension. Maybe one could argue they are similar to an 11degree svetly which is lighter in malt body.
So in spite of proximity, my opinion is that the Franconian pils are still related more to the northern German pils than the Czech variety. But I could of course be talking rubbish.
I returned from Bamberg last night so I am going to give you all my opinion on my week. My grieved status of the week is that is rained all week. Noah could have sailed the Ark in Bamberg Landkreis. Spezial... I went three different times and the U was awesome as always. The atmosphere was great. I tried to get in Friday night, but they had their Bockbier tapping. I had no shot of getting in. I went to Mahrs a few times. I wish I can remember how there U tasted before they stopped doing Gravity(which I have had) so I can compare, but my tastebud memory is not that good. Non the less I thought the U was still very good, and hanging out outside and in the schwemme is a great time. I took the bus to Brauerei Zehender. when I had their bier at Rotschild I was not impressed. This time around in Monchsambach it was smooth,balanced, fresh...it was excellent. I mountain biked to Rossdorf, Geisfeld from Bamberg. I used my google bike directions to Brauerei Sauer. First of all, that Bike ride sucks.You guys It is all uphill on mainly trails. It started downpouring in the middle of the woods.....The Food at Brauerei Sauer is excellent. The Staff working there was very kind. I had a Helles type of beer vom fass. It was decent. I had the braun beer. It was only available in bottle. It was very good and I still preferred that over the bier vom fass.
Brauerei Greiss had a nice tasting lager beer. Brauerei Hummel is excellent. Their Hellesbock was nice, but U was awesome. The best I have had. It has a little carbonation, but not to much, fresh, wow ! It has a friendly atmosphere and family running it. The food was very good. I would have returned a second time last weekend , but the bus schedule would mainly drop you off in Memmelsdorf on weekends. Monday night last night my farewell drinking session was at Spezial. I was drinking with a guy my age who lives in Bamberg from Slovenia and works in the malting business, previously working at the Mahrs brewery. Stephan MIchel came in to drink.coincidentally. He sat next to us because he new the guy I was drinking with. He was sitting at the table for a couple of hours until I went back to my apartment. I was talking to him about his collaboration with Sierra Nevada on this years Oktoberfest bier they made. I did not like the bier. he claims he didn't like it either.. He said the collaboration has to do with certain aspects but not with the actual brewing, so he has no control of how it tastes. We talked about the kegged U bier. Stephan was saying something along the lines of the U going Bad quick serving it Bayerische Anstich, and it will sit to long lossing fresness with the selection of other biers he also offers. He also told me the CO2 does not mix with the bier, it only pushes it through with out affecting it. Mahrs exposure in the U.S. was a big topic and they will be working with Stone Brewing in the future, who produces in California, and Asheville North Carolina... I know you guys know all the above much better than I and it is probably yesterdays news at best. just giving y'all my opinion.
Your opinion is pretty good, David. You've managed something that I never have, meeting Herr Michel. I suppose that you must have been with our friend Grigor. I'm a bit surprised that he and Stephan talk to each other.
Nice post David,it seems as though you had a good experience despite the weather!
If he has a beard and tatties on the forearms,that's him. We few shots the very good Spezial bierliquor with the whipped cream. As far as Stephan Michel.... when he joined us the,discussion was mainly brewing talk on a serious level. Stephan was talking about ideas he had etc... I will be honest his mannerisms,and behavior were a bit off. I'll leave it at that. But Grigor was good people. Tell him Boston says hello if you see him soon
Stephan's all right.
Surely that should be alright? Otherwise I'd thinking he has no left side...
As usual Nick, you are in a minority.
It's a free world....
Oooh look, you made an observation.
So did I.
So yes, I agree.
Really what? I am sure Nick knows me well enough not to be bothered by my opinion. I simply feel that a certain person has ruined one of the best breweries in Bamberg. I feel strongly about that. Therefore I don't agree with Nick's opinion. I also know a lot of people who live / visit here that agree - including the locals that have moved across to Keesmann. Hence my comment. That doesn't make that opinion any more valid, but nor does it suggest the world is not free.
Perhaps we can move on.
Yes, certainly, only to say that Nick has never been a big fan of U, which was the major attraction of Mahrs, along with the atmosphere of the little inside room, the 4 pm U Anstich... It was a great place, once (IMHO, of course!).
Really not sure what the discussion is about. I simply said that the guy's all right. I told him I don't like his beer, he liked that. That was before he changed it. We had a couple of nice conversations -- actually not at Mahr's, I've been with him and other brewers, though not in Bamberg that I can recall.
Yes, I guess I've seen much more of him outside of Bamberg than in it. He's a great guy, in fact. I'd gladly spend an afternoon talking with him about all kinds of stuff, he's seen and done a lot of different things in life.
I disliked him until I met him though.
The place seems exactly the same to me as it always has But then I'd only been a dozen times or so before I started seeing any of you lot there in recent years. I don't see that anything's changed but the beer going from barrel to keg. Service seems the same as it always has.
I'd never been there at 16:00 that I can recall. Not sure what would be so great about that...wouldn't it be over in like 10 seconds? Happens every hour or so at Schlenkerla.
I can see everyone getting upset about changing from barrel to keg. It was thin and bland before, too strong for the amount of character compared to umpteen other beers around. Now it's...whatever it is.
Didn't we have some discussion about whether or not the recipe itself has changed, or if it's just the method of dispense? It was certainly not gassy when I was in a few weeks ago; could've passed for ye barrel-dispense of olde. Like I think I said though, I could barely finish it.
What's that about a place not being JUST about the beer?
Meant to say I've seen twice at the Nürnberg fest, and chatted with him there. And I've seen him with other brewers, who appeared to not only not dislike him, but seemed to actually, well, like him. Not fawn over him. He's really very down to Earth.
Of course, I wasn't talking to him about beer, at least not his beer except what I told him was wrong with it.
Oh, I forgot, he also put me on the phone with that strung out dude at Stone when that big world-wide release thing went on. Jim or whichever Koch. He told me to give Stephan a big hug and a kiss for him. I'll just leave it at that.
It wasn't as monumental as when Fritz Maytag rang me up out of the blue once.
And it's not just the gas content - it's the mouthfeel and the temperature and those subtle flavours lost in keg. I've drunk a lot of Spezi over the years and there is a marked difference when it's poured from a barrel. Once again, whether you believe it better or worse is personal taste. I don't think I've ever had schlenkerla from a keg - certainly from the bottle it's very different and this is a common perception here.
Just last night I was in Spezi and Christian was pouring - the difference when he pours a beer from the usual tapsters is chalk and cheese - you get a thing of beauty from him. No surprise it tasted at it's best - perhaps this was simply the batch, i don't know. Maybe he takes more time, I don't know, but the head is solid, fine foam and it makes the beer smoother and oh so drinkable. At busy times you get a rushed pour and all the carbonation remains in the beer making it very different in both taste and mouthfeel.
These are gut instincts, not science, but as a 2-3 times a week Spezi drinker it's a pretty finely tuned gut.
Wait. You mean there's not only batch-batch and barrel-barrel variation, but server-server?
When you put it like that it sounds silly but I know a certain Slovenien drinking friend of mine would agree about beer poured by the regal hand ;)
It's all very subtle observations, and that's why you may not notice when you don't visit Bamberg so often - I'm not being funny and it's your choice so no judgement - but I used to spend more time here than you when i lived in Jersey. And now? You have your reasons and other things to do. It only matters because I'm in a position to notice the subtle changes and nuances. Maybe i have too much time on my hands. Next thing i'll be waxing lyrical about railway sleepers.
This is why if someone new asks about Mahr's i just tell them to see for themselves. They more than likely would love it. It's just a number of little things that have changed for me. If others don't get that feeling that's fine, i'm nit arguing a point merely stating.
Yeah, see for themselves. Like I say about Hebendanz, though it boils Barry's blood. (Or maybe beCAUSE it does.)
The room and Schwemme at Mahr's are worth a visit for me. Struggle to finish a Seidla though.
(Alles klar bzgl. Argumentieren oder nicht, selbstverständlich.)
Rerferencing forward (if that makes sense(), it is a long running saga but perhaps that's because Mahrs was so good for a lot of people including, as Jason says, some people who are real beer experts and have been going for years - but don't any more.
You ask about the 4 o'clock thing: yes, it is over in a little over 10 seconds actually, maybe more like a couple of minutes but that wasn't the point. It was the time when the 'real' U appeared and it was that combination of surroundings and the excellent beer (IMHO), plus a certain 'je ne sais quois' (sorry, couldn't resist that), which contributed. Like Jason, I am a sucker for pubs and their atmosphere, as much (well, perhaps, nearly as much) as I am for their beer. Maybe it's the British in us because pubs are still such a part of the community in this country. We're not the only people who like the Anstich thing: look at the crowds that flock to Bock Anstiche (?), etc.
Regarding the end of card playing, apart from the Stammtisch: that's been on the cards (?) for ages. I recall, even some years ago, that tables were booked up for corporate outings, and told the story on this Forum of the local guy who complained bitterly that locals hardly got a look in any more.
In my mind, it's all part and parcel of the international decline of pubs as we knew them and part of the reason that people are staying at home more.
That's why it matters so much.
Without needing to be stated
No need to state the obvious...
Lots more people in Mahr's when I was there last time, I was nearly alone in Keesmann.
I don't this this has any relevance Nick as you are only in Bamberg 2 or 3 times a year. I am always the first to consider the pub as much as the beer and the pub should be excellent but it's just lost something. He's banned cards on all but one of the tables and the Stamgaeste have mostly left. The place has lost some of it's atmosphere. If you aren't too familiar or haven't been before you'd probably wonder what all the complaining is about. This isn't just me saying that but people like Robert and Frank - people that have been going for decades. Whatsmore, Gregor, who you recall used to work there, has opined that the beer has gone downhill - maybe it's better sometimes than others, I don't know. I don't go (not wouldn't go, just don't). The debate about whether it has changed is not a debate - it has unquestionably - whether you think for better or worse is all opinion.
I should have rephrased my comments - this isn't about the guy personally, just the way he deals with the business. Anyway, this topic has been done to death over the years and i'm bored of talking about it.
So what if I don't get up there often any more? I've been going a long time (well not like Fred). I would never have guessed that cards used to be played, because, well, I don't really care about it. If it's that and a certain other something that have changed the place, well, I'm sorry for you.
You don't say!
Anyway, this topic has been done to death over the years and i'm bored of talking about it.
Fair comment about the guy personally; I obviously didn't care much for how he ran his business in 2002, or I'd have gone back more often than I did.
Good report Dave. I pretty much have the same opinions of all the beers you listed. I also really like the beers at Hummel. Their Helles and Dunkle bock biers are my favorite bocks. Glad you also had a chance to hang out with Gregor at Spezial. He is my favorite Slovenian ... well he's the only Slovenian but that's beside the point.
Ooops. Only Slovenian I KNOW. I meant to say.
My 4th trip to Bamberg with no intentions of slowing down!
Nice report! I was thinking about doing a similar bike trip next april to Rossdorf to Sauer Brewery from Bamberg with a group of norwegian friends. I have walked from Tiefenhöhle/ Lohndorf to Geisfeld before, but this time I think we use bike and head for Brauerei Knoblach and then back to Bamberg. I have not been to Sauer and Knoblach before and wonder if you guys mean if it’s worth it.
I liked Sauer alot .... the bike ride sucks IMO
Not sure what's wrong with the bike ride... via Geisfeld it's through countryside and though a slight incline is very pleasant. If they're Norwegian I'm not even sure they'd notice the incline.
You can then visit Geisfeld and go to the very nice Schwanen keller in Strullendorf. From there you can take the train or cycle back to Bamberg.
I glad you like it!
Biking sucks. Better to tour around from Keller to Keller in a SAFE RED VOLVO.
I don't think biking sucks, but sitting at a table drinking beer at that has females while sweating like a pig isn't my idea of enjoyable. Under those circumstances i'll jump in the Red mobile with you any day...
At "a" excuse me
Excuse me scratch the "At " I'm posting at warp speed on a new phone
I think both are worth it. Both nice pubs with good beer and food. Knoblach is not everyone's cup of tea I guess (the beer I mean) but I like it a lot.
I don't know many people who don't like Knoblach! Been there many times , walked from Drosendorf a few times, walked from Tifenellern via Lohndorf,, absolutely great and not too difficult.
Of course, you can always get the bus from Bamberg or Memmelsdorf.
There was a lot of back n forth a few years ago because I didn't rave about it to someone's satisfaction. It was good, but not like...wow.
Thanks for the feed back! If you have any other recommendations for biking it will be very welcomed. I have cycled Memmeldsdorf- drisrndorf- merkendorf- Kemmern before.
Cycle to Doerfleins. It’s a short journey, but the beer is awesome.
Thanks, and are the route scenic?
No. It’s mainly through bamberg/Hallstadt suberbs. But for me it’s the best brewery for a long way. For scenic take the train to Bad Staffelstein and cycle to vierzehenheiligen, Uetzing, Löffels, Stublang, Pferdsfeld, Unterneuses, nedensdorf, Wiesen etc. Or visit the fränkischer Schweiz - but then we are talking some serious hills climbs.
Or you could get off the train at Ebensfeld, go to the brewery (quite decent, underrated, not too often visited), then Unterneuses, Pferdfeld, etc, in reverse order!
Yes, but If we, ten Norwegians, go by train is not Bad Staffelstein a better option? I have seen on wandering tips here, combining wanderung, beer, the famous church and Bad Staffelstein Therme perhaps? Is it scenic, good beers here. anyone giving feedback will much appreciated.
I've stayed in that area a number of times - actually, in Ebensfeld. Bad Staffelstein is a pleasant little place, nothing really special, apart from the baths. The church (I assume that you mean Vierzehnheiligen) is about 7kms out of town, quite a walk, but you can get a local bus, which takes about 20 minutes from the railway station. Otherwise, it's a not especially scenic walk along the Main Valley until you start climbing and it is a big hill! Once, you're there, the brewery is just beyond the church. After that, you can proceed to the breweries that Jason mentioned.
It's a bit complicated (but not impossible) to to combine all the breweries mentioned - it's a pretty long walk if you're going to walk the whole thing - maybe 30 kms? I'm not sure that Jason intended that or was thinking of a bike ride.
The scenery is lovely up the hill to Vierzehn and back down via Uetzing, etc., after that, you're mainly in the Main Valley again, which is pretty nice but not especially spectacular. As for the beer, every one of those breweries is pretty good, apart from Thomann in Wiesen but you have got Hellmuth there as a compensation.
As I've said, I know the area pretty well, as, of course, do my distinguished colleagues on this site, so ask away!
Thanks a lot. Sounds nice. I have to think about what you guys is writing. I have many option then next April, but the plane tickets are bought and my fellow travelers want to know the plans. We eill stay in Bamberg thursday till saturday, and in Nürnberg from saturday till sunday.
For the friday I was planning and excursion out of Bamberg:
1. Train: Bad Staffelstein with therme bad, the vierzehnheiligen and breweries around.
2. Train: Ebensfeld and walking till breweries around.
3. Cycle till Bischberg and Brauerei Sonne and Dörfleins.
4. cycle to Rossdorf am Forst ( Brauerei Sauer), Geisfeld ( the breweries are closed here when cycle through the village), lohnfeld, and then brauerei knoblach for lunch, and back till Bamberg. I have done a bit wandering here before, and I found the area quite scenic, so I maybe go for this otion once more since the majority of my friends have not done been here ( all have been in Bamberg though).
Are you planning to do all this on the Friday?
No, four options.
maybe he does the triathalon ....lol!
It was meant as a cycling tour but of course one doesn't have to hit them all. Personally I think it's pleasant countryside around bad staffelstaa - of course we all have different definitions of what constitutes pleasant. What should be noted is that the scenery doesn't really change much this side of the fraenkischer Schweiz. Many of the bike tours are through pleasant green countryside (often valleys) with numerous pleasant little villages at intermittent intervals - often with breweries.
The trouble is that I would need to know a number of things; how far you wish to cycle, how much beer you want to drink and whether you would consider using public transport as well. The latter is especially important as it then opens up a lot of options. For example you could take a train to Coburg and cycle to seßlach (or take the bus) and Heilgersdorf to Brauerei Sharpf. This would give you a couple of great breweries (one communal) and a visit to one of the most beautiful small towns in the region. Alternatively you could cycle from bamberg to Brauerei Fischer (greuth), Adler (Höfen), Sonne (Miesbach) and if summer and the weekend to the great Keller in rattelsdorf (near Höfen). Of course when you include bier kellers then the options triple.
Thanks for answering. I have thought of combining train and bike, just bike, bus/ train and walking. Five years ago we also traveled in April, but we were lucky with the weather. We cycled Bamberg- Memmelsdorf- Drosenfeld- Merkendorf- kemmern- Bamberg. And yes we visited all the breweries... This time I would prefer to cycle shorter. And 3-4 beer/ food stops would be enough for the boys if they are cycling. We are all in the forties - and some of them will consider themselves well trained and skilled beer drinkers. A dangerous combination ...
Indeed... then it seems you have sufficient options. Best breweries near Staffelstein are Pferdsfeld, vierzehnheiligen, Helmuth and Reblitz. Martin, Thomann and brauhaus ebensfeld are ok. On the other side of vierzehenheiligen (hill) are metzgebrau Uetzing, hetzel frauerndorf, Dinkel and lowenbrau Stublang and Staffelberg Brau Loffeld.
Thanks again Jason! Much appreciated.
Really, you are spoiled for choice. But,as we have said, you can really divide the breweries by which side of the hill you choose. If you want Vierzehnheiligen, Ueitzing, etc., it is a harder walk/cycle from Bad Staffelstein but they are all good. The easiest is train to Ebensfeld, take in the brewery there, cycle across to Pferdsfeld, then Martin in Unterneuses, Rebliz in Nedensdorf, then Helmuth (Thomann, if you're a sucker for punishment, IMHO!), then an easy cycle back to Ebensfeld Bhf.
Another suggestion (a sort of variation on one of Jason's) is to take the train to Ebing and visit the great Schwanen-Braeu, then a quick nip up to Hoefen, Fischer in Freudeneck, finally Sonne in Muersbach. You can check on the Rattelsdorf keller, never been there but, if Jason says it's good... You can get from Hoefen to Reckendorf and the great Schroll (also Schlossbrauerei). It's a bit of a climb over the hill but a really lovely walk (or cycle). If a 72-year old can do it, sure 4o-odd yeard olds can!
There's so many options for day trips out of Bamberg. Go south and you could do Hirschaid, Buttenheim,Schlammersdorf - and even onto Hallerndorf and Stiebarlimbach.
But big warning: check train times and brewery openings and Ruhetags, as usual!
Thanks a lot! Now I have more options. Your knowledge is amazing.
Many days spent wandering around Franken, often in the company of fellow afficionados, and, of course, with long suffering Jacqueline!
But owing a lot to the help and advice of fellow Forummers, which is why I, and I suppose the other members are always keen to help.
Thanks for your report, David. Funny that you ran into Gregor at Spezial, though maybe not so funny as he is there often. I think many of us in this forum know him.
I like Stephan Michel of Mahrs. I think I met him on either my first or second visit to Bamberg, and twice I even unexpectedly ran into him at Spezial, and one of those times he was with Greg Koch of Stone Brewing Co. It's a small world. I also poured his beer with him at a beer fest in the US once.
For a change of subject...
There seems to be a general opinion in Jewish communities that beer produced in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot is generically kosher due to the permitted ingredients all being kosher. Schlenkerla claims to be kosher and displays a kosher certificate from rabbi Tuvia Hod, head of kosher certification for the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference. That should be good enough.
But ... looking at other breweries that do not sport a certificate - how sure can one be that their beers are kosher just because they are Reinheitsgebot compliant? Apart from the rules about ingredients there are two additional rules that must be followed:
1. The barley must not have been grown during the Jewish Passover (late March / early April) and the filters must be replaced before cleaning kosher mash.
2. Women who have their period or are pregnant must not come into contact with the production process.
Does anyone on this forum have some further information about brewery practices in this respect?
Kashrut (kosher-ness) does not concern me personally but I have friends who try to live by Jewish rules, and are rather suspicious about beer.
Hi, Sacreligious Jewess here.
Never before have I heard of #2 and honestly, it sounds like a vicious superstition rather than a religious law. I have worked in a distillery and a brewery in Israel, both were kosher, the latter has ultra Orthodox observation and is owned by and Orthodox family, where women workin production. The question of Nida has never been raised and how can you check it really?
Nida refers to sexual contact. Don't worry - we are permitted to cook for our husbands when we bleed ;)
As far as beer goes, the beer people I know who keep kosher would drink German beer - from bottle or on tap as long as it's poured to glass-made vessel - with or without certificate. Not during Passover though.
What about the wine harvest, anything about it and Passover?
In fact, the kosher specialists in the local Jewish community just list "beer", any beer, as kosher, which is obviously wrong in the present world of "modern" beers with all sorts of additives and storage vessels.
I have sent a query to the kosher committee here, let's see what the rabbis come up with. In the meantime, I'll just serve certified Schlenkerla beer.
Another change of subject...Gunnar, do you know of any collectors? Any offers over 3000€ accepted!
Will deliver to Scandinavia.
Jason, do you know of anyone looking for an auto with 400 watt surround sound system (factory installed), Thomas-Scotsman-whosits racing suspension, and 240 Pferdestrom?
Has heated leather seats, though no automatic tranny.
Barry -- would make an excellent tourer when you holiday here. Very comfy. I'll throw in a collection of Led Zeppelin (or Elvis, your choice) CD's.
Would love to see it go to someone around here rather than a stranger, but it is time for it to go.
No one I know but why not ask Becki to put it on the adidas bulletin board? It would probably suit a youngster commuting from Nuernberg or nearby.
What's the KM reading? I'm guessing high.
It lists miles...around 75000. Oh, that reminds me...I'll throw in the North American lights...1200€ value!
Actually...I want to surprise the missus. Would you put it up? Say 3500€?
It is a 1999 Volvo C70 T5, all options & extras installed except the automatic. Oh, and 17" wheels, not the 18". (Meh.)
1999 was the last pure Volvo year, before Ford bought them. I thought of, but never did, get custom Nummernschilder to the effect of "PRE-FORD".
Mark -- would make an excellent tourer on your holidays here. I'd keep it in our garage for you *and* keep the biannual TÜV taken care of. Would even deliver it to Bamberg ahead of your arrivals. Seats two adults in the back, Jimbo or Barry should probably ride shotgun though. (Kelley bluebook says betwixt $3000 & 3500. $3000 for you.)
As a North American model, it has that rare combination of MPH and KM on the Geschwindigkeitsanzeiger. It's utterly daft, née, dangerous, that BMW only put km on theirs. I have to reckon MPH in my head when we drive to Thanet.
Also, monthly financing available!
5000€ gets you a nice bottle of Bourbon in the Handschuhfach for the drive home!
I once owned a Triumph Herald with mph in large figures and smaller kmph below. A bit confusing, especially for the passenger who only saw the mph and thought I was driving far to slow.
Liebe Grüße an your passenger from Tabor, Jason and me.
But aren't we moving away from the kosher issue..?
My amazing question has yet to be answered!
I live in Stockholm, remember? Here people are getting rid of their cars, not buying. Especially not with snow, meh...
Good for you lot. This one has NEVER been driven in salt. Snow, yes, but not salted snow.
Not that Schwedisch steel seems to rust in any case.
Car's TENTATIVELY sold to one of these two Männer. If the one backs out, the other will surely take it on.
The post-Autobahn part of the drive thither.
Sorry if the music's manky, Barry should maybe mute it til about 5 minutes in. Horrible British hippy-kids' attempt at blues-rock.
Gerhard's looking good there, eh? He had some serious illness a couple of years back. 72 now, I think.
Didn't recognise Gerhard there.
He does seem more fit. She's much more fit. You'll have to come trade stories.
And he'll probably collect you in his new Volvo by then. Might even let you drive it over to show him round Eschawo.
Gerhard & Uschi have backed out. They wanted to buy it for their daughter, she says it's too big.
Ah well. Jason, any leads at work?
Commission of 1%!
Nice car, could do with a few more pics! Shame about sale falling through.
Pics? Bah. It's "standing" there in the Röthelheim Allee, Erlangen, directly in front of a huge Siemens Medical complex. Swing by for a look.
I'll get it sold, no question. Maybe not today, but this week or next.
Jason, could you please email B the link to the Kleinanzeigen? She can't find them. Women & computers.......
No worries Jason, thanks for the effort so far.
Chap coming by to have a look presently, lives in Heroldsbach (nearest brewery...?). His brother is a fellow Volvo-fan in the Rheinland, has been looking for a red coupé. So that'll be nice. Knocked the price up a bit, put more photos up.
Fred, could we please change the name of the site to "Nick's Franconian EBay Message Board"? It's a backwards way of getting it back on topic I know but I'm just trying to be helpful.
Sorry NIck. I couldn't resist.
I'm just sorry you won't be able to admire it auf dem Roppelt's Keller.
I had it out in front of the gigantic Siemens complex here for half a day yesterday with a for sale sign, unwashed, and now someone's called about it. Another guy questioned the authenticity of my story that it was damaged in transit from Oregon - Cali - Bremerhafen, and so I added photos of the Rechnung detailing how, yes, indeed, it was repainted after 60k miles' driving, and now has 75k on it. So it basically looks like a car with 15k miles on it.
It's an interesting experience. Highly recommended. ($5000 and it's yours.)
Why do you want to sell it again?
For the usual reasons, I guess.
No, really, I've had it 18 years now. I bought it new after falling in love with it (the audio system in particular -- the world's first factory-installed surround sound, also custom specified for the interior...I once priced out the audio components to be $4000 worth) and then always said it would be the last car I'd ever buy. Brought it over here thinking it would continue to be my daily car, but then ended up cycling & train-ing everywhere.
So I only drive it often enough to keep it running, which is just stupid. Especially because we just bought B's BMW. So I feel guilty driving it around for that reason and thinking that some other Volvo fan might really enjoy it, not feel guilty driving it. And I'd get money for it.#
Now the guy in Mönchengladbach says he's been holding out for a cabrio instead of a coupe. I'll have it sold before Xmas.
Jason...if you're still willing to put an ad up, send me an email.
Also Kaiserdom offers since 2002 koscher beer (KaiserdomnPils). An article (in Germn about this from 2005:
They offer also alcohol-free beer for islamic states (0.0% alc.).
The owner Georg Wörner knowns these export markets very well since the 1980s.
Back in the 90's I had a chance to interview Ken Allen -- one of the founders of Anderson Valley Brewing in Northern California. (This was for a public access TV show I did) At the time they brewed the He'Brew Genesis Ale for Schmalz Brewing, which was (I think) the first certified Kosher beer in the US.
I asked him what was involved with the certification and did they do anything different than they did with their other beers. The answer was basically no. A Rabbi came periodically (monthly? -- I don't remember the details) to inspect the brewery to make sure they weren't making any non-kosher products on the side (a reverse Metzegerbräu -- making sausage in a brewery ). There were also could be issues with some finings (isinglass and gelatin I would guess) but they didn't use them so it wasn't an issue.
Later, we also got to do an interview with Jeremy Cowan, the founder of Schmalz Brewing who confirmed a lot of this.
From this, I would gather that most traditional German beers would be acceptable for kosher use. British beers would be more problematic unless you knew about any finings.
Note: I found this which says some people say the finings don't matter.
So yesterday I drove Frank to Spielbach. We made a quick stop in Schluesselfeld where the Stern vollbier was it's usual good standard and then headed to Brauerei Dull in Gnodstadt (near Marktbreit). Overall we had a nice hour or so but it was very much food focussed (it looked excellent) and lacking a little in atmosphere. The pils was good if not spectacular but their bock (I had a taste of Frank's) was really good. The old brewmaster informed us that at 7.5% it was almost a dopplebock. Certainly glad I visited and as always I don't judge pubs on one visit as many things can affect the atmosphere etc. I have a liter of the bock as a take out for this week.
So we headed for Spielbach on a very wet Franconian Saturday evening. we managed to find a place with some locals and Frank was very interested in the local dialect which seemed to be a mix of Schwabisch and Fraenkisch (makes sense, but more of the former). One elderly lady at the table was got married in Ebelsbach and had connections with the Klosterbrauerei and an old Hassfurt brewery, Wahlfisch. I couldn't catch all of the discussion but Frank was pretty amazed to stumble upon someone like this in Spielbach.
I had a full sized beer which was very nice as usual. The schnitzel and lovely butter fat cooked potatoes was also enjoyed. All that aside though, the atmosphere was second to none. The place was almost full and coming in from the cold outside to the warmth and cosiness of the front room is a very simple yet refined pleasure. It's a place I could spent a lot of time in. It's got what Spezial has that Faessla doesn't - and multiply it by 10.
Spielbach saved the best to last though. I explained to Frank that we had to pay Frau Unbehauen directly. So we took up seats across from her like 2 naughty schoolboys... Frank was loving it. Although she's getting on a bit she has a real twinkle in her eye - she recognised me and remembered I worked for adidas. As I said in my other post, I think Frank would have proposed to her there and then! It was a very enjoyable evening.
HOWEVER, we did hear some sad news from the locals at our table. It would seem that the fate of the pub (not the brewery, yet) are dependant on Frau Unbehauen being alive. Apparently, the son has no interest in being a host and wants to shut the pub when she dies. Of course this would be a travesty. This is yet another threat to the Franconian beer scene - Peter Griess' potential future son in law (brewer and chef) has little desire to run the pub and sit and entertain old men. Even more so, the talented young brewer at Witzgall has zero interest - hence the pub is run by the owner and his wife (I think) in their 70s. Once they retire the pub will close.
There is a lot of responsibility on the next generation of brewers and, in Frank's opinion, many of them are ill equipped for the hard work and little reward that is often the life of the brewer. If you look at some of the current owners - messrs. Merz, Kalb, Trum, Griess, Hoelzlein... they all work in their business and most in all areas and they understand the requirements. Looking at Stefan Michel, the next generation are already being distracted by all things shiny and messing about with things they should leave alone.
Some food for thought. It's a snippet of a very long discussion Frank and I had yesterday. It won't be the last.
Sounds like the ongoing saga that no one wants to hear: the beer's too cheap here.
I agree 100%. And the people are too stubborn to accept a price hike.
I knew you were a sharp box of pencils.
Great report and fantastic that Frank finally made it Spielbach - he deserves it! But that's really sad news about all those great pubs; If I wasn't about the same age as most of the owners, I'd take one on myself - come on you younger chaps!
Not sure about the price being too cheap. I haven't made a real study of beer economics in Germany (or anywhere else, for that matter) but, from what I understand, most of the price differential, say between Franken beer and British beer, is due to lower taxes and lower property prices. There's an interesting article in the latest copy of the Camra magazine about brewpubs (a lot of inaccuracies though, IMHO), which puts part of reason for the slow development of brewpubs in Britain down to the cost of property - it being more lucrative to develop potential brewery space, specially in towns, to other uses, such as apartments.
I know from talking to Anton Heinl in Zum Roud'n that it is, in theory, quite easy to open licensed premises in Germany, as a special licquor licence is not needed. The main problem is meeting the stringent health and safety regulations (Juergen would know all about that!), which I don't think are much different to those anywhere in the EU but maybe just more rigorously applied. I suppose that one of postive offshoots of the success of real ale in the UK is that it encouraged a lot of younger people to get involved in brewing, something that hasn't happened in Germany, AFAIK.
Another problem I suppose, is the inherent difficulties of brewing lager type beer to German standards. However, this may not be quite so problematic now, due to developments in yeast cultivation and malt production.
I'm surprised to hear you stating "inherent difficulties of brewing lager beer to German standards".
I have toured many breweries in Europe and Franconia over the years. I have been a homebrewer for about 30 years (in USA).
In my experience, homebrewers tend to get more and more technically obsessed, to the point they think brewing beer should be a laboratory operation (tightly controlled).
First, in the UK, I was surprised how seat-of-the-pants the brewing process for ales was!
Later, I was astounded to see Lager production in many places in Franconia closely resembled the UK Real Ale process. No overwhelming control of processes or sanitation. (Both were adequate, but not obsessive.) Cool ships, open fermenters, external flow chillers, etc., can hardly be considered super-sanitary conditions.
In the last few years, I have returned to these "relaxed" brewing processes, as much as I can with my homebrew system.
I have been producing the best ales and lagers I have ever made, and my friends also say my beers have gone up a notch.
I think the ingredients are more important than obsessive processes.
It was really the difference in brewing techniques that I was refering to - the difference between brewing ale and lagered beer, simple 'one step' mash versus decoction, etc. I watched the two step brewing process in Eschawo many times and it's really time consuming and quite complex. Ok, the Zoigl brewers do it by the 'seats of their pants' but they have been doing it for decades and centuries. I think the use kuhlschips and the like just prove that it's not really so precise an art and that, given time and a bit of experience, anyone can learn to brew.
Of course, another factor is the whole lagering process, which takes so much time, occupying valuable equipment for months (or, at least, it should do!). I agree with you about the ingredients (think that I mentioned yeast and malt?). These have changed and probably improved greatly over the last few years.
However, my observations of the brewing scene in Britain have lead me to conclude that many of the newer microbrewers have not truly mastered the 'art' yet, as I have had a lot of quite iffy beers from them.
Come on Barry, if you're going to go native check the spelling, or the auto correct ;)
Mea culpa! First it was Juergen (ok, he has a right), then Nick, and, now, welcome to the spelling police Jason!
Sorry Barry, but ignorence is a self perpetuating beast. The quicker we are corrected the less damage it does. There is no shame in it... it's a foreign language ;)
If it was English however...
If it WERE English. (I have to use the plural past in the conjuctive there for some reason. More elegant. Maybe it's the royal we.)
Yes, this is something I've warned B & J in the past about: learning a language as an adult is *HARD*. Hard, but good for you.
It was at some place in the savage mittelfränkisch wastes with Jürgen. I gently, GENTLY corrected his mis-use of some relatively minor thing or other, and Jacqui nearly tore me 'ead off. You have to get used to making mistakes and learning through being corrected.
(And Barriy is fine with this, obvs.)
Also, good job on the small 'a'. Took me a while to master that. :)
Matter of interest, I'm now doing a 'casual' German course online using Duolingo. It's very easy to use, very intuitive, uses all the best teaching techniques and is FREE!
Only one small gripe: it tells me after each lesson my degree of fluency - currently, at 30%. I suppose that this is meant to encourage but it's pretty meaningless really. What does 30% fluent mean?
Matter of interest, I'm now doing a 'casual' German course online using Duolingo. It's very easy to use, very intuitive, uses all the best teaching techniques and is FREE!
Only one small gripe: it tells me after each lesson my degree of fluency - currently, at 30%. I suppose that this is meant to encourage but it's pretty meaningless really. What does 30% fluent mean?
Pointless measure but it’s quite good for what it is. I used it in the year before I moved here. It helps with vocabulary but the grammar still needs an old fashioned book to read and re read about sentence structure, rules, cases and dreaded declension tables.
tip: learn the model verbs - können (kann), sollen (should), dürfen (allow), wollen (want) and müssen (must - but stronger than the English variant). Of course you need the conjugated versions (ich) kann, soll, darf, will and muss etc. Plus pass tenses, könnten (could), sollten (should), dürften (allowed), wollten (wanted) and mussten (had to). And their conjugated versions könnte, sollte, dürfte, wollte and musste.
With these the rules are consistent and simple: verb to the end , unconjufated eg. ich will nach Bamberg fahren. Once you get the hang of these, plus werden (same rule re sentence structure), you can have a lot of simple yet understandable conversations about a lot of things.
Do you mean the fluency rating or the whole Duolingo programme? If the first, I agree, crude method of encouragement at the best. If the second, I think that you're being a little bit drastic. I'm not aiming to speak enough German to get a job; I'm only interested in mastering enough grammar to have some conversation (mainly in pubs!). I can nearly do that with my limited capability now and Duolingo is definitely helping but we'll see the results when put into practice.
I've already taken on board your recommendation re the modal (not model!) verbs, though, as with all things memorising their conjugations is not so easy but getting there! Again, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating or, more hopefully, the drinking. What I really need is someone to talk to in German on a regular basis but I still haven't found anyone here yet.
BTW: have you heard anything about the supposed 'one in a hundred winters' that Issy posted on Facebook?
I mean the fluency rating. I liked duelingo, but it is not going to help you with your aim unless you learn the grammar. It's repetitive, boring and heavy (so Duelingo misses a lot of it for the more 'fun' parts). It's designed really as a way to understand a few things when visiting Germany, not for conversation. Nothing wrong with that, but it should not be relied on. Duelingo will help you to repeat things correctly (good for vocab). Learning the grammar will help you build sentences yourself and be flexible. Unfortunately, you have to learn a lot before you can even build a basic sentence (not just repeat) - it's very top heavy in that respect. German is a very flexible language compared to English - the grammar allows this. Once you get to grips with that it'll open up a lot more than you expect. But you can't dabble really.
Yes, model (predictive text). We could have spoken in German in September... at first it's better than talking to a native in some ways because learners can explain the rational and extra grammatic detail (like a teacher). But you have to have the patience and humility to be corrected - we are way stricter than the natives because we know how bad habits can be hard to shake off.
I've been told I speak very good German (with a Franconian lilt) but that's relative to the 20 months I've been here. I still get frustrated and expect to for years to come. It's a hard language: don't expect too much.
I saw the weather reports of a tough winter and it did snow on Sunday. Other than that i'm not reading too much into it.
Your progress has been most impressive! I don't disagree with much of what you say but there is a human side to all this. Learning German is a relatively peripheral activity for me; yes, I'm keen to improve but, having been so many times to Germany, I know that my needs are pretty limited. I don't have a deep desire to master the language, just to be a bit better. This is why Duolingo is good. It tells me everyday to start a lesson nad the lessons are in 'bite-sized chunks' (a techical term that us teachers use!). So, at the moment, it's ideal.
I have thought about (think that we talked about this) attending language classes on my visits and I'm still interested. Really, it's a question of finding the right level, as much as anything else. I'm not a beginner but hardly advanced. I don't want to spend hours in a classroom learning grammer, I can do that from a book. Really what I need is a sort of German TEFL (there must be phrase for it in German) that involves mainly talking and listening. I know that one of my problems is lack of confidence, linked to tuning the ear. It's amazing how it all begins to make more sense when I've been in Germany for a few weeks.
So, I'll press on for a time and see how it goes. Oh, I have no problem being corrected - as a writer, I have spent most of my working life in a 'critical' environment, with work proof read, dissected, put back together, etc., etc., so am happy with the process.
Well I don't know who Issy or Izzy is, I don't use the farcebook, and I have heard nothing about a hard winter, though I wouldn't put much stock in it if I did. I certainly would not let such a thing as that influence my plans on whether to travel here in Jan or not! Jeez...it's January. Count on misery regardless.
That said, we've not had a hard winter for a few years, so we could well be due for one. I would characterise the Herbst so far as...meh.
Took a drive a while back.
Nice afternoon out.
Larger versions available here.
Hmmm...that last one shows up cropped on my computer terminal's screen. Maybe too large.
You cheeky bastard! Oh and don't give me that "meh" crap. I'll not have it. You can say meh about any other place you want. Not this one.
It was 13 August, a Sunday. The food was indeed very meh. The beer...I can see why everyone raves about it, but...we'll leave it at that for now, eh?
The PLACE, however, and being served by kids asking "what else ya want then?", more or less, was great.
Ended up with a sugar hangover form the taters & Kloß. I don't like that approach to Bratkartoffeln, not crispy. I should've really laid into him that I wanted 3x meat and none of the rest of it.
Sadly, there was some Volksfest or other that weekend, blocking the road from Rothenburg o.d. Tauber, so I had a winding valley & country drive of an extra 20 minutes or so on the way there. The way back was uneventful on the Autobahn. Deffo go that way again, though it was lovely and pastoral from Herzogenaurach.
Yeah the food is just meh but everything else more than makes up for it.
I will also so that it is a place best enjoyed with a group of friends and a desig. driver where you can stay a while and enjoy a few seidla.
See, I couldn't drink more than two anyway. Was nearly, NEARLY sour. A bit of papery oxidation too. #FarmhouseLager
:sigh: I am a naive fool. Why, why god damn it did I take the bait and respond to this thread?! I should have known it would come to this.
Keg-keg variation. That must be the explanation.
I'll go back and try it again someday though. Just not when the Taubertal is all blocked up. And I'll bring me own meat.
I feel sorry for you Nick. I really do. The way you write about it like some kind of health inspector, completely lacking in the romantic imagination needed to appreciate it. Your loss.
I took Frank there yesterday, first time he'd been. He loved it. Along with Waischenfeld it's his new favorite place. He couldn't believe Frau Unbehauen. I think he would have propose if we'd stayed any longer.
Ive now been with probably 5-6 people who previously hadn't been. They've all come away very happy. So I know where the meh lies.
How bad could it have been since I held it in for three months though?
The Frank I know says Griess is the best. Or at least the best beer. Probably not since they changed from barrels to Tänkla though.
I'm referring to the package. The place. The philosophy. there are very few places you can go in and feel like you've gone back in time. Waischenfeld and Spielbach are two of them.
Pretty sure I praised the place. I know I praised Waischenfeld, even having only bothered with the place twice in as many half-dozen years.
Beer's much better at Waischenfeld, at least not nearly sour, nor papery.
Never had sour beer in Spielbach. Don't tend to eat paper so not sure what that means.
Of course if you look for faults you will find 'em.
Care to enlighten the rest of us as to where you were?
Hint: You've been there.
Hint 2: I hadn't been there before this trip.
Hint 3: Everyone else had been there but me.
Are you practicing to be a secret agent or something, Nick? The Forum has been going on for months about you not visiting Spielbach and then you tell us that you went 3 months ago!
Why, for heavens sake?
I think a better question would be "why not"?
Would've hated to have spoilt Jürgen & Jason's visit with my tale of woe! Or summat.
Dramatic effect, dear chap.
Speaking of dramatic effects, am I the only one on here with about a 5-space indent at the start of every post?
I see no indents in your posts.
So after about 15mins of searching I think I've been able to decipher that it's Gold-Ochsen Brauerei that's being discussed? I guess I hoped someone would mention it in this long list of posts. I use this site a lot for recommendations and insights from locals and frequent visitors. But sometimes it feels like I've accidentally been seated at the Stammtisch and I'm the only outsider among a table of good mates.
Yes we are referring to Gold Ochsen in Spielbach. If seems there are a lot of people who drop by without posting (which is obviously fine) but given that those who post regularly either live here or visit frequently it is going to be a bit cliquey.
However questions are always welcome but it is preferred when people show their own inititive and where possible research themselves - the forum search function is a good starting point, as is google maps and the Deutsche Bahn website. After all, we aren't paid tourist guides.
Thanks for confirming Jason. This group is always very friendly to lurkers who post, so it's not too cliquey. I just think most people don't want to ask dumb questions.
We've all asked naive (rather than stupid) questions at some time or another. Me? All the time. It's the only way to learn!
Rick, I am sure you were not alone. In fact, even I (a regular here on this forum) asked which place Nick was referring to. Unfortunately he did not give a direct answer. I had a pretty good idea that it was the Gold-Ochsen, but I prefer clarity for the sake of visitors.
So again, to summarise. I found the place and experience to be lovely, about what I'd expected from what everyone had said. Unique, one-of-a-kind, well worth a 90-minute drive or whatever it was.
The beer...this isn't the only brewery to have apparent issues with oxygen getting in where it might otherwise not, if the equipment had been modernised since...I dunno...Vatican II. Fine, rustic, full of character, but it is still what it is. And what we all hope it will remain to be.
I'll go back to check on the beer. I will go already well fed though.
There is a little memory nagging away in my mind. Juergen, didn't you tell me that the Spielbach people actually won prizes for their beer?
I think there is a balance here somewhere - I am sharing a 3 liter syphon of Spielbach (from Saturday) with Frank this evening so I will do a little experiment.
On my first visit to Spielbach i thought the beer was fantastic. Subsequent visits i've thoroughly enjoyed it but lets just say if the pub was not as special I would not drive all that way for the beer alone. I've enjoyed drinking it bottled though so really it's a difficult one.
But if Gregor was to taste it (as a beer sommelier blah blah) I'm sure he would tear it apart - which would be an unnecessary shame.
Give my best o Frank. I think that we can take all this too far, but I was just curious because I seem to recall Juergen telling me that the son who does the brewing had been awarded prizes for the quality of their beer.
Let's face it, good beer is not that unusual, thank goodness. I've just been on my Wednesday afternoon jaunt to the Albion Ale House in Conwy and had a superb pint or 3 of Purple Moose Madog Ale. So, if good beer can be brewed in Porthmadoc, it can be brewed anywhere!
One of Britain’s best breweries for, what, 10 years? I’ve been loving purple moose since it started for what it’s worth.
Dark Side of the Moose. That is all.
In the pub at the train station.
Last month my husband and I went on a beer tour in Franconia. Natürlich, the Beer Guide was tremendusly helpful and dictated quite a bit of our route. We are from Israel and my German language skills are limited (though improving :) )
I am a beer writer and an avid ratebeerian, but during my travels I tend to be old school, use pen and paper for my tasting notes and upload everything online upon my return. This is why I'm writing now.
On 7.10.17 we visited Brauerei Schroll Reckendorf and drank beers presented to us as Dunkel and Naturtaub (Landbier). A few days ago I began transcribing my notes and leaned that Schroll Reckendorf only brews one beer, the Ur-Trunk Landbier.
Perhaps one of you knows where they source their Dunkel from? It will be very helpful.
Herzliche Grüße von sonnigen Tel Aviv,
That's a bit odd, I've been a few times (one of my favourite places) and only been offered, along with everyone else, what I would describe as a Dunkel, which I think is their Edel/Ur-Trunk (or whatever) bier. From what I can remember, it's not too dark, a sort of a dark ruby colour. I would expect a Landbier to be lighter in colour.
Is this a new development?
Quite sure there's a misunderstandting, as the Landbier (Urtrunk) is a dark beer.
Otherwise thank you for making me laugh by inventing the term "Naturtaub"!!! :-) That's the perfect word to describe the beers from Wagner Oberhaid. It means naturally deaf.
The Urtrunk isn't so dark that i would call it a dunkel - I was there a week or so ago and it is a similar colour to Spezi lager i.e. not copper coloured.
The only thing i think it may have been is bock bier - I was also recently at Schroll in Nankendork (the brewmasters are cousins) and I understand that they share bock biers i.e. they take it in turn yearly to brew one and it is served in both Gaestatte. I have tried the Schroll bock and it is dark. Not a dunklerbock but not far off. It was very good.
Agreed on the colour. I was last there about 11 years ago.
Barry, you should know by now, "Landbier" means nothing about colour. Nor much else, really. Just a name.
Franziskaner Weissbier Naturtrüb is on it's beer bottle label.
What does Naturtrüb mean, as can't find an English translation.
Assumed Naturtrüb means natural ingredients.
Naturaub means nature death aka deaf.
Thank you all for the replies and for expanding my vocabulary - always thought that Taub is male dove ;)
Both beers weren't too dark and none of which were bock - beer too light for that, I believe. However, if the Schrolls are cousins, maybe it's Schroll Nankendorfer Landbier?
Taube is dove (Tauben plural).
Although they are cousins it is hugely unlikely that they would serve the 'normal' beers in their respective pubs. On reflection, what I think may have been the case is that you were served the same beer but one version was naturtrüb i.e. with yeast. Some breweries have this occasionally (Spezial, Eichhorn Doerfleins being two from memory).
And Traube is grape. A good donkey-bridge is the 'r'.
Hi Juergen, I'm taking Frank to visit Spielbach this Saturday evening (by car) as he has never been. If you are able to you are welcome to meet us for a beer. We will also visit Brauerei Duell in Gnodstadt - I hope to try their pils and get a litre takeaway of the bockbier.
would be lovely but you know my schedule. I'll be working on my railway museum until approx. eight in the evening. Then eating, showering... Could stop a wee bit earlier maybe but won't make it before 8.30, if this isn't too late for you both.
Showering. There's BEER to be drunk, man!
Ever laid tracks or dismantled a diesel engine, Nick? ;-)
How is the planning situation re the wooden sleepers going? Since you told me, I've now become an ardent wooden sleeper spotter on British railways - there thousands! Even mainline stations, such as Crewe and Chester have 'em and there are tens of thousands in disused sidings, etc. As for Czechia...
By German standards, a Europe-wide environmental disaster is brewing!
Wooden sleeper spotter? Is that a thing? Do you write down the numbers and take photos whilst alerting fellow sleeper spotters of their location to share the love? Do you have a forum perhaps to share famous spotting yarns and discuss best places to visit whilst lamenting the lost glory days of wooden sleepers back in the 50s and the proliferation of modern rounded sleepers led by those crafty devils in the US... Is there a 'consumer group', maybe CWS - Campaign for Wooden Sleepers? Is there a monthly magazine, perhaps - Heavy Sleepers?
Sorry Barry, but you asked for that with the words "ardent wooden sleeper spotter" ;) some persuits are best kept private
Mmm! Tongue and groove.
That's definitely one of them haha!!!
And be careful - to the unwitting forum member 'tongue and groove' could mean something entirely different to the cladding of buildings.
If their soiled imagination drifts away from the pure wood glory,then so be it!
EXCELLENT PUB NAME
I have to wait to see if Jürgen wishes to reveal the origins of this obsession. I can only say that it adds a certain frisson to rail journeys.
Tongue and groove is an entirely different matter.
Well, the thing was somehow sorted out. We store the sleepers in the engine shed now, therefore have to leave precious ancient wagons outside. Perfect solution. How would Nick say? Meh...!
Good, happy to hear that. But how am I going to spend my rail journeys now that the crisis is over?
So drink outside. It's a farm, isn't it? Who would notice anyway?
Is it a farm? Go an' find oot yersel', Nick. If it's not the place itself, the beer, the loveliness of the old lady or the strange and otherwordly customs it's maybe THIS question that finally drives you to Spielbach. ;-)