Franconia Beer Message Board

Too much tourism
Posted by barry on 2017-08-16 04:48:47
A thought provoking post that has brought many responses.  Not surprisingly, really, because most of us on this forum are tourists!  Everyone has made good points but probably the most pertinent was Andy's: that it's a huge subject that demands a considered response.  I know that well because I have studied 'cultural tourism' (which is what we're involved in, as opposed to 'weather tourism', for example) in detail.  In fact, back in 2005, I wrote a paper on Irish cultural heritage and tourism for my MA (it's eight A4 pages, if anyone wants a copy!) and there are university departments doing nothing else but studying the subject, so it's hard for us to deal with adequately here.

Briefly, we have, firstly, to look at from whose whose perspective we are looking at the problem?  So, for Jason, it is annoying because it spoils a little bit of his dream of living in Franconia (sorry Jason but we are all romantically attached to such ideas) but for Herr Michels (the man who runs Mahrs, sorry if I got his name a bit wrong), it is wonderful.  Didn't he help promote the notion of Bamberg as a tourist destination by flogging the 'best brewery/pub in the world' line?  To him we could add probably thousands of Bamberg residents who make their living from tourism or who benefit from the added facilities that tourism brings.  

I too curse the fact that I can't get near Schlenkerla for legions of camera snappers but I also remember when Sandstrasse was a pretty miserable backwater and aren't we all happy that it is now a thriving and vibrant place to drink?  As an aside, I recall that the first time we visited Bamberg, there were very few places worth visiting other than the brewery taps.  Now that has vastly changed.  

Talking about the brewery taps, here is a serious question: is it really worth visiting Bamberg for its breweries?  There are (I think) nine breweries in Bamberg (including that one next to Schlenkerla that will remain nameless and Kaiserdom, who nobody rates anyway (plus a few reasonably close but which are often quite tricky to get to by public transport). Jason has already given us a pretty accurate picture of the difficulties in visiting the best of them.  Personally, I don't bother going to Wunderburg nowadays, as Mahrs is just a pale shadow of its former self and I've never been a massive fan of Keesmann (just a personal opinion).  Similarly, Klosterbrau, which to me is simply a tourist trap (hardly likely to improve under Kaiserdom but who knows), This hardly compares, for example, with Manchester, which has over 50 operating breweries, a plethora of bars offering cask ale and a public transport system that operates late into the night!  Of course, it can be said that Bamberg's historic and cultural charms easily outweigh those of my native city but how many of us go to Bamberg because of its history?

Turning to Zoigl.  Neuhaus was an accident waiting to happen.  Eschawo tried a Kommunbrauhaus Tag some years ago and gave up the idea as a bad job after one year.  And Eschawo is much better placed to mount such an event than Neuhaus.  It is not true to say, Jason, that the transformation of its Zoigl establishments from the domestic to the commercial is because Zoigl has become a cult.  In fact, the chage occurred long before it became a cult and largely because a few people (I think the fathers iof Anton Heinl and Robert Sperber in particular)  saw it as a way of preserving a tradition that was dying.  This is much like the way that the pub music session replaced the family house dance in Ireland.  Yes, many things changed in the process but, at least, it left a remnant of the old tradition for future generations.  And, yes, the owners of Zoiglstub'n do make a few bob out of their enterprises but not enough for them to give up their day jobs.  It is a fact that a number of people, including a couple of Stub'n proprietors, have tried to persuade me in the past to start a Stube because local people won't and Eschawo needs at least one more to complete the calender.  How many Zoiglstube have opened in the last decade?  None to the best of my knowledge - in Eschawo, the last was Gloser and, in Neuhaus, probably Lingl, which converted from an conventional pub anyway.

I could go on for hours (at least 8 A4 pages worth anyway) but I've got shopping to do and fiddle strings to change!  But I do wonder what the Heckel family would say about outsiders visiting their pub; they seemed quite hospitable to me and, in pubs everywhere, locals tend to regard outsiders with initial curiosity (often mistaken for hostility), but this usually quickly fades away.  Of course, the situation in Spezial would quickly change if they stopped serving meals, which wouldn't distess me but I'm sure would distress most of you and the management of the place!  Oh yes, it's not just Americans who take their own beer to beer venues: many of us have witnessed crowds of locals with crates of beer and other alocoholic beverages heading for Kirchweih.
                   Too much tourism  by Mark Andersen on  2017-08-16 12:25:15
                   Too much tourism  by Jason on  2017-08-17 01:53:18
                     Too much tourism  by barry on  2017-08-17 03:06:36
                     Too much tourism  by Nick B. on  2017-08-17 03:19:40
                       Too much tourism  by Jason  on  2017-08-17 16:03:11
                         Too much tourism  by Mark Andersen on  2017-08-18 03:39:39
                           Too much tourism  by JohnRatcliffe on  2017-08-18 09:35:03
                         Too much tourism  by Nick B. on  2017-08-19 03:04:36
Post your reply to this topic...
The value is required.
The value is required. Must be an email address.
The value is required.