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Post is less than 24 hours old  OT: Prague by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-23 07:04:16

Never one to miss the odd OT posting!  So, now back home after a great month, first couple of weeks in Franken, then on to Prague.  This time, I opted not to stay in Holesovice, not out of any negative reason but, after 3 times, I thought that a change of scenery would be good, so I opted for Vrsovice.  I was really lucky that my stay coincided, firstly, with Mark and Dorothy and then with Fred.  It was really good to have others to go to the pub with - a plethora of lone sessions can get a bit wearing and all 3 were great company.

I'll not attempt to describe all the sessions that we enjoyed - to be honest, I don't remember a lot of them that well!  But, to be sure, the beer business in Prague (I didn't get out of town) is certainly booming.  As I've remarked elsewhere (FB), there do seem to be a few trends, notably, the growth in availability of ales of various types (IPAs, APAs, etc., etc.), the increase in new venues and, like in the UK, a sort of age line, where the new pubs attract, predominately, the younger set and, the more established bars, perhaps an older age group.  However, there were plenty of young people in longer established bars, such as Hostomice Nalevarna, Napalme, U Tunelu, etc., which are among my favourites.

A lot of the newer bars seem to follow the UK micropub style - fairly basic and, in the case of Dva Kohouti, decidely industrial.  That there's money in this business seems to be indicated by the crowds in the new places and upmarket developments like the one in Karlin (it must have cost a mint to set).  Also, there's an increasing tendency in newer places to serve beer in 0,4L pots, which, to my mind, is a rip off, specially when it's not clearly indicated.  In addition, the price of beer seems to be creeping up but perhaps those with longer experience of beer in Prague would have views on this matter. A couple of places were selling Faro from Oud Beersel at Kc 40,0,10L - I wonder who would bother to order 0,10L of beer!?

As regards my favourites, they remain Hostomice Fabian and Uneticke - as far as I can recall, I only drank one non-lager/pilsner; I've no problem in finding ales of all types in my home town, so really can't see the point in going to Prague to drink them, any more than I would in Franken.  But, each to her/his own.

Once I got to know Vrsovice, it turned out to be a good venue.  The local Bernard bar serves very competent beer, there is a Pilsner Urquell Tankovna place, and a couple of specialised newish bars, including Zupaty Pes, run by a Russian guy and serving a profusion of ales, plus a bottle shop, which Fred hasn't added to the directory yet, but is worth a visit.  It takes less than 10 minutes to walk to Krymska are area, which has a profusion of bars and restaurants, mostly worth a visit (get off at Ruska, visit the three bars near the tram stop, then walk up Krymska for the Bad Flash Bar and others before getting back on the tram at Krymska).

I went to two Fortuna Premier League football matches - at Bohemians 1905 (tiny run down stadium), who are likely to be relegated, and Slavia (very nice modern all-seat stadium but only about a quarter to third full), who will probably be Champions.  I was very unimpressed by the standard of football and find it hard to understand how Slavia gave Chelsea a run for money.  But, it was a good experience and certainly indicated the way that Czech football has declined in recent years, while ice hockey has blossomed.

So, as usual a lovely experience; I probably rode as many trams in two weeks as some Prague citizens do in a lifetime, though they are incredibly well used and provide excellent coverage and great value for money (especially for us old folks).  I've managed to bring quite a few Kcs home with me, which means that I'll have to go again!  

Post is less than 24 hours old    OT: Prague by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-23 07:52:34

Nice report.  It certainly is a beer wonderland and as you pointed out with a great public transportation system to help get you there.

Dva Kohouti did remind my of the layout of many new breweries with tap rooms here in the US.  Very industrial setting but I suppose that is to be expected as it's more affordable to setup in such locations I'm sure.  I thought their beer was pretty good but not up to the standards of Uneticke and Hostomice or Vinohradsky Pivovar for that matter.  Still nice to see new breweries brewing traditional styles to offset all the IPAs.

Napalme is now officially one of my favorite pubs in Prague.

Speaking of hockey .... my team the Boston Bruins (who on monday begin the final series against St. Louis for the Stanley Cup championship) have a player on the roster (David Pasternak) who is from the Czech Republic and apparently quite well known judging from the number of compliments I got on my Bruins jersey from locals while walking around Prague.  Note to self: always bring Bruins apparel when in Prague.  He is the teams best goal scorer btw.

We enjoyed hanging out with you there.  See you soon hopefully.

Post is less than 24 hours old      OT: Prague by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-23 07:53:34

.... apologies for bad grammer, spelling, and run on sentences btw.

Post is less than 24 hours old      OT: Prague by  AndyH on  2019-05-23 08:20:47

The IPAs, etc. seems to be a new thing. The early entrants into the Czech Craft scene were mostly brewing traditional styles. There was rarely an ale to be seen at the couple of "Sun in the Glass" beer festivals I visited at Purkmistr, Plzen a few years ago.

Post is less than 24 hours old        OT: Prague by  Jason  on  2019-05-23 09:03:16

A nice report Barry. 

I would only add a couple of things 1. I think I need to visit Napalme and 2. I'm equally disappointed with the 0,4L issue. I don't think it's just because of where I live, in that many locals would equally bristle at being given a 0,4L, nor do I care so much about being 'ripped off' - that will always be my choice to go in or go on. It's more that I don't like the sneakiness of it in many cases. I feel like i'm being condescended - a half pint / full pint and a quarter / half litre are adequately different to not need a 0,5L. A 0,4L is a complete anomoly and offers nothing to the consumer. I will pay more for a 0,5L, just provide the glasses. 

Anyway, I don't really appreciate places like beergeek either because it's Prague and there are so many better places for my taste. So I don't go, problem solved. Although I would say the quality of czech brewing also comes through in many of the ales I've tried, they are generally very well made. I just find these multi tap pubs are often ubiquitous and a little soulless, but there are many exceptions. 

@AndyH ales in Prague have been around a bit before 'a few years'' though I agree it's grown a lot in the last 5. Cheaper to brew and you can charge 20-50% more, so no surpirse perhaps. Even living in Franken I'd still kill for a Svetly Lezak. When it's good it's unrivelled here. 

Post is less than 24 hours old          OT: Prague by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-23 13:03:43

I always try to buy a Svetly Lezak or a Cerny.  I can't imagine being in Franken and drinking an IPA but I'm know that it's possible.  Doesn't Andi brew some bottom fermented versions, which will probably be pretty good but they're not what I want to drink?  Likewise, I don't drink Franken beers in Colwyn Bay (chance'd be a fine thing), though I have been known to drink the odd bottle of Urquell (Jason holding up a cross before me) and Duvel.

In our conversation with the Russian brewer (I think that he's from Beergeek but Fred will confirm), he mentioned that raw materials in Czechia (i.e. malt and hops) were fairly cheap.  So I asked why the new brewers were charging so much for ales that didn't require extensive lagering.  As far as I can remember and understand, the answer was basically that you charge what you can get.   

I hope that you won't be disappointed with Napalme, when you get there, Jason.  It's a bit basic and quirky but genuine, friendly and I've never had a bad glass of Uneticke. I also like Jamayka, Pivo Gallerie and Indigo, all for different reasons.  And, of course, Nalevarna and Hrocha (for the atmopshere) and ... etc., etc.  I know that some people find it incomprehensible but I'm a pub afficanado as well as a beer lover - though I wouldn't drink in a nice pub that had bad beer.

Post is less than 24 hours old            OT: Prague by  FredW on  2019-05-23 13:15:39

The brewer was Ruslan who does Sibeeria as a contract brewery and has an interest in (if not owner of) BeerGeek.

I remember the converstion a bit differently. Czech malt and hops are very cheap so a traditional Czech beer shouldn’t cost a lot in ingredients.  But imported (i.e. American and NZ) hops are very expensive as is imported malt to get the right flavor profile for “Modern” styles. So they cost more. After a bit of pushback he did acknowledge that the reduced brewing times (brewday to beer shipped) for ales offsets some of that. He says the breweries were his beers are brewed don’t want him to do lagers because it ties up the tanks to much. As a contract brewer he doesn’t see that as a direct expense, where a physical brewer would.

As for the .4L I agree with Jason — not only is it not made clear (where the new pubs are upfront when a stronger beer is only available in .4  or .3 size) they also usually don’t serve a .3L size for when you don’t want a full beer.

And Jason, you should check out NaPalmé but be aware the Utiněticé 10º and 12º are often the only lagers on tap — maybe another one — the rest are all newfangled stuff.

Post is less than 24 hours old              OT: Prague by  Mosquit on  2019-05-23 13:38:06

Yes Russlan is (one of) Beergeek owners. 
Foreign (NZ, US, ...) hops are more expensive... however it is still very cheap. You could get malt and hops for lager for 3 CZK / Seidla, while for IPA you would get to 7 CZK... you see, no difference at all, taking into account, that you are buying a beer later on at pub for 70 crowns. 

IPAs sold by brewery in casks aren't that much more expensive; usualy pub "surcharge" makes the difference... as generally people are willing to pay more for "new, interesting" beer, rather than "usual" lager... 

 OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-16 06:02:07

I'll be in Munich the week after next. If anyone else finds themselves in "Darkest" Bavaria at the same time, it would be great to meet for a litre or two of factory swill.

   OT: Munich by  Carl on  2019-05-16 06:08:16

On my group's last visit to Munich, we found the unfiltered Helles at Nockherburg (Paulaner) to be at least a step above the normal swill !
Augustiner was pretty good, too (as usual).

     OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-16 06:56:41

I'm revisiting Munich for 4 days at the end of July after 10 days in Franconia.  I'm really quite looking forward to it.  Haven't been in about 7 years.  I'm okay with drinking lots of Augustiner and also visiting the Ayinger pub across from Hofbrauhaus and occasionally drinking other swill in a beer garten or two.  There will be a daytrip to Salzburg as well.  I've got Nockherberg (Paulaner) on the to do list.


       OT: Munich by  Fred Waltman on  2019-05-16 11:00:58

When I visited Munich after Bamberg I hated it. Even Augustiner was meh. 

When I visit Munich without having been in Bamberg I find it tolerable. 

         OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-16 11:58:41

Maybe I should have gone in reverse order.  Too late now.  Although it will be very convenient for me flying hom from Munich direct to Boston.  Might be the easiest going home day I've ever had in Germany.  

Of course I'll never like Munich anywhere near as much as I do Bamberg but my expectations are reasonable going into this.  Besided I'm really looking forward to that side trip out to Augustiner in Salzburg.

Also I've got a couple of first time visitors to Munich travelling with me so it will be interesting to see what they think of it in comparison to Franken.


           OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-17 02:02:17

Yes, much better to do Munich first. I'm kinda doing that this year with Munich in May and Bamberg in October (slight break between the two). Technically the Munich trip is a family holiday not a beer tour but when in Rome...

Augustiner Salzburg is amazing, easily one of my top 5 beer experiences ever!

     OT: Munich by  Jeff Romain on  2019-05-16 07:36:31

Augustiner is good for sensitizing oneself to DMS, as it plagues every single one of their golden lagers-- especially the helles and pils. All in my very humble two cents.  

       OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-16 08:21:53

My (perhaps anbitious) itinerary includes:

Augustiner Bräustuben
Augustiner Keller
Andy’s Krablergarten

Tap House
Paulaner am Nockherberg
A beer garden in the English Garden 
Augustiner am Platzl
Ayinger am Platzl
Zum Augustiner
Viktualienmarkt Biergarten
Tegernseer Tal 
Schneider Bräuhaus München
Andechser am Dom
Max Emanuel Brauerei
Bräustüberl Weihenstephan


         OT: Munich by  Jason  on  2019-05-16 10:55:05

Thoroughly recommend a visit to Tegernsee. Beautiful setting, the beer gets a bit of a rap these days but it’s perfectly enjoyable. 

           OT: Munich by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-17 03:42:35

Why's the beer get a rap these days? The Spezial (?) is the most characterful beer in that part of the country, IME...actual malt flavour and aroma. Cheerios-like, as I've always said. And the setting...spectacular.

Ditto those commenting on Salzburger Augustiner. Hopefully not so crushed with tourists, but oh well, we're all tourists when we're there.

             OT: Munich by  Jason  on  2019-05-17 04:06:46

It just does, partly due to a bigger presence across the country over the years, think it’s a bit cult in Berlin. That increased output may have affected the quality slightly but when I’ve had it at the brewery it’s been very good. 

Augustiner Salzburg is one of the best beer experiences there is. Period. 

               OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-17 05:42:35

The anticipation of standing in the queue at five to three, waiting for Augustiner Salzburg to open is the first part of the experience. From then on it's amazing beer theatre from start to finish.

I'll be going to visiting the Tegernsee pub in Munich, Unfortunately there's not enough time to visit the brewery, even in one week. There's a lot of general tourism stuff to fit in including:

Nymphenburg Palace
Botanic Garden
English Garden
And plenty more visits in Munich itself including Old Town, Olympic Park, BMW World, etc...

                 OT: Munich by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-18 02:35:49

Mrs & I did all those Munich things save Olympic Park & BMW, back when we spent a week there around the turn of the century. Except Dachau. Don't think I could handle that.

Oberammergau and Neuschwannstein are great too.

Dipping the Krug in the fountain before getting it filled at Augustiner...Bierkultur! Beer's a bit fruity too...or maybe that was the Starkbier during Lent. Only been twice.

               OT: Munich by  Mike on  2019-05-19 04:05:27

Completely agree about Augustiner Salzburg.

         OT: Munich by  rkat32 on  2019-05-18 10:50:10

Nice list!

Don’t forget Nürnberger Bratwurstglöckl across from the Frauenkirche. I’ll be there next week. Safe travels!

           OT: Munich by  Jason  on  2019-05-18 16:40:16

there’s a back entrance... and a Schwemme. The beer is cheaper there and if you can squeeze in it’s a rare treat in Munich. 

             OT: Munich by  Andrew H on  2019-05-19 00:20:00

The schwemme sounds OK,not sure I fancy the back entrance though.

             OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-20 02:28:32

Thanks, yes am aware of the place and its cheaper entrance. You'd think a week would be long enough to do everything but it's really not. Trips out to Aying, Tegernsee and Andechs would be good if time permitted. Salzburg I tend to visit separately as it justifies a few days.

       OT: Munich by  Jason on  2019-05-16 08:46:57

Sorry but that’s nonsense - i have never tasted DMS in Augustiner helles.  And I’ve drunk a fair bit. Maybe what you tried, but that was a very sweeping statement, not really humble. 

The Helles and Edelstoff are fine beers, when served fresh, and so are many of the places to drink them in Munich. Again, (and again and again), don’t drink the beer in a vacuum. It’s not mind blowing, but it’s a good all round experience. 

       OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-16 08:47:41

Perfect!  I could use some sensitivity training.


         OT: Munich by  Andrew H on  2019-05-16 09:32:15

Swill!!? I feel the Augustiner master brewer would welcome your inputs to save him from producing many more millions of litres that nobody wants to drink.try to set up a meeting asap.

           OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-16 10:07:29

Andy who are you addressing this too?  I used the word swill but totally in a sarcastic/joking manner.  I personally really like Augustiner (in case I wasn't clear about that before)


             OT: Munich by  Andrew H on  2019-05-16 11:32:12

The original post mark, the forum doesn't always behave the way I expect it to regarding replays.

               OT: Munich by  Andrew H on  2019-05-16 11:32:59


                 OT: Munich by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-16 12:46:47

Why so much discussion on Muenchen, which, to my simple mind has little relationship to Franken.

                   OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-16 14:25:20

Well it does say OT in the thread much like OT discussions regarding Prague, Eschawo, or wherever.


                     OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-17 02:06:57

I intended to use the word "swill" in a tongue in cheek way but of course text is not as nuanced as the spoken word.

                       OT: Munich by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-17 03:07:07

I don't want to restrict discussion, Mark, after all I've used It as much as the next contributor. I'm simply wondering why so much time is spent discussing it as a beer destination when most on this Forum believe that it's beers are fairly average at best and have little resemblance to the Franken tradition.

                         OT: Munich by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-17 04:44:46

Well firstly it's just one thread that's been going on for a day or so.  It's not like really all that much time has been spent discussing it.  Do we have something better to do? 

So why is it a discussion here at all? 

IMO because some of us are going there soon, the proximity to Franken, and It is a signficant beer destination despite what many on this forum think of the beer.  Where else in the world do you have that many large beer halls and beer gardens in one place?  The beer culture alone makes it a worthy destination IMO.  This is not even to mention some of the side trips that can be done from there (aformentioned mentioned Salzburg for example).  Is it as good as Franken or Prague? No of course not.  But it is a mere two hours from Franconian and it certainly is not a beer desert by any stretch of the imagination.

This will be my 4th time visiting the place.  I enjoyed the city and the beer on my previous three visits.  :shrug:  Maybe I'm not critical enough?


                           OT: Munich by  AndyH on  2019-05-17 06:40:17

Agreed Mark, beer drinking is at least as much about place as it is about the quality of the beer.

And whilst I'd ideally drink in Franken a lot more, a change can be good occasionally.

                           OT: Munich by  Jason on  2019-05-17 07:54:19

Agreed. Sorry Barry, with due respect, sometimes you take your opinion (which is fine) and proport it as gospel (which it isn’t). Munich isn’t Franken(no on said it was) but it’s an interesting city (yes, some people believe that) and it has a big beer tradition. Ok, if you don’t like Augustiner or craft beer it’s probably a bit ordinary. I have spent many an enjoyable hour in the Augustiner Keller and enjoyed it as much as any Bier Keller in Franconia. Even drinking a späten beer by the river has been thoroughly enjoyable. 

This evening in Ulm I shall be visiting a pub that has Augustiner helles tapped from the wood at 18.30. How many Franken breweries do that? Top of my head, 1. And I will enjoy the 2 beers I have before I drive back to Bamberg later. And there will be no butter, that I can be sure of. 

No need to make a big thing of this. Just ignore the post if you don’t want to get involved ;) 

                             OT: Munich by  Andrew H on  2019-05-17 10:08:17

My final contribution and opinion(humble) on this post is,that in warm weather Munich and its biergartens(and there are scores possibly hundreds if one includes the suburbs)are one of the top 5 of beer " experiences.and the cold einheits(spell?) beer is just right for the experience.

                             OT: Munich...Butter? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-18 02:44:44

Two Seidla(s) hopefully, not two Mass(es)!

No butter? Love butter. Mom bought us margarine when we were young, as it was cheaper than butter. Now...ick. And now we know it's worse for you than butter is...which is actually GOOD for you. All the re-learning of nutritional knowledge we who grew up in the Shadow of Eisenhower's Heart Attack have to go through...never mind.

( mean butterscotch, as in diacytel in the beer?)

I have mixed feelings about Munich. Was our first ever German destination, back before I knew about Kellerbier or Rauchbier, back when I would pour two cans of Henninger (from Trader Joe's) into a litre Glaskrug and pretend our backyard garden in Orygun was a Biergarten. Spaten was a luxury. (That Glaskrug went on to be used for sparging.)

We landed at 8 or 9 in the morning, and were sat in the Viktualienmarkt by 11 or 12, in time to still partake of Weisswurst mit Senf and Spaten. Fabulous way to fight jetlag. Over the years though, I lost my appetite for the place, mostly because of the cost and crush of tourists.

Like I did for Bamberg much later!

                               OT: Weisswurst... by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-18 02:53:18

***NOT VEGGIE FRIENDLY*** me some Weisswurst. Not had any in years. Are there any pure veal variants of it, or does it always include pork?

Another Munich highlight for me: having an early morning Weisswurst at the Hauptbahnhof, at one of the little standing tables between the platforms and the place that sells Weisswurst (among other lesser foodstuffs) and Bier. None of this "Suesseln" for me (sucking the meat out of the lining), rather, knife and fork like civilised folk.

I forgot what else I was going to ask or point out here...ah well.

                                 OT: Weisswurst... by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-18 05:14:26

I'm another fan of Weisswurst.  I make a point to always go for Frueschoppen at least once per trip at Schlenkerla. Before noon is the best time to be in Schlenkerla as well.  Place is not crowded then and the Weisswurst and Brezn is excellent despite being north of the Weisswurst equator.  A morning visit to Schneider (Weisses Brauhaus) will be a definite when I'm in Munich.

                                   OT: Weisswurst... by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-18 10:23:53

Well don't forget to get a standing one in the HBf if you have time. Watch the hustle and bustle and soak in the Weisswurstkultur and/or Bahnhofkultur.

Now I remember...the stereotype of fast food being SUCH an American thing...well, yes, certain fast food things were invented in the US. But Germans have long had the tradition of the "Stehcafé", the standing café, where you get something quick and don't even sit down to eat it. 

Heck, the Doener wrapped up in Fladenbrot or pita is a German innovation, going back to two Doener shops in Berlin who fight over who came up with the idea first. One guy said they saw how busy the Germans were, eating sandwiches and what-not on the go, that he thought maybe they could be enticed into Doener by offering it as a wrap.

I've heard that this Germanicism has now infiltrated Turkey to some extent...guess we should feel bad about that. 

The thing with coffee & cake at the Bierkeller being a new is having warm food. So is having toilets. 

Meh...not sure where I'm going with this. Nowhere fast.

                                     OT: Weisswurst... by  AndyH on  2019-05-20 02:34:44

Doener in a pitta has certainly colonised the Greek islands as Gyros. Never been to Turkey so no experience of that.

                           OT: Back-n-forth by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-18 02:56:43

    What would this board be if not for arguing about whether something is on topic or not?

I am reminded of a certain New Yorker -cum- Amsterdamer who once scolded me for not limiting my posts to EXACTLY what he deemed to be topical here. I shall attempt to un-remind myself ASAP.

 Bierstadt Ehingen, BW by  Jason on  2019-05-11 01:35:00

Yesterday, being in Ulm for the weekend, I visited Ehingen, about 20 minutes away by train, also in Baden Württemberg. I last visited I 2012 and was very impressed, but I don’t hear much on here about it. 

There are 4 breweries in Ehingen, 1 being in the ‘Berg’ area just outside. I am yet to visit this brewery though I’ve had the beers. Brauerei Berg has a very interesting looking setup with lots of beer garden / Keller areas, so definitely a summer choice. The city is very proud of its brewing pedigree, and there are signs to breweries and other nice touches reminiscent of Franconia. 

Tye other 3 are all in the center more or less, and a 1 km round walk from the station would be all you’d need to visit all of them. The historic town is quite pleasant with a river running through and some impressive historic buildings, but it’s not a visit in and of itself. Our first stop was Rößle Brau, though it didn’t open until 4pm and we had to wait until 4.30 before they eventually opened. An attractive pub in an old building next to the brewery, the unfiltered hell and dunkel were rather good. The people were also very friendly and as soon as they knew I lived in Bamberg they were harping on about previous visits etc. 

The next brewery was Brauerei zum Schwert. An impressive building and very unchanged grand taproom that had seen better days, reminiscent of Schwann in Burgebrach. The beer was ok to goood, they had a kellerbier which was very much like a helles and a helles that was also very much like a helles. Overall a pleasant if not mind blowing experience. 

Finally we visited Schwannen Brau in the center, memorable from my first visit as it’s actually connected to best western hotels and there is a BW Hotel behind. The exact relationship I’m not sure of, it may well be independent as, unless you go in the beer garden in front of the hotel, behind the brewery gasthof, you may not notice. Anyway the beer was good and they had a fridge with a lot of ‘craft beer’ from around Germany. The food was very good and not too pricey. 

Overall i would thoroughly recommend Ehingen. It’s a bit out and not really somewhere you’d stop on the way to Franken, but perhaps a detour on the way to Munich, with an overnight stop recommended. They have a street beer festival in early May which has 14 breweries from the area, many of which I hadn’t heard of. Unfortunately this year it was cancelled due to the cold  weather - take heed Memmelsdorf! 


   Bierstadt Ehingen, BW by  TreinJan on  2019-05-11 03:22:04

Nice! I was there back in  2011 and thought the same of the breweries in town. Also did not go to Berg but had their beers. At that time there was a fifth brewery in Ehingen-Ristissen but that closed a few years later.

     Hi There! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-14 02:16:36

Hope you're well. Have spent quite a bit of time residing in bungalow parks around Valkenburg since December. Have you been to that ...funny... little corner of your country? Fascinatingly complex linguistically and beerily. 

       Hi There! by  TreinJan on  2019-05-15 03:45:38

Hi Nick,
I hardly know Limburg except for Maastricht. Most of the time I only travel through it (by train, what else).

         Hi There! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-17 03:19:10

Spend some time in Valkenburg (not during the Xmas tourist season though!) some day. One world class specialist beer cafe, lots of lovely architecture, and the walk from Schin op Geul along the river is great, with the Koets Hoes tavern (former carriage house) being particularly rustic. The cafe at Schin op Geul station is supposed to be great, but never open when I've stopped by.

Maastricht...been a couple of times. Meh...not my kind of place, for whatever reason.

   Bierstadt Ehingen, BW by  Andrew H on  2019-05-13 03:23:10

Interesting post Jason,and a remminder (to me at least) that other beer related tourism exists in Germany. But the Franken magnet has a strong draw.

   Bierstadt Ehingen, BW by  AndyH on  2019-05-13 05:43:17

The world of hotel ownership is complex and rarely related to the branding. Many international brands are effectively franchises with the hotels either independent or more commonly part of an ownership or management company with a third organisation owning the building. Most BW hotels are family owned as BW is an even more curious organisation that has more to do with collective marketing and quality standards than actual ownership or branding. Hotels often change branding without actually changing ownership and, of course, the reverse is also common.

 Nuremberg on way home by  Andrew H on  2019-05-09 03:51:26

I popped into Nuremberg in the afternoon on the way to the airport,and discovered a local old chaps drinking area in Barfusser busy with a good typical Franconian atmosphere. I actually enjoyed the blond beer and passed a decent hour.Then on to Schanzenbrau,as those who know me I dont "Ratebeer" so will say I enjoyed the Rotbier 6/10 and the Kehlengold 8/10 a very tasty beer.(well crafted Barry Ha!) accompanied by a cracking cheese board and good bread.all in all a good place IMHO.

   Nuremberg on way home by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-10 01:40:23

Well crafted indeed. Schanzi the only place that I've found worth going to in Nuernburg.

     Nuremberg on way home by  Andrew H on  2019-05-10 04:08:42

Not quite sure why you wouldn't like Barfusser?

       Nuremberg on way home by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-10 14:48:03

I've been in a number of Barfusser pubs and they all seem in the same mode:chain-pubs without any character and very ordinary beer. Maybe Nue is different, I can't remember. Certainly, they are a million miles different from Schanzi.

         Nuremberg on way home by  Jason on  2019-05-11 01:17:47

Agreed based on my only experience of barfußer in Nuremberg the first and only time I visited 12 years’ ago. But times change and there is one in Ulm that I might visit today to try it out. Always open to change my opinion, especially if it’s a poor one. 

Will report back. 

           Nuremberg on way home by  Andrew H on  2019-05-11 08:26:19

All I can say Jason is that I was pleasantly surprised. Turn to the left at the bottom of the stairs and there is a section separate from the main food hall in the style of Neder forcheim.and I enjoyed the Blonde beer.

             Nuremberg on way home by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-14 01:36:29

Interesting to learn of this drinking area.

I always kind of liked the atmosphere in Barfuesser: the odd juxtaposition of RAF memorabilia (IIRC) in a massive Ratskeller type place. I wasn't aware it was one of a chain til later on, which explains the murky German-brewpub Blonde/Dunkel "Gebraeu". 

(The RAF tat always struck me as interesting or daring, considering how well flattened the town was by them and the USAF.)

     Nuremberg on way home, hospital, smoking. by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-14 01:53:42

Really? Well, come to think of it, I'm struggling to think of a place that you (what I've learnt about you over the years, anyway) should like as well as Schanzenbraeu...nope, can't think of one.

It is a pretty dismal city for Kneipen and Bier. 

Me, I'm back at "home" with Mrs & doggoes after 13 nights in hospital -- Europe's largest, apparently. Was on O2 for 12 days straight. Lost 10 pounds of muscle despite eating as high a protein-laden diet as possible, owing to the open-mindedness of the nutritionist ladies that consulted with me. Breathing is slowly improving.

Of all the wacky stuff that I've been through the past 2 years, this was the most frightening: feeling like you're suffocating. It brought back to mind my previous bout with pneumonia, 50 years ago now, as a 4 year old. All I remember is being claustraphobic in bed, and the doctor making a house call and giving me a shot/jab/Spritz...imagine that -- a house call. The world has changed a bit since then.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself here, but much of the time I spent there is a blur. It's a wicked building, was formerly some sort of factory. See pics here. Bizarre that they have smoking areas in the inner courtyards and tobacco for sale at the gift shop. Mrs worked at Nike in Oregon before adidas; smoking was prohibited on the entire grounds, parking lot included. 

       Nuremberg on way home, hospital, smoking. by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-15 07:28:24

Mrs and dogs, well, what do you know! So what actually was wrong with you? Smoking? Why do some people do it and others not? Beats me.

         Nuremberg on way home, hospital, smoking. by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-17 03:23:29

Atypical (viral?) pneumonia, from what they can tell. They quarantined me for nearly a week before they ruled out TB. Bacterial pneumonia is unlikely due to what the CT showed: evenly dispersed fluid buildup, no fever.

I played around with smoking last year, out of boredom and ...wait for it... peer pressure. It did, however, keep me alert during my cross-country drive.

Smoking that other stuff that's being legalised all over the US...Just Say No! Man, that stuff is NOTHING like what we had when we were teens -- way, way too strong! It's a big contributor to why I did that which I did that I shouldn've have done that got me in a bit of a legal pickle. Makes some people act psycho...myself apparently included.

           Nuremberg on way home, hospital, smoking. by  AndyH on  2019-05-17 05:33:08

I've seen the ill effect on friends who smoked during college days and never gave up. Even the weaker stuff causes mental problems if you smoke enough of it over a long enough period.

Definitely not worth it.

A nice bit of hand rolled Golden Virginia occasionally or a good Cuban cigar is another matter entirely. :)

 Franken in May by  Jeff on  2019-05-03 09:56:40

I am planning on returning to the Bamberg area May.  I would love to have pint or 2 with anyone who might be in the area.  Jason and Rainer, I am talking to you!  I will have a car and driver and room for a person or 2 if anyone is interested.. My tentative plans are not nearly as aggressive as Kim's or Mad's.  On Thursday May 16 I want to head north of town and stop at Schroll, Golden Alder and possibly others in the area.  On Friday, head South to Hofmann and then over to Witzgall and Roppelt and possibly the nearby kellers.  I plan to stay closer to Bamberg on Saturday making it to Eichhorn and possibly a trip to Memmelsdorf and Merkendorf.  If the weather looks bad on Friday I may switch the Friday/Saturday agenda.

I also plan to make the evening rounds in Bamberg.  I am staying in Wunderburg not far from Mahrs and Keesman.

   Franken in May by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-04 08:28:03

Hi Jeff would love to meet up but leave for Prague on May 8. Have a great time!

     Franken in May by  Jeff on  2019-05-06 07:43:31

Barry, one of these times we are going to work it out.  I believe we over lapped last year but all the closer I got to meeting you was a beer mat with your phone number on it, I think Jason gave it to me.  I misplaced it and had no way to get a hold of you.  A few weeks later I was looking at the pictures on my phone and realized I took a photo of your number so I would not have to hang on to the beer mat.  Aahh Beer!

I will be in Prague later in the month.  This will be my first-time visiting Prague after Bamberg. I am interested to find out if reversing the order will have an impact on how I perceive the beer.

       Prague in May by  FredW on  2019-05-06 07:51:26


When will you be in Prague?  I will be there May 15-24 fi you want to meet for a beer or three.

And on the off chance anybody is there, I'll be in Berlin May 9-15

         Prague in May by  Jeff on  2019-05-06 10:27:52

That will work for me.  I get into Prague on the afternoon on the 23rd and stay until the 27th.  Keep me posted as to the time and place.

           Prague in May by  FredW on  2019-05-06 11:58:08

Well I leave the morning of May 24 so that is just the afternoon/evening of May 23. I am staying near I.P. Pavlova but will have a transit pass so I can meet anywhere.

I don't know if you do Twitter but you can follow my progress @FredWaltman -- or if you don't, see tweets without signing up at

             Prague in May by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-07 01:17:28

Hi Fred I arrive Prague on tomorrow (weds) and leave 21st.. I'm staying in Vrsovice, which is not far from Pavlova, so we should be able to meet easily enough. Give me a shout when you've got settled.

               Prague in May by  FredW on  2019-05-08 06:38:49

Barry, I'll do that. Let me know if you stumble on any great new places...

                 Prague in May by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-08 10:09:06

Definitely will! Give me a shout when you arrive - I'm a 10 minute free tram from Pavlova. Only free because of my extreme maturity!

             Prague in May by  Jeff on  2019-05-09 11:12:17

Fred, follow me on twitter so we can direct message @strembean.  It appears from your tweets you are tearing up Berlin!  I am staying near Kampa Island but I am available to meet anywhere.

               Prague in May by  FredW on  2019-05-09 11:51:32


I wouldn’t say I am tearing up Berlin — at least not yet.

I am staying near I.P. Pavlova. Happy to meet up often for a beer, but my goal is to visit a number of new (to me) places so there may be a lot of “one beer and done”

   Franken in May by  Jason  on  2019-05-05 04:12:24

Unfortunately I won’t be in bamberg from Thursday to Sunday. Happy to meet Sunday evening or Wednesday if you’re about.

   Franken in May by  rainer on  2019-05-07 02:06:23

Hi Jeff, nice to read from you. So far this year the weather was not good for Kellers and beergardens. It was early, when the beergardens were still closed, warm and beautiful. When all Kellers opened at the end of April, it became unstable and cold. This weather is still going on. I hope you have more luck next week! I do not know yet if I can manage to meet you. As you know, when I drink beer, I prefer to hike or cycle. Both are certainly too time-consuming for the few days you have in Franconia. I'll send you an email with my phonenumber, so you can write (WhatsApp, Telegram...) me where you are right now.
By the way: Schroll in Reckendorf has closed on Thursday (Ruhetag), as well as Witzgall in Schlammersdorf.( - X means "closed")

 Olaf Schellenberg by  Barm on  2019-05-02 04:11:19

I have been told by a local publican here in Glasgow that Olaf Schellenberg has died.

Olaf had imported Franconian and Bavarian beers to Scotland for many years, supplying many beer festivals and discriminating pubs with a selection of bottled beers from the likes of Pyraser, Meister, Krug, Greif and Kneitinger. Thanks to Olaf, ironically enough, these beers were more easily available in Scotland than in most parts of Germany. 

Many drinkers owe him a great debt for increasing their knowledge of proper lager. Prost, Olaf.

   Olaf Schellenberg by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-05-02 06:11:25

I didn't know him at all but would suggest that Pyraser was the reason for his death. 
Sorry. don't mean to hurt anybody's feelings with a little black humour. 

     Olaf Schellenberg by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 05:03:32

    I get it.

   Olaf Schellenberg by  Jason on  2019-05-02 08:03:20

Also heard this news recently. I used to work regularly with Olaf across the country’s CAMRA beer festivals. At Reading fest in 2004 he gave me my first ‘pint’ of schlenkerla maerzen from the barrel. I think it’s fair to say I never looked back. 

Prostdala, mein freund. 

     Olaf Schellenberg by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 05:03:03

    15 Years ago....I've lost track of your age. You must be the archetypical hugely sought-after young CAMRA member!

   Olaf Schellenberg by  Uncle Jimbo on  2019-05-02 16:43:46

R.I.P. I am sure he will be missed.

     Olaf Schellenberg by  Andrew H on  2019-05-02 23:18:44

Sad news, I knew him also through CAMRA beer festivals he brought a great range of German beers to Ipswich a couple of times.Auch a nice chap.

     Olaf Schellenberg by  AndyH on  2019-05-03 02:49:03

I don't believe I met him, but sad news indeed.

 Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-30 07:07:30

Rather than communicating by email or messenger to everyone separately I'm just going to throw out the rough plan here.  I'm happy to say Juergen is joining us so we will have 7 in total.

I'm going to pick up the vehicle at about 9:45-10am.  Barry and Andy if you could meet us at Bamberg bahnhof no later than 10am that would be helpful because from there we can quickly jump on the autobahn and be on our way.

We're scooping up Juergen at the Forchheim station at 2pm so beforehand we'll at least visit Hoffman in Hohenschwaerz and if we feel there is enough time maybe one other place (Lindenbrau or Drummer maybe).  Don't want to rush around though so I'm perfectly happy to stay at Hoffman for an extended visit before getting Juergen.

After getting Juergen we'll move on towards Waischenfeld.  We'll have time for a stop before Heckel opens so maybe Held Brau.  Then Heckel at 16:30 sharp.

No idea how long we'll stay at Heckel but when we do head back towards Forchheim to drop Juergen off maybe we will feel up to visiting another stop such as maybe Alt in Dietzhof for example.  We'll see if Dorothy minds an extra stop or not.  I'm sure she won't mind as long as it's not too late.

Since we've got to drop Juergen off at Forchheim bahnhof Barry and Andy you should just plan on getting off there too and take the train back to where you're going from there.  It will save the missus a step which I'm sure she'll appreciate at that point.


   Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday by  Andrew H on  2019-04-30 10:22:47

Sounds fine mark.see you at the bhf.

     Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-30 14:49:35

Alles im Ordnung! My train arrives at Bamberg But at 9.57, so should be on Vorplatz within a couple of minutes. But I'll see you Thursday anyway. Bring some warm clothes because, according to Wetter de (& sadly, they're usually right), the weekend is going to be sehr kalt. We'll see. Take care 'und reisen sie gut!'

   Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-07 02:32:50

    How was it then? Anyone fall over getting on their bike like I did at Annafest that one time years ago? (Maybe that was with the Nebraskans or Uncle Jimbo.)

     Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-07 04:03:37

It went well, no falls or mishaps. We were lucky to have Dorothy driving us around - thanks a lot Dorff from all of us (see you in Praha Weds). Started in Lindenbrau, which was good - Vollbier if I remember correctly. Then Hofmann, excellent Dunkel for me, as the Maibock too strong but the others liked it. Then a quick rush back to Forchheim to pick up Juergen, then Ott, which was good, before Heckel. Unfortunately, it 20 mins after opening and impossible to get seats. So we bought Seidlas and drank them outside with locals who couldn't get - good fun. Some discussion over strength of beer, tasted a bit stronger than standard Franken 5,2ish. Finally, Alt in Dietzhof. This was my (personal opinion!) only disappointing beer - far too fizzy. Our travelling expert (Andy) suggested it may have been too young and I'm not going to argue. However, it wasn't undrinkable , just not quite as good as the others. Due to an hour's wait in Bamberg for train, I nipped down to Faessla for a quick Lager. All in all, a great day, with friends Beth and Jason, Mark and Dorothy, Juergen and Andy. Shows what can be done with a bit of organisation. Thanks Mark.

       Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Jason on  2019-05-07 04:34:03

Slight correction: it was Held Brau (Not Ott) and it was Hoffmann festbier rather than maibock (Not sure what fest it was, could have been kerwa or maybe their fastenbier hadn’t been drunk). Robert tested the Heckel beer some years’ ago and it was 6%. It tasted very close to that this time.  

The helles at Alt was good, the dunkel less so, definitely caramelly and rather buttery. Didn’t matter, nice place and by that time most people were pretty p*****. 

1 mishap - Juergen missed his train stop as he was asleep ;) 

         Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-05-07 07:17:04

Yeah, it was a great evening and Dorothy was the perfect driver - thanks a lot, Dorff! Well, it was a lot of beer. Interesting to wake up near Sulzbach-Rosenberg at one in the morning.

           Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-05-07 08:32:42

It worked out well.  Dorff enjoyed it too and offered to DD again next year

I liked the Hoffman Festbier the best but enjoyed our time spent out by river across the street from Heckel the most.  And of course the Heckel beer is great too. Place was packed hence why we had to take our beers outside


             Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Jason on  2019-05-07 12:48:24

I think we all know what it’s like in Franconia... when you have a good group of people enjoying themselves the beer often takes a back seat. I know we’d all agree on that. The scenery was at times spectacular, the discussions varied and humourful and the atmosphere jovial throughout. 

For sure we talked about the beer, but it wasn’t the main focus. The pubs, the atmospheres and the quirks of drinking in Franken were discussed more.

Appreciate the organization Mark - just the right number of places. We visited 5 breweries in 10 hours and 1 was a bit of a bonus. Long gone are the days of running around like a blue arsed fly - amen to that. 

               Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-08 02:46:14


Alt in Dietzhof...only remember being there once, though it's one of the breweries very nearest to Erlangen. Probably 2 or 3 times. IIRC, it's a barnyard, not unlike the one in the one village south of Bamberg.

Fizzy is as fizzy does. can get it on keg at a café with lovely Biergarten across from the Arcaden in Erlangen, where it varied all over the place. Hell vom Fass, Dunkel aus der Flasche. Meh.

         Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Barry Taylor on  2019-05-08 06:19:18

I stand corrected by my learned friend! But I was an excellent day. Sorry to hear your misadventure Juergen, I assume that you got home ok in the end.

           Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-05-09 06:36:18

I did Barry. And I like adventures. No problem at all. ;-)

     Frankische Schweiz Tour Friday...Well??? by  Andrew H on  2019-05-09 03:33:16

A very fine trip indeed! Good beer, great company,nice scenery and unusual food. whats not to like.

 Another link by  Andrew H on  2019-04-26 10:31:25

Google walberlafest 2019

   Another link by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-26 10:55:14

Looks like some uphill walking involved Andy.  About 1.5 km from what I can tell.  Doesn't bother me but not sure about you.  From some of the photos I've seen on FB page it looks like a variety of local beer.  I can see a Krueg (Breitenslau) and a Neder tent at least.


 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-26 10:27:34

Whilst looking at Alt of Dietzhof website spotted a link to a strange folk/beer festival. It translates as whale watching program. www

   Whale watching in Franken??? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-26 10:42:20

That acutally looks kind of interesting.  Looks like a fair amount of drinking and going up and down a hill on Sunday.  As it says here:  Now the question will be, how to get there on a Sunday?

Der Ausschank auf dem Bergplateau darf jeweils bis 23:00 Uhr erfolgen. Wer bis dahin noch nicht seinen Hunger oder Durst gestillt hat, dem empfiehlt es sich, den kurzen Abstieg zum Walberlaparkplatz auf Schlaifhäusener Seite zu bewältigen, da dort eine verlängerte Sperrstunde gilt.

Beinahe jedes der vorhandenen Bierzelte schenkt Bier einer anderen Brauerei aus, so dass der Aufstieg aufs Walberlafest zu einer Bierprobe verschiedener fränkischer Biersorten genutzt werden kann.



     Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-26 10:53:34

Yea, strange but interesting. It mentions a shuttle service, looking at pics of previous years it gets pretty busy. What's the whale watching or is that just translation?

       Whale watching in Franken??? by  FredW on  2019-04-26 10:56:49

I think it is a joke -- along the lines of what my cousins in Sault Ste Marie used to do -- go down and watch submarines go thru the locks (other places, I've heard "go watch the submarine races").

       Whale watching in Franken??? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-26 11:05:29

Looks very easy to get to as well.  Take train to Kirchehrenbach via Forchheim.  Only 45 minutes or so total from Bamberg and then hike up 2km or take the shuttle as you mentioned.  I'm seriously intrigued.

         Whale watching in Franken??? by  Jason  on  2019-04-26 17:26:12

The walberla is a hill top. There are a number of good breweries including Meister, Hetzelsdorfer and Drummer. Not sure where whale watching came into things. The danger of literal translation. 

           Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-27 00:37:20

Or the danger of Google's translations the word walberla means hilltop? Is it a slang word?

             Whale watching in Franken??? by  Barry on  2019-04-27 01:21:40

Walberla is a ridge a few miles from Forchheim. In Forchheim museum, there is a display model showing the various ancient settlements on the hill. Celtic or pre Celtic, if I remember. Actually Juergen is the expert on Walberla.

               Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-27 03:33:30

Ahh! Now I see Barry.I wonder if the organisers know how it translates smiley

                 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-27 03:42:39

Andy I think you're just trying to fat shame the locals.  Not very nice.  I'm not sure I want to be seen with you there.

                   Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-27 04:02:03

No probably not wise, you would get no privacy what with all the binoculars focused on me!

                     Whale watching in Franken??? by  Jason  on  2019-04-27 04:57:50

Haha, well Wal means whale but whale watching literally would be Walbeobachtung. La is the diminutive in Fraenkisch so it just means little whale, like the hump representing the hillside. 

But whatever you're smoking Andrew, I'll have some!!

                       Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-27 06:42:28

Only trusting translation on Google Jason.But I am actually not smoking only drinking smoke beer.(Red Herring from Greenjack Lowestoft).

                         Whale watching in Franken??? by  Jason  on  2019-04-27 13:55:46

only messing... see you next week! 

                           Whale watching in Franken??? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-28 00:37:30

I know. Cheers!

               Whale watching in Franken??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-29 14:15:27

    Right again Barry, though non-geologist me doesn't know if distinguishing it as a ridge or a hill is appropriate. The root name Walberg would be Wal Hill/Mountain (if over whatever height). Franconian slips it down to Walberla.

It's sort of a twin peaked hill. Lovely views, and yes, I've seen that display about the pre-Celtic sites too. It was also featured on TV some years back. I assume Walberlafest translates to whale watching with Google...?

The Walberlafest goes back to the 14th century, and as such is one of the oldest spring fests in Franken. B & I never went, because we heard it can be a bit wild, out of tradition. At least, that's the word at the Keller in Stiebarlimbach.

A hike uphill, yes, and be ready for drunken fun.

Speaking of the Roppelt's Keller (when aren't we?), did anyone see Gerhard and his wife last year? Like, Barry? If you see them, give them my best.


There is no good Franconian beer in the Uni hospital pulmonary wing in Aachen. I know this, because I've been quarantined there now over 48 hours. Took a ride in a Notarzt Ambulance (remember, people, dial 112, not 999 or 911) to get here Saturday evening, after the bizarro lung infection I caught a few weeks ago got dangerous.

Long story short, either I have TB or something else, but the doctors all think it's something else. A viral infection spread uniformly throughout my lungs. Two days of antibiotics and oxygen seem to be helping. I go in for a bronchioscopy tomorrow, sedated. Never spent more than one day in a hospital before, and that was when I was twelve.

Not amused. The weirdness that is plaguing me since leaving Erlangen continues...only one cute young nurse so far, sadly. And the shall continue to instruct the nutritionist lady on what's wrong with her dietary options as things progress, but she did agree today to get me some more animal foodstuffs in place of the piles of Brot that come with every meal.

                 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-30 00:38:54

Sorry to hear about your incarceration, Nick, but maybe you should listen to the nutritionist! Do agree about the Brot thing though - that and salt (you should that with her) are obsessions in the diet in Deutschland. Haven't been to Roppelt probably since we were last there together. Get well soon and take care!

                   Whale watching in Franken??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 05:11:23

    You must also know that salt has been improperly villified for many years, along with cholesterol. 

Been working on her this past week, and although she likes to her herself speak, she is open-minded, esp after I was able to keep up with her on nuances of ketogenic dieting's OTHER benefits (nervous system, etc.). And so my brekkies and lunch today...still dialing it in...from Twitter:

(Don't look if you don't want to see slices of roast beef...much too dry and lean, but progress.)

"8th day in hospital at the Uni in Aachen. 2x portion of #beef for lunch, with jus and onions for flavour. Also 10% fat Greek yogurt from home. Do my health heroes approve?"

Replying to and
My meaty breakfast in German hospital this morning. 2*2 egg omelettes (cold?!?) 2 boilt eggs, slice of cheese, piece of nasty young gouda, another weird little cheese, turkey mush, 2* beef garlic sausage on a slice of turkey meatloaf, yogurt...32%fat cream. #MeatHeals

                     Sorry about not having changed the subject line to GERMAN HOSPITAL FOOD by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 05:17:55

Anyway, I imagine American tourists landing in hospital in this country would end up with the posh level of service provided by "private" insurance. I wish I could compare with US hospital service, but I've never been in one over night, though I did make it into 4 or 5 between Minneapolis and Las Vegas last year. The first two for being peppersprayed (second time point blank in the eye by a twerpy little security guy working at Twin Peaks, first time outside a strip club in the bad part of Minneapolis...never mind...), the other two or three for middle-of-the-night ER & A&E runs for sand in eyes (desert world problems) and an ear infection (don't EVER let the hot 15 YO Vietnamese daughter of the owner of the nail salon where you're getting your feet done with your girls talk you into that procedure where they suck the ear wax out of your ears with candle wax).

                 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-04-30 06:41:34

Just a few words to that hill: The official name of it is Ehrenbürg. On top of it is a chapel that's associated with St. Walburga, the holy Walburga. The Franconians pet named her Walberla, a diminutive form of Walburga. As in Georg - Gerchla, Angelika - Geli, etc. 

And yes, there's an iron age hillfort on top. It's Celtic, not pre-Celtic.

                   Whale watching in Franken??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 04:51:17

    Right, thanks again Juergen for cleaning up whenever I crap all over the place! Or something.

                 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-30 07:41:44

A bit wild and out of tradition?  Drunken fun?

We're in.

I reckon the missus and I are going to Walberlafest on Sunday!

                 Whale watching in Franken??? by  Barm on  2019-05-01 05:34:18

Hope you recover soon Nick.

                   Whale watching in Franken??? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 04:56:10

Thanks Yeastybapmann! Or have I got that mixed up?

Turns out I have no TB, "just" an unidentified "atypical pneumonia" that is "going around."

But when you think the German tradition of "Abendbrot" (evening bread, i.e. cold cuts & bread) for supper takes some getting used to, imagine it with hospital food. 

First, there's the clearing up of the "no bread, thanks, trying to keep fit & healthy" issue, then there's the cold cuts. Were the pigs & cattle & turkeys organically fed, thereby helping out their omega3/6 issues, etc. And then the eggs.

And...a chilled omelette? That's bizarre.

 Spring in Franken by  Barry on  2019-04-24 07:08:28

My annual spring visit began with a gentle run out to Spezial; I thought that the U wasn't quite as flavourful as before but you can definitely get a faint 'rauch' taste in the first mouthful. However, the Lager is in excellent form and must be among the best available. Nipped up to Schlenkerla - one Seidla was excellent but very crowded with sightseers so made do with that. Tuesday was Tag des Bieres - pretty much as usual, with Frank & Robert in ceremonial attire. Following correspondence here re Klosterbraeu, tried a Schwaerzla, quite tasty and much more highly carbonated than the limp Braunbier that I had in their Stube. It was ok if not a little uninteresting, specially compared to the many dark beers that are appearing in the UK nowadays. Then headed to Spezial to meet up the usual suspects and ending up, by tradition, in the 'Western Bar' in Faessla, with Frank and Grigor. A good time was had by all, I believe. The weather is lovely at the moment but turning cooler and wetter on Friday. This is expected to last for a week or so and the forecast for Prague is pretty similar. Shame.

   Spring in Franken by  Andrew H on  2019-04-24 08:10:32

Huh! Have you been looking at Barry? Normal De weather stations show reasonable weather next week. Ie 17c and sunny spells.

     Spring in Franken by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-24 10:40:17

Yeah the forecasts I'm seeing late next week and beyond look pretty nice.  Although it's too early to tell and I will check out to balance out my expectations.

   Spring in Franken by  Jason  on  2019-04-24 11:00:10

I’m really not sure about this smokiness in the U Barry... you should have tried the rauchbier in Klosterbrau.

Maybe see you tomorrow, if you see my message. 

     Spring in Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 01:10:51

Didn't we used to kick the idea around of smokiness in the U coming from latent smokiness in the plumbing or summat?

       Spring in Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 01:12:43

Good Lord...make that "Didn't we use to kick ..."! The correct usage of "used to" in both contexts was always lots of fun with my pupils...and here I got it wrong! 

         Spring in Franken by  Barry on  2019-04-25 01:36:25

I am told by reliable sources (those present at Tag) that the recipe for Spezial u has changed a little and that the slight smokiness is deliberate. You'll have to try for yourself. Blackhatwetter, Andy, that's nearly up to your normal standard! Seriously, I use and it's usually pretty accurate. Forecast for Friday & Saturday is around 13 - 15 c, climbing to around 16 - 18 by late next week. That's not terrible but I prefer current 22 - 25 c, specially in Keller eves.

           Spring in Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:14:55

Still, it is spring, not summer! I've been told last summer here was quite extreme indeed. And the weather this past week or so has been spectacular, at least over here. 

Not sure when I'll be back in Franken to try any Bamberger beer. Not sure I want to return, TBH. It has naught to do with any dislike of Franken, rather, I might find I miss my old life there too much. You can't go back and all that sort of thing.

             Spring in Franken by  Barry on  2019-04-25 02:37:02

I can understand that Nick, I have similar feelings about Ireland, although I love the country.

               Spring in Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:41:03

It was hard returning to Oregon for the first time in a decade in 2015. Mostly because of how miserably over-crowded the coast and the Portland metro area have become, but also how things have changed otherwise. And how we've changed after living abroad.

There's a psychological syndrome known as "repatriation syndrome" or "reverse culture shock", which explains some of what I went through when I was in Nevada last year.

Your situation is undoubtedly made worse by your loss. That you keep going as you have is an inspiration, Barry.

   Spring in Franken...Health Care...Automobiles by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:11:13

Wilkommen zurück auf den Kontinent! Where are you staying, Barry? Me, I'm stuck in Laurensberg, Aachen with doggoes and Missus and a mystery viral lung infection. Can barely get up and walk around the flat without coughing. 

Mrs and I are barely drinking any beer at all these days. I did find some Franconian ones at the Getränke nearest us last week though:

Now, I realise some feathers might get ruffled here. Firstly, yes, I know, Gutmann ain't fränkisch. It is niederbayerisch. But it's better than anything from Oberbayern, innit?

Secondly, I know: Why should Mahr's U be priced higher than the venerable Oberailsfelder nectar? Please, people, I had nothing to do with the pricing here. Interestingly, the astonishingly good Weizenbock is priced the same as other offerings from Gutmann...I was tempted to take home a crate/rack/case/Kiste to get the bonus glass, but Mrs would have had me hide if I had done so. 


Whilst we can rightfully hold the German health care system up as a stellar improvement in social justice (or whatever) over those of more ...shall we say...capitalist-oriented countries... the reduced hours that doctors keep makes it difficult to get things done as well as one might like, even with premium "private" health insurance, which gives one preferential treatment over patients with cheap, state-supported insurance. cough seems to be getting better. 


Also still stuck here without an automobile, aside from Mrs's. The saga of the importation of my 2001 Toyota Sequoia from the US continues. I failed to consider whether or not Sequoias were ever sold in the EU. I assumed it would have been (why not?), and so getting the necessary headlights and reflectors would be no problem, like it was with my 99 Volvo, which I had brought over from Orygun.

There are differences between NA and EU specs for headlights, blinkers, and reflectors, which nearly always need to be modified or replaced when shipping cars between the continents.

Whoopsie...apparently, Toyota never DID sell the Sequoia over here. As such, Toyota never manufactured EU-approved headlights for it. The Toyota 4x4 specialist who's been working on it for me in Valkenburg, NL (just over the border from Aachen), found that Tacoma headlights match those of the Sequoia, and ordered a set. But then...there is no EU insignia in them, so...nope, they won't be accepted by German TÜV/DMV/MOT. He is working on his connections with Toyota in NL though, who may then get me in touch with Toyota in Germany, who may well have some pull with TÜV/DMV/MOT to get me an exception.

Here's one for sale in Germany, a 2004, which is technically the same as my 2001: . This suggests that it is somehow do-able.

Sadly, if it were a 1999 or older, rather than a 2001, I would be able to get a grandfather clause approval for the headlights, as some technical/legal change occured that year. Fascinatingly, the Dutch version of TÜV/DMV/MOT WOULD approve the non-EU-conform headlights -- so in the worst case, I could theoretically sell it to someone in the NL, or I could get it approved if I had a Dutch address.

It's surprising that there would be no EU-level of enforcement of EU standards for this. If that's the correct way to describe the situation, anyway.

     Spring in Franken...Health Care...Automobiles by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-04-26 01:28:52

Hi Nick,,

the low price of the Gutmann Weizenbock is maybe an error or misunderstanding of the shop. P.e. in the Gutmann pub in Eichstätt the wheatbeer has a price of 3,10 € and the Weizenbock 3,70%.

Titting (Gutmann) belongs to Oberbayern.

       Spring in Franken...Health Care...Automobiles by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-29 14:58:03

    Titting is in Oberbayern, not Niederbayern? I thought it was so great that the best Weizenbier(s) come from NOT-Oberbayern.

(I used to think it was in Franken.)


         Spring in Franken...Health Care...Automobiles by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-04-30 06:55:16

Well, Titting belongs to Oberbayern since 1972 only. Most of the Kreis Eichstätt belonged to Mittelfranken until then and the culture is Franconian. 

           Spring in Franken...Health Care...Automobiles by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-04 04:57:54

    Ah, the despised county/district re-mapping of 1972 again! Thanks J.

   Spring in Franken...Tag des deutschen Bieres by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:36:21

Here's a bit of how we celebrated it...Crystal my bitch pup's birthday party:

I drank some bottled Muehlen Koelsch and maybe also some Bitburger.

 Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mads K on  2019-04-23 04:41:40

Hi guys.

4 Day stay in Oberfranken is coming around  May twentyeth. Any breweries still have seasonals heller Bock/Mai Bock on then? Any recommendations? Doing my top 10 spots since I have a friend WHO is new in the area coming with me. But would love to try some new ones as I havent been in the area this time of year before. 

   Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-24 04:00:16

Unfortunately they are not common.  Only ones I've had are from Hummel in Merkendorf and Moenchsambach which I had a Cafe Abseits.  I thought both were excellent and I'm looking forward to at least drinking the one from Hummel next week.

Abseits has got one on tap from Brauerei Meinel right now.  Not sure for how long though?  Gerhard may have some other suggestions.  Seems like slim pickings though for Maibocks.

     Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-24 04:56:01

Göller (Drosendorf), has an Anstich this friday. 
Kundmüller also has multiple anstich including Maibock this friday. Beers on are: Weiherer Bock, Weizenbock, Rauchbock and Rolator Doppelbock
Sauer Roßdorf also has a Maibock anstich comming up.

       Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Barry on  2019-04-24 06:48:46

I believe that there was a Maibock anstich in the Pelican last night. I was otherwise engaged.

       Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-24 10:36:22

The new brewery in Melkendorf also has a Anstich on May 11th but  since Mads won't be there the 20th I figured it won't work out.  

I didn't know Sauer has a Maibock.  Good to know. Thanks.

         Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-24 10:36:50

meant to see won't be there *until the 20th.

         Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:26:36

Sauer...which Sauer? I don't see a reference to Sauer above...?

           Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:27:13

    Never mind...saw it. Rossdorf.

       Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-25 13:25:39

30. April - Nikl

       Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mads K (Dedollewaitor) on  2019-04-26 03:59:46

Kim, I had the Dunkler bock late december a few years ago at the gaststatte. Very nice chewy one. It's probably that one again , right? They don't brew a heller bock, is that correct? Would love to try their rauch. Have had a good rustic, but slightly tired lagerbier there and a massive diacetyl bomb of a kellerbier. So I guess it varies a lot there.

     Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-04-24 09:06:29

Only a minority of franconian breweries offer a pale spring bock. Some breweries offer instead p.e. a red spring bock (Greifenklau) or wheat bocks (after ashwednesday). You can say the breweries hesitate to offer spring bocks or brew not so many liters because they fear warm weather. Or they name it Maibock but launch these beers in February, March or April.

Kundmüller offers a pale bock, which is available the whole year, and a seasonal Rauchbock, brewed in last automn,  and a wheat bock. Maybe strong ales are available, brewed together with Fat Head.

The Cafe Abseits taps now Meinel-Bräu Maischätzla, a modern spring bock hopped with
Comet, Spalt Spalter und Ahtanum, very fruity (IPL)
In May we tap the Mönchsambacher Maibock, then change to Hummel-Bräu Maibock.

       Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mads K (Dedollewaitor) on  2019-04-26 03:52:42

Thanks everybody!

 Will def go to both Hummel and Zehendner and Abseits for sure. The Meinel is very nice, Gerhard. Had it a couple of years ago at the brewery. The most difficult question to answer, since I know its probably a question of when it runs out, but how long does zehendner, rossdorf and hummel normally have their bock on. Will I have a fair chance to catch any May 18th?
Breweries to visit: Only 1 new so far

Scheubel Sternbrau (New)
Bayer Theinheim
Klosterbrau( Only cause of new rauchbier)
Goller Drosendorf  (Wanna try their lager/pils)
Rossdorf A.F
Will Schederndorf

 Cheers, Mads

         Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Jason  on  2019-04-26 17:28:36

Just missing the point. By a mile. 

           Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Mads K on  2019-04-27 08:40:58

What do you mean?

             Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Barry on  2019-04-27 12:43:32

I think he means that rushing from pub to pub is not the best way to enjoy Franken beer culture. I know that it's tempting when you can only enjoy Franken for a few days (been there etc) but far better to set a long term goal of enjoying a limited number of places in depth. I've been coming here for more than a decade but today was the first time I've visited Schlusselfeld and Untergreuth, both off which were lovely. Super beer (so different!) And great atmosphere. Much better than racing around the country. Maybe I'm getting old or is it mature? Anyway, thanks Jason and Beth, great afternoon.

               Maibock saisonbiere Franken by  Jason  on  2019-04-27 14:04:47

My pleasure, it’s always good to be able to help long term visitors and friends reach a few ‘hard to reach’ places. 

Point is, we had 2 seidlas in each brewery and mentioned the beer once or twice in each pub. That was it. As Barry wrote, both were very good, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to compare and give them a score. I’d rather enjoy the atmosphere and company, and settle in for a few seidlas. Each to their own, it’s a free world, and my opinion is just that. But you won’t get a many people who know the region or it’s culture better than me, if I may be so bold. 

               Personal Interests (was Maibock saisonbiere Franken) by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-14 02:12:11

I forget where I met Mads...Roppelt's Keller? I suspect he's not new to Franconia or its beer culture, since he lives in a neighboring country and has been drinking beer a while, and is not a young kid. Who else was there...the Danish Formula One guy, right? Was a very nice short session...I wouldn't say that they couldn't have gotten an appreciation for the Bierkellerkultur there that day.

AFA sitting in a place for hours and soaking up the culture...meh. Been there, done that. There are precious few places I could imagine sitting around in for more than an hour or two. BUT THAT'S JUST ME!!!!

Me, well, I've kind of gone all over the place with beery interests. I was a star homebrewer in Oregon back in the 90's and judged beer along side Fred Eckhardt and Michael Jackson (both RIP), after having been clean and sober from age 17 to 27. Then Mrs & I took our first European trip to Brugge for 10 days, mainly for the specialist beer cafe culture in like 1999, and within 5 years uprooted ourselves to Franconia for a new European way of life, of which the Bierkultur was, yes, a big part.

Fred Eckhardt...What a life he lived.

Then discovering proper cask ale on trips to England & Wales, taking up homebrewing again to brew Boy's Bitter, &c, which I couldn't get locally, and eventually now basically being done with beer. 

Yes, it's all about what people want to make of their precious time off, hobbies, and interests. I've never understood the near hostility that some people have to the ratebeerians. It's just a hobby! 

 Ammerndorf by  Andrew H on  2019-04-19 04:47:01

I have been looking at places to visit on the last day of my trip. I have a night flight out of Nurnberg as usual,and Ammerndorf has struck me as a possibility. their website does not mention a Gasttate but Juergen has given it a thumbs up review on here so I presume they have one Any thoughts/ opinions?
Btw Fred when I click on the link to their website it directs to Faessla! strange.

   Ammerndorf by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-19 11:59:34

I visited Ammerndorf briefly with Juergen years ago and the gastatte across the street was not open.  So we bought some bottles from the brewery direct. 

However the breweries website does have a link to their Brauerei Gasthof which is across the street so it appears to be an option:


     Ammerndorf by  Andrew H on  2019-04-20 03:59:27

Yea that seems to be the brewery tap. But guess what Tuesday bloody ruetag!
Back to the drawing board.

       Ammerndorf by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-20 05:27:38

Grafenberg?  Lindenbrau is open on Tuesdays.

         Ammerndorf by  Andrew H on  2019-04-20 06:50:14

A good option mark. Do you think we will stop there on the road trip?

           Ammerndorf by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-20 19:42:45

Possibly.  Hoffman is a definite.  We'll decide over a seidla from there.

             Ammerndorf by  Barry on  2019-04-21 02:56:00

Now I remember it (!), Hoffman was good; friendly, nice beer.

               Ammerndorf by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-22 02:59:08

Funny Biergarten though, IIRC, a bit stinky -- Schweine.

 Krug Geisfeld by  Mads Klinkby on  2019-04-15 22:52:14

Hi guys

Is Krug Geisfeld still closed?


   Krug Geisfeld by  Jason on  2019-04-15 23:00:10


     Krug Geisfeld by  Yor on  2019-04-16 03:05:28

Recently heard from the brewer at Metzgerbrau (who lives in Geisfeld) that Krug is looking to resume brewing soonish. Not sure where it would be sold, as they don't plan to run a pub by themselves anymore.

       Krug Geisfeld by  Jason on  2019-04-16 03:17:55

also heard this, but nothing has changed for now. 

       Krug Geisfeld by  rainer on  2019-04-16 23:41:59

Funny ... Who should be "the brewer at Metzgerbräu"? As far as I know, Manfred Reichert, of course, still lives in Uetzing, at his brewery ...

         Krug Geisfeld by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-17 00:28:28

Could be Franken Maigl ?

           Krug Geisfeld by  rainer on  2019-04-17 00:54:55

Yes you are right. Thank you!
You learn something every day ...

           Krug Geisfeld by  Yor on  2019-04-17 09:52:35

Yep, he's brewing at Metzgerbrau atm (at least part-time)

   Krug Geisfeld by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-17 04:39:07

They closed? Sad! When?

     Krug Geisfeld by  Jason on  2019-04-17 08:02:32

Late last year. At the time it was said he had cancer. Now he doesn’t but and wanted to sell if all for 600€k. Now he wants to rent the pub out and he’ll brew for them. Children don’t want anything to do with it. He’s done this before so he may well decide to open again, 


       Krug Geisfeld by  Jason on  2019-04-17 08:03:19

But this is just what I’ve heard. So could also be rumour. 

       Krug Geisfeld by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-22 02:57:28

Cancer can go into remission by itself, and also be falesly diagnosed. Doctors are only human. Dad's career in medical physics taught us that much.

Anyway, not that strange a story considering other things that happened in 2018.

Much nicer location than that other brewery in town. 

Speaking of which, what's the current deal with inliner/tank dispense at the Griess Keller? He switched from barrels to the tank a couple of years ago, IIRC, with a chilled Anhaenger parked outside the Kellerhaus.

I never did figure out the logisitics of what happens when a 1000L tank runs dry, though I think I asked Franz Roppelt about it. I tended to drink too much back then though, and don't remember what he said he does. Does he haul the empty tank to the brewery, replace inliners, fill the new one, and haul the tank back to the Keller?

If so, what happens if this occurs during operating hours? I want to say he told me he tried to time it so that that would not happen, but again, too much Kellerbier fogs my memory. (Or was it my head injury from a year ago on the 23rd fogging this? Probably not.)

Is the same long-hair dude running the Griess Keller? We always liked that couple. Man of few words, woman of good, earthy looks.

(Schoene Gruesse an deine Eltern, uebrigens! LG von der Becki auch.)

         Krug Geisfeld by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-22 11:18:18

Yeah I think the same dude is running the Griess Keller. At least I think he was there last summer.  Yes man of few words but good sense of humour.  

         Krug Geisfeld by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-22 11:19:27

Oh and yes it must have been the head injury.  Don't ever blame the beer.

 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Yor on  2019-04-12 01:52:39

Guten Morgen.
I've naively been planning a brief Franken trip next Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Not noticing it's the Easter weekend.

Will do some phone calls later, but is there a ~ general consenus if breweries/taverns will be open?

   Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-12 02:11:41

In my experience, a lot of plsces have limited opening on Karfreitag, usually open for lunch/dinner (traditional day for families to eat out) and then close  in the evening.  Saturday usually seems to be ok but Sunday is fairly variable!

As you say, best to check by phone before travelling a long distance - also a lot of places have fairly good websites that proivde details of opening times, Urlaub, etc.

It affects me as well because I arrive in Franken on Easter Sunday!

Good luck!

     Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-14 06:43:10

I've had the opposite experience. Done a few full day brewery crawls on Karfreitag. All busy and open.

       Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Andrew H on  2019-04-14 06:58:37

The battle of Schwarze hut beginnt!

       Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Yor on  2019-04-14 06:59:33

I've called a few breweries and it seems you're right. All bracing for busy & entertaining days.

         Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Jason  on  2019-04-15 01:30:26

Spezial and hoelzlein are 2 that are shut on Karfreitag for example. So as always just call ahead. 

         Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-15 03:25:35

Where will you be heading friday?

           Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Yor on  2019-04-15 09:49:43

Looking to spead some of these over Friday/Saturday and maybe Sunday morning.
Zehendner, Knoblach, Schroll, Griess, Roppelt (Trossenfurt), Gradl, Heckel, Meister, Lieberth, Roppelt, Schlenkerla, Spezial

So far only Spezial seems to be closed (Friday).

             Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-15 10:22:39

Cool, we might run in to eachother. I'm doing these this easter.

Roppelt Stiebarlimbach
Fisher Greuth
Friedel Zentbechhofen
Müller Debring

Schwanen Bräu Ebermannstadt

Drei Kronen Memmelsdorf
Göller Drosendorf
Drei Kronen Scheßlitz
Grasser (Huppendorf)

               Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Yor on  2019-04-15 11:07:48

Wow, ambitious list!
Good reminder to visit Penning & Hennemann, have not managed it yet. I should have some clearer plans in a few days and could meet for a beer! How do you travel?

                 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-15 11:22:34

By bike.

               Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Jason on  2019-04-16 03:29:42

Worth remembering that cycling under the influence is treated the same as driving here. And I presume you’re very fit as Franconia isn’t flat and that’s a big itinerary, in fact I think it’s ridiculous (not being rude, just realistic). Personally I would spend more time in less places, but that’s just my feeling. I did brewery ticking in my time but I wouldn’t recommend it, one misses the nuances and wider beer culture that is so beloved here. 

Note that Fischer doesn’t brew anymore, the beers are brewed elsewhere. No idea if there remains a tap.  Meister brewery tap is closed. Hartmann has stopped brewing themselves. 

                 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-16 04:31:32

Thanks for the advice Jason. I have visited the places several of times before and done them all by bike. I have done this sort of thing for the past ten years, so I know all about what I'm doing. Cheers :-)

                 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-16 04:41:18

Fischer had I tap when I visited in 2017. But they stopped brewing themselves? Didn't know Hartmann had stopped either? Hartmann Würgau? I've read that Meister has a frigde in the yard for walkers and cyclists like me.

                   Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Jason on  2019-04-16 06:48:45

Yes to all. Never had a beer from the fridge at Meister but I’ve heard they have a fridge. 

Or Zapfhahn in Bamberg have it from the bottle. 

                 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Mosquit on  2019-04-16 05:15:37

Isn't cycling alcohol tolerance limit higher? I was under assumption that it is 1,6 promile, which I would say is A LOT, so you wouldn't be cycling anyway.;art168683,3181786

I am also sometimes making long-distance trips in Franken (usually 100 km and more daily), while I get like 10 stops in breweries during the day, sometimes having a seidla, sometimes sharing one with my wife... and at the end of the day, I feel fresh (like with 0,0)

                   Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-16 05:35:38

Which is exactly my experience. I'd rather go for a ride on the bike to burn some of it off, rather than stay put and build up the alcohol level.

Another reason is the beautiful landscape and riding through Franconia in good weather is such a nice experience and a big part of why I revisit so often.

                     Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Jason on  2019-04-16 06:46:58

And it’s why I love living here :) 

Whatever you enjoy, just stay safe. 

                 Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-24 04:49:16

Update from my trip.

1. Fischer makes contract brewing now (Lohn sud).
2. Meister did indeed have a fridge and it worked. They have a charming beer garten next to the Gasthaus which treated us nicely.
3. Hartmann still brews. Confirmed while visiting. Both beers we had were in excellent shape btw. Felsentrunk was dry with a touch of smoke. Zwickl was rural, dry and slightly hoppy.

                   Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Jason  on  2019-04-24 12:28:25

Hartmann have ceased brewing themselves according to Frank Wetzel. I would take whatever they say with a pinch of salt, it’s common for a brewery whose beers are contract brewed to overlook the details when asked. 

                   Karfreitag - tendency: opening times? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-25 02:43:48

Agreed on the charm of Meister's creek-side Biergarten. One of the very few times I have ever been there was with Uncle Jimbo, many years ago, where I ate and drank too much on a sunny afternoon before I had to go to work back in Erlangen. It did have a negative impact on my work performance.

 Weber Röbersdorf by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-09 11:22:25

Any news on the situation @ Weber? Have they taken up brewing again?

   Weber Röbersdorf by  Jason on  2019-04-10 01:03:33

As far as I know, no. But I’ve heard different stories from different people. But I generally go with franks’, and if I recall correctly, they haven’t resumed. Although that may have changed. 

Not particularly helpful but if I remember I’ll ask frank on Friday. 

     Weber Röbersdorf by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-10 01:56:45

Thanks, greatly appreaciated.

 New Melkendorf brewery at Bierkulturfest in Memmelsdorf by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-09 08:42:28

I just happened to notice today while looking at the event page on FB that the new brewery in Melkendorf will have a stand at the event.

I've been wanting to try their beer so good news.  

   New Melkendorf brewery at Bierkulturfest in Memmelsdorf by  Barry on  2019-04-09 11:44:50

Not more beer!

     New Melkendorf brewery at Bierkulturfest in Memmelsdorf by  Barm on  2019-05-07 07:52:33

So did anyone go to the Bierkulturfest? The Fränkischer Tag has a nice report:;art212,4209101

 Merkendorf by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-08 08:47:55

Here's a thing - Mark just emailed me to suggest that we might go to Hummel on Thursday, May 2, as he wanted to try the Maibock (I presume that it'll still be there on May 2).  So, I had a look at their website to find a litte message:

Gaststätte Dillig

Am Karfreitag, den 19.04.2019 öffnet die Gaststätte Dillig in Laubend um 16 Uhr zum letzten Mal in der Saison ihre Türen. 

I've never heard of this place (Laubend is the terminus of the 907/917)?
Wir freuen uns auf euch 


   Merkendorf by  TomM on  2019-04-08 09:02:57

Seems to at Zückshuter Str. 16, Laubend. Laubend being a village just to the west of Merkendorf.

If you search for "laubend" on Google Maps you should find it. Seems more like a village hall according to the few photos people have posted.

     Merkendorf by  Jason  on  2019-04-08 10:18:08

its a ‘pub’that doesn’t open that often. I’m not sure if the Hummel family run it or not as the brewery is closed that day. 

       Merkendorf by  TomM on  2019-04-08 16:14:17

According to the website, there was a Brauerei Dillig in Laubend which closed in 1967.

         Merkendorf by  Mosquit on  2019-04-09 03:57:55

Hummel delivers the beer to Laubend. If I recall correctly, the pub there is open only in winter. I think that there was some connection to Julius Hummel's (owner & brewery master) brother, who runs Laubend pub in winter, and Hummel's Keller in summer (Keller - not any more, I think that it has been closed like 2 years ago)

         Merkendorf by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-09 04:05:37

That's a great website - absolutely intriguing., I could spend hours looking through it!  Just a couple of quick looks confirm that there was another brewery in Drosendorf (walked past it loads of times, not sure whether it's still there) and that the Gasthof Neuner in Ebensfeld, next to my Fewo, closed for a few years and now for sale, about €500,000, if I remember, was once the:

Brewery Neuner "Zum weißen Lamm" - 1735 to 1982

         Merkendorf by  TomM on  2019-04-09 05:27:05

The website is very good, but I would be careful with it as there seems to be some issues with the existing breweries section. For instance, Brauerei zum Eckela in Graefenberg and Goetschel-Braue in Bayreuth both seem to have closed decades ago. Under Bamberg it lists Robesbierre which I don't think has brewed in years, but leaves out the brewpub Kronprinz which has been around since 2016.

           Merkendorf by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-09 07:18:42

Robesbierre si basically a private home brewery, albeit an extremely professional one, operated by a teacher of brewing.for his own consumption.  Last time that I spoke to him, he was still brewing but it was a year ago.

I assume that Kronprinz is the Kaiserdom offshoot?  Anyone been there?

             Merkendorf by  Jason on  2019-04-09 11:05:33

Yes, when it opened. Not been since. Don’t bother Barry, the beer may be ok or even excellent, but it’s craft stuff. Prices to match. 

             Merkendorf by  Kim Lund Johansen on  2019-04-10 03:41:37

I've been to Kronprinz. Food was good, but half of the US inspired beers had old hops or were oxidized.

           Merkendorf by  Jason on  2019-04-09 11:04:04

Robert still brews at robesbierre but as Barry says he’s a home brewer. His beer is excellent but unless you’re on the inside you’re struggling ;) 

Kronprinz isnt in bamberg, it’s in Gaustadt. Small detail, but it’s not bamberg. 

             Merkendorf by  FredW on  2019-04-09 11:09:46

Well, technically since the early 1990's Gaustadt has been part of Bamberg. You might as well say Franconia is not part of Bavaria smiley

If you want to exclude Kaiserdom from Bamberg breweries I guess I won't argue too much.

Kronprinz is fine, you just have to forget you are in Bamberg and pretend you're in Munich or Berlin -- or LA. I guess it does have the best Bamberg brewed IPA, if you want to go there...

               Merkendorf by  Barry on  2019-04-09 11:47:53

Probably not, it's harder for me find no IPA at the moment. If that makes sense?

             Merkendorf by  TomM on  2019-04-09 17:12:19

"Kronprinz isnt in bamberg, it’s in Gaustadt. Small detail, but it’s not bamberg."

Didn't Wunderberg used to be a village outside of Bamberg? Times change.

               Merkendorf by  Jason on  2019-04-10 01:01:20

True. On both statements. 

Still, you ask a local and they’ll differentiate between Bamberg and Gaustadt laugh

               Merkendorf by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-04-11 00:58:10

1972 the village Gaustadt was incorporated into the city Bamberg. 91% of the inhabitants disliked this area reform.
It was a political decision in the interest of the ruling party CSU. The CSU wanted to destroy the majority of the SPD in Gaustadt, a village with many blue collar workers and a majority of the SPD and a "red" major.
Other villages in the surrounding of Bamberg were spared (Bischberg, Memmelsdorf, Pettstadt and the city Hallstdt and so), because they had majors from the CSU.

As a result the brewery Kaiserdom won their location Bamberg.
Now a big part of the University of Bamberg is loated in Gaustadt (ERBA island).


                 Merkendorf by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-14 01:44:59

    Very interesting history, Gerhard, thanks! I'm not sure I understand what a "major" is though...could you explain that? Majority?

                   Merkendorf by  Barry on  2019-04-14 04:00:06

I think that Gerhard means 'mayor', Nick.

                   Merkendorf by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-04-14 04:44:57

Sorry. My mistake:  mayor

                     Merkendorf by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-14 13:40:29

    I wasn't sure, because of your mentioning more than one of them in one case, but mayor made sense in the other. No apology necessary!

 OT: DB/Arriva by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-04 07:12:24

    Of interest to regular users of DB is the news that they are trying to flog off their Arriva subsidy (see, to try to alleviate debts of €20 billion.  Not sure why anyone should want to buy Arriva having suffered their appaling performance in Wales and in the north of England (owners of Northern Rail). 

Mind you, things haven't got a lot better since the part publicly -owned Transport for Wales took over last autumn.  We've still got the old rolling stock in Arriva colours, though they do seem to have increased the carriage numbers on some busier trains. 

I suppose that, given DB's debts, cuts and fare increases are likely in the offing.  

 AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Andrew H on  2019-04-03 06:39:53

According to the VGN website it is possible (on a sunday) to use bus 223 ( which is AST) to visit Weissenohe, Leutenbach and Dietzhof. from Forcheim Bahnhof and return.
I have looked at the pdf flyer for the Forcheim AST and it seems to be a fare of 6+6? for each leg, not sure what that means. Any thoughts on whether a Tagesticket plus would cover these trips?  any input gratefully received.

   AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  rainer on  2019-04-04 01:42:47

No the TagesTicket plus is not enough. For the journey with the AST you pay the regular VGN tariff according to the valid VGN tariff zone plan plus an AST surcharge. This surcharge amounts again the double VGN tariff. So you have to pay a total of three times the price of the actual price for the tour from A to B. If a TagesTicket plus already exists, the AST costs per track twice the fare of the desired route from A to B.
I hope that is reasonably understandable ...
In the meantime, the AST in the district of Forchheim is by far the most expensive Anrufsammeltaxi (AST) in the entire VGN.

     AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Andrew H on  2019-04-04 04:58:35

Thanks rainer,
I get the idea of it now and you are right it is expensive. I have used the one in Bamberg and the ticket I already had covered the cost, just had to sign a form for the taxi driver.
I will cost the whole trip out and make up my mind as to whether its worth it.

       AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-04 06:06:12

Uncle Jimbo and I shared normal taxis a couple of times from Stiebarlimbach to Hirschaid. I forget...20 EUR? That was for a van though, with my bike, IIRC. And quite a few years ago. But...flexibility is the advantage of just a normal taxi, for those of us who don't plan out the details so well.

         AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Andrew H on  2019-04-04 08:05:50

Yea,I have used taxis a few times.weisen to stublang,can't recall how much but not hideous. If I can persuade others to share taxis are a good option.

           AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Barry Taylor on  2019-04-04 09:29:56

I've been to the front door of Dietzhof but it was Urlaub - even Juergen's silver tongue could persuade the woman to let us in.  Leutenbach also the same night.  Nice but not sensational.  The first time that Juergen had Helles there, I seem to recall.

Yes, worth considering.  When are you actually in town Andy? 

             AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Andrew H on  2019-04-04 11:34:34

Thursday 2/5 till wed 8/5 Barry.Dietzhof seems interesting judging by their website they seem to have strong view's on tradition etc. Hopefully see you on mark and Dorothy's road trip.

               AST Forcheim cost opinions please. by  Mark Andersen on  2019-04-04 12:17:23

I viisited Dietzhof with Juergen years ago (2008 I think) and it is a reallly nice, traditional pub and I really liked the dark beer.  Would have been happy to spend a lot more time there.

 Bergkerwa Wirt refused permission to build brewery by  Barm on  2019-04-01 08:26:32

Bergkerwa Wirt refused permission to build brewery:;art215,4137726

Summary for those who des Deutschen nicht mächtig sind:

Junior boss of the Entlas-Keller in Erlangen, Vincenz Schiller, is a trained brewer and wanted to open a small-scale nano brewery but the council refused permission on the grounds that the Keller is protected as a historical structure and Schiller only has the right to use it as a beer storage, not as a brewery.

The Entlas-Keller sold Kitzmann beer until the brewery closed. In future it is serving Mahrs U, Hoffman lager and Gutmann weizen. Kulmbacher will be supplying "Kitzmann Festbier" for the Kerwa.

Schiller is going ahead with installing conditioning tanks, which will be used to lager Mahrs beer, and hopes that once the council sees that this does not damage the historical structure they will let him have a brewery too.

   Bergkerwa Wirt refused permission to build brewery by  Jason on  2019-04-01 10:11:04

Maybe they’ll improve the U!!! Still, not sure even that would lure me to Erlangen. Kulmbacher Bier certainly won’t. 

     Bergkerwa Wirt refused permission to build brewery by  Andrew H on  2019-04-03 06:26:21

I have never visited the town,only the bahnhof. not sure why? Just never have.

       Bergkerwa Wirt refused permission to build brewery by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-20 05:33:02

Suffice to say Erlangen is not a tourist destination. Which is one reason why Mrs & I loved our 13 years there so well. 

AFA the Bergkerwa really is worth a quick walkthrough one afternoon. It is a lovely setting, overlooking the city, just because it's what so many Franconians do. Get out before the crowds and stupidity though, duh. No, it's not Annafest, but it is part of the local Bierkultur. And it's an architectually impressive lineup of old Keller(s) in a hillside.

Been there with Chris Kane...who else? Uncle Jimbo?

Actually, the Bergkerwa beer was one of Kitzmann's worst. The Kulmbacher will be an improvement...hopefully. The food at Entla's Keller is good. No, not cheap, but there it is.

 fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-27 03:35:31

I have just come across something that you all might find interesting and comment provoking.
its probably easyest to have a look at the site yourselves. I for one had no idea this place even existed.

   fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Jason  on  2019-03-27 04:04:58

I've known about this place for a while and visited a few times but I can see why non residents wouldn't know. I'm not really a fan, kind of a poor home brewers club with hop/additive experimentation of 1 beer creating various 'varieties'. The garden itself is lovely and last year they had a 'craft beer fest' where they did at least have beer from proper brewers. They had Monchsambach and a couple of other very good local breweries present so I would recommend a visit during this festival.

On other occasions... meh.  

     fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-28 05:51:36

I guessed that was the idea regarding the beers,I wonder if Fassla or whoevers beer they are using as a base have any thoughts about it?
I will walk in and have snout about if I am in the bahnhof area, I take it you also know about the zweiblefest in early september Jason? That looks like it could be worth a look, lots of onions and beer. what could go wrong!!

       fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  FredW on  2019-03-28 09:11:18

When I was at one of their "fests" last year the base beers were from Keesmann.

         fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-28 10:41:56

Yea, that makes sense Fred. It would have to be a relatively "bland" pils type beer to make the whole thing work.

     fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  AndyH on  2019-03-28 09:02:46

I was thinking of taking my group here in October, but sounds like it might not be worth bothering.

       fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-28 09:08:31

Well, I personally trust Jason's judgement on such matters.But you could perhaps recky the place before committing to a group visit.

         fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Jason on  2019-03-28 12:54:16

whilst I’m always happy to give my opinion I would rather people tried things out themselves, I don’t want to assume we have the same thoughts. 

Oh and the zwiebeltreterfest is only in name; Bambergers are known as zwiebeltreters, especially in the garden quarter where this fest is held. Lots of onions grown in bamberg. 

Of course Andrew you could bring your own onions, there will be beer ;) 

           fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-05-20 05:25:21

Going back a bit...

The beer desert between Erlangen and Nuernberg is called Knoblauchsland, or garlic land, on account of all the garlic (and onions) grown there. It was quite pungent when I used to cycle to work & back in summer...lots and lots of aromatic fields there.

         fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-29 00:35:23

Understood, merely stating that I was happy to trust your opinion on this subject. It is of course for others to decide whose judgement or opinions to trust. The website appears to suggest that onions in various forms will be evident.

           fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-29 04:31:39

Andy, I choose to trust your opinion when it comes to tongue and groove.  I know not relevant to beer but just saying ....

             fruhlingsbierfest/another brewery? by  Andrew H on  2019-03-29 09:22:30

In Franken Mark all things re Brauerei gastatte are tongue and groove related as I am sure you understand.

 Bierkulturfest by  Andrew H on  2019-03-25 04:52:38

I note that the memmelsdorf bierfest is on 3/5 until 5/5, has anyone been to this?
I have watched a couple of video clips and it doesnt seem too packed.any comments/ opinions chaps?

   Bierkulturfest by  AndyH on  2019-03-25 07:12:16

Never been to that one.

Good time of yeat though, so worth thinking about for another year.

   Bierkulturfest by  Barry Taylor on  2019-03-25 07:33:45

Yep.  Memorable for several reasons, mainly that it came after walking with our Dudley colleagues from Hoenig and before ending up in Catweazle's Castle.  Over imbibed and saved by my Cape Cod friends!

Otherwise, it was very good, not too crowded and loads (too much) of good beer.  We'll be there this year but without the preliminaries.  Have I got all that correct, Mark?

     Bierkulturfest by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 07:42:44

Yup you got it right Barry.  It's a nice festival and one of the reasons Dorothy and I are going to be in Bamberg that particular weekend.  So we're planning on going to that Saturday the 4th.  You definitely should join us Andy.

       Bierkulturfest by  Barry Taylor on  2019-03-25 11:14:52

Yes, Andy, you should join us, maybe provide a sobering influence - or maybe not.

         Bierkulturfest by  Andrew H on  2019-03-25 11:56:51

Moi! A sobering influence. You are more likely to find tongue and groove in Michael gives front room!

           Bierkulturfest by  Andrew H on  2019-03-25 11:57:40


             Bierkulturfest by  AndyH on  2019-03-26 03:09:08

Aargh! He mentioned the G word.

 Hoffmann tour Mark by  Andrew H on  2019-03-22 13:09:55

Only just read your post below Mark. I will be in Franken. if juergen is not able to go I would be keen to join you if you would be willing?

   Hoffmann tour Mark by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-24 10:48:42

Absolutely!  See you then

     Hoffmann tour Mark by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-03-25 03:13:57

I'd like to join you, if it's possible for me. A lot of work on the railway on Saturdays, as you guys know.

       Hoffmann tour Mark by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 04:43:05

The plan is to do this on Friday, May 3rd.  Is that a holiday for you?

         Hoffmann tour Mark by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-03-25 05:19:56

Nope. 1st of May would be one. But I can get out of my office at about 1 p. m., I guess. Would be at Gräfenberg at about 2 p. m.

           Hoffmann tour Mark by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 06:04:28

That would work.  Now I’ve got to look into getting a bigger vehicle. As of now we’ve got 6 of us

             Hoffmann tour Mark by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-03-25 07:31:21

Ah, problem. I couldn't drive home then. Well, enjoy the walk.

               Hoffmann tour Mark by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 07:39:08

Juergen, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here?

I'll message you off to the side to coordinate.  It would be good to have you along.

                 Let's confirm who's going! by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 07:59:47

And just to recap.  The plan is we'll be renting a car for the day and Dorothy has volunteered to be the designated driver for us.  I've done some research today and found we can rent a 7 passenger van from Sixt for a few extra bucks over the 5 seater car.  So not a problem.  We'll manage.  The only issue Juergen is where we'd need to drop you off afterwards.  Forchheim bahnhof would work.

It looks like as of now we have:
Dorothy and myself
and hopefully Juergen 

along for the ride.  

If you all confirm for me asap then I'll get the van reserved.

                   Let's confirm who's going! by  Barry Taylor on  2019-03-25 11:16:37

Wow, what a crew.  Have you spoken to Isa?  She was talking about coming down but needed to discuss dates, etc., with you.


                     Let's confirm who's going! by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 11:18:25

Yeah I've talked to them about a month or so ago and they said they could not make it as they had other plans.

                       Let's confirm who's going! by  Andrew H on  2019-03-25 11:53:21

I confirm mark,and willing as always to chip in with the cost.

                         Let's confirm who's going! by  Barry on  2019-03-25 12:17:36

Second that!

                           Let's confirm who's going! by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-25 12:28:50

Thanks gents!  I'll let you know re: chipping in towards cost via email

                             Let's confirm who's going! by  Jason  on  2019-03-26 03:12:34

Should be fine, but I can't confirm 100% as I need to be flexible currently with other priorities. Appreciate the offer and I can confirm a few weeks before when I know more about whats what. 

We can keep in touch offline Mark. 

                               Let's confirm who's going! by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-26 08:02:29


                                 Let's confirm who's going! by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-04-29 07:20:55

I just read that you're going to start at 10:30 already. I can leave work earliest at twelve and would be at Forchheim at about 1:30 to 2:00. Mhm. Can we solve this? Otherwise I simply can't join you.

                                   Let's confirm who's going! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-04-29 15:02:17

    Confirming I'm not going.

 Melkendorf by  pivnizub on  2019-03-22 11:20:53

Does anybody know anything about the "new" brewery in Melkendorf, I.e. opening times e.t.c.? And: is this beer available in the former (ugly ;-)) brewery tap. Or: is the tap still open or permanently closed?

   Melkendorf by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-03-22 13:47:24

They use Facebook
"Brandholz Brauerei"

The building is in the ownership of the vilkage.
A group of homebrewers under the leadership of Christian Grasser, a brewemaster and brother of tthe owner of Grasser in Huppendorf, has repaired the brewery. They brew sometimes. They offer single days for drinking there and buying barrels ("Hausbräufassen").
The next date: tomorrow, Samstag 23.03 v. 13-16 Uhr
Bockbieranstich: 11 may

The brewpub is closed. The community has the idea to reopen the place. An architect develops a plan.

     Melkendorf by  TomM on  2019-03-23 03:22:10

They also have a website:

 Ot: visit to Oz by  Barry on  2019-03-19 20:56:07

Just coming to the end of my month visiting my rellys in Brisbane. Not sure how I'll get used to 10C in Colwyn Bay after 30c but I'm looking forward to some decent beer! As forseen, the beer here has been fizzy and very cold, and pretty expensive. Last pint that I bought (Cricketers Pale Ale) was equivalent to £6.86 and so-so, after it has warmed to tasting levels - enough to make a Franconian or even a citizen of Wales weak at the knees! I did find a good brewery in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills with 3 handpumps but that was the only cask beer in a month. Still, life isn't just cask beer (???) and there are plenty of compensations in the climate and environment. Only 4 weeks and I'll be in Franken (then Prague). It's a good life if you don't weaken.

   Ot: visit to Oz by  AndyH on  2019-03-20 08:52:34

Oz still a beer dessert then? Rumours of better things in NZ. As long as you like your beer with too many hops in it, lol.

     Ot: visit to Oz by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-03-21 02:10:16

Dessert of desert? ;-)

       Ot: visit to Oz by  AndyH on  2019-03-25 07:08:08


 Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-17 02:28:49

So in the course of banter in various taverns in Aachen, I got a feel for what people know (or don't) about Franconia, its beer, and Bierkellerkultur. And that is, not much. 

Which I guess isn't that surprising. Does the average German from one part of the country go to another part of the country on holiday? I would suggest not so much, since Germans are supposedly the world champion international tourists, meaning, they leave their country on holiday more than people of any other country.

Why that would be...well, they get lots of paid days off (look it up), earn a lot (ditto), and have apparently always done this to some extent or other more than others. And they are simply fairly well-adjusted people (3 years of Kindergarten, manslaughter rate 1/6th of the US, independent of weapon type), genuinely interested in experiencing new places and cultures. 

Anyway, I've been doing my part, recommending Forchheim and the fraenkische Scwheiz to any and all who will listen, going on about how great the diversity of rustic sorts of beer is (hopefully not to the point of becoming the proverbial beer bore that can plague British pubs)  and of course that it runs for maybe EUR4 / the country anyway. (What WAS the price at Roppelt's last year, my first year away since 2005?)

And then there's the food. A massive slab of Schaeuferla (which some have heard of) for ridiculously cheap, same goes for Haxe. And Nuernberger Bratwuerstchen...there's a tavern on the Marktplatz that sells a half dozen with sides for nearly EUR15 in Aachen.

The story from a few years back, about how a certain employee of the fraenkische Schweiz tourist board had suggested that taverns might want to ask for a Euro or two more for the Schaeufe(r)la to help keep places in business, and the backlash among the common folk...anyway, Geiz ist geil. Thriftiness is tremendous.

But in general, people here just don't seem to think of the region at all, let alone as a holiday destination. At least the ones I've been running into, swilling their filthy Bitburger for EUR6 a litre or more.

More musings... 

   Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  pivnizub on  2019-03-17 11:53:40

IMHO it is good, that people in the German badlands concerning beer, that means every region outside of Franconia, do  not  know what Roppelt or Witzgall means... Imagine a Bier-Disneyland in Franconia, overcrowded by thirsty and cheery Germans from all parts of the country - even from Saxonia - "enjoying" cheap beers and even cheaper "Hax'n"? Who really wants that? Better they drink their lousy Koelsch in - yes - Cologne and pay 1.80 € for a very small amount of "Bier". 

     Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Barm on  2019-03-17 16:42:02

Take a trip down the Rhine some day, visit the picturesque towns by the river, experience the streets lined with tourist tat and the enormous cafe terraces rivalling a Munich beer garden in size, all packed with daytrippers having coffee and cake (sonn- und feiertags nur Kännchen) … and be happy that so few are aware of the delights of Franken.

       Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-18 01:01:59

    Excellent points. Ah well, I don't think one lone voice in the wilderness (me) will make much of a difference. Nor are the notoriously stubborn (yes, I'm using that word, sue me...but I don't mean it in a negative way) Germans likely to change their ideas about where to go on holiday...IIRC Franz Roppelt does Spain every year. 

But then...I thought with the breweries dying out...don't we WANT them to get as much business as possible? Don't we WANT more Germans to come enjoy Franconia? Torn. I'm waffling here. 

I'd rather have the places crowded with Germans than Yanks and Britons, I guess.

A bit of "not in my backyard" maybe?

At any rate, it's fun explaining to Germans about one of the nicest bits of their lovely country which they'd never thought of before.

         Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Jason  on  2019-03-18 02:50:41

I would question the connection between breweries 'dying out' and custom. Sure, more money would make the situation better for some, but lack of profit is not the prime driver as far as I am aware. Lack of a successor, service personnel and some legal changes have caused more problems. 

Hard to quantify and just a personal gut feel, but if profit was a problem prices would have been increased much more than they have. 

           Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Mosquit on  2019-03-18 10:02:52

From what I have been talking to brewery owners, they were unhappy about change of the lifestyle (i.e. going less to pubs) which is certainly true. 

             Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Manfred Hofmann on  2019-04-01 08:34:28

Since the napoleonic"Flurbereinigung" (land consolidation) about 200 years ago, the largest part of Franconia is ruled by "Bavaria". While other large artificial federal states in Germany use "hyphen-names" to show, that there live different people with different culture in that states, the federal state "Bavaria" does not so. Bavarians do not want to be hosest an are proud of it. They call it "mia san hund" (we are dogs).
That is the reason, the "Bayerische Rundfunk" (bavarian broadcasting corporation under public law) with an annual budget of more than 1,000,000,000 Euro does not inform the rest of Germany about Franconia.
The term "Bayern" (Bavaria) has two meanings:

1. "Staatsbayern" (the name of the federals state) and
2. "Stammesbayern" (people and region with bavarian culture), the south of the Federalstate of Bavaria.

Most Germans do not know that!

               Franconia's Reputation in Aachen by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-04-08 01:50:51

Completely right! 

 Gänstaller  by  Jason  on  2019-03-11 11:13:54

Heard a rumour Andy’s brewery may be closing due to money issues. I’m speculating but I don’t know if I read correctly that de molen (a big investor) has been bought by the owners of Bavaria Brau. Not sure if this is connected. 

Maybe gerhard is the best source for this. 

   Gänstaller  by  Jason  on  2019-03-11 11:20:18

I just want to add that I would prefer this to be verified before it is spread around. Andy is a good guy and i wouldn’t want it to be public knowledge either erroneously or prematurely. 

     Gänstaller  by  TomM on  2019-03-11 12:50:41

De Molen is now owned 100% by Swinkels, maker of Bavaria Lager in the Netherlands. Didn't know about the de Molen financial interest in Gaenstaller.

       Gänstaller  by  Mike on  2019-03-12 02:19:19

According to de Molen, Bavaria (now called Swinkels Family Brewers) bought a 35 percent share of de Molen in 2016. They are now partners. According to the (Dutch statement by de Molen) the de Molen team will remain intact and will direct the company as it always has. Apparently the arrangement with Swinkels will be restricted to distribution and various other business activities.

I know de Molen and they do not make the kind of beer that Swinkels make, nor do they make the kind of beer sold in Bavaria. They call themselves "craft brewers." To me that means export beers to the US and possibly the UK.

There are a few "craft breweries" in Germany, but mostly in NRW, not in Bavaria, AFAIK. Even if Swinkels has some kind of arrangement with Gänstaller, I'd imagine it would have more to do with distribution than with actually making beer. This is the arrangement they have with de Molen.

When breweries get big, they look for a company to help with distribution, as the companies mostly only know local distributors. 

         Gänstaller  by  TomM on  2019-03-12 02:59:25

Yes, Swinkels bought a 35% stake in de Molen in 2016.

Last month they bought the rest of the shares and now own de Molen outright.

"By acquiring the rest of the shares of Brouwerij de Molen, Swinkels Family Brewers will have ownership over the brewery. "

I am not sure of what the Gaenstaller / de Molen link was other than they did a collaboration brew together and that Gaenstaller was one of the brewers at de Molen's Borefts Beer Festival. They are certainly friends with each other.

           Gänstaller  by  Mike on  2019-03-12 07:44:31

It seems to me that you are making a lot of assumptions based on very little evidence.

             Gänstaller  by  TomM on  2019-03-12 13:02:03

I would just like to say that I hope everything works out well for Andy Gänstaller as he is a terrific brewer and in my experience a very nice guy.

               Gänstaller  by  Jason  on  2019-03-12 14:55:44

de Molen are one of Andy’s distributors throughout Northern Europe. Andy told me this himself (I trust that’s enough to satisfy you Mike - another one of your usual aggressive comments completely unnecessarily to a fellow forum member-  can’t you just be civil, like everyone else?

Completely agree Tom, regardless of what happens, Andy is a very good guy and is always very generous with his time to a lot of people he’d never met. 

               Gänstaller  by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-17 01:56:02

    Yes. He's a sweetheart. Met him a few times, he always remembered who I was, despite the multitudes of fanboys he probably encounters. And she's great.

     Gänstaller  by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-17 02:00:53

If there's one thing I've learnt (well, I learn about but then keep not doing it...slow learner, I guess...) having been on the beery internet since 1992 (anyone remember r.f.d.b and a.b?), don't expect something like this to remain secret when you post it on a place where beer writers are known to lurk. 

AFA the number of "craft breweries" in Germany and where they are located (NRW vs. Bavaria) mentioned below, well, welcome to 2015. Change is inevitable. Even in places resistant to change like...Franconia and Bavaria. NRW is much more international than Bavaria, just look at Dusseldorf and Cologne. 

De Molen...meh. Went there once, during the week. Not a fan of Beneluxian brewers emulating Yankee ones, but that's just me. Then again, I drink so little these days...

 Brauerei Heller tour by  Richard on  2019-03-08 00:28:00

The tourist office in Bamberg do a weekly "historic beer tour", which includes a visit to the Schlenkerla brewery, conducted in German. Unfortunately I don't speak German, but would be very interested in getting a look inside the brewery. I've visited many breweries and have a good general understanding of the beer making process.

Has anyone here done this tour? Would you recommend it to a non-German speaker?


   Brauerei Heller tour by  Barm on  2019-03-08 02:54:10

Haven’t been, had no idea tours were available. Is this new?

I am a bit surprised they don’t offer an occasional tour in English already. Might be a part-time job in it for a student or apprentice brewer. 

     Brauerei Heller tour by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-08 08:06:22

I've been on one a few years ago, it was great. It was with a group of beer writers like Lew Bryson, Steve Beaumont, led by Horst Dornbusch. 

One writer got claustrophobic down in the germination chamber. We had Zwicklbier from the Zwicklhahn. Talked to Herrn Turm.

       Brauerei Heller tour by  Richard on  2019-03-13 02:24:40

That sounds great. Not sure what to expect from this one, but I've booked myself on to it and can report back.

         Brauerei Heller tour...Journalists Version by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-17 01:41:34

I lucked into the beer journalists version. Not sure if it was any different to what the "common folk" get, aside from more banter back-n-forth about beer. It was an interesting group though, come to think of it. Canadians (from both ends of that magnificent country), Americans, maybe a Briton or two, and then Horst. 

It was kind of funny, as I was invited along not by host Horst, but Lew Bryson. The coach (bus) tour had been through Buttenheim that day, and when I heard that, I said loudly, "I hope that St. Georgen Braeu didn't claim to invent Kellerbier."

Horst said (in his excellent diplomatic English, mind!), "That was in not implied in any way." A gal from Montreal piped up, "Well, that's the impression the impression I got!" Anyway...I guess you had to be there.

Lew raved about it later, thanking me for coming along and ruffling Horst's feathers (or something like that -- shall we say,  more colourfully) in his rustic Pennsylvanian way. I'd also never met Steve Beaumont, and was a sort of fan of his from my Oregon years. He's utterly nice. Actually, most beer writers are nice. 

Ended up having a discussion with Herrn Thurm about his childhood, addressing his grandparents formally. He's around my age, I think, 50-something. Or...? He speaks a lovely Hochdeutsch.

I miss the Nebraskans...have they ever gotten a tour of Heller? Have to ask on their farcebook thingy.

Enjoy yourself, it's fascinating in any case. I'd do it again, and pay for it.

 New Bamberg Brewery by  Jason  on  2019-02-28 15:36:19

After a lot of rumour (to the point where I became sceptical if it was true), there will be a new Bamberg brewery (perhaps) in the autumn of 2019. Something is being built now. 

Zum Sternla, apparently the oldest pub in Bamberg, is installing a small brewery on the premises. I hope it's better than Ambrausianum. I can't understand how that place is still brewing. What a great location, they could even make something of it and brew other interesting styles. The location is a goldmine. 

   New Bamberg Brewery by  AndyH on  2019-03-01 01:10:31

I hope it's good, Sternla is, perhaps, my favourite pub in Bamberg.

     New Bamberg Brewery by  Barm on  2019-03-01 03:08:33

Do you know, I've never been to Sternla.

Or Abseits for that matter.  I only made it to Greifenklau on like my ninth visit, but at least there is an excuse for that as it's up that big bastard hill.

       New Bamberg Brewery by  Jason  on  2019-03-01 04:09:24

I’ve never been to sternla either, which is arguably more surprising. I’d just rather drink bamberg beer from the brewery. 

That hill is a poor excuse though, it’s not that bad and there are regular buses. 

         New Bamberg Brewery by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 04:26:03

And the hill gives you the opportunity to earn that beer.

           New Bamberg Brewery by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 05:46:10

Good news about Sternla.  They have declared it on their website as well.  Brewery going in the upper floor and ready to start brewing by May (if the translation I read is correct).  Regular beers on tap by September with possible tastings sooner.

             Brewing courses at Sternla by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 05:48:39

They're also going to be hosting brewing courses.

         New Bamberg Brewery by  AndyH on  2019-03-01 06:23:30

Sternla is well worth a visit, and the food isn't bad either.

       New Bamberg Brewery by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-03 03:43:57

I know I've been there but I can't remember it. Abseits is a must, but be aware it is not a traditional old Brauhaus, rather, a uni Studentencafé. And as such, it is top. Well worth a visit, especially with the new subway under the railyard.

Greifenklau's Garten with view of the Burg is wonderful in the right season and weather.

         New Bamberg Brewery by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-03 03:56:14

Hmmm...googling Sternla makes me wonder if I have in fact been there. I think actually not. 

But I see it's just down from Burgerheart burger restaurant and around the corner from "Dude Retro Lounge". Yikes. There's a "Barber's Club" place down the street in this hipster part of Aachen that is for men only, where they can go and have their massive beards toped or whatever. And "talk about manly things" with no interruption from pesky women folk, according to the lady that owns the place where I'm staying.

Anyway, the burger craze seems to have not let up. I remember those of us who've been (sorry veggies) have liked the Zapfhahn. Seemed pretty decent to me. But the ones up here...sheesh. WAY too much spice and way over done. No, lads, a burger should not be like a sausage patty, says the Yank.

         New Bamberg Brewery by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-03 03:56:14

Hmmm...googling Sternla makes me wonder if I have in fact been there. I think actually not. 

But I see it's just down from Burgerheart burger restaurant and around the corner from "Dude Retro Lounge". Yikes. There's a "Barber's Club" place down the street in this hipster part of Aachen that is for men only, where they can go and have their massive beards toped or whatever. And "talk about manly things" with no interruption from pesky women folk, according to the lady that owns the place where I'm staying.

Anyway, the burger craze seems to have not let up. I remember those of us who've been (sorry veggies) have liked the Zapfhahn. Seemed pretty decent to me. But the ones up here...sheesh. WAY too much spice and way over done. No, lads, a burger should not be like a sausage patty, says the Yank.

 5 seidla Steig  by  Jason  on  2019-02-28 02:19:48

short note: Linden Braue in Graefenberg is now closed on Sundays. As in my opinion the best stop on the walk I thought I’d share that Sunday’s are now not the best day to do the walk. 

   5 seidla Steig  by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-02-28 02:25:29

That's shite. It's a pretty good location. For me the second best, as I'm really addicted to dark Hoffmann beer from Hohenschwärz. 

     5 seidla Steig  by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-28 06:09:56

If memory serves I think one of the other places is closed on Sunday too?  Strongly considering doing this on a Saturday in July.  Again if memory serves Saturday may be the best day for everything being open.

       5 seidla Steig  by  Jason  on  2019-02-28 07:25:50

Without checking I’m pretty sure all are open on Sunday normally... and there’s the Friedmann Keller in graefenberg too. 

I imagine they’ve closed because of drunk people. It’s become a problem for these small breweries I think. Even people where I work now about it, and they’re normally very nuremberg focused. 

         5 seidla Steig  by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-28 08:13:12

You're correct.  All the rest are open on Sunday's.  I had looked recently.  Maybe I noticed Lindenbrau was closed on Sundays now.

So drunkenness has become a problem at these small breweries?  Is this a 5 Seidla Steig thing?  Perhaps they marketed it a bit too much.

           5 seidla Steig  by  Jason  on  2019-02-28 15:15:45

Exactly. Overcrowding and drunkenness, in the context of these small villages. There's an ecosystem as you know Marc, and in an effort to advance, maybe they have overreached and burned their wings. 

I'm going to pick up 50L of Lindenbrau tomorrow to drink on Saturday with my football colleagues. 

             Drunkenness by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-01 00:59:34

I don't know if they marketed themselves, or some sort of Franconian tourist organisation did. But yes, as soon as I read Jason's original post, I figured it was because of the drunks. I remember something about places deciding that Sundays aren't worth the trouble, even though they rake in a lot more money.

How are things with stag and bachelor do's in Bamberg now--worsening still, or have they figured out some way to deal with them?

I shudder when I think of how irresponsibly I used to be in a previous life (a couple of lives ago now), how I would drive around completely plastered in Oregon. All that strong "craft" and Belgian lucky I didn't take out some innocent person or family. At least Europeans tend to have a better attitude towards drunk/drink driving.


             5 seidla Steig  by  TomM on  2019-03-01 03:07:15

Would anyone recommend Graefenberg as a place to spend two or three nights, perhaps midweek to avoid the crowds?

Anyone stayed in town and can recommend accomodation?

               5 seidla Steig  by  Jason  on  2019-03-01 04:07:12

Yes I would. It’s an attractive small town with good rail connections and walking of course. You can stay at Lindenbrau as they have guest rooms (check online). 

Even as a local I’m considering  a spring visit and a stay at the brewery as it’s a bit drawn out to get to from bamberg and get back the same day. 

             5 seidla Steig  by  Barm on  2019-03-01 03:12:03

Same thing happened, as you probably know, to the real ale rail trail between Stalybridge and Batley.

               5 seidla Steig  by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-03 03:40:07

If you're addressing me, yes, I have heard about that. I first did it years ago on a weekday afternoon, and fell in love. Then I did it on a Saturday...whoopsie! 

Ah, the simple old days of wandering around drinking myself half to death...

     Hoffman and tour in May. by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-28 06:26:33

Speaking of Hoffman, while I may do the 5 Seidla Steig in July, I'm thinking of not waiting that long to visit Hoffman.  My wife has volunteered to DD for a day in May (Friday the 3rd to be exact) and the loose plan now is to do a tour of the Frankische Schweiz and I'm thinking Hoffman should be stop #1 and Hecked in Waischenfeld as the final stop with 2 or 3 in between (Leups, Held, etc.).  Sorry no Speilbach on this one.  There are too many in the Frankische Schweiz I've not been to yet like Hoffman and Heckel and the missus doesn't want to do that long of a drive this time.

Anyhow, Juergen you're welcome to join us and go along for the ride if you can get to a train station (like Forchheim) that we could pick you up at.  Barry same goes for you.  Jason is already on board I think.


       Hoffman and tour in May. by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-01 01:01:55

    Heckel -- you've not been there??? Must. My birthday, too...nice. 


         Hoffman and tour in May. by  Jason  on  2019-03-01 04:10:10

It deserves a good few hours Mark... or longer. Don’t over plan ;) 

           Hoffman and tour in May. by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 04:24:24

Naturally I will consult with you beforehand.  

             Hoffman and tour in May. by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 04:25:11

But I figure Heckel is not going to open until 4-4:30pm anyhow so there will be time to kill beforehand.  So two or three brewery visits should do the trick.

         Hoffman and tour in May. by  Mark Andersen on  2019-03-01 04:35:21

No never been but I have had Heckel beer at Stohrenkeller and was duly impressed.

           Hoffman and tour in May. by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-17 02:15:15

For a while there years ago, I mused about becoming a beer tour leader, driving people around in a van. Of course the problem would have been to not drink anything along the way. It would have been negligent of me, however, to have not at least had a TASTE and a sniff of the beers at each place, just to verify that the tourists were getting the same beery experiences that I had got accustomed to over the years. Because, as we know, some of these breweries' beers can vary quite a bit.

Meh. Still might do it. Or is there enough interest? Guess I could focus on other things like castles and what-not as well as breweries and Bierkeller. My plan to start up a business driving tourists from Vegas out to Hoover Dam and other sites in classic cars sounded great to those I spoke with about it...pity I got sidetracked though. 

 Reduced Opening times: Grasser in Huppendorf by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-02-20 04:37:45

The brewpub Grasser in Huppendorf has reduced the opening times:
Published at Facebook (the website is not actual):
Closed: Monday and Tuesday and reduced times on weekends.
They have told me the reason:  a lack of kitchen staff.

   Reduced Opening times: Grasser in Huppendorf by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-01 01:03:20

Hi Gerhard, I'm sorry that I didn't acknowledge you when I did the others previously, when I returned after so long away. Hope you are well....Nick

 Next closure by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-02-20 04:20:34

Brauerei Sigwart, Weißenburg, was sold to Hofmühl-Bräu and will be shut down by March 1st.

   Next closure by  TomM on  2019-02-20 06:15:08

The other brewery in Weissenburg, Schneider, closed in 2015. According to the website, they were supposed to resume brewing in late 2018, but I don't see anything on the Schneider website that indicates this has happened.

     Next closure by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-02-20 06:26:18

Think I'll go and see myself next week. Will report on the subject. Schneider was always a little gem. 

 Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-05 04:46:52

Whoah! Just some of the thread about this from last year. I haven't read through all 29 comments on the press website in the original post, nor have I scoured the boards here (nor anywhere else on the interwebs) for any updates. I'm also not in contact with anyone in Erlangen who might know more, so I shall dare to ask here: Any further update of significance?

The Gaststaette and Braeukontor bottle shop were to remain open, according to the original article. 

Just broke the news to Mrs, who is quite shocked. As am I! My soft spot for the place goes back to when we first visited Erlangen in 2004, as we were considering moving there from Oregon for Mrs's work. The Pils seemed to have a distinctly hoppy character, though sweet, not dry. Which made it weird, like me.

And we were there for their Fest in September, which was great fun. Contrary to what it might seem, I really didn't drunk much of it at all for most of the time we lived there. It was just great to have a big old brewery right there. 

The Gaststaette opened in around 2009, IIRC. We loved eating there, v. good Karpfen and the horseradish beef thingy whose name escapes me. And then the Rotbier was interesting...I will miss enjoying a Seidla of that outside at the Gaststaette this, I guess I can still do that, as the place will be open. But will Kulmbacher do the Rotbier, and will it be any good?

Anyway, it sounds like the classic case of a medium-sized (?) traditional brewery not making ends meet in the competitive new market. And personal reasons...Herr Kitzmann is a great big, round person. Hope he's well. 

I shall endeavour to learn what I can and return here with any updates.


It is exactly the article from Fox TV News in Vegas that Fred dug up that I was fearing would surface. I have an explanation/clarification/rebuttal in the works for my website, but my lawyer suggests I should sit on it for a while. I lit the fire as a joke the day before I made the exaggeratedly threatening phone calls which led to my arrest. They didn't bother to make a fuss about it at the time. Here is a bit of what I've been writing up, with clips of the surveillance video showing what happened.

Las Vegas is a strange place. Full of strange people, where lots of strange things happen.

   Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-05 09:55:00

What a strange life you have led since leaving Colwyn Bay, I hope that you are now more settled and maybe we will meet again in Franken (Roppelt's?).  BTW What has happened to Tabor, since you have transferred your affections to another?

I couldn't make head nor tail of the video clip at that speed!  It might interest you to know that an old business colleague in Italy used to shock visiting friends in restaurants by throwing a glass of grappa onto the table cloth and setting fire to it!  Of course, the vapour caught alight spectacularly but the cloth remained unharmed.

     Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-05 11:10:50

Yeah I couldn't really tell what's going on in the video other than clearly you were not trying to harm anybody.

I'm not a fan at all of Las Vegas.  I've been there for work several times and couldn't wait to leave each time.  Stiebarlimbach is a much nicer place.

       Video of Me in LV by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-07 02:34:31

Did you guys watch only the 10x time lapse video? There are 4 links to videos buried in that bit of text...guess I need to pare it down further for clarity. But here we go, if Fred doesn't least I changed the Subject line!

The casino turned over a 15 minute segment of 720x480 surveillance video to the police, where my lawyer obtained it through discovery, from 16:45 - 17:00 on 19th March. (I was arrested at about 01:00 on the 21st.) I sped that video up 10x, since it just shows Laylay and me standing there, with a 6-second blaze of fire.

From the original video (which I also added the time code to, positioning it near the centre of activity rather than in the corner), I clipped out the segment where I had returned to the bar area from the pool, apparently, based on the direction I entered from.

Then Laylay and I hung out there for nearly 10 minutes, at which point I got the idea to demonstrate that you can not burn granite with lighter fluid, squirted some out on the counter top, and lit it on fire. 

The bartender didn't call anyone, nor do anything other than her usual routine, and nodded when I waved goodbye when we left just before 17:00.

Mark, you're right, LV is a strange, dangerous, yet strangely beautiful place. I met some fabulous people there, but was also physically attacked for the first time ever on three occasions by drugged-up freaks, presumably Crystal Meth. (Breaking Bad did society a horrible disservice in glamorizing the drug IMO.)

I believe I tweeted about the first girl named "Crystal" I met way back on or about 27th Jan 2018, before I ditched my erlangernick twitter account. It was a 37 YO woman who said she was dying of several "old persons'" diseases, despite having been off CM for TWENTY years. Her eyes were bloody. Not blood shot, but you could see blood in the whites of her eyes. She said she calls herself "Crystal" so that people will remember her story.

The second was an Indian girl (well...39) who was raped and strangulated for four hours the night after I met her, by her meth-head ex-boyfriend. Her real name is Crystal Gayle Davis Hernandez...I also have a page about her that I've sort of taken down, but since you lot here are friends, here it is: .

BTW...jaywalking can be an arrestible offense in LV...keep my lawyer's number in mind if you visit the place: 702-777-9999; they are REALLY good! There be no phone books in jail, nor internet. There are numbers of bail bondsmen listed at the phones, IIRC, but that's it.

ObBeer: No Franconian beer in Aachen that I know of. Had a bottle of 2015 Boon Geueze last night which I got for 2.80EUR a while back. Meh. Tart.

     Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-07 02:43:12

Ah...Tabor...I started in on the whole explanation of Crystal below, to answer your question, but lost track. Tabor is fine, has been with Mrs the entire time. I missed him so much that I got Crystal (named her after the two victims of the drug of the same name I went on about in response to Mark), who was conveniently born on 23rd April. Or whelped, I guess. She's my #1 bitch. Well, I realize that may be impolite to some British ears, but she is what she is.

At one dog park near Pittsburgh, an old guy there told me his dog was "a bitch", and that he had been waiting to be able to say that without repercussion for a long time! Guess I seemed trustworthy.

The US has become a strange, strange place in my absence. There is an unofficial psychological syndrome my wife looked up called "repatriation syndrome", where things seem to have changed, but in this case, it's NOT just my imagination. There is something wrong with much of American has gotten worse. It's probably the internet. Facebook, in particular. Gold-star sydrome. The soyboy effect (the biological fact, that is, not the politically-charged vituperation). 

Americans are so much more on edge than even they used to be. Or am I just imagining it? I think not. It is cheaper to live there though...

       Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-07 05:04:49

Glad to hear that Tabor is ok, as we had some good times together.

Not sure that the US has become a strange place in 'your' absence; I wouldn't wish to be rude, because I really value my US-friends as honourable, decent people, but I found it strange (not just different) when I went there in 1978 (I think).  It is so different to Europe - any part of Europe - and I wonder whether Americans feel the same way when they visit the UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Italy or wherever.  I suppose that they do.

Jacqueline and myself went to Orlando around 1990 (ok, Orlando is a touristy place but so is LV).  Later,  she came with me on one of my working trips to Romania.  When asked, she said that she much preferred Romania, because she felt more at home there, even given the language difference!  Personally, I feel comfortable in any part of Europe because we have so much shared culture and attitude, something that the Brexiters don't seem to understand but, then, most have only been to Spanish or Turkish tourist places.  

Sorry, didn't mean to get too political.

         Kitzmann in Erlangen by  AndyH on  2019-02-07 06:01:18

Not all quitters have even left the UK and at the risk of stereotyping...

No, you're right, lets not go there...

Although, it is their year in China!

         Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-07 07:13:05

See I think part of the problem with Europeans perception of the US is that most Europeans when they visit tend to visit the strangest most touristy places.  Las Vegas, Orlando, New York City, Los Angeles, etc. 

I think you'd find that if you spent some time in New England for example that the atmosphere, attitudes, etc. are a little closer to what your used to in Europe.  I often feel more at home in the places I visit in Europe than I do in other parts of the US.  Yes Orlando is much different than Europe and also much different than other places in the US such as New England. 

I wish that when Europeans visited the US they would go to other less crazy places (and IMO much nicer places) such as New England, Pacific Northwest, rocky mountain region (i.e. Colorado for example).  Instead they go to Orlando, LV, NYC, and so on and take that image home with them as the image of what America is like.  It's part of it to be sure but there is so much more.  It's a huge country folks.  the distance from Boston to Dallas, TX is as far as London is to Moscow.  

In a nutshell.  No I don't feel the same way when I visit Europe as you did when you visited Orlando.  But I suppose someone that lived in Orlando would.

That being said there are definitely many things that I really admire and wish we could emulate about European society and lifestyle.  There's a reason I visit so often.  But the differences are less drastic living here in New England.

           Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-07 07:24:24

Just as an added example to what I've said, I would add that the one city in the world that I think is most like my home city of Boston is Dublin.  Just my opinion and perception but when I walk around Dublin it just feels more like Boston than any other city I've visited in the US.  And really for me that is not even a close call.

             Kitzmann in Erlangen by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-07 08:02:40

Very interesting Mark and I'm sure that you're right.  You've visited quite a few places in the UK that are not touristy - certainly Dudley and the Black Country would not be on most people's tour itinerary, nor even Old Colwyn, though Conwy is but it's not quite Las Vegas or Orlando - yet!

Personally, I'm not so fond of Dublin nowadays, as the song 'Dublin In the Rare Old Times' says, they've made a city of our town (you can listen to Luke Kelly singing it on YT) and I feel the same about my home town of Manchester.  It's why I don't bother going to Muenchen and why I'll probably only call in for a few hours to Brisbane.  And part of the reason why Bamberg is lovely.

When I was in Orlando, I went out of way to try to meet ordinary people living there by going to local classic car shows in parks, etc., and talking to enthusiasts about their cars - I thought that this would be a shared passion.  If you go to similar in the UK, owners are so proud of their cars - most of which they've restored themselves - as I used to, they will talk endlessly about them.  But in Orlando, after an initial friendly response, owners sort of went a bit cold, as if I was trying to steal their souls - or their cars, maybe!  (I also realised that most were not the dirty fingernails type but people who paid for their cars to be restored - bit like the many classic cars we get on the telly nowadays).

But, I suppose that we should say 'viva la difference' - if we were all the same, what a boring world int would be!

               Dudley! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-08 12:36:42

Mark's been there? I went on my car trip a year ago...maybe you're thinking of me. But that was purely Led Zeppelin-driven. Well, the Black Country for the mythical beers, which were indeed worth their mythical status. 

I found John Bonham's gravesite visit incredibly moving. But then Zep has been a part of my life since I was a wee lad of 8 years old.'s the pic I was thinking of, from my old farcebook thingie that I can no longer access...and the infamous Pennsylvania Bourbon is there. Mind you, I left neither it nor my bass there. 

                 Dudley! by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-09 03:05:48

Oh yes, there were two well documented visits to Dudley and the black Country in 2018 (there may well have been more unreported visits) by members of this Forum for the purpose of drinking the beautiful ales and visiting the lovely pubs.

And guess what?  When I went in the Red Lion on Thursday, what were they serving but Sarah Hughes' Ruby Mild!  And from a cute little wooden cask - mind you, I've seen all sorts of things coming out of that same cask, including, horror of horrors, cider!  So I suppose that it's the same kind of cute wooden cask that is sometimes seen in Stube in Franconia (Frankische connection).  Anyway, I ventured a half and it was good - actually, better than it was when I visited the brewpub with Don S. last year.  But it's way too strong for me.

                   Dudley! by  Jason  on  2019-02-09 03:22:28

Sarah can be very changeable. At the brewery it's obviously fresh and therefore sweeter. I'm sure Ronnie told you but maybe you had your hearing aid turned off... when he ws cellarman he would vent it for 10 days. It would dry out and taste much smoother. I think you'd prefer it. 

                     Dudley! by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-10 02:24:24

Naughty, naughty.  I don't remember whether or not Ronnie told me that (and, actually, my hearing is quite good, most of the time).  Actually, when I was at the brewery with Don S., it tasted neither fresher or sweeter. Taste memory is not a perfect thing but I remember it tasting quite sour and old; that in the Red was simply much nicer.

                       Dudley! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-03-01 01:16:07

How is Don? Next time, let him know that I am similarly disgusted with the two-facedness of the Yanks he and I used to associate with many years ago, especially the hypocritical old pratt in Portland. (That pratt ain't as old as you, mind, but he is still a pratt. You are not!)

                 Dudley! by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-09 03:44:18

Yeah the missus and I did a UK tour last May. Started in Conwy and Colwyn and met up with Barry. He went on with us to Black Country (met Jason and AndrewH there). Then we continue north to Buxton, York, and finally Edinburgh.  It was a great trip.  So much good beer. 

           Americans & Europeans by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-08 12:44:35

Yes, it used to bug the Scheisse out of me when people here would say, "Yeah, I've been to the US -- Vegas and Miami." I used to laugh at the idea of going to Vegas. And then ... never mind.

I will, however, say that freeway construction there is nearly on a par with Dutch Autobahn -- yes, I"m going there, I find the Dutch motorways/freeways to be superior to Germany's, at least the stretches I've driven. 

And agreed on the east coasters being more ... well, I"m not sure. I spent some time near Pittsburgh on my trip back, and they were far more tolerant of weirdness than Nevadans or Coloradoans or west coasters in general. 

I did some testing. I would pretend to be talking to my lawyer on the phone, and get louder and louder, to see how and when I would get reprimanded. People didn't give much of a crap in Pittsburgh. Or I would pretend to be a pimp, looking after my hoes from afar.

Fun stuff to do when you're alone! Also dog parks presented a freakish slice of American humanity. Whatever else you want to say in defense of Americans, they have a lot of learning to do with dog ownership, compared to Germans or other continentals. Britons are half way there IME. time you're in Aachen, Barry, I'll point you to the part of town I've landed it now. Lots of old architectual character. Maybe almost Bathian. 

             Americans & Europeans by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-09 03:07:49

It may be a long time before I'm in Aachen again!  As you say, quite lovely architecture but, unlike Bath, it doesn't have a plethora of lovely pubs, with lovely cask ale.

               Americans & Europeans by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-11 12:24:48

Or unlovely cask ale. Or Kellerbier. There is Alt though, and the oldest Altbierbrauerei der Welt is near Moenchengladbach, whose perfectly fine Alt is on keg right near where I'm staying at the moment, in an airbnb place in a fabulous old townhouse. 

Also Frankenheim is on in a place in the Zentrum. In both cases, right next to Koelsch, which is pretty tabu in Dusseldorf and Koeln, with the exception being the one place where Don & Cheri led us to years ago, and then where Don proceeded to fart the place up. Sorry, but rough truth is rough. Don had a penchant for doing that back then and then blaming others. 

Frankenheim more or less became my favorite Alt in Dusseldorf, despite the masses prefering Zum Uerige. Meh...YMMV.

I'll be looking forward to meeting up again whenever we can, wherever. As soon as I get my Toyota situation straightened out, I may plan to drive to your Isles for a final pre-Brexit visit. Won't be for a month though, as I've rented this place that long.

                 Americans & Europeans by  Barm on  2019-02-12 07:38:12

It will be far cheaper for you if you wait until after Brexit for the pound to fall further in den Keller.

                   Americans & Europeans by  AndyH on  2019-02-13 03:14:32

That might be a long wait.

                 Americans & Europeans by  AndyH on  2019-02-13 07:02:37

I've always had a soft spot for Schlüssel Alt.

                   Americans & Europeans by  Barm on  2019-02-14 04:12:12

I like it too, even though to me it tastes the most like English bitter of any of the Düsseldorf Alt beers.

                     Americans & Europeans by  AndyH on  2019-02-14 04:52:54

Having been brought up in Tadcaster, that's probably why I like it.

 Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  David on  2019-02-02 06:50:28

Hi Guys, I will be back in town for quick hit and run the end of the month for 4 days. Has anyone been to Schroll or Drei Kronen lately? Has the beer been on par? Personal opinions please? Thanks

   Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  Jason  on  2019-02-02 07:28:53

hi David, I wouldn’t say ‘recently’ but the beer at both has always been fine. I’m guessing you have reasons for going as they aren’t... well they are good without being outstanding, but then good in Franken is very very good in most other places. The tap in nankendorf is a bit like a cafe, a little lacking in atmosphere. 

They serve the drei Kronen in pizzini on tap FYI. And I’m presuming you’ve been to heckel (near nankendorf)? A great place, more than just the beer. It’s a classic. Held Brau is not far either and is excellent. But I presume you’re aware of those things. 

     Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  David on  2019-02-02 16:04:37

Thanks Jason for the info. I am doing a Bamberg East Brauerei excursion at a slow pace. I am trying to limit my stops this trip. Opinions are always desired. Presently I am thinking Ott, Aichinger,Stockel,Schroll, and Heckel. I am trying to design a nice itinerary. This is my ninth trip but first with car rental so an ergonomically easy route with a slow pace should work good

       Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  Jason on  2019-02-03 08:57:51

Aichinger is normally good. Stöckel is a classic. 

Sounds like a good plan. 

         Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  Mosquit on  2019-02-03 11:14:57

I was in Nankendorf early December. We tasted 3 different beers - I think it was Pils, Dunkles and third one I don't recall. 
All of them were clean (no issues), well balanced. 

We have visited the the place on Friday morning (around 11am) so we were only (and probably day's first) guests, so that is even more suprising that beer was that good. 

       Bier at Schroll (Nankendorf) & Drei Kronen (Schesslitz) by  Jürgen Wening on  2019-02-04 03:16:01

David, that'll be a legendary trip. Very good choices made. Talking about Schroll - mostly Jason and me share the same taste but in my opinion, Schroll Landbier is one of the best and absolutely outstanding; It's quite complex. I always can taste a little iron or maybe blood in the beer and like that very much. But that's a matter of taste. Aichinger and Stöckel - most underrated classics! 

 Franconia July/August 2019 by  BrianW on  2019-01-31 10:29:33

I am getting close to finalizing my rough itinerary for my first real visit to Franconia this summer, somewhere at the end of July or beginning of August.  Initially I had planned to visit with my wife to celebrate my 50th birthday and our anniversary, but it has turned into a family vacation with two young teenagers, so more sightseeing and less beer drinking.  We are flying into Berlin since my wife and kids have never been there, making our way to Bamberg and surrounding sights for a few days, then heading down to Munich and flying home from there. So I need to figure out a Franconian itinerary that gets maximum beer for me and sights to see for the family while I'm drinking. We will have a car and my wife is willing to drive me around.

I'm definitely spending a day or two in Bamberg.
Probably a day in Pottenstein, since there seems to be fun family things to do there.
I'd thought about Drei Kronen and Hartmann (my friend's last name is Hartmann and I'd like to bring him a souvenir)
Probably a day in Nuremberg

1) Annafest--worth it? And should my wife and kids drop me off for the day or would they enjoy themselves?
2) If you knew it was going to be your last visit ever to Franconia and you had one day, where would you go and what beers would you drink?  (Excluding Bamberg, since I'm definitely going there no matter what I do). Any recommendations on a perfect beer served in a spectacular biergarten setting particularly appeciated.
3) Any brewers that are approachable to talk about their brewing? I am a homebrewer and would love to learn from the source.
4) Any castles, museums, or other sights that shouldn't be missed? 

Looking forward to possibly meeting some of you this summer.


   Franconia July/August 2019 by  Mark Andersen on  2019-01-31 12:37:12

1.  Annafest is something that your wife and kids would probably also enjoy.  Live music, lots of rides, etc.  I wouldn't want to be carrying an infant or chasing a toddler around Annafest but teenagers I'd bring.  I'll be at Annafest this year on the 1st Saturday (a crowded day but we'll go early).

2.  Very tough to answer.  There are several places and not all near each other.  We all have our personal favorites.  For me there are many but sicne you mentioned Pottentstein that is one of the many places I really love.  Spielbach (probably too far away for you to make happen but I'd hate not to mention it).  Roppelts Keller and Lieberth keller up on the Kreuzberg.  Merkendorf.  Dorfleins, Schroll in Reckendorf, Moenchsambach ... and I could keep going on and on.  I think your just going to have to do your research and make a tough decision.  No way around it.  For a beautiful setting and a beer I really love for me it's hard to beat Roppelts Keller.  I could spend all day there.  Others disagree with me on that.

3.  Can't help you there.

4.  Admittedly I'm not sure what a museum is.  I may have passed one or two on the way to a brewery.  There is the brewing museum in Bamberg of course.  However, I think it's worth going up to the Altenburg castle in Bamberg for starters.  Have lunch or dinner up there with the family perhaps.  Nuremburg is probably a good place for that sort of thing as well.  

I'll be based in Bamberg from the 19th to the 29th with a homebrewing friend from upstate NY and my daughter and her friend will be coming into Bamberg from  Berlin also for the first Annafest weekend.  I think Canalissimo in Bamberg is the weekend of the 19th but I haven't seen an official announcement.  That's my hope because that is a good time and you and the fmaily would probably enjoy it.  So if you're there during some of those same days I hope to meet you for a beer.  

     Franconia July/August 2019 by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-02-01 09:32:27

Canalissimo is from 25th to 28th July. 

Maybe Kulmbach is a nice location for the total family:
- A beer museum more interesting for visitors as in Bamberg. Owner is the industrial brewery Kulmbach (minority share of Heineken). It is a combination with a museum for spices and a museum aboutfür bakeries.
- A castle - Plasssenburg with a historic museum
- The Kommunbeäu Kulmbach with good beers. My recommandation for food, cooke
with beer.

A map about the best castles, museums etc in the region.

In combination with a brewery visit in Memmelsdorf (better: Wagner in Merkendorf nearby) I recommend a visit of the Schloß Seehof with a nice english garden.

Vierzehnheiligen in Lichtenfels:
- a brewery behind the church (very good beers)
- a beautiful church
Nice beweries in the surrounsings:, p.w.
Mwtzgerbräu Uwetzing
and some other breweries.
It's a butcher with good "Brotzeiten" (bread with smoked ham). A crazy small store for the village people.

       Franconia July/August 2019 by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-01 10:26:17

Thanks for the update on Canalissimo dates.  Those dates work out pretty well actually.

   Franconia July/August 2019 by  Jason on  2019-01-31 12:54:18

As always, subjective, but here’s my view.

Which drei Kronen? Hartmann is ok if you have a reason. Huppendorf nearby is much better. 

1) Annafest--worth it? And should my wife and kids drop me off for the day or would they enjoy themselves?
Yes. And no, they would enjoy it. There’s a great atmosphere and though they might be a bit old for fairground rides, who knows. 3-4 hours in the afternoon would be enough I think, as a family. 
2) If you knew it was going to be your last visit ever to Franconia and you had one day, where would you go and what beers would you drink? (Excluding Bamberg, since I'm definitely going there no matter what I do). Any recommendations on a perfect beer served in a spectacular biergarten setting particularly appeciated.
God what a thought! As a resident I hope never. No such thing as a perfect beer, or at least there is, but it’s all about the moment. It’s a hard one, and you can ask anyone on here and get many ideas, all justifiable. I would say merkendorf, visit both breweries. For Kellers I would say Griess in geisfeld or the Kreuzberg Kellers, especially lieberth and roppelts - there are 5 Kellers on a hill, it’s a really good day out. 
3) Any brewers that are approachable to talk about their brewing? I am a homebrewer and would love to learn from the source.
You can try, but English is not spoken widely enough to the level you need. Plus they don’t have the time to sit and chat unless you catch them at the right time. They are also suspicious of too many questions, even if you are a regular. I would drop this personally. 
4) Any castles, museums, or other sights that shouldn't be missed? 
Outside Bambergs’ history... Oberfranken is full of charm, history and beauty, but nothing too spectacular, in and of itself. Vierzehnheiligen is a beautiful baroque church with a brewery out the back... seßlach is a very well preserved medieval walled town with a communal brewery. There are a few castles but they aren’t stand outs. To be honest you’ll find plenty of museums in Nuremberg. 

     Franconia July/August 2019 by  Mike on  2019-01-31 23:15:16

I agree with Jason. The rides and stands at Annafest are meant for younger childern, not teenagers. BTW, teenagers 16 and older can legally drink beer in Germany. They need to have passports, and show those, rather than a driver's licence since the Germans are unlikely to know what that is.

I speak German (my parents lived in Berlin). I think it is a mistake to drive from Berlin to Bamberg, and driving while drinking beer is definitely not a good idea. If I were you, I would take a train from Berlin to Bamberg especially as it is probably faster than driving and it is a long distance.

Sesslach is a really interesting town in the sense that the city has a brewery that supplies most of the pubs in the town. I was there on brewing day (I am not a home brewer) and spoke with the brewer (in German, I have no idea if he speaks English, but I rather doubt it).

I have stayed at the hotel in Huppendorf and eaten in their restaurant. The last time I was there, I heard people from the next table talking and one couple had driven a fair distance to eat there. I would definitely try that. There are a few younger relatives of the brewer around and some of them may speak English, although to be fair, Huppendorf is a rural village with no city nearby. If they do speak English, it may be at a simple level. It is reachable by bus, btw.


       Franconia July/August 2019 by  BrianW on  2019-02-01 06:03:38

Thanks for that advice and I agree.  We are definitely taking the train from Berlin to Bamberg and probably Bamberg to Munich, but it just seemed like Franconia would be easier if we had a car and my wife won't be drinking.  I lived in Germany twice in the 90s (in Mannheim and Hamburg) and have visited other times and other parts of Europe and never rented a car. I love public transportation and take a commuter train every day to work so I am very comfortable with that.  And I do speak German, although it is a little rusty at this point but I am working on that.

         Franconia July/August 2019 by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-02-01 06:09:07

Franz Roppelt will talk about his Kellerbier, Bockbier, and Weizen in Franconian. If I'm there, I'll help you out, if you need it.

AFA driving from Berlin goes, I say, think about driving. Experience the Autobahn, unless it's something you got enough of in the past. A family on the train might be a bit of a challenge that you might not want to deal with on your precious time, but then again, maybe it would be fun, certainly different to what you get in the US. I've gone around about this myself. And you're lucky to have Mrs driving...nice!

I would definitely throw in a walk around Forchheim, have someone point out the "Mauerscheisser" depicted on the town hall wall. Well, you'll be there for Annafest anyway. Annafest...danger. The beer is so drinkable, and so strong (well, relatively speaking).

           Franconia July/August 2019 by  Carl on  2019-02-01 07:34:11

More free advice:
Stay in Franconia, and train to Berlin.
There is the new high-speed rail, which cuts travel time from Munich to Berlin to 4-5 hours, and I believe some stop in Bamberg, knocking at least another hour off the trip.
You can always rent a car in the Bamberg/Nuremberg area as necessary.

   Franconia July/August 2019 by  AndyH on  2019-02-01 02:29:19

A good range of questions Brian, some of which will be answered by broad agreement, others less so.

1. Annafest - Yes, I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

2. Ask 100 people, get 100 answers. In general terms I'd say think about the whole package, beer, ambiance, somewhere where there are a few different places within easy walking distance of each other or just chill in a good beer garden full of locals.

3. Try Weyermanns. An especially good option for homebrewers, I except.

4. Plenty to see in Bamberg, Nuremburg, Coburg, etc.

Hope that helps.


     Franconia July/August 2019 by  BrianW on  2019-02-01 06:08:18

I'm glad you said Coburg because I forgot to mention that and I think we will end up going there.

       Franconia July/August 2019 by  Jason  on  2019-02-01 16:44:28

         Franconia July/August 2019 by  Jason  on  2019-02-01 16:55:15

Sorry but Coburg is not worth a trip. My opinion. There’s no beer whatsoever. And it has nothing on bamberg. And the people.... 

   Franconia July/August 2019 by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-01 04:45:44

Just a bit more about Annafest.  You def. don't have to drive to get there.  It's easy access from Bamberg to Forchheim and they have free buses that run up to the event all day/night long.  I just mention because you mentioned being dropped off by your wife.  You can all go and nobody need drive.  I've taken both my daughters there at age 16 and they had a great time.  They drank some beer, went on some rides, enjoyed the live music, and so on.  

Sesslach, as Jason suggested, is a great idea.

     Franconia July/August 2019 by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-01 09:17:56

I can't much to my esteemed colleagues recommendations - particularly as they tend to be places where we have been together.

There are lots of kellers scattered about Franken, most of which are pretty good (did nobody mention Spezikeller in Bamberg - beer from Spezial and the most beautiful views of the city) but I think that that a trip to Stiebarlimbach and Roppelt's is as good as any - then you climb up the hill by the keller and try those up there.

I must put in a little plea fir a visit to Neder in Forchheim - apart from it being being as characterful as any town pub, anywhere (and there are certainly some interesting characters there!), sitting outside, by the Alte Rathaus, on a summer's day or evening, is fantastic; not to mention, of course, the amazing experience of sitting inside - and the beer is usually good as well!

I second the suggestion of Merkendorf, two great breweries in one little village.  But, you are spoilt for choice and won't be disappointed, whatever you do. 

   Franconia July/August 2019 by  Gerhard Schoolmann on  2019-02-01 09:57:56

A nice combination  in Bamberg is maybe:
The Hainbadestelle in Bamberg.
A small fee and You (or Your family) can swim in the river Regnitz (somewhere else it is forbidden to swim in rivers).
nearby is the Biergarten Bootshaus at the river
with a selection of beers of the Brewery Kundmüller
So your family can swim and You can drink beer.
It's a walkable distance to the old city of Bamberg. Also parking places. Maybe combned wtth a walk through the Hain (an english garden in Bamberg)

 Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Jason  on  2019-01-31 09:54:12

What was formerly known as Green (something), next door to November Rain Bar on Obere Koenigstrasse just before Weissbierhaus (now closed I think, or closing) is now known as Strawanza. 

I don't know much, but they currently have Schroll (Reckendorf) Bayerischer Anstich. They've had Eichhorn Doerfleins and Will Schederndorf so some serious good taste IMO. I popped my head in last night and the very pleasant barman/owner informed me the barrel was empty. I asked him if they change the barrels up and he said yes, so it sounds really interesting, even if it had Schroll permanently. It opens evenings, I think from 19h, it's very small and at first glance looked like the trendier bars like Karwenzman, Ostbar and Schwarzer Schaf. That's by no means a negative, especially with a good beer on tap. Music seems a feature and I imagine it would be busy almost constantly. 

Definitely a great addition to the area, providing a convenient and much needed break between walking from Spezi to Catweasel's Castle. Their Facebook page is updated regularly with the beer on offer. 

I shall investigate further. 

   Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Johnratcliffe on  2019-01-31 10:29:35

That place has always looked a bit scary! Such a long walk between Spezi and Catwheazle!

     Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Jason on  2019-01-31 12:33:50

It isn’t now... very nice. I wouldn’t walk, I cycle laugh

     Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Mark Andersen on  2019-01-31 12:41:06

Haha!  Yes now there is a place to stop on the way to Catwheazle for a refreshment.  I could have used the rest the last time.

It sounds like a nice addition.

       Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  TomM on  2019-02-01 02:24:11

I think the place referred to used to be called "Evergreen". When I went in there many years ago it was run by a nice woman who served Honig-Tiefenellern and Weismainer beers.

       Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Barry Taylor on  2019-02-01 09:18:56

Don't mention Catweazle!

     Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  AndyH on  2019-02-01 02:15:51

Long walk? It's not really that far, I normally walk to Mahrs and Keesmann.

I rarely remember Catwheazle and it's certainly good tom have more options.

       Old bar - New scene... MUST READ  by  Mark Andersen on  2019-02-01 03:58:38

I think the long walk comment was sarcasm.

 Servus! by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-01-30 03:10:23

First time back here in over a year, I think. Hope everyone's well, and it's good to see lots of familiar names still posting.

Been a weird, weird, weird year for Mrs and me. First off, she quit her career (not just her job) at adidas as predicted in Nov 2017. I sold the bottle of Hirsch Pennsylvania Bourbon in Atlanta for $2000 (paid $20 for it around 1999). Sold my 99 Volvo for 7000 EUR (I'd been hoping for 3 or 4k, got lucky there too) to a Franconian car collector after returning from my drive around England & Wales in December.

I then took a trip to see my parents at Christmas in Greenville SC and Minneapolis. That was horrible. Not just the weather in Mpls, but also seeing my parents and sister in rapidly declining health, mentally and physically. And I'd not travelled at Xmas time for a decade or two, just because, well, it sucks.

(Mrs says she warned me not to visit them, which I don't recall. I kinda wish I had heeded that's where my luck turned for the worse.)

Then I took a week in Las Vegas before heading back to Erlangen. I needed warmth and relaxation, and I'd never been there before. Actually never thought I WOULD go there before, as Mrs & I used to laugh at the idea. I landed there on 31st December and did indeed find it warm and relaxing. Pleasant, actually.

So much so, that I thought I would actually stay and relocate there, with or without Mrs. I thought I would start up a business, driving tourists around in a classic car, which I then bought. (We had decided to split, after a couple of decades together...Scheisse happens.)

I did see Uncle Jimbo one day, I think on 2nd January. Was nice to catch up. I should also have heeded his warning, that Las Vegas is a strange, strange place. I began to learn JUST how strange over time.

Anyway, the business idea didn't really pan out. I became the victim of serious crime for the first time in my life, save my car having been broken into once in the 90s. And I got into a bit of trouble myself, legally, which is being resolved, albeit slowly. I basically did the equivalent of giving a security manager at a casino the finger, but I was unaware of how paranoid the place had become, in part because of the mass shooting on 1st Oct 2017, three months before my arrival. 

My advice to anyone visiting Vegas would be: watch out for the young girls, and leave the weed alone. The new medical-grade marijuana that's being sold over there now --legally in "dispensaries"-- is way, way too strong. The girls are all gold-diggers, even when they claim not to be. 

The dating game has changed since I was young, at least in the US. I can see why middle-aged guys go for mail-order brides from places like Russia or wherever. Young American girls ... never mind, not the right forum. The internet has changed things.

There is quite drinkable beer in Vegas (though pretty crappy selection for a city of 2 million), and of course you can eat and drink well and cheap, especially the 2 - 3 pound prime rib deal at the Ellis Island Casino, the first brewpub casino. Barley's, another brewpub casino...too modern and run by twats.

Anyway, we sold our townhouse in Erlangen for a very good price in June, and are now renting a flat in Aachen. Aachen is lovely, but the beer is limited to Koelsch, Bitburger, and the occasional place with basic Belgian beer. It is close to the lovely town of Valkenburg, just over the border in the NL though. 

That part of the NL is fascinating (to me anyway) because it's all mixed up between German, Dutch, and Belgian. 

I had a 2001 Toyota Sequoia shipped over, after driving it from LA to Washington DC with my new doggie ... right, I also ended up missing my Bikerkellerhund so much that I got myself another dog over there, who was conveniently born on 23 April. 

Anyway, that's enough for now. I miss my old life in safe, clean, predictable Erlangen. Ah well.

   Servus! (Text from Above Post) by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-01-30 03:13:43

[Scheisse. the pic's hosed up the text ... here's the text from above again.]

First time back here in over a year, I think. Hope everyone's well, and it's good to see lots of familiar names still posting.

Been a weird, weird, weird year for Mrs and me. First off, she quit her career (not just her job) at adidas as predicted in Nov 2017. I sold the bottle of Hirsch Pennsylvania Bourbon in Atlanta for $2000 (paid $20 for it around 1999). Sold my 99 Volvo for 7000 EUR (I'd been hoping for 3 or 4k, got lucky there too) to a Franconian car collector after returning from my drive around England & Wales in December.

I then took a trip to see my parents at Christmas in Greenville SC and Minneapolis. That was horrible. Not just the weather in Mpls, but also seeing my parents and sister in rapidly declining health, mentally and physically. And I'd not travelled at Xmas time for a decade or two, just because, well, it sucks.

(Mrs says she warned me not to visit them, which I don't recall. I kinda wish I had heeded that's where my luck turned for the worse.)

Then I took a week in Las Vegas before heading back to Erlangen. I needed warmth and relaxation, and I'd never been there before. Actually never thought I WOULD go there before, as Mrs & I used to laugh at the idea. I landed there on 31st December and did indeed find it warm and relaxing. Pleasant, actually.

So much so, that I thought I would actually stay and relocate there, with or without Mrs. I thought I would start up a business, driving tourists around in a classic car, which I then bought. (We had decided to split, after a couple of decades together...Scheisse happens.)

I did see Uncle Jimbo one day, I think on 2nd January. Was nice to catch up. I should also have heeded his warning, that Las Vegas is a strange, strange place. I began to learn JUST how strange over time.

Anyway, the business idea didn't really pan out. I became the victim of serious crime for the first time in my life, save my car having been broken into once in the 90s. And I got into a bit of trouble myself, legally, which is being resolved, albeit slowly. I basically did the equivalent of giving a security manager at a casino the finger, but I was unaware of how paranoid the place had become, in part because of the mass shooting on 1st Oct 2017, three months before my arrival. 

My advice to anyone visiting Vegas would be: watch out for the young girls, and leave the weed alone. The new medical-grade marijuana that's being sold over there now --legally in "dispensaries"-- is way, way too strong. The girls are all gold-diggers, even when they claim not to be. 

The dating game has changed since I was young, at least in the US. I can see why middle-aged guys go for mail-order brides from places like Russia or wherever. Young American girls ... never mind, not the right forum. The internet has changed things.

There is quite drinkable beer in Vegas (though pretty crappy selection for a city of 2 million), and of course you can eat and drink well and cheap, especially the 2 - 3 pound prime rib deal at the Ellis Island Casino, the first brewpub casino. Barley's, another brewpub casino...too modern and run by twats.

Anyway, we sold our townhouse in Erlangen for a very good price in June, and are now renting a flat in Aachen. Aachen is lovely, but the beer is limited to Koelsch, Bitburger, and the occasional place with basic Belgian beer. It is close to the lovely town of Valkenburg, just over the border in the NL though. 

That part of the NL is fascinating (to me anyway) because it's all mixed up between German, Dutch, and Belgian. 

I had a 2001 Toyota Sequoia shipped over, after driving it from LA to Washington DC with my new doggie ... right, I also ended up missing my Bikerkellerhund so much that I got myself another dog over there, who was conveniently born on 23 April. 

Anyway, that's enough for now. I miss my old life in safe, clean, predictable Erlangen. Ah well.


     Servus! (...forgotten point about cars...) by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-01-30 03:25:25

I forgot to finish my point with the 2001 it for a steal (you can get great old cars CHEAP in the SW US!) from the daughter of a retired cop. Had it shipped over, but I failed to learn in advance that Toyota, although they sell Land Cruisers here, never sold the Sequoia. This means that the parts to be ordered in order to bring it from North American to EU codes are a challenge to order. And so it's taking a couple - three weeks for shock absorbers (thanks, German TUEV, for requiring that I replace the front shocks!), lights, and things. It passed the emissions test, at least.

Once I get it back, I believe I shall take off for southern Spain to escape the winter here again. Should be CONSIDERABLY quieter and safer than Nevada.

Also, I started smoking cigarettes and got a head injury, which has worsened my already-bad-enough problem with short-term memory. Not sure I can ever hold a job again, TBH.

My old Twitter account erlangernick...I ditched that in February. Started up a new one in April or so,, but then lost track of the password for it. And so a new one is beer content though--mostly bizarre things about girls, dogs, and meat. 

My old email addresses are similarly unavailable to me at the moment, but the one I used to post here is correct, if you remove a '9' (should be '999'), if anyone should want to hook up. 

       Servus! (...forgotten point about cars...) by  Barry Taylor on  2019-01-30 06:08:50

Hi Nick  It was visiting North Walses that brought about your 'downfall' - you've got to be tough to live here - or even to visit for a day!

Anyway, good to hear from you again and hope that you get your legal problems sorted out.  I don't have to tell you about me, quick look at this Forum (if you haven't done already) would bring you up to date.  Anyway, lot's of travelling and more coming up; Aussie soon, then the usual old Franken Tag des Bieres (still staying Ebensfeld) and now with my regular add on to Prague, which I've got to love.  Two more micro's open in the Bay, one 150 metres from my front door - too near for safety!

I've been to Aachen a few times, both work and leisure, nice place to travel from to other places but a bit mundane in itself.

Miss the regular German lessons and discussions on diet, the latter wasn't very fruitful anyway. 

Keep safe and take it easy!

         Servus! (...forgotten point about cars...) by  Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-01-30 06:42:45

Thanks Barry!

One thing that has changed dramatically is telephony. Although we sold the house in June, we are still battling the Deutsche Telekom to do things like change addresses and get them to stop thinking we're still using DSL there. 

Germans do things SO WELL in most ways, but part and parcel with it is the incredible Buerokratie. 

AFA cars go, I went through a 1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible (pictured), 2007 Volvo convertible (which I got to drive around whilst the former was being restored--it had sat in a Utah garage for 20 years), 2006 BMW 335i 6-spd convertible (hot rod, tuned by the Bulgarian mechanic I bought it from...burned rubber in 2nd gear), a 2002 745i, a 1999 Ford Expedition jacked up to 7' monster truck (got stolen and then impounded when found by the police, later auctioned off for $750), and the Toyota. 

The Volvo got vandalised beyond repair (total loss), the 335...sadly, hit a curb island whilst distracted and bent the frame, the 745i I gave to a girl I met who still has it but it needs a water pump, and most sadly, the Lincoln also got auctioned off whilst I was distracted.

Anyway, that was the adventure with cars.


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