Brauerei Heller (Schlenkerla)
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Comment from Jos Brouwer on 2003-02-03 14:15:57
What the Hofbrauhaus is in Munich, is the Schlenkerla in Bamberg. Or so the Bambergers say. Although somewhat touristical, it is still one of the classic brewery taps in Bamberg. Still alot of tradition, and heavily frequented by locals (unlike the Hofbrauhaus). If you haven't been in Schlenkerla during a visit to Bamberg, you have not really been in Bamberg.
Comment from Mark Kissel on 2003-02-06 08:42:46
This was my first time at Brauerei Heller (Schlenkerla) and the time was well spent and appreciated with Frank Wetzel. I intentionally went here to try the rauchbier (smoked bier) and the setting was great as was the bier!! I was expecting a stout dark bier and instead I received a full bodied, wonderful tasting experience. THIS IS THE BEST DARK BIER I HAVE EVER HAD!! On a rating of 1-5 it is a 5! If you are a dark bier drinker, this is the one to try.
Comment from Jan-Erik Svensson on 2003-04-16 04:34:10
This must be the most pleasant tourist trap in the world. Powerful and very clean Rauchbier in a very old-fashioned Gaststätte. Perhaps the pub you should visit in Bamberg if you have to pick just one and have'nt been there before.
Comment from Richard Sanders on 2003-07-23 18:00:58
The pub is excellent but the beer is an acquired taste, not for everyone. In my opinion there are alot better beers worth trying including the Special if you like "smoked beers" in Bamberg.
Comment from JW Dirkse on 2003-10-08 14:23:28
Rauchbeer is an acquired taste, but you have to try it at least once...just not at the Schlenkerla. I found the Schlenkerla less friendly than other Bamberg breweries, probably because of the large number of tourists who drop in.
Comment from Nick B. on 2004-07-27 09:51:42
Don't believe those who say that Schlenkerla is somehow unfriendly or a tourist-trap. Granted, it is the most famous tavern in Bamberg and thus the first port of call for almost every visitor to the city. However, the people there are fantastic and I made some very good acquaintances from Bamberg and Haßfurt (yes, not Hamburg or Tokyo!) whilst sipping this amazingly rich and unique brew. Schlenkerla: unmistakable beer, great people and the most beautiful setting that I have ever drunk in.
Comment from Kari Ylänne on 2004-09-02 14:34:10
Of course it is full of tourists. Then again most of us here are tourists in Bamberg. Sometimes service is very slow but I love this tavern and its beers!
Comment from Bill Birney on 2004-09-16 09:53:38
Spent quite a few evenings here in 1958-1959 when I was stationed at Panzer Kaserne (Warner Barracks). Visited again in May 1999 and it didn't appear to have changed a bit
Comment from Dave Brown on 2004-09-18 03:30:46
I think the enjoyment of the Schlenkerla depends on how busy it is. I managed to get a small table on a Saturday night , and then had a very pleasant evening drinking the Rauchbier and having a fine meal. I think that once you have ordered once, the second beer is much easier to get! It's also one of the prettier drinking places I have seen in Bavaria.
Comment from Jim & Wendy Stebbins on 2004-10-17 09:12:19
Schlenkerla = "one who walks with a limp" This is true, after 3 or 4 of these biers. We have spent many hours here, conversing with locals.VERY tradtional German food & decor,with a medieval look...Heavy,hearty meals & bier.To anyone who has never tried rauchbier (smoked)I would describe it as drinking "liquid bacon." We prefer the light smoked bier they offer, but even that still takes an "acquired" taste. It is usually always smokey & crowded with loud,rowdy patrons,young & old. Even so,we still recommend it for authentic atomosphere & quisine,& the "total experience" is worth a visit.
Comment from Jussi Rokka on 2005-02-02 08:41:07
Breakfast with a roll filled with Leberkäse from the nearby Schlachterei and a couple of fresh Märzens in the Schwemme - it's heaven! Actually, I've begun to prefer the Schwemme here - that is unless I want to eat Bamberger Zwiebeln...
Comment from Todd Ashman on 2005-06-29 13:43:16
Rauch bier heaven. Great location... It's what you travel here for!
Comment from Jos Brouwer on 2005-08-26 12:50:17
Adding to my earlier review, and having enjoyed another week's stay in Bamberg recently: it is a wonder that you can enter Schlenkerla without having to pay an entrance fee. Still a great place!
Comment from Zupfer on 2006-03-06 21:11:06
The locals were in a snit because Schlenkerla abolished the "Schnitt." The Schnitt is a Franconian tradition of ordering half a beer for the last drink. It was often filled not far from the top. Henry Kissinger was here a few years ago and you will hear the story in the "Schwimm." Once you are known well to the denizens of the Schwimm, you will be remembered by name even after two or three years of absence. As I often say, the Schwimm knows everything.
Comment from Martin T. on 2006-06-17 08:05:00
A classic Franconian tap room with gorgeous dark wood everywhere, lamp ornaments, carved chairs, etc. The abbey room is particularly spectacular. The food is your standard regional fare, and was reasonably priced. The only beer on tap (gravity cask) is the Märzen, and it is quite simply a hallmark of the genre. An absolute must visit when in Bamberg, no doubt.
Schlenkerla Märzen (bottled review): Eating prosciutto while walking in a damp, smoked filled tunnel...Wooden torchlight in hand, you finally reach the end of the corridor and find a creamy apple pie waiting for you...Quite an illuminating, heavy fog...
The tap version at the Schlenkerla Ausschank in Bamberg is even a little smokier if you can imagine that, but also very drinkable. The lingering, coating smoke is beautifully blended with quaffability, and the finishing drying effect just makes you want to have more. As good as the bottle, though more quenching.
Schlenkerla Urbock (bottled review): Hang gliding over flamboyantly rich smoked gouda lakes, earthy grilled fumes reach your dripping saliva...I could just sail over this ubiquitous fragrance for hours...The voracious appetite which is created fuels the dive and welcomes the sweet dryness of a sticky, muddy roast...Light vinous mirth ensues, as balanced and quaffable flambéd characters reign...A centripetal force of bountiful rejoicing...
Schlenkerla Weizen (bottled review): Beefy smoked salmon gracefully pushing upstream in rich, minty banana rapids...Sparse citrus trees look down on the splendid spectacle and sometimes send down some of their fruit...Museum-quality smoked malt which fades into a somehat faint aftertaste...Quite a thirst-spawning and mind-opening experience...
Comment from Andrew Clarke on 2006-10-22 14:39:25
Without doubt one of the greatest bars and beers in the world. Took 4 friends here in August 04 and all were completely blown away by it. So much so in fact that we have ordered a number of on line consignments of the rauchbier since then. 12 of us heading back to it next month! Long may it prosper. Food great too, weisswurst superb!
Comment from Terry Clark on 2007-02-03 09:54:00
I travel to Germany every year , and am on the stammtisch on Monday morning with a German friend , I go there every week when I am there , it is simply the best beer in the world for my taste , and the food is also great , on a scale of one to ten , it's definetly a 10. Plus the atmosphere is typically old German.
Comment from Bulwer Lytton on 2007-12-20 18:20:00
"Schlenkerla Urbock (bottled review): Hang gliding over flamboyantly rich smoked gouda lakes, earthy grilled fumes reach your dripping saliva...I could just sail over this ubiquitous fragrance for hours...The voracious appetite which is created fuels the dive and welcomes the sweet dryness of a sticky, muddy roast...Light vinous mirth ensues, as balanced and quaffable flambéd characters reign...A centripetal force of bountiful rejoicing..." Wow, a real masterpiece!
Comment from Jerome Scott on 2009-04-17 19:53:16
I was introduced to this place in 1988 by some German friends who first asked me what German beer I liked best. Being an American I named a Pilsener. I was then taken on a journey of enlightenment that I have never forgotten. BTW, you go here first for the beer everything else is a pleasant afterthought.
Comment from Ed Pentis on 2010-05-17 06:29:57
In my case, this is definitely a tourist trap because once infused with the heavenly Rauchbier, I cannot bring myself to leave. It is reason I am pulled to this city. I'd had this at home, so I made a beeline for Schlenkerla as soon as I got here on a Bavarian Bier Tour in '08. Drinking this bier at its home was completely mind blowing. The next morning as we walked by again, my wife talked me out of having breakfast there. That was my one regret in that town. So on my next Bavarian trip in '09, I broke away from our group squandering their time in a nearby town and got our bus driver to take some of us to Bamberg. I spent every minute of the 5 hours there in Schlenkerla. After a couple Rauchbiers before the kitchen opened at noon, I had lunch. Then I saw an especially tasty looking meal being consumed by a gentleman farther down my table. He told me it was the Bamberger Onion. He just happened to be the brewery's accountant. Since I wanted to be able to drink more Rauchbier, I had the Onion as a second lunch. Some other friends went to see other sights in town, but I figured, "It cannot get better than this." So I savored the incredible smokey aroma and taste of a couple more Rauchbiers, had a few pictures of me taken by the tile stove drinking the Best Bier on Earth, and then followed the group to meet the bus and then go to bed early back at the hotel. There will be a tour to Oktoberfest in 2010, and our tourbus has a planned 6 hour stop in Bamberg. And there is only one place I will be spending all my time again.
Comment from Andrew Clarke on 2010-07-26 03:01:18
Was on a beer tour of Bamberg and Annafest 23-25th July and went to Schlenkerla again. Beer was fantastic, even better than I remembered. No question that the draught is so much better than the bottles we can get In Ireland.
Comment from Nigel on 2013-10-08 06:06:41
This place has become far too touristy with difficulty finding tables & long queues at the serving hatch but if you can get past all that, the beer is still as good as ever
Comment from barry on 2013-10-11 03:46:17
IMHO, one of the top 3 breweries in Bamberg, although the ever increasing level of tourism is making visits less pleasant. Now considerably extended with additional rooms and a sit-outery (wouldn't call it a real garden). The Marzen (Rauchbier) is justly famous and does not seem to vary from year to year. Also, a seat in Schwemme can be a really pleasant experience, either to chat with other drinkers or just to watch the world go by. Do not visit Bamberg without visiting Schlenkerla but probably best to try in winter!