Feature Articles

Historical records show over 80 different breweries existed in Bamberg at one time or another. Most of them are gone without trace. A few live on in their buildings, such as Brauerei zum Polarbär.

As you walk down Karolinenstrasse in the Bamberg Altstadt you may come across an old building that certainly sounds like it is (or was) a brewery: Bamberger Hofbräu. The name had always intrigued me because the literal translation is along the lines of "Court Brewery." But Bamberg has not had a Royal court in the usual sense of the word. Find our the story behind the name.

Sandstrase today is full of bars and clubs. In that past it was full of breweries.

The monastary on the top of Michaelsberg was one of the original breweries in Bamberg.

Brauerei Kleebaum was one of the casualties of World War II. John Conen gives us some history of the brewery.

Top Pick Lists

Jürgen is one of our more prolific beer reviewers and here are his Tep Ten Franconian Breweries (with a few bonus choices thrown in)

Frank Wetzel is one force behind www.BierRegion-Franken.info, the website that was the inspiration for this one. He is always traveling to the breweries in the countryside and has graciously agree to give us his ten favorite breweries outside of Bamberg.

John Conen has been a member of Britain's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) for over 35 years, but also maintains a strong interest in the traditional beers of Germany. He has been visiting Bamberg for nearly thirty years and has written a number of editions of his guide to the beers and breweries of the region. John has given us his seven favorite Franconian Beers.

Germans have a reputation for being very provincial about their beer. Many will only drink only the beer brewed in their city or town and will disparage the beer brewed even a few miles away. But that is changing and Andreas Gündel and his friends from Gütersloh (midway between Dortmund and Hannover) are prime examples. Here are Andreas' Top Ten Frenaconian Breweries.

Don Scheidt learned early on that he didn't like the flabby, gassy stuff that people insisted on calling "beer." One fine day, though, a nice northern German Pilsner crossed his lips, and since that fateful day, nearly thirty years ago, he's never looked back. He shares his top Franconian picks with us.

With a last name of Brouwer you know Jos would have to be involved in beer. And involved he is, as a longtime board member of PINT (Promotie INformatie Traditioneel Bier) the Dutch beer consumers organization, as a former editor of their magazine, as the PINT delegate to the EBCU (European Beer Consumers Union) and a member of just about every European beer organization around . Jos travels to Bamberg frequently.He was part of the delgation naming Bamberg a World Beer Heritage city (click here for story) He shares some of his favorite Franconian breweries with us.

Jan-Erik Svensson, of Stockholm, Sweden is active in the Svenska Ölfrämjandet the Swedish Beer Consumers Organization and was the editor of their magazine, Maltesen in the early 1990's. He has been a main judge at the Swedish Homebrewers Festival since 1989 and at the Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival since 1994.Jan-Erik has taught beer at the universities of Grythyttan and Umeå. He is the author of the book Ölkunskap (Beer Knowledge) and has written hundreds of articles on beer for Swedish newspapers and magazines. He has arranged commercial beer trips to many of the important beer regions of Europe, including Franconia.

Dr. Günther Heinzel lives in the Ruhr area of Germany but often travels to Franconia.

Tom Clark was the owner and head brewer at Red Bank Brewery in Red Bank, NJ before he decided to take a off summer and learn the Art of Brewing, Franconian Style. He spent a number of months brewing at Wagner Bräu in Kemmern.

Trip Reports

A visit to the newest, very small brewery in Breitengüssbach.

Barry spends three weeks in the heart of Zoigl land.

Martin spends a week in and around Bamberg for the first time.

Jan-Erik Svensson and his merry band of Swedes make an epic weeklong beer tour of Franconia and Bavaria. Originally published in 2003

Paul visits the Forchheim Volkfest in honor of St Anne.

Jeremy takes a break from his usual beer haunts in Belgium to make his first visit to Bamberg.

A visit to the nearby region of Operpfalz in search of that rarest of beers.

A visit to some of the small village breweries near Bamberg.