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Just to check out a few beer sampling dates: I really lost my overview on who's when in Franconia? Mark, Barry, Andy...
If only there was a calendar on this site so people could put their dates in.......
That's good. I'm not sure when we'll have your august company.
my August company? Well I’m off on Monday 29th to Barcelona to Saturday 3rd. On the next Friday ill have my birthday as usual with a few barrels in the Hain park. To be honest I’ll be joining where I can / want to in the next few weeks as I have to work and play football.
Don't think that's a problem. I think Mark published his schedule to allow people to drop in-drop out. Can't see me surviving for the whole show. Second Saturday is certainly a miss for me!
"I think Mark published his schedule to allow people to drop in-drop out."
Yeah pretty much. There's a lot of moving parts on this particular trip (i.e. various different friends arriving at different times) so I felt some effort to coordinate was necessary otherwise I'll be getting multiple text messages every morning asking what the hell we're doing today.
So I created a schedule, with Ronnie's help, for my own sanity if nothing else.
While I hate Facebook as a place for discussion it does have it's uses. Such as the private event page for this trip. Which, btw I will be using during the trip to keep everyone posted on things like "It's 11am and we're off to the bahnhof now. First stop Brewery/Keller (insert brewery name here)". So stayed tuned to it.
It's good. I never imagined that things would become so organised when I first mooted the idea of a meet-up (is that a word?) on this forum just a few years ago.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man!
Incidentally, I've now sorted out where to get the train and booked my ticket. As i've got two hours, is there anywhere civilised where one can buy a half decent beer? I might sample the Asia Snack Box as I'm flying into T2 but I've got to go to T1 fro train. Any suggestions, O wise ones?
I wish I knew. I've never found a bar in Frankfurt airport that I really like. Hence why I'm glad I'm flying home from Munich this time. At least there is Airbrau there.
I had a Franziskaner while waiting for a flight recently. Cost nearly EUR6.
I would just have a coffee.
€6 for a Franzikaner! Gulp - I'll make do with an Asian snack.
It's a pain - the flight departure time is nice - mid-afternoon - but I don't get in Ebensfeld until nearly 11 pm and the transit in Wuerzburg is only 7 minutes and the same in Bamberg. I could pay double for a quicker train but it only arrives an hour earlier, so not really worth paying an extra €17 for a run down to Koenigstr and a rapid beer or two. Specially as I believe there'll be no shortage of amber nectar in the next couple of weeks!
What a great idea John! Fred would this be possible? Oh wait there is one ... and look there is actually a person that used it in July. Good on him!
Hi Juergen You may get this direct from Mark but, anyway, here's the 'rough' schedule - no doubt it will be amended as we go!
Wednesday July 17th Barry arrives (very late pm!); also I think Ronnie.
Thursday July 18th Ronnie is planning to visit to Ochsenfurt, I plan to recover from Wednesday and get ready for the onslaught.
Saturday 20th - Funf Seidla Steig (5 brewery hike) (Barry: Gulp!)
Sunday 21st - (Nedensdorf to Weisen to Pferdsfeld, Unterneuses, Ebensfeld)
Monday 22nd - Probably a day in and around Bamberg.
Tuesday 23rd - Grassmandorff, Moenchsambach, etc.
Wednesday 24th - Isa arrives (don't know when). Otherwise open
Thursday 25th - Brauerei Ulrich Martin in Hausen - later around Bamberg, maybe Dorfleins or Bischberg
Friday 26th - Mark's daughter Jess and friend Marian arrive in Bamberg. Canalissimo starts in Bamberg.(more gulps!)
Saturday 27th - Annafest (but probably not for me!)
Sunday 28th - (Annafest recovery day). Schmausenkeller to Muhlendorf/Debring hike.
Monday 29th - Mark & friends to Munich. Train leaves at 12:17. Barry recovering.
So, I hope that you can find a sport with us somewhere.
Juergen let us know when you have some free time. Maybe you can join us Sunday the 21st?
August 11 to 30 for me. Most of that with my brother.
Making my first trip to Bamberg! Sadly far too short and only part of a trip that starts in Berlin and ends in Munich. Will have a car (with my wife driving and not drinking). Missing both Annafest and Kanalissimo.
Tuesday, July 23rd--arrive in Bamberg (driving down from Erfurt--stoppping in Coburg, Sesslach and Reckendorf on the way down)
Wednesday, July 24th--Bamberg
Thursday, July 25th--Forchheim and Kreuzberg. Evening in Bamberg
Friday, July 26th--Leave Bamberg. Visit Pottenstein on the way to Nürnberg
Thanks for all the advice I've gotten from you guys!
Enjoy your trip Brian. We may see you on the 24th. I think that day we'll be wandering around Bamberg visiting breweries waiting for one of our group to arrive from Hamburg.
I will be on the lookout for you.
Sadly not me Jurgen.And I am krank as the proverbial schwein.
Shame Andy, we'll miss you.
Thanks to Ryanair's constant changing of routes, next week, I'm flying into Frankfurt Flughafen. Never done this before, only the dreaded 'Frankfurt' Hahn! So, can anyone tell me what it's like getting to the train station - is it tricky and how long? Ryanair fly from Terminal 2.
From Terminal 2 there is a Tram that will take you over to Terminal 1 then you can walk to the Fernbahnhof from there (assuming you're taking a long distance train to Wurzburg).
The walk from Terminal 1 to the Fernbahnhof is fairly long but well marked and easy to follow. So it is kind of long but not tricky.
do not get confused, there are two railway stations at Frankfurt Airport. The Lokalbahnhof has track nrs 1-3 and is served by the S-Bahn and local trains. The Fernbahnhof has tracks 4-7 and is served by the long distance trains IC/EC and ICE. I do not know the distances from the terminals (never flown there) but the distance between the two stations is about 10-15 minutes, depending on how busy it is. (I have changes trains there inclusive of a change between the two stations).
There also is a shuttle bus that leaves outside of T2 baggage claim and drops you off right at the escalator up to the Fernbahnhof.
If I have checked luggage I find the bus quicker as the tram ("Sky Train") is on Level 3 and you have to work your way up theescalators.
More info here
As Treinjan said there are two train stations there but the signage is very clear in both German and English. I usually catch at train at the Long Distance Station (Fernbahnhof) since it's saves having to make an extra changover at Frankfurt main station.
Hello, good people!
Have a trip planned this year to visit Annafest. Read a few articles there and there, heard about this whole bunch of celebration while visiting Nurmberg last year. To cut short - nowhere I encountered the need to reserve tables like at infamous Oktoberfest, but now a fella from my team is texting about me the need to do so. So how does it work @ Annafest?
So far from what I had gathered, it seemed to me that whole experience is quite liberal, you can move from Keller to Keller, grab yours stoneware and join the company, no need for reservations But maybe my mate is right, there is a need for reservations? Any experience to share?
I've been several times and going again this year. There is no need to reserve a table. Now it can get busy on certain days (such as the first Saturday for instance) but I've never had trouble finding a place to sit, or getting a beer, etc. even on a busy day. Some people do reserve tables but I think that is mostly larger groups that do this and really only if they are planning on staying at one keller. I think if you're planning on bouncing from keller to keller you're better off not reserving and you'll find it very easy to do.
Oh and go early, especially on a weekend. When it gets really busy is usually in the evening so i highly recommend that you get there early in the day. We are going on a Saturday this year and will get there at 11am.
Yup, agree with Mark. As he said, if you’re more than 5 people and want to go at peak times AND are really fussy about sitting together then I suggest going at non peak times. Reserving will probably be more hassle than it sounds.
Gutted I can't do Annafest this year as I was hoping to but definitely aiming to make a trip to the Kellerwald before the end of the season.
Thanks for info, good people. And what about the healthy need for food - if the group of 8 wanna have a dinner on festival area, so also no need for reservation?
Again no need for reservations. Not sure I would use healthy in the same sentence as food at Annafest but it's easy enough to get at most of the kellers.
Does anybody know off hand when Spezial starts their summer vacation? Back in the day it was right before the Sandkerwa but it seems like the last time I was in Bamberg in August it was earlier than that.
No sign up yet. If you want I can text Florian, always good to know when the dark days will be upon us again. I'm 99% sure it'll straddle Sandkerwa.
No need to text, not that urgent. Just ask next time you pop in for a beer. I know they are closed during Sandkerwa, just want to know how much before... Thx
To the joy of many fans out there, the owner of Neder has decided to lease out the brewery and pub to the 23 year old who some of you may have seen working in the pub. I had heard that breweries such as fässla were interested and we could have lost an institution.
He’s a trainee brewer and from my experience in the taproom is a very good choice. Neder geht weiter!
Good news indeed! Thanks for sharing, Jason.
Let's hope he doesn't change a thing!
Is that the big guy who has been there a lot recently? It's great news as long as everything stays the same - no weird coffee/vanilla stouts, no double ipas; in fant absolutely no ipa's of any kind. I might be in there next week, so we'll see if any changes.
That's him. He's been there a while, so wipe the sweat off your brow Barry, I'm sure he'll keep things just as they are.
You never know, look at Mahrs.
Had Mahrs Pils on draught in a pub in Hereford at the weekend. The first mouthful was a shock!
Why, was it good?!! Whilst i appreciate the reference, I'm 100% sure that you couldn't have two characters so different as Herr Michel and the young man at Neder.
I had it some months ago in the brewery. So buttery I couldn't finish it. I complained and the waitress was like, "what do you know".
But never mind the diacetyl, you can get it in cans!
It wasn't buttery but had an unpleasant hop extract edge on the first mouthful. This dissipated the longer it was in the glass. By the end it was OK at best but hardly earthshattering.
I've now read the article - it's the same guy as served me on a few occasions and all sounds well - phew!
Sorry chaps but I fear you are being a tad optomistic. The dread phrase "for the time being" is mentioned twice,and bearing in mind possible duff translation the owner says " stay the same on the outside" I smell change in the wind.
With respect Andrew, the article doesn’t suggest what you are saying. I translated it without any tool and whilst I understand where you saw these issues, I didn’t. The first “zur Zeit’ just meant that he had been doing his Ausbildung to the point he was appointed. The “stay the same from the outside” just means that everything remains the same apart from the “ownership” (the inside).
My german is better than most on this forum, but I haven’t spent a lot of time on this, and I’m far from perfect. But it’s positive in my opinion.
Correction; he’d done his Ausbildung and brewer training and he’s been at neder for 7 years. He said he wants to continue the pub without disturbance: you can bring your own food, the beer will be poured from the barrel and the beer quality will remain the same.
That's what I understood from the translation. In any case, it will probably outlast me in it's present form. If not, c'est la vie - or whatever the equivalent is in Deutsch.
So ist das Leben!
Mea culpa Jason, I was using google translate. so could well have been mistranslated.
(I truly hope so!)
No worries. Google translate is really rather good these days, but it’s the subtleties that are often lost.
Today I visited Klosterbrauerei Irsee near Kaufbeuren. A bit expensive and touristy but very pleasant place with excellent beer and some of the most beautiful Krugs and glasses I’ve come across. The Starkbier was excellent.
Then to the zoigl brewery in Kaufbeuren. In terms of authenticity, this is almost more ‘authentic’ than the ‘real’ thing. Excellent replica of a Oberpfälzer Stub’n, even with that meaty smell. The beer was quite dark, poured from a sole tap in the corner. Typical zoigl co2 levels, quite malty but also a little odd. A sign told that it was brewed at the end of April and has been lagered since then. For me that might be too long, as it had almost no sweetness to it, although as said it was quite dark. The hops came through to add to the bitterness of the malt. If it just kept the malt sweetness it would have been good.
That said, it was really worth a visit, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to visit.
I met the chap from Kaufbeuren a few years ago when he was at Abseits demonstrating his beers. He was an interesting character and we talked for quite some time.
At first, I was really quite in opposition to the idea of brewing Zoigl in the Allgaeu but, in the end, I was pretty convinced of his sincerity in loving the tradition of Zoigl and not just perpretating a rip-off, like some other breweries. I had always intended to go and see for myself but it's a tricky place to get to without a car, so have never managed it.
In the end, the Zoigl beers are simply another type of Pilsner beer, as most use mainly pilsner malt, with different proportions of Muenchner etc., but German hops, as opposed to Czech ones, which I suppose is one of the things that make German Pilsner a bit different.
Good to get a first-hand report on the experience, save me going!
You would definitely like the stubn and attention to detail. I only stayed an hour, would have stayed longer if the beer was marginally better.
In some cases the beer was also zoigl like ;)
I went back in '14. The very friendly proprietor apparently recognized that I was a beer geek and took me down the road (Kappeneck 1) where he was going to be putting in a new brewery. Better yet, he decided to tap a beer that he described as a Tripel Bock which almost like a strong porter and was excellent.
The stube is very homey, and the Zoigl beer itself was only fair on this occasion.
I've heard through ratebeer.com that he has passed away. I regret having been hostile to him on here (never met him in person) way back when he was new to Franconian beer and travel.
Terrible news. He was way too young.
Agreed. All of the things that may have been debated on this forum pale into insignificance when you talk about life and death. We all share a love of Franconia and no matter how this is manifested we should always remember we are batting for the same team, and even if we’re not, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
That is really sad. I met him in the Oberpfalz, actually in Schoilmichel in Neuhaus, which a lot of you will know well. He seemed to me a very nice person, chatty and friendly, and we spent a really good night together; sadly, now, it will never be repeated.
Just for the ignorant like me, is this the Mike who used to get into arguments with people on here?
Not with me!
What are the 4 or more Franconian beers you enjoy most?
Be it for flavour, drinking settings, memories or reasons beyond.
And how/where do you drink them (bottle, tank, keg or bayerischer anstich).
1. Any beer that I enjoy anywhere in Franken from any dispense with or without good company 2. Eichhorn KellerBier (Tank) at the brewery or BA anywher
3. Moenchsambacher Lager BA at the brewery or in Rotenschold, Bamberg
4. Spezial Rauchbier (Tank) at the brewery
The first point is important - beer and beer drinking is nothing if not fluid. I’ve said before that the best Czech beers beat the best Franconian beers hands down, but in terms of sheer drinking experience Franconia wins every day. Within the region you have so many variables. So lists are a little futile in Franken in my opinion.
My top 3 were just random, though I would say Eichhorn kellerbier is the best beer in the region, to my taste.
- Slowly grown on me over the times. Sadly the pub isn't too special and it's quite far out of my way. But sitting in the mornings outside the facing the church and sipping the Landbier while trying to get a laugh out of the locals is fun. Great beer!
- Absolutely love this beer. Only ever consumed it from bottle at the pub and lately elsewhere since I learnt to bring empties. Saison-esque!
- Stunningly beautiful Keller. Incredible sessionable Kellerbier often enjoyed at the Keller and Restaurant, both from tank and several BA here and there. & Franz and Fritz are jewels.
- Not been to their Keller yet, which is a serious miss in my book. I've barely noticed its uniqueness in the pub, but multiple outstanding BA experiences later I drink it at any opportunity. A delighting doughyness (Gaenstallers Zwickelpils also does it well) and sublime herbal-spicy hop notes.
- Yes, great one! While visiting regularly, it easily slips my memory. Less rustic than the others mentioned, but oh so very süffig. I should try a bottle soon again. If you haven't, venture out to taste their new Rauchbier.
The Hallerndorf style of delicately hopped mineal rusticness pleases me without fail. Happily new and tried beers fade in and out of preferences!
Impossible for all the reasons you and Jason suggest!
But, for me, place imparts a special nuance to a beer, so I can't fail to mention the awe-inspiring Neder of Forchheim!
Easily the best beer in Franconia is Gradl in Leups. If you go in summer, you need to get the beer from inside and then sit in the barn to drink it.
The Spezial Keller in Bamberg for the views. And Brauerei Knoblach in Schammelsdorf for their lovely garden.
Went to Gradl last year and loved it. Hard to beat Spezi and Schlenkerla for beer. Kraus at the Haschaada keller. Otherwise any keller with a view on a warm day.
I would like to say Gradl is on my list but unfortunately I was the designated driver in my only visit there.
The Gradl Bock is among the greatest beers I've ever tried, surpassing the excellent Dunkles and fine Pils aka Vollbier.
Very, very, very difficult to limit it to just four. In no particular order
1. Golden Ochsenbrau in Spielbach - I like the beer a lot but the atmosphere for me puts it on the list. Sitting down at a table with the grandmother and paying is an experience all unto itself. Besides if I didn't include this on my list Juergen would rightfully be dissapointed.
2. Hoffman in Hohenschwarz for the Dunkel
3. Lindenbrau in Grafenberg - nice village, classic place, great beer, their own malzerei across the street.
4. Roppelts Keller - a lot of people disagree with this but sorry it's my favorite beer keller and I love the beer.
The list could just go on and on. Hoefen, Pferdsfeld, Moenchsambach, Spezial, Schroll Reckendorf, etc, etc. My top 4 will probably change in the next 5-10 minutes if I keep thinking about it.
And just thinking about this reminds me why I'm going back every year.
Both for the beer and atmosphere:
- Gold-Ochsen in Spielbach
- Neder in Forchheim
Also most of the most known breweries in Bamberg, but the 2 above are probably like no others. You'll know what I mean when you go there.
Impossible to say as it depends so much on place, weather, company, mood, etc.
A few that spring easily to mind for the whole place, beer experience are:
Schwarzes Keuz, Eggolsheim (closed)
A list. Oh my goodness. Could write forever. But to mention my top five for now:
1. Goldochsenbräu Spielbach. Type: Spezial; malted on site!
2. Brauerei Scharpf, Heilgersdorf. Type: Märzen
3. Brauerei Gradl, Leups. Type: Dunkles Vollbier
4. Brauerei Düll, Gnodstadt. Type: Pils
5. Brauerei Prechtel, Uehlfeld. Type: Kellerbier (at the Voggendorfer Keller only)
As Mark said before, the list would probably change in a minute, if asked again. ;-)
Spannend. Not heard of Düll, but will try to pass by. And as Goldochsenbräu been mentioned multiple times now, just the same. Which leads me to another curious interest: who is malting on site? Vague memories suggest Mueller in Debring does, but I'm sure there are more.
Happy to read some appreciation of Scharpf. The beers remind me of English milds, the way the malt is treated to build the body. I've just picked up two 5L barrels last week and I'm looking forward to emptying them!
Who'd you mention if I'd ask you again
Asked again today I'd go for those 5 ones:
1. Brauerei Strauss, Wettelsheim. Type: Märzen, on the Wettelsheimer Keller
2. Brauerei Schroll, Nankendorf. Type Landbier bernsteinfarben
3. Brauerei Leicht, Pferdsfeld. Type Vollbier
4. Brauerei Martin, Hausen b. Schonungen. Type Spezial
5. Seinsheimer Kellerbräu, Seinsheim. Type Helles Vollbier
Tomorrow - who knows? ;-)
So many beer, so little time. :)
Four or five, who cares...;-)
1. Witzgall Landbier, my absolute #1 not only in Franconia...
2. Lieberth Kellerbier! When served at the Dorfkeller, sometimes better than Witzgall...
3. Spezial Ungespundet (without Rauch !) Countless Biers in Bamberg, this is the best...
4. Heckel Vollbier. Not only the Gasthaus is worth a detour...
5. Aufsesser Bock Hell. Superbly balanced Heller Bock...
I tried to organize all the suggestions given so far.
I gave a "weight" to all entries by the order in which each person gave them; #1 had a much higher value than #5.
I plan to visit in the next few months, so may actually use it to look up a few places.
So, if I did everything correctly, here's the list !
Surely this is the FINAL LIST !
(I was unable to change the font to unispace.)
1 Goldochsenbräu 3
2 Gradl 3
3 Eichhorn 3
4 Neder 2
5 Witzgall 2
6 Spezial 4
7 Anywhere 1
8 Hartleb 1
9 Lieberth 2
10 Hoffman 1
11 Hummel 1
12 Roppelt Keller 3
13 Scharpf 1
14 Greifenklau 1
15 Knoblach Schlammersdorf Garten 1
16 Lindenbrau 1
17 Schlenkerla 1
18 Zehendner 1
19 Düll 1
20 Heckel 1
21 Kraus Haschaade Keller 1
22 Aufseßer 1
23 Mühlenbräu 1
24 Prechtel 1
25 Strauss Wettelsheimer Keller 1
26 Schroll 1
27 Leicht 1
28 Martin 1
29 Seinsheimer Kellerbräu 1
Just a note on the 'top 2'. Even as someone who lives here, I visit Gradl maybe 1-2 times a year and Spielbach 2-3 times per year. Juergen visits Spielbach more of course. I think there's a bit of romanticism involved here (nothing wrong with that), as with Heckel which has developed a cult status that it doesn't really want. When I was there with Mark et al a few months ago the beer was fine, but on balance not mind blowing (should it be? another question). The place was great of course. It's just a feeling.
Not sure where I'm going with this. Witzgall is fine, but honestly I was drinking it out the bottle last weekend on a football training camp... it's ok (better on draft) but I'm not visiting often. Knoblach is way overrated IMO. Griess deserves to be in that list, as does Sonnenbraeu Muersbach. Martin in Hausen deserves to be higher. Leicht as well, it's an extremely consistent product, though the pub is lacking in atmosphere. I really like Scharpf, but again, it's so hard to get to without a car I don't get there often.
I guess my point earlier is that 'hard to reach' places tend to be judged differently and romantiscised. And as visitors get 'used' to the places closer to and in Bamberg they are more attracted to these harder to reach places. That doesn't always make them better.
But then it's only a bit of fun.
Martin is wonderful. Bit ironic that it is in wine country in Unterfranken.
Strange, not a vote for Schwanne in Ebing, nor Hellmuth in Wiesen - what happened to the best Pilsner beer in Germany? Certainly no votes for perhaps the best brewery in the world across the oradand justifiably so. And what its proprietor would make of this little list that includes a lot of very respected and experienced enthusiasts - pronably very little as the money rolls in
There;s just too many good beers for this competition for it to be meaningful.
Incidentally, a recent visit by two of the above suggested that the beers of Mueller, Debring were much better than those of Muhlendorf. ISHO.
To add some fuel to the fire. A little dated but here is another view
Lieberth ( )
Hello again, it's been a while.
Where in Cumbria can I visit for both (cask) beers and sausages? (Cheese and lamb would be great too, of course). Problem is, we have to use public transport. Is it doable?
PS: yes, I still go to Germany but the most recent holidays were not planned around beer. I did manage to find some German craft beer (bottles) where I visited.
I'm considering Staveley. Can be reached by train from Manchester.
Stavely is good - the eagle and child pub and the hawks head brewery plus the watermill at ings if you can get a bus. Would also recommend Ulverston and a visit to the Prince of wales pub in foxfield and the manor arms in broughton in furness - all should be ok with public transport as most on or near railway lines. That aside it’s a hard place to traverse without a car.
Thanks, Jason. Ulverston is doable. It's a little more than 2hrs by either bus or train from Staveley. I hope to do a bit of walking every day in the area (weather permitting). It'll be nice to drop by a local pub for beer and sausages along the way.
Hawkshead is one of the reasons I make Staveley my base.
Iwould imagine Keswick would fit the bill. Lakes not that easy without a car. I know a lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages.
Dear U Forget the Lake District, come to North Wales. Two hours by train from Manchester Airport, lovely countryside, historic castles, good-ish public transport, excellent beer and pubs. As recommended by fellow Forummers! What more could you want!
Hahah... would love to visit Wales in the future. It's on my "list".
Well, both are worth visiting IME, but yes, Wales is Wales.
Thanks! Keswick seems very nice. I plan to base in Staveley for a week and do some walking in the area but now I also want to spend a few days in Keswick. Looks like I need to split it up, 5 days in each place. OK, suggest no more or it'll turn into a 3 week trip. :D
local delicacies of Cumberland sausage, tattie hot pot, Borrowdale tea loaf, rum butter and plum bread. Sold! (from this site)
PS: where's that lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages? Maybe I've been there, or nearby.
PS: where's that lovely place in Germany with great beer and sausages? Maybe I've been there, or nearby
Why Düsseldorf, of course
DUS is great for both, indeed. I still go there at least once a year to drink/eat at Uerige and Schumacher after shopping at Lebkuchen Schmidt. I miss Lebkuchen from small bakeries in Nürnberg. "Eigene Herstellung" Lebkuchen are the best.
If you’re there for a week I would strongly recommend the prince of Wales in foxfield. It’s a bridging pub institution and famous across the country. The train stops right in front and a short 30 minute walk and you’re in Broughton - the manor arms is a great pub with 10 handpulled ales all served in very good condition.
Also agree with keswick, the dog and gun is a lovely pub (though I haven’t been for years).
Sorry Barry, I’m sure north wales is very nice but the lakes are spectacular and one of the most beautiful parts of Britain. The pubs are also fantastic and the local breweries overall of a much higher quality than average. Not saying don’t go to wales but not above the lakes ;)
Dunno, I wouldn't wish to start about which is best - although I live in north Wales, I am a Northerner. Strangely, the Lake District has never been a big part of my life, though it was pretty close at hand.
I'm not sure that the Lake District has anything to compare with Snowdonia, possibly the most beautiful part of the UK, though I'm there's plenty of Highlanders, Cornish, etc., etc., who would disagree.
North Wales is incredibly accessible by train and bus and has more breweries now than you could shake a stick at (not sure what that means!). U: you'll be welcome here anytime and, if you're lucky, I might be here to reveal the wonders of Wales (if I'm not wandering around somewhere else!).
P.S. To all our techy friends: I need a new mobile/smart/handy/cell phone. Budget: up to £200. The best reviews that I've seen are for the Moto G7 Power (around UK£180) - fantastic battery, good camera. Any views or suggestions?
Ive had a Moto G5 for about 18 months. It was the cheapest smartphone available at the time. Works absolutely fine for me.
Thanks John. I've currently got a Moto E3, bought nearly 3 years ago. It''s been ok-ish but the battery is pretty run-down and doesn't hold it charge for more than 5 hours and it also is pretty erratic (though part of that may be the operator!). It was my first mobile and was pretty cheap at about £80 from Argos. I'm just wondering if I spend £180 whether I'll see a lot of improvement.
The Nokia 7.1 is a similar price and it's, well, it's a Nokia, as reliable as ever.
The Nokia 5.1 might do if you don't need bells and whistles and it's half the price.
Thanks Andy, I have a look at that!
Barry, I like Almasty. I met some people from the brewery when I had their beers at a tap takeover.
Public transport accessibility is so important as we don't drive. Gonna check out the beers when we make it there.
Hi I didn't recognise the name among the hundreds - no thousands - of new breweries, so I looked it up!
They're in Newcastle, which is almost as far as you can get from North Wales and still be in the UK - it's even in a different country! Seriously, never had the beers but there's loads of North Wales breweries to go at whenever you make it here.
I remember when you were first enquiring about Neder - glad that you liked the place!
Yes, Almasty is up here in Newcastle, they brew some lovely beers, including the best Pilsner Ive ever had in the UK.
Sorry, it was supposed to be Odyssey brewing (https://www.odysseybrewco.com/) in Herefordshire. If I remember correctly they said "in Wales".
Yeah, you remember. I love Neder! Stayed a week in Forchheim and went there every day. The regulars kind of stopped staring hard after a few days. One regular chatted with us every time and told us how curious the other regulars were about us. A group of regulars who sang in the choir shared a table with us continuously burst into song on new year's eve. After a few days some regulars sat at the same table or invited us to sit at theirs.
Have read other tourists' experiences at Neder and too bad they thought it was intimdating or unpleasant but ours were great. Only one (good) beer and we couldn't stop drinking.
Odyssey is connected with the "Beer in Hand" micropub in Hereford, a converted Laundrette. I think the brewery is in an industrial unit on the National trust's Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire (so not quite in Wales). The Beer in Hand focuses on Ale and Cider served by gravity and is well worth a visit. I haven't been for a while as to get there I have to walk past a bottle shop and tap room (Hereford Beer House) selling a wider range of international beers but I must make the effort again soon.
Incidentally, it's the Hereford Beer Festival this coming weekend. :)
Enjoy! And thanks for the info about Odyssey.
Funny, I've never found Neder odd or intimidating, though I know that a lot of people do. Probably my beer upbringing in Manchester - the rougher bits.
Jacqueline and self stayed 200 metres from Neder, just behind the Rathaus, for two weeks, a few years ago and went in every night. I suppose that they just got used to us. Nowadays, I fit in as one of the aged regulars. I tend to drink the Fassbier at first and then graduate to the Schwarze Anna, as a memory of Jacqueline - it was her favourite beer - and it's pretty good!
I discovered recently that Elisenlebkuchen (the flourless ones made of almonds and candied peel) are much easier to make and more impressive than any other kind. They are absolutely extortionate to buy but if you make your own they really cost very little. All you need to do is save up your citrus peel in the freezer all year and by November you'll have enough to make Elisenlebkuchen for all your friends.
Obviously, stick to organic/unsprayed fruit if you're planning to turn the peel into edible Christmas gifts ;)
I'm a lousy baker. Should have a go at making Elisenlebkuchen.
Has anyone ever been there and can recommend a pub/restaurant from personal experience?
Worth a visit if only for the bus ride to the "Eagles nest" and the scenery in general. youtube has some good videos to give you the idea. Just forget about the quality of the beer for a day.
Worth a visit if only for the bus ride to the "Eagles nest" and the scenery in general. youtube has some good videos to give you the idea. Just forget about the quality of the beer for a day.
Huh? The beer from Berchtesgadener Hofbräuhaus is perfectly fine for a large brewery. Nearby is Bad Reichenhall and Bürgerbräu which is excellent (and I recommend overnighting at the brewery). You are also a short distance from Salzburg and Augustiner Bräu Mulln. The quality of the beer is not a concern - Bürgerbräu is as good as any Bamberg brewery.
I been to Berchtesgaden many times and I love it, it’s one of the most scenic regions in the German alps. The eagles nest is of course an ‘attraction’ but there are many more natural pursuits worth investigating. Like hiking (with plenty of mountain huts serving the local beer at reasonable prices) and tours on the Konigsee.
Thanks Jason. As usual, ever helpful!
Mrs & I spent a few days in a Wohnmobil at a campground above Berchtesgaden. We enjoyed the Hofbraeuhaus pretty well, I forget what else. Of course, a boat tour of the Koenigsee.
Oberbayern. Mountains. Some sweet Hefeteig dessert thingy at the campground restaurant that I'd always wanted to try and...well...sweet. Arterties-cloggingly sweet.
Much like the rally grounds in Nuernberg, I found the Eagle's Nest to be much smaller than what I'd expected, though of course sobering and thought-provoking. A beautiful part of the country, very well worth visiting.
Visited last weekend by accident the reopened „Ahörnla“ (Bamberg slang for „unicorn“); they claim that their Hausbier, which was not very good, is exclusively brewed for them. Does anybody know the source?
A place I avoid. It used to be brewed by Mahrs, no reason to think it would have changed.
It used to be the tap for Brauerei Einhorn many decades ago - the keller of the same brewery still exists, though it's history has been similarly sulied by now being 'run' by Faessla.
ps what do you mean by 'reopened'? It's been open in its current form for at least 5 years and probably more. Presume you're going back further.
Yes! But I usually avoid drinking in the Bamberg party zone, so I saw Ahörnla for the first time…It was mentioned on the „ Braufranken“ web-site and I became curious… A second visit is not planned!
Back in the "old days" it was the Nelson Lounge and sold Paulaner. And Einhorn keller sold Hacker-Pschorr -- Fässla is an improvement on that.
When Ahörnla was new the beer was decent and I remember one time having a nice bock -- but that was also when new. My guess is they've found a cheaper supplier.
The Keller sold Sonne Bischberg in recent years until Fassla took over.
My ‘guess’ is simply that the beer quality is aligned with the decline in quality of that brewery. Plus some poor cellarmanship, if I’m being generous ;)
My name is Ryan and I’m an American brewer in need of some recommendations. In a few short weeks I’ll be making my second trip to Bamburg and I am hoping to get a chance to speak with a few Franconian brewers and/or tour brewing facilities. I’m just looking to talk shop and learn as much as I can about brewing processes. I’ve reached out to several breweries in the Bamburg region via email and social media with very few responses. Does anyone on the forum have recommendations on brewers or breweries to contact that may be interested? Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Hi Ryan... you're not the first person to ask this question, and while there's no definitive answer, there are a number of things that will make your quest rather difficult.
Firstly, Franconians are conservative by nature. Brewers more so; they won't just start chatting to people about their work. In some cases, it's akin to alchemy, and any questions will be treated with suspicion. Secondly, very few brewers would speak sufficient English for even a casual conversation, nevermind a technical discussion about brewing. Thirdly, some breweries do do tours (Schlenkerla) but not many.
These things combine to explain why you haven't had many responses. There is 1 guy I know who fits the bill, Andy Gaenstellar. Andy brews in Schaid and recieves foreign visitors daily it seems, to the point where I don't know where he finds the time to brew. People just turn up and expect him to drop what he's doing and drink beer with them. With this in mind, please contact him in advance.
Finally, and most importantly, it's Bamberg, not Bamburg ;)
Thank you for the quick and informative response, Jason! That all makes sense and I appreciate the insight into the mindset of the brewing culture. My apologies on my misspelling! Please excuse my haste on posting and the autocorrect(or lackthereof) on my damn phone.
Though some people around this board aren't fans of him, Stephan Michel of Mahr's always struck me as friendly and forthcoming in discussing the brewing side of his beers, and speaks excellent English.
Peter Griess of Brauerei Griess in Geisfeld was also very forthcoming, and I suspect he speaks English. Franz Roppelt of Roppelt in Stiebarlimbach might not speak any English, but was as forthcoming as could be with me.
Now...I was talking to these guys in terms of my having been a homebrewer, which might have had a different impact.
When are you planning to visit?
Ryan, this is a slightly 'off the wall' suggestion but, if you want to talk to brewers about brewing in Bavaria, why don't you go to the Oberpfalz and look at the Zoigl tradition. In either Windischeschenbach, Neuhaus, Eslarn, Falkenberg or Mitterteich, you'll find the Zoigl brewers happy to discuss brewing. In the end, it's just another 'untergaeriges Bier', made from Muenchener and Pilsner malt and, generally, using Hallertauer hops.
If you're not familiar with this tradition, you can read my English intro at [https://zoiglbier.de/an-introduction-to-the-tradition-of-zoigl-beer/] and I'll happily put you in touch with someone.who'll introduce you to the right people.
Barry, thank you for the suggestion! I wish I had enough time to make it over and try some zoigl on this trip. I will be in Bamberg from July 15-20th and we have our itinerary pretty well mapped out. Perhaps next time. Also, I read your introduction a while back and found it extremely informative. Zoigl and its traditions seem fascinating. I will try it one day!
That's true regarding Stephan Michel. And it's true some aren't fans, because under his watch he's eroding what was one of the best breweries in the city. People will have their opinions of course, but for it to go from my favourite to a place I go to once or twice a year as a resident is some sign.
But yeah, he likes the sound of his own voice and if he's not tarting around the US i'm sure he'll be happy to meet ;) (sorry but he really makes me angry). His English is OK.
Peter Griess is a character... you're more optimistic than I am about his English. His son-in-law is the brewmaster though and he's much more accomodating I would say. If you catch him he may well give you a tour. But who knows.
Back in 2001 I had a nice brewery tour from Peter Griess and his English was fine. Most of the tour he was worried about how this or that piece of equipment was old and he had only daughters so he didn't know what he would do if it broke.
Went up to Binkert in Breitengussbach about 5 years ago, which is new. Bloke there was happy to talk to my friend who is a partner in a microbrewery. German only thoigh.
Rock star! Cans (in a place with a functional returnable bottle ecosystem)! Craft beer!
I guess maybe my impressions of Germans' English is coloured by my years "teaching" them English.
I should point out for anyone that hasn't heard it before, that I used to dislike what I knew of Herr(n) Michel myself, until I spent time chatting with him about non-beery things. For whatever reason, he is somewhat blessed in life, with good looks, charm, and whatever has enabled him to move in what we might call "high-society social circles" both in and out of the non-local-to-Franconia brewing world. I mean, yes, he's friends with "rock star brewers" in the US like the Stone guy, who he put me on the phone with one evening when I was there.
He's also got connections to great rock-n-roll heroes of mine -- Led Zeppelin. That in itself is reason enough for me to fall smitten with him.
Anyway, when I used to obsess about beer, I spent ages on here decrying how thin and bland Mahr's U was, which NO ONE ELSE on here seemed to agree with. I loved the tavern, the Schwemme, and the food, but the beer...meh. Gimme a Mahr's Hell instead of an U. And I found Michel to be a bit full of himself when I first met him and talked beer with him.
"Tarting around the US..." That sounds a bit hard, Jason. Are you not tarting around Europe? Guess I don't know how to interpret "tarting" here.
I've lost track of exactly what some on here find so objectionable about what Michel has done to Mahr's, having had other things to worry about in the last couple of years. Is it that he's brewing different beers now? Table reservations in the tavern? Too famous?
Be careful, because if we were to demand that Franconian taverns revert to a specific level of traditionalism, we'd have to pick a point in the past to have them revert to. Would that be before flushing toilets? Smoking? Electric lights and refrigeration?
Anyway, just more holiday musings, nothing meant to be taken too seriously. Speaking of which, back when I was new with German, I mis-read the name of today's "Corpus Christi" holiday to be "Frohenleichnam" rather than "Fronleichnam". So I thought it translated to "Happy Cadaver". I can't get that out of my head to this day.
I have no idea about Griess's English, but he spoke good proper Deutsch with me, having recognised that I don't speak Franconian, because of that I figured maybe he could manage some English, compared to Roppelt.
There are also issues of class and educational background that will impact how well a given brewer or brewmaster will speak English, as well as whether they have simply had opportunity to do so since school, what with working and raising a family every day for the last umpteen years.
I've been to the area quite a bit over the years. Tours to tend to be impromptu and the brewers will oblige if they aren't busy. Arranged in advance some want a certain group size and will charge you.
Just say you're a brewer and you would like to see the brauhaus.
Email Rittmayer in hallerndorf. Wagner and Hummel in merkendorf. Metzgerbrau in Uetfeld.
Being a probrewer helps, bring some bottles of your beer that opens doors.
Good advice and good to hear personal experience like yours.
I also had a couple of nice conversations with a brewer at Rittmayer, now that you mention it. It's not a favorite brewery for many people on this forum, I think, because it's kind of large and maybe not so "traditional" in their business dealings, what with brewing beers under license or contract for others and whatnot. But in light of what's been happening with traditional breweries closing down over the decades, I have to give them respect for doing what they need to do to keep in business themselves!
I have forgotten -- does Roppelt (Stiebarlimbach) still brew his Weizen there, or did we (or I) find out that he's started brewing it himself?
Good call also on Metzgerbraeu being very forthcoming, though some might not consider him "traditional" since he's new to brewing and all that. And a bit of a TV star. I just went to look up the video of him from BR3 TV that I subtitled and uploaded to Youtube years ago, but can't find it. Maybe it got deleted bc of copyright or whatever grounds. Youtube have been accused of deleted lots of things recently, as part of some vegetarian conspiracy or something, and with him being a butcher...?
It’s not really to do with being traditional or non traditional, whatever that means. But on account of playing football for 2 clubs that had rittmayer beer in the sportheim I can just say that I prefer other breweries. The beers are ok, but nothing special. I much prefer rittmayer in Aisch.
Not that this has anything to do with brewery tours, but metzgebrau beer, as much as I love the concept and wish the guy every success, can be rather inconsistent. But I don’t think you’ll ‘learn’ anything from a visit, though it may still be fun and interesting.
I thought we (figuratively) have argued (figuratively) quite a bit in the past about how traditional a given brewery or Bierkeller should be or not. But then, I (literally) have argued about way too much such nonsense on here in the past, and can't be arsed to care any more.
Agreed, of course, that Rittmayer is uninspiring and yes, Rittmayer in Aisch is well worth seeking out, especially when the little Biergarten (or is it a Keller?) across the road from the brewery is open.
And yeah, the Metzgerbraeu beer...too dark and a bit...funky for my taste. Only had it a few times, and it wasn't one I ever wanted to have more of. I forget if I've visited his place. Manfred is his name, that I remember from the TV program(me), when the little old lady came in to his butcher's shop and demanded a beer, which she then said "slid down like oil" or something quaint. (She's so old her taste buds are long gone.)
When I ever get my desktop computer out of storage in that nasty city between Forchheim and Nuernberg that nobody ever wants to mention, I'll find the video and upload it to Youtube again. It was cute, and interesting to see how you can brew beer in a big sausage kettle...it was before he installed a proper brewing kit.
Speaking of Erlangen, we (the Nebraskans and I) had a great tour at Kitzmann (RIP) years ago, ending with lunch at the Gaststaette, which I hope to visit again someday. While it's perfectly fine to rag all over Erlangen and Kitzmann, it is a tragedy that the brewery closed up. It was a great example of a centuries-old brewery built into the old city wall.
Erlangen *was* once a huge exporter of beer, even to the US. One might quip that Franconians had good enough taste and sense not to drink Erlanger beer, to export it all, I guess. But still, it was a lovely old brewery.
Really hard times for such breweries as those. Very expensive real estate, and a very, very hard business to make a profit in. Makes me wonder which brewery of similar size will we see go next.
I went to Metzgerbrau in April. I thought the beer was clean and flavorful. I watched the video you translated many times and it got me inspired to find the place.
Being Rittmayer is currently in charge of a brewing trade organization. The name is Private Brauerein Bavarian. Or similar. I was a guest on 2016 and got a brewers tour. They do a lot of co packing but that seems like an emerging trend with several larger breweries in the area.
I've not had Metzgerbraeu in a couple of years. He seems the sort of guy that would want to get things right. Glad to be of help with the video!
I remember getting on your years and years ago about your plan to tour by car. Please forgive my old zealotry -- I was brand new to cycling around the Franconian countryside back then.
Aren't you from Minnesota, BTW? Apple Valley Class of 83, me.
The great reputation of Munich beer in the US is, I believe, a 20th-century, possibly even post-WW2 phenomenon. Pre-prohibition texts seem to refer a lot to Erlanger and Würzburger.
Würzburger Hofbräu of course, there’s another city brewery swallowed up by the Kulmbacher.
When I started visiting Franconia the saying was still pretty much true that every decent-sized town had its own brewery and that was what you drank at the local festival. The local sports clubs would all serve it and it was advertised on the sides of local buses. Hiernickel in Hassfurt, Brauhaus Schweinfurt, Würzburger Hofbräu, Kitzmann.
Elsewhere in Germany Königsbacher in Koblenz, Schwelmer, Iserlohner. And of course the catastrophic decline of the Dortmund breweries. All washed away by a deluge of Krombacher and Radeberger.
People have been bemoaning the crisis of overcapacity in German brewing for decades. Many breweries that find themselves in trouble attempt to save themselves by brewing cheap own-label beer for supermarkets. It fails because the business is built on sand: the supermarkets will switch to another supplier in a heartbeat if it saves money, and indeed the own-label commodity beer, with no producer listed on the package beyond “Made in Germany” is designed to make the actual brewery abstract, anonymous and replaceable.
Interesting stuff. You seem pretty knowledgeable! :)
Since some of you have been to one or both places, I thought I'd pass this news along.
Hang on, wasn't Zupaty Pes the one on K. Botici, near Bohemian's foottbal ground? If it is a little bit of a style jump from a one person fairly downmarket operation down an obscure back street in Vrsovicke to an all-singing, all dancing, fairly upmarket place near Namesti Miru!, Mind you, 'Zupaty Pes' favoured IPA's and modern beers, like 20 Pip, and only had 2 lagers out of 12 beers available when I visted in May. I wonder if they'll do away with 0,4 L glasses?
Yes, that is the one. Same guy (Aleksei). I didn't make it to 20Pip this past trip. Tried, but they were unexpectedly closed and I guess now I know the reason.
Looking at his current list, 3 lagers -- but he does have Fullers London Pride Also selling .3L and .5L for all but the stronger beers.
Actually, I can't remember if I got the 0,4l crrect for 20 pip - maybe it was 0,3 and 0,5l.
Anyway, news is, Fred, that I'm back in Prague for the first week in August! As I was in Franken anyway, hardly seemed worth not nipping over to Prague before returning to the Queen of the North Wales coast!
So,I'm ready and available for any checking that needs doing!
I'm in Bamberg Aug 11-30 so let me know if you do a day trip.
Yes, all checking gratefully accepted. I also could use a nice landscape photo of the new Zubatý Pes (and any other new places you stumble upon). Aleksei sent me one but it was portrait orientation and that doesn't work as well for me.
Ok, try to remember Zupaty Pes. I'm staying close to Andel this time, so chance to renew acquaintace with the couple of places we visited there and to see if there's anything new.
I won't be making it to Bamberg, as I'm there from July 17 to 30 with Mark and mob! And I go home from Praha on August 7.
I know it's not on anyone's must-do list when in Bamberg, but it looks like the Bamberger Weissbierhaus has received a refurb and re-opened last month.
Was there accommodation before? That might be interesting for some people, if price is more important than luxury (not all the rooms are en-suite).
I've stayed there before. Very nice and the lack of an en suite didn't really seem to be an issue for a couple of nights.
Stayed here a couple of times back in the very early 90s. Lack of ensuite was definitely an issue when it was -5C outside!
Had the worst pint Ive ever had in Bamberg here just before it closed(Mahrs U or it could have been dishwater, hard to tell).
Hopefully will be better now. May check it put tomorrow!o
So, I won't bore everyone with a long winded report on Munich, I'm sure everyone has been and had a beer in most of the obvious places. I'll just recount a few observations on the city from a beer point of view as I found it.
In general, I found the beers from the outlying towns to be better than the Munich city ones (Tegernseer, Schneider, Ayinger, Andechs). Getting Weissbier out the way, I still have a softspot for Schneider Original (Schneider Braeuhaus Muenchen) although the first mouthful of the Tegernseer Weissbier (Hirschgarten) was very moreish and had less ferocious carbonation (wonder who makes it).
Of the Munich beers, I really didn't get on with Augustiner beers or their pubs and Keller and their staff were uniformly appalling! Bizarrely, my top Munich beer was HB. My only Paulaner experience was Paulaner am Nockherberg where the beers were very dull with the exception of the Roggen which was really rather good.
Franken connection, at Meisterstuck I had a Zirndorfer Kellerbier (I know) and it made me think they make their own Weissbier as the Kellerbier highlighted why it's not a good idea as it tasted infected with Weissbier yeast. That or the beer line was infected but it didn't weem the kind of place to let that go unnoticed.
Zirndorfer Bier is brewed at Tücher. I wouldn’t touch it, but I’m a bit snobby in that way, and i have many, many other choices.
In all honesty I wasn't listening properly, I heard "Kellerbier" and said yes. Especially as there were better options on offer, especially from the next door brewery.
Just to clarify that: The Zirndorfer range is brewed at Brauerei Zirndorf which belongs to Tucher Brau Holding. But it's a way way smaller brewery than the monster at Fürth.
The dark Kellerbier was undrinkable, the regular lager was not the worst beer in the world.
An ex-colleague of mine in Oregon was in the army, stationed in Zirndorf back in the day. When I announced I was leaving Oregon for near Nuremberg, he asked if I could send him some Zirndorfer beer and a Krug. I did, eventually. I have a bit of a soft spot for it because of that.
I quite enjoyed the Augustiner but found it difficult to ever get a full glass! It seemed almost always to be at least a centimetre below the line and the issue was endemic in Augustiner places, much worse than anywhere else.
Don't think I'll be going soon.
Just be glad you don't live in the US !
You don't even know how big the beer is; many beers are sold as "regular", "large", etc.
No content lines; imitation pint glasses only containing 14 oz; no regulation on liquid level or head size, and prices on the rise.
Thank goodness I'm a homebrewer !
No offence to all my lovely US friends, I am glad that I don't live in the USA.
None taken. Like I've said before. It's not as bad as you may think nor as bad as some make it out to be. There is a really wonderful, dynamic, and ever changing beer culture here. Some it is shite but there are some real gems. We've got our problems but then again who doesn't (Brexit anyone?). I've got a very nice life here on Cape Cod. Beaches, golf courses, good beer and a couple nice local breweries, and direct flights from Boston to Europe.
All that said I have to agree with you. If I lived in Europe I'd not pine for living in the USA. I do love Europe and it's beer culture among other things after all. There is a reason I'm here on this forum for so long.
And just to clarify my love of Europe goes way back before my love of Franconian beer. I was always fascinated by the history, culture, and geography of Europe since I was very young and read often about it and studied the maps, etc. I'm glad I finally arranged my life in a way that I can visit often and i'm fortunate to be able to do so. My family sometimes asks me why I just don't move there. Well I like it here too and I'm happy here and family and most of my friends are here. I get the best of both worlds. I can't wait to be back in Franken in July and will be in Switzerland this year for New Years Eve to celebrate with my Hamburger friends.
I understand what you say Mark. We owe Fred a big vote of thanks that he's managed in some strange way to unite both sides of the pond.
Cheers to Fred
I’m still rather uncomfortable with making sweeping statements about somewhere I haven’t been. I had a great time in the US some years’ago.
The older I get the more I realise that being open minded is one of the best attributes any person can possess, and I’m determined to hone it.
I'm glad that you're so impressed with my being open minded - the feeling is mutual.
But ... I've also realised that a person can't just be a blank sheet of paper, waiting for others to write their opinions on; you've also got to have some views of your own, some principles, whatever, be prepared to state and defend them (politely) and then accept that it is possible to be wrong!
These OT's are getting to be philosophical discussions. Many apologies, Fred, try to stick to beer and Franken iin future. The forthcoming gathering at the end of July should provide loads and loads of copy.
Whilst the core of discussion is always going to be "Frankenbier" related, the breadth of discussion is one of the things that keeps us all interested. :)
Like a virtual Stammtisch.
Nice to learn that about you, Mark. If you don't mind my saying so, it's a bit of a surprise, that you had the interest in Europe prior to being bitten by the beer bug. I wouldn't say that I was the opposite, but I never thought about *visiting* here until my thirties, when I had already been bitten by the Belgian beer bug...our first trips over were to Belgium & the NL...is that other discussion board still active, I wonder?
As I got more and more worked up about politics (!) around the turn of the century, our move to Europe came at a very nice time. Once we got over here, I managed to detach completely from American politics. I suddenly couldn't be bothered to care about it any more. That served to be a big ... relief. It was facilitated in big part by complete immersion in learning the language and making friends and contacts over here.
And no American TV. German TV is fantastic in comparison, especially for those learning the language. The history of German TV is sort of opposite to that of American, with it having started out as a state-funded thingie, more or less. Think of having regional, well-funded PBS channels first, with the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, et al, having only sprung up since the 70s (right Gerhard?) with the advent of cable. Documentaries up the ying-ying. Even the amateur cooking shows are done seriously...like Come Dine With Me done seriously without hijinks.
Not like any of youse would spend your time sitting around in front of the tube if you moved here. Though...you might spend some, eventually. Once you turn 40 or so, moving house and making friends becomes more challenging. My German teacher, Marc, my age, told me that. I was 39 when we moved here, and the friends I left behind in OR were all basically beer drinking and homebrewing friends. And I'd only been living there for 11 years, spread over three different locations. My point is, I've moved around a lot, my whole life, even going back to childhood. I don't have even any friends left from high school, save one, and I've not been in contact with him in over 20 years.
What I'm leading up to, Mark, is, it's good that you're grateful for your situation. It sounds wonderful, except for being surrounded by M@ssh0le$ all the time. (Joke...I like New Yorkers and New Englanders more than most other Americans; they have their own distinct ways of being, unique among Americans.)
The west has the landscapes and geography, the east has the best people. Though, last year, I had occasion to get to know and spend time with quite a few people from "the jungle" of south central Los Angeles. If you'd told me two years ago that I would go from being a married, 50-something part-time English teacher in Germany, to being a friend and companion of economically dis-advantaged young single mothers from Rodney King's neighborhood, I'd have thought you were a looney.
Also being befriended by hardened career criminals and sitting in a notorious jail for 2-1/2 weeks...that was a surprise. A learning experience. Humbling. Not as humbling as nearly dying from pneumonia though. Germany is a good place to get sick and land in hospital. They typically send an actual doctor out with an ambulance, also in a seperate car. The food though...I need to write up a report on my experience with hospital food and nutritionists.
Friends and family are nice to have. I'm slogging through a lack of both at the current time, but it's kind of how I grew up. Onward and upward. Mid-life crises!
I'm sticking here for a while, at least through the autumn. Life in the US is too...Koyaanisqatsi. Have to find a new career though, and one downside to German life is their tendency to view 50 as the cutoff age for hireability. I could theoretically go back to programming, but it's been 15 years. I'm a bit too young to "retire".
Back to your Thursday morning...
No the Burgundian Babble Belt message board is no longer active. Not that I ever posted there but I did read it once in a while. It's a testament to this message board and it's longetivity. I think this is the longest running, active, internet message board I've ever been a part of. It's amazing that it goes all the way back to 2002 and i've been on here since 2007.
Yeah my love of European history goes all the way back to when I was probably 6 or 7 years old and developed a fascination with WWII which then branched out as I got older into many other periods and events in time from the Roman Empire onward. My parents and friends had trouble tearing me away on weekends from my books and maps and wargames. So discovering the great beer cultures of Franconia, Czech Republic, UK, and even Belgium once has been really nice icing on the cake and a great excuse to keep going back.
BTW, The Burgundian Babble Belt does continue to exist on Facebook -- It may be a closed group but I think I can issue invites. I copied the design of this board from theirs. The biggest advantage I see is that older topics that aren't commented on tend to scroll of the main page so if you want to open an old argument you have to make the effort to start a new thread -- and most of the time we seem to say "it's not worth the effort"
At risk of sounding pretentious, a Forum such as ours (I know that it's Fred's really but we mere contributers have made an attempt at colonisation!), and others like it, have made a huge contribution to developing understanding between people of different cultures.
There is no better way of dispelling myths about people from other countries and cultures than a discussion over a pint, seidla, whatever of good beer!
For some cultures, that may have to be over a shisha.
It is interesting, going out and socialising without beer. This is where big cities like Aachen are a bit easier, as the cultural mix means I'm not the only one NOT drinking beer all the time.
Praise be unto Fred!
The only other board that comes close for me is a Lord of the Rings one I used to be active on, up until over a decade ago. That one appears to still be going.
Moving away from family might also be a reason for you, Mark, to stay put. As one of those childless (or child-free, if that's your attitude) sorts, I can't imagine wanting to move overseas away from one's kids.
That was another thing that happened to me last year, even one that got me started wondering if I had been cursed by a voodoo priestess or something: I got 3 different pregnancies going (all with women of a particular racial mix: African-American & Cherokee...long story) but two had to be terminated on medical grounds, one of which because my nearly-baby-mama got struck in the abdomen whilst being robbed of her phone. The second was an ectopic pregnancy.
The third supposedly resulted in a baby girl on Valentine's Day, but I've lost contact with maybe-baby-mama because of...never mind, another long story. She's got...issues. But young yet, only 22.
AFA phone thefts go, one got pinched from me in a crowd on the Fremont Experience one night (be careful down there!), and another almost got robbed when I was jumped from behind by a big, crazed druggie (meth kills!) just outside my apartment, WHILE I was on said phone with the police, reporting said junkie chasing me. I crouched down & held onto the phone for dear life, yelling for help as loud as I could. Druggie lad ran off when my neighbors came out to see what the commotion was.
Saw him the next day and he apologised! That was about 3 months after the time I was attacked by different great big druggie that resulted in the head injury portrayed on my Twitter background pic, FWIW. It was that head injury that led to memory loss.
I've always thought that we didn't have crystal meth when I was young. Well, we didn't where I was from. But it turns out the Nazis gave it to soldiers in WWII, and it was even marketed and what not. We did hear about angel dust when I were young, that supposedly made people crazy, but this meth is really bad stuff.
2018 was a very, very weird year for me. And Vegas is a very, very weird place. I would suggest staying away. Especially if you're vulnerable to the temptations it provides. There are places with cheap lager though: $1 bottles of PBR, and the brewpub at Ellis Island ain't bad. Cheap. 2 pound prime rib for $28...ask for the "Nick special" and they might cut you 3 or 4 pounds.
ObFranconiaBeer: I found none in Vegas. Best stay away.
I've been to Vegas a few times. My company used to run an annual conference for our customers there. It was a good time but I was always sick of the place after 2 or 3 days and I have no interest in ever going back. However I did find Franconian beer there. There was a bar in a newish hotel on the strip (i forget the name) that had bottle sof Schlenkerla. I ordered one and a women next to me from Wurzburg saw this and introduced herself and we had a nice chat about Franconia. I also did drink the cheap beer at Ellis Island. I think it was $1 a glass or something ridiculous like that when I was there and it wasn't half bad.
Yeah, conventional wisdom seems to be to get sick of the place after 3 days. If I've not said it before, there are startlingly beautiful parts of town (2 million inhabitants now?), if you like desert. I had never really been to the SW before I landed there; the closest I'd been had been a couple of wintertime trips to Reno with Mrs in like 1992, and then regular trips to the High Desert of Oregon when we lived there.
The drive to LA is good for one thing: the solar energy towers surrounded by mirrors. I remember seeing how that would be a thing in the future on TV back in the 80's (?), and then there they are. Why there's not more of them is beyond me. Seems like that would be a good use of federal land out there.
I was all excited to find Black Butte Porter on tap at the MGM Grand, and at a reasonable price. Then there's a stand right on the strip that has $4 pints of Hamm's, an old Minnesota treat. (I'm sure it's brewed elsewhere now.)
Barry or other Britons...check out the Hamm's sign on the wall in the Piccadilly Tap in Mncr sometime. My mate Jeffrey Bell, ex-London-barrister -cum- refurbisher-of-pubs (Holborn Whippet and another in London) and landlord of the traditional-yet-somewhat-foody Ypres Castle Inn in lovely (though posh) Rye oversaw its opening a few years ago. I helped him haul kegs (not barrels, sorry Barry) up and down steps once, which helped cure a hangover.
He has a thing for Lager, and had something Franconian on for a while at the Whippet, which seems gone now. Koestritzer ain't bad at all in a pinch though! He is a friend of the evil Stephan at Mahr's though, so be careful. And he seems comfortable with weird Yanks showing up with big swords:
Good kid, Jeffry. I left the sword with him there, where he says it's still hanging somewhere. Make me an offer on it -- I wanted to sell it for charity, but couldn't get any takers other than in the US, and that would've just covered shipping.
Ellis Island beers were terrible, really bad. Had some in Dec of 2017. Never again. Even if they were free.
Really? They got better after you left, as I started going there a month later.
Well, the Light and IPA were crap. I liked the stout. But I didn't drink much beer there then. It was a great refuge from the strip...and that prime rib...now I'm hungry, and I've not eaten anything yet.
BTW...you still in the same line of work? Let's just say that I have gained tremendous respect and admiration for your profession. Had some truly great experiences with your colleagues in LV, even considering what happened to me. It's like they knew from looking me up, that I had been a victim of incompetent people running the casino and were on my side.
Nick, I've been out of it for 2.5 years. Don't miss it one bit. Glad to have finished my sentence! I'm free!
I wanna thank you for meeting up in Germany in the past...bike rides, beer kellers, breweries, festivals. You gave me some great memories and experiences.
Cheers. And perhaps on a future visit, we'll hang out again!
I'd love to! Glad to hear you've moved on to something that you're hopefully at least as happy in.
Great report! I was also in Munich last week instead of Franken. First we traveled to Andechs. Great views, lovely monastery and good beer. Secondly, it was Munich where we visited most places. I agree with you when you say that HB had good beer. Several of my followers commented on that. Paulans disappoint, Scheinder was amazing, Augustiner impressed. Finally we traveled to Weihenstepan which was very good, both food, beer and location with views. But will I go back? Hardly, next time it will be Franconia.
Off topic posts are find so long as they are generally related to beer. And leeway is granted to long time contributors who inform us about major happenings in their lives. Other than that, please remove the conversation to email, Facebook, shouting out the window -- that is, some other forum.
Oh good. I think that I may be classified as a major contributor, so I'll now start relating all the interesting things about my life. Or maybe not.
Sorry Fred, couldn't resist, but will heed the warning. Where are you going next?
The main thing I'd like to hear from you, Barry, is where you are finding FeWos at the best prices...IIRC, you were finding them at websites for the various villages in which you stayed. I would imagine I'm not the only one on here (active or lurking) that would find that of interest, even helpful. I believe Frank Wetzel's place is pretty well known, but the number of people interested in staying outside of Bamberg might be greater than zero.
Heck...I THINK I recall Brauerei Witzgall having a room upstairs. THAT would be cool. Nowadays, I need a kitchenette. And of course, dog-friendly.
If I ever get my Toyota situation sorted out, I hope to tour around in it, maybe also with a tiny caravan in tow. I do remember seeing some parked at Roppelt (Stiebarlimbach) in the past. There was a delapidated one parked near our home in Erlangen for a year or two, right there on a street. I guess that means it's not illegal to do that there, at least. Not that anyone in their right mind should want to overnight in Erlangen...
It's not very complicated! Early on in our visits to Franken, I twigged that getting to many rural pubs was difficult. Fred has often warned of the difficulties of local bus services, many of which are really there to serve schools and, therefore, only available during term-time (which can be a bit unpredictable) and during the day, when many local Wirtshausen (correct?) are not open.
So, I started looking at towns that were on the main north-south rail line, as the service is, generally, quite good (you could link it with the branch lines like the ones to Ebermannstadt and Ebern). Then I looked at the town's websites and found that many had tourists guides, with accommodation and - bingo - the problem was on the way to being solved (Oh no - now you're all going to be doing this!). Bamberg was and is a problem: I've stayed at many places in the city and they are uniformerly expensive, if you intend to stay for longer than a few days (remember that I was and am an impecunious pensioner - stop laughing there). I partially solved the problem by staying in Drosendorf a couple of times but the bus service finishes around 19.30, which is why I've spent a lot of time in Goeller and walked up and down to Merkendorf many times.
So, I stayed in Drosendorf, Buttenheim, Seigendorf (near Hirschaid but up a big hill past the Hirschaada Keller - never stayed in Hirschaid, as the Fewo's were a bit pricey) and Forchheim (lovely but also a bit pricey) before I ound Ebensfeld, which is only 18 minutes from Bamberg by train, has lots of quite reasonably priced and good Fewo's and had a nice Stube (closed again now) and very nice Keller.
It sometimes means that you spend a fair bit of time in one Stube but that can be interesting and you have to be sure that you're going to like it (we thought Loewenbrau in Buttenheim was great - good beer and very friendly - and packed most nights!).
I'm not sure how dog friendly these places are - I suppose it varies from place to place. I'm an animal lover (possibly the only person on the Forum who chooses not to eat them) but, personally, I wouldn't choose to stay in a place that's animal friendly (inside the apartment) because I don't think that you can ever really get rid of the smell and, if it isn't your animal, it's not that appealing - whether it be dog, cat, alligator, possum, or whatever. Just my personal choice - if it's your animal in your home, I take a different point of view. Lots of my friends and family have animals and I'm happy to stay with them (this is not meant as a big hint!).
Schlammersdorf wouldn't be great choice because you're a fair way from the railway and the 265 bus doesn't run that late. It's a fair walk to Eggolsheim and not so many trains stop there.
It's easy really, if you take a bit of time.
BTW: I have abandoned my German conversation class. Not getting anywhere, I'm afraid. Sorry, my old brain just couldn't cope. Switched to gypsy jazz guitar instead. Is this progress?
A fairly major happening in my life, regarding that legal situation I got myself involved in: I do not have to return to Las Vegas for the "sentencing" hearing, tentatively scheduled for early October. I was originally charged with a couple of felonies that could have led to 40 years to life (arson!), the details behind which I may explain in detail later (basically, real cops are great, rent-a-cop security people not so much), after everything is settled.
Suffice to say it's good to be a white man with a lawyer. (It's bad, OTOH, to be a middle-aged white man who acts in the slightest bit out of the ordinary in the hyper-paranoid environment of Las Vegas casinos, especially in the months following the worst mass murder shooting in US history.) One of the charges (the more nefarious sounding one) was dropped entirely, and the "arson" charge was reduced to "intent to destroy property", which I pled guilty to on the advice of my lawyer, to avoid the expense of a jury trial. I may also go into further detail as to what my actual intent was --it was a joke, as anyone who's watched the security video on here can hopefully see-- when everything is settled, hopefully in October.
My lawyer wisely advised that of the two charges to be dropped, the "arson" was the worse choice, since the event was captured on video, and did occur 30 hours before the casino bothered to call the police about it. Both of these will hopefully be argued at the sentencing, to influence the judge positively in my favor.
Whilst getting arrested, spending 2-1/2 weeks in a notorious jail among hardened career criminals, and going to court are fascinating experiences, I don't know if I would recommend that anyone else do what I did (remember, kids, Just Say No -- stay away from the Amsterdam-strength marijuana that they're legally selling in the western US these days!) just for the life-broadening experience!
ObFranconiaBeer: Haven't drunk any since 2017. Had some Koelsch yesterday...meh. I've had worse.
Just planning our upcoming trip. I had the idea to do a walk Breitelesau-Waischenfeld-Nankendorf-Breitenlesau. Unfortunately the bus times dont work for Waischenfeld(bus arrives Breitenlesau 1130ish, Waischenfeld closes 12, bus leaves 1615ish, Waischenfeld opens again 1630). Am I missing something? Has anyone managed to visit Waischenfeld this way?
Wed also stop in Heiligenstadt on the way from Brietenlesau to Ebermannstadt.
I presume that's a Saturday? Looks right to me. I have never been to Waischenfeld without a bike or car. It's not a place i'd want to be stuck wanting for public transport. Best bet is to find some accomodation in Waischenfeld, it's reasonable enough and surprisingly touristy.
Weekend yes. Would be fine if they were open in the afternoon, but, hey, thats Franconia. Sure I'll get there one day, staying over in Waischenfeld would be fun and would mean we could have a proper drink there, rather than an hour and on to the next place.
Nothing, no information at all, can be found in the web about this brewery... Just the adress is indicated (Schmiedsgasse 3)... Does anybody know, if this only a "fake" or a real existing brewery?
I already posted the story of this little brewery further down. It is indeed an existing brewery and the new project of Andreas Falk who formerly ran Brauhaus Rothenburg. The beer is great and there's one historical pub in town, that sells the beer straight from the cask. But it's open only on Fridays. The brewery's open all the time and you can pop in, have a chat with Andi and buy bottled beer.
Schönen Dank! Cheers!
Juergen: I'm pretty sure that I remember going through Wolfram-Eschenbach during one of our beer tours, a couple of years ago (I think that we were on our way to Tirschenreuth, bars in quarries, etc.!). It had a large building that I think you said was used for storing hops or something like that? Of course, its congruity to the name of a town in the Oberpfalz stuck in my mind!
I remember that it looked a lovely place - well worth a longer visit one day!
Funnliy enough, my parents managed to inadvertantly visit on the weekend. They had mentioned a place we'd been before that they wanted to visit - Merkendorf. Assuming they would know I wouldn't drive over an hour past Nuremberg, I didn't clarify anything more. They put it into the Satnav and set off to visit Merkendorf (neben Wolframs. E), not Memmelsdorf.
They said they enjoyed their visit, it was indeed a nice town, and had a nice meal in a local restaurant in Wolframs Eschenbach as there was a fest going on in (the other) Merkendorf and it was too busy.
And I haven't even visited yet!
Lol!as they say in young parlance. love the story Jason.
So, in a few weeks time I'll finally will do another trip through Franconia. And excitingly a brewer friend is accompaying me. I've noticed him struggle with the low bitterness to malt sweetness and softness in some of the Franconian beers before (think ie. Monchsambacher or Heckel) and want to combine that with visit a few new breweries. Think of beers like Witzgall, Roppelt, Hartleb, Knoblach, Griess or even Gradl and Scharpf.
Any particular recommendations?
Region doesn't matter. Thank you!
Would said brewer be one a little too heavily influenced by American-style IPAs, whether West Coast, New England, or other? Time to broaden one's horizons and realize not all beers are hop bombs, nor is that part of the tradition in some parts of the brewing world. I'll leave milkshake IPA and pastry stout to the New World brewers.
Otherwise, you're looking for something from Gänstaller's range or maybe the MainSeidla/Binkert beers. Some of those qualify as more hop-forward. There are numerous other German brewers who've opted for beers broadly termed "Craft Bier," and specialist bars have sprung up here and there in Germany, mostly in bigger cities like Köln, Düsseldorf, Berlin, and München... or to the east in Prague.
Also, some of Düsseldorf's Altbier, particularly Uerige, has more hop focus as well.
They certainly have sprung up in Prague, to the point that, sometimes, it's difficult to find a lager in them.
The reaction to the new wave of beers (the US style IPA's etc.) is interesting, though my range of personal connections is a bit limited to my home area. My regular drinking companions tend to be of my approximate vintage (let's say 65+, though older in some cases!). Generally, they (and me) prefer beers that might be though of as traditional English, such best bitters, rather than the extreme hoppy types. It's the balance of malt and hops in such beers that is the attraction.
A number of my friends from the Franken forum are from the USA, where the IPA revolution has been ongoing for some time. Not surprisingly, they find easy acceptance with the sort of beers that are predominating in the new bars in Prague, though are revered founder, although happy to drink the IPAs, names the Fabian and Uneticke beers as his favourites (or, at least, near the top of the list?), Perhpaps it is because he is fringing into my/our age group (apologies Fred).
A few local surprises this week: yesterday's visit to the Albion, Conwy, found that nearly all the beers were of retatively strength, with at least half under 4% and none over 5% - lovely! Second came whilst talking to the proprietor of the Bay Hop, Chris. I was trying a stout from Big Hand (Black Knight, which was quite good) and asked him about the growing number of darker beers on sale. He, and his assistant, Tom, both like these beers and he informed me that they were much in favour with the younger element - interesting. Back to the Albion: a chap came in looking for draught Guinness, which, of course, is not sold in the Albion. Between Rhian (barmaid) and myself, we persuaded him to try a cask stout (it was Snowdon Nomad at 3.8% - I tried it later and it was good) and he rather reluctantly agreed. The good news was that he really liked it. Maybe it will tempt him away from the dreaded nitro-keg stuff in future - one can only hope!
Well being one of your Franken forum friends from the USA that was just in Prague I'll also chime in. Just like Fred and you Uneticke is one of my favorites among other traditional styles in Prague (Vinohradsky lagers, Hostomice, PU, etc.). I go there to drink those beers and indeed with probably the one exception (a Matuska Raptor IPA) that is all I drank.
That being said ...the presence of the plethora of new age beer bars in Prague with a variety of beers on tap (including IPA's, sours, chocolate oatmeal stouts, and yes even a traditional type lager or two) does not bother me in the least and I do enjoy visiting them from time to time when there. Why? Because I think it shows the enthusiasm that the younger generation in Czechia has for beer and this can only be a good thing in the long run. I would be very concerned if there weren't new breweries (like Uneticke) brewing traditional styles. But there are plenty of those also amongst the breweries making US style IPAs. So it's not like we're being deprived of what we want. And for full disclosure ..... every once in a great while I like to break it up and have something different than a lager if for no other reason out of curiousity to taste how breweres over there are doing at brewing ales.
I've always said that the thing that I find really amazing about the Prague beer scene is that it blends the old, traditional beer culture beautifully with modern day, youthful, enthusiastic beer culture. It has it all and is lacking in nothing. I mean even Matuska which is known for it's American styles (they even name one of them California pale ale) is now making a credible attempt at a traditonal style lager in it's new brewery in Karlin. If only they didn't serve it in a .4l glass (gasp!).
Oh and one thing I'm going to add about these crafty beer bars in Prague (like Beer Geek, the Craft House, Maly Velky, etc.) is that the typically younger staff I've encountered at them have been very friendly, enthusiastic, and helpful. In other words, in my experience, they have been pleasant places to visit. They're doing something right.
I don't think that we disagree in principle, Mark, only in a few details. Re 'new' breweries: I'm not sure that we should categorise Uneticke or Hostomice really as new breweries, though they do have new owners and new buildings. However, their traidtions go back centuries and they claim that their brewing styles are based on historical designs, to some extent. It's a bit like Zoigl: the brauhaus in Eschawo less than 200 years old but the tradition goes back to the 15th century, at least.
I totally agree about the staff of the craft beer bars in Prague and also about enthusiasm of younger people for beer - it seems to me that it's much the same everywhere, which is not surprising because the modern beer types are really a new invention. It will take some time for us oldies to get used to them (not sure if I, anda lot of my generation, ever really will!).
However, it is a fact, easily observable, that, in the new bars, the overwhelming number of beers are not traditional lagers - viz. Dva Kohout, Lya, Galerie, Trilobit, Napalme, Zupaty Pes, Bubenec, Nubeerbar, Lajka, - you could go on. Fred's Facebook postings where he includes photo's of beer boards are fairly instructive in this matter.
Is this a good or a bad thing? Like beauty, it's probably in the eye of the beholder - or in this case, the mouth of the drinker.
True the brewery (Uneticke) has a long history but according to their website they shut down in 1951 and finally reopened in 2011 and had to be revived and rebuilt. So for all intents and purposes it is a new brewery with new ownership. I'm glad, as I know you are, they have revived the traditional styles along with it and have done a great job at it.
As to one of your other points. You are responding as if I had suggested that the new bars we're talking about are not overwhelmingly not the traditional Czech styles. I never claimed that they were. I stated that they usuall have a lager or two available. I've been to most of the places mentioned and have seen the beer boards first hand. But thanks for picking a nit once again.
Well maybe you weren't really picking a nit. But for the record I do agree with you that these new beer bars in Prague are mostly the new age styles. In case I hadn't mentioned that before.
Just trying to discuss matters of mutual interest!
Bewohner, apologies - apparently I've formulated my quest that unclear you were forced to jump to unjust assumptions. I hadn't even mentioned hops in the question, yikes.
There is a huge range of diversity in Franconian style Keller/Land/Zwickls. Whereas ingredients are mostly the same, there are distinct differences between many beers cherished by the fact that the classifaction system doesn't so much describe flavour, but process. It's not uncommon to hear locals say that so-and-so beer is ie too bitter, too sulfury, too dry, too malty, .. for their tastes while they gulp their own local. Isn't the whole pride of Franconia that breweries often have very unique profiles compared to the eversameness of "Craft Bier"? I agree and therefore I ask.
Examples of beers of interest I mentioned:
Witzgall, Roppelt, Hartleb, Knoblach, Scharpf, Griess, Gradl.
* * *
We had a good laugh reading your respond :D
But would still be curious for recommendations.
I admit I also assumed you were looking for recommendations on more hop forward beers and Knoblach for instance would fit the bill. Also Brauerei Zwanger in Uehlfeld (should visit Prechtel while there if you go).
The list of breweries to visit is excellent. There are many that could be added. I'd suggest also Eichhorn in Dorfleins, Zum Goldener Adler in Hoefen. Bayer in Theinheim. I recommend these two because they brew nice balanced beers.
I could go on and others may have other suggestions. When I visited Franconia for the first time in 2007 I was really blown away (in a good way) by the really soft, malty beers in Franconia (like Moenchsambacher for instance). I had never had anything like them before and loved them and still do. But have also come to love the variety in the region within those traditional styles all the way to the really bitter beers like Knoblach and Zwanger and everything in between.
Let us know how your next trip goes.
Thanks Mark. Bayer Theinheim will be a certain visit. Like the Eichhorn Keller and bring it along regulary but the bar isn't the most entertaining stop. Let me ask about a few breweries. Mind sharing some impressions about the beers? - Elch-Brau - Meister - Nikl - First (Kühlschiff!) - Reblitz - Hoh - Hartmann
I'm not familiar with the first one.
Meister is a very soft, malty, rich, copper colored Franconian vollbier that I personally love.
Nikl is okay. Decent beers. A newer brewery. Nothing ground shaking but respectable and enjoyable IMO.
First? Do you mean Forst of Drugendorf? If so I really like that one.
Reblitz is decent. They brew a small variety of beers including a Rauch.
Hoh. I didn't like it at the keller at all but at the gastatte I thought it was pretty good if nothing spectacular.
Hartmann. I've not been there since around 2013 or so and Jason had mentioned previously on this forum that they are no longer brewing onsite and he has good local info to base that on even if it doesn't appear that way looking at their site. In the past when I've been there I enjoyed their beers especially the "Erbshank" Dunkel. The rauch and pils I thought were good too but I particularly liked that Dunkel. However, things may have changed since. I know when we visited the owner, and I had a chance to talk to him for bit, was very old and I'm not sure he'd even still be around.
Ooops I was thinking Hohn not Hoh. Disregard my comments on that one. I've never had the beer from Hoh.
I have been to all of those breweries, most with the admirable (or Admiral?) Juergen. I seem to recall that Juergen wasn't enthusiastic about stopping at Elch but I sort of forced his hand after we'd found Alt at Dietzhof 'urlaub' and even Juergen couldn't charm the lady into letting us in - a rare failure!
Anyway, I remember Elch as a fairly homely place, quite crowded but they squeezed us in. I think the beer was pretty decent; it surprised J a little bit, if I remember correctly. I seem to recall eating something as well, which wasn't really a big part of our beer expeditions. Meister has been commented on but to add that the bar doesn't open now. I think someone told me that you can buy bottles from a machine and sit in the garden - or paddle in the river! Nikl, see Mark's comments - it's nice to see the brewery while you're drinking but I didn't find the beer very interesting.
I been to Reblitz a few times, usually after a visit to Wiesen, on a walk or bike ride from Ebensfeld (I actually fell off a bike coming back from one of those visits), but it's also an easy walk from Bad Staffelstein. It's an a nice place, quite food orientated but it's easy just to sit on the terrace and drink beer. The brewer is pretty inventive and it's one of the few lager breweries that also brew its own Weizen (perhaps my least favourite beer - if it is really beer, IMHO). I also shared a Rogen beer with Andy Harvey - well, actually, had a few sips of it - again, IMHO, it was horrible but, then, I am a bit of traditionalist (what, you say?).
Hoh was another place that I visited with Juergen. We certainly tried the Dunkel, which was excellent, and I think another beer - maybe a Pilsner? Something a bit different, anyway, which was also ok. Didn't try the chicken: we are both vegetarian!
Finally, Hartmann: one of my first country pub visits, quite a few years ago, with Don and Cherie. Not really my kind of place; think Drei Kronen in Memmelsdorf. The beer was pretty good at that time, specially the Rauch, but, as Mark said, Jason told us that they don't brew any more. Maybe you'd like to go and confirm? (Actually, I remember that I went a second time with Don - a few years later. Nice garden and ok beer).
But, from my memory, none of these places had beer with a 'crisp-bitter and biscuity' taste. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a Franken beer that really meets that description - sounds much more ale-like to me. Perhaps you could give us a few examples?
Just checked back through your first postings. You list quite a few places, I presume that these are meant to be examples of 'crisp-bitter and biscuity' but, really, none of these in my memory fit that description. I think of Franken beers as rather 'soft' in taste, not bitter hopped but more 'flavour' hopped.
The lack of hoppiness used to be a regular complaint/comment from Nick (formerly of Erlangen!), who went so far as to brew his own beers, using a range of different hops. A fond memory was his demonstration of his home-brewed beers when we were staying in Forchheim for the first time - all of them were very decent, except the one brewed with New Zealnd hops. Remember that Nick? You had to leave the car with us and come back and collect it the following day! Happy days.
Was it the lack of hoppiness or the lack of <4% ABV beer that I was so motivated by? Both. That was fun, having someone else try out my hausgebrautes ale. I've forgotten by now, if I was doing a proper secondary fermentation or not at that point. For a long time, I just bottled right after primary to shorten the process by a week or so, which resulted in very "farty" beer with a massive pile of sediment in the bottles.
I took some of that sort of stuff to a bier café in Utrecht once...they dumped it. Way too fruity and funky from yeast for them. Prompted me to go back to doing a real secondary.
Griess and Loewenbraeu (Buttenheim) Kellerbier were often hoppy enough for me.
Ironically, now, even Koelsch seems bitter and hoppy to me. Next time I'm in England, I might be on the lager. Or cider. Or water.
Yep, it was a good afternoon. I think that it was both the lack of hops - I suppose that you had got used to the new breed of US-stuff - and the strength - you used to prepare some strange mixtures of normal Franken beers, 'watered' down with low alcohol stuff. Sounded dire but there you are, it's all down to personal taste.
I can't really remember how Koelsch tasted - I only remember that it came in little glasses (one mouthful), was full of froth and cost a lot!
There's loads of quite low strength beers in the Uk now - see my posting about the Albion in Conwy. And certainly no shortage of hops, especially those from your native country!
Was winding you up a bit. Back then, I was craving that which I could not have in Franconia: low-gravity session ale, like I had discovered on our various trips to your funny little islands. And yes, that was when I was still a massive capitus lupulus (or whatever Latin is for "hop head"...the late owner of the Rogue brewery in Oregon once gave me an honorary plaque declaring me such, and put my name on a bottling of their seasonal well-hopped St. Patrick's Day oatmeal stout, because I had convinced him to be more up-front in labelling their various beers over something or other...I forget exactly, this was over 20 years ago...), and so I was brewing my beer with ridiculous amounts of hops, which negated any economic advantage of brewing your own beer at home.
But it wasn't about being frugal, back in those happy days of living off Mrs's good-paying job and my part-time "work"...now I understand the concept of living on a fixed income. Except right now, there is no income.
If I ever get my vehicle situation sorted out, I shall return to your Isles, except it will be to enjoy them withOUT the help of socially lubricating ale or lager. Been enjoying cheapo red wine the past few nights with Missus, but even that doesn't feel right any more.
Which makes it all the more strange to be posting here, other than to help others out. Let me know if you want to meet up again someday. I promise not to set fire to any granite countertops as a joke or commit any other crimes that might carry a sentence of 40 years to life!
I suppose that it's all a question of balance, not overdoing any particular thing - 'old wives' used to say 'a little of what you fancy etc ...'. My mother used to say everything in moderation. I suppose that they knew what they were talking about.
Of course, always happy to meet!
Good, you're not afraid of meeting me! No sword this time, fake or otherwise. New doggie though.
One thing about my new way of eating...cutting way back on the number of different things you eat led to an increase in palate sensitivity. IOW, all I need or like on my food these days is salt and pepper, where I used to be a garlic & onions freak. This translates to beer in terms of hoppiness -- I like my beer a LOT milder these days...when I was in Thanet in December, I found the Courage and Harvey's to be nearly overwhelming. The sorts of stuff I used to crave -- no thanks.
Good timing, actually, since as they say, your palate becomes less sensitive as you age. Guess I'm getting younger.
I think I know what kind of beer you're looking for and would recommend Hölzlein/Lohndorf, Först/Drügendorf, Penning/Hetzelsdorf and the Keller at Schlüsselfeld (Brauerei Scheubel). Meister/Unterzaunsbach you don't get from tap because of the closed Wirtshaus. If you want to try maltier stuff as well, I'd go for Leicht/Pferdsfeld and the Voggendorfer Keller of Brauerei Prechtel, Uehlfeld. Enjoy!
Meister’s Wirtshaus is closed???
Think this goes back a year or two. The gastro trade ain't easy and ain't hugely profitable, especially in rural Franconia. Ergo, lack of youthful entrepreneurs to take over when the oldsters retire.
Does anyone else recall the uproar that occurred a few years ago when a lady working for a tourist organisation for the "Little Swiss Franconia" dared to suggest that rural inns and taverns might consider raising the price of a Schaeufe[r]la by an Euro or so, to help keep things running?
It's a vicious circle: the bulk of their trade is from locals who, being German (and Franconian at that!), are traditionally very much of the mind that "Geiz ist geil" (frugality is fabulous). And yet places are having trouble making enough money to keep in operation, especially if it means attracting young people away from the bright lights of Ebermannstadt or Forchheim.
I say we draft Juergen to take over the next Gastaette or brewery that closes up. Might not be as personally rewarding as his current line of work though. I remember that I was thinking I should take over the Witzgall Keller a few years back. Then I went insane/regained my sanity.
(*Is* Witzgall still operating?)
Actually, now it sounds like a nice idea. I forget what the story is with having to fix up the massive cracks in the foundation and whatnot.
Witzgall is still going. The keller is not. I'm hoping to finally visit Witzgall in July. We'll see. I've said that before. Things don't always go as planned.
Worth a visit. I remember it as a convenient stop on the long walk back to the train from the Kreuzberg Kellers with Nick and Uncle Jimbo. That must have been ten years or more ago now?
Did we walk it? I remember walking it at night with someone.
Thinking about it, you may have been on your bike?
Highly probable. That bike is, sadly, no longer with me. I told Mrs to leave it with the new owners of our house, Brazillians. Lots of Brazillians in Erlangen...Siemens does a lot with them. Love how the Brazillian wives at my language school would say "baconbier" when talking about the beer in Bamberg. Lovely accent. Lovely wives.
You've not been there? I forget now, but I THINK the Gaststaette had pretty reasonable hours. Mrs & I had a blast on Tag des Bieres 2005, when there was a special beer on, I think. And some older lady tried to tell us a story about how a bra and corsette is related to the wood in an attic of a barn. Or something like that, our German wasn't so great back then, let alone Schlammersdorfer Franconian.
The tavern is great. The normal Vollbier on tap there (also from a tank...did anyone ever figure that out?) has a nice peppery note, otherwise lightly buttery. Completely different to the famous Kellerbier that is only on tap at the Keller, in bottles at the tavern.
Right off the bus stop, also easy bike ride from Eggolsheim Bf on the way to you-know-where.
Full of characters, the likes of which Gerhard and Uschi would warn us away from (ex-convicts!) like at the one Brauereigaststaette in central Forchheim. I forget which one now, but not the great big one everyone loves so much. Hebendanz?
It's a must, Mark. Utterly local.
I don't know about the ex-convicts, we always had a nice time when we were there - very hospitable people. Sort of reminds me of Zehendner, for some reason. Gerhard and Uschi were a bit odd! We once walked from the centre of Buttenheim to Wizgall, while DB were messing about with the track and there were no trains. It was not a very nice walk because there was no pavement on the road from Altendorf to Eggolsheim. Our one visit to the Keller (actually, may have been twice?) was not successful. The Kellerbier was so carbonated that is was difficult to drink. I nearly threw it away but that's reserved only for the St Georges Keller.
Forchheim? You must mean the lovely Neder - centre of the universe! Next to Hebendanz, of course, which is now more of a restaurant. Andy and self had a nice afternoon there a few weeks ago (well, actually, Andy had very nearly a full day!). We got into a conversation with some 'interesting' blokes. Always a great experience and you can take your own food! Like an indoor Keller, people even have picnics there! And the beer is pretty good as well - mostly.
Right, Neder is the beloved one, Hebendanz went through a facelift years ago, to up-scale the place a bit, though even so, Gerhard & Uschi (my old Stiebarlimbacher Kellermates, for those keeping score at home) said they wouldn't want to be seen coming or going from the place, lest their reputations be soilt.
AFA G & U being odd...who isn't? Why be normal? I've been weird my whole life...at least since age 9 or so, anyway. They've had an interesting turn of it, most recently being bee keepers before retiring from that. She's from Hamburg, he's local. Have a lovely daughter, at least, whom I met once or twice. And I thought you would like them just based on their musical interests.
My German teacher, Marc (also a Hamburger), my age, could not believe that people would actually travel from the US to Germany just to go touring around the countryside drinking the regional beer. "That's weird", he said.
Prior to the smartening-up, Hebendanz WAS full of interesting characters; look up the hilarious report(s?) from a certain English beer writer whose name escapes me at the moment, whom I met once at the Annafest. He didn't like my attitude against the filthy practice of recycling drip tray slops typically done in northern English pubs (autovac?) or my proclaiming his favourite Münchner beer "bland", even in the context of comparing and contrasting it to Franconian beer. Not John White (?) who passed away...never mind. I think googling "Hebendanz ghost stonch" should turn up his reports of early Monday(?) morning Bierkultur in there.
Having grown up in the places I have (New Orleans, Houston, let alone suburban Mpls) and travelled to various big US cities --just being from the US, actually-- I have no fear of being in close proximity to rehabilitated grey-haired German murderers (as Gerhard said they were) sitting around supping lager. The things I've been through since leaving Erlangen...heck...now I'd love to hear their stories!
That reminds me...the Hebendanz-serving tavern you found on the way out of the Zentrum...I suspect that is where the ex-con's have all gone to since the smartening-up, based on the characters I saw there the couple of times I called in.
Greif was actually my favourite of the three Brauereigaststätten located there on the Markt. They gave it up and sold it off (or leased it out) to an accounting firm quite a while back. Prior to that, it offered a fine balance betwen drinking and basic Franconian food. And the 500 (est) pound blond lady working was funny, in that sort of what's-her-name-at-Spezial sort of way.
Ah, memories...didn't someone once say that the Spanish steakhouse (?) sort of place a door or two further down towards the Pfalz was also a former Brauereigaststätte?
I remember finding certain Britons' insistence on keeping their beer-drinking and food-eating separate to be weird when I first started spending significant amounts of time with them (present company not intended!). The common German practice of having warm food available with beer at Brauerei- and normal Gaststätten seemed natural to me when we moved here. Why WOULDN'T one want to drink beer with their lunch or supper? Why wouldn't one want to eat something to soak up" the alcohol? It's pretty common knowledge that eating something in the course of an evening's drinking will help offset the deleterious effects of over-drinking, isn't it?
It was explained to me that the Briton will want to keep room in his belly for beer, not have it get filled up with food. Then, maybe drunkenly gorge on a kebab (Döner) afterwards, before collapsing into bed or having ab big fry-up the morning after. That just never seemed healthy to me.
Of course there are plenty of corner bars (Eckkneipen) in Germany that don't serve food, but compared to what I've seen in England, Germans seem to combine their eating and drinking more like midwestern Americans do. That shouldn't come as a surprise, I guess, since midwestern America was settled by Teutonic immigrants more so than say, New England was.
But going back one stage earlier in my life...it was weird to me when I moved from Minnesconsin to Oregon in '93, since there was a law that required any place that served alcohol of any sort to also serve hot food -- not just bar snacks. And there was some licensing difference between places serving only beer & wine and those serving spirits in addition to that. The former were pubs and brewpubs, the latter were bars and restaurants. I suppose it was all to protect the children...I understand that distinction in law has been dropped since my departure from OR in '04.
I guess none of that is necessarily "weird", rather, just different to each other.
It was an adjustment for us to see people drinking on the street without shame when we moved here. Also, a fest like the Altstadtfest in Nuremberg serving beer that wasn't fenced in and guarded by security or police, like in the US -- how do you avoid drunken fights breaking out? My wife was so embarrassed when I took a beer to-go from the Altstadtfest and walked with it to the train, until I pointed out that I wasn't the only one doing so. I think it's now verboten to bring your own beer on the train...anyone?
There's a LOT to be said for having three years of Kindergarten like they do here IMO. People learn to play nicely together. You can take the American out of America, but the America out of the American...not as easy.
As the Irish say, never eat on an empty stomach.
Or as the Japanese say....
No, let's not go there.
I can't say that I found G & U particularly welcoming but maybe they just didn't like us - hard to believe! But your other two Roppelt Keller friends the late Hermann and ?? were really nice and friendly.
I vaguely recall someone telling me in Forchheim that the former owner of Hebendanz, during it's 'interesting' period was some sort of spy for the Stasi or something. I only went there once during our first first visit and, as it was a lovely day, we sat outside. The following day, it was closed! To add insult to injury, Neder was Urlaub, so I had to wait until the following year to enjoy its particular delights, by which time, the customers from Habendanz had transferred their allegiance. As you say, we used to drink Hebendanz beer in Schloessle (think that's right). It had, shall we say, a mixed clientele but we never had any problems. It was pub strong for FC Nurnurg and the temperature could get pretty heated if Bayern were on the telly. Sadly, Nurnburg have just been relegated from Bundesliga 1, which leaves only Muenchen and Augusburg from Bayern.
Re eating and drinking: I don't think that there is any evidence that food affects the level of alcohol in the blood stream (it does affect the sugar content, which is why I'm often seen munching some snack or other). You have to look at the social context to understand British drinking habits. The tavern style places that proliferate in Franken, for example (e.g. Schlenkerla, Spezial, Faessla, etc.) largely withered away during the 19th century (though some survived) and left mainly your 'Eckkneipen' - like that word! We tended to finish work, say around 5 or 6 pm, go home, eat tea/dinner, and then go out for the evening, drinking, going to the pictures, dancing, whatever. After, the pubs closed (in my youth, at 10.30 pm), we were often a bit hungry, being young lads. So we went for a meal - note, not kebabs but Indian or Chinese - after all, what's the point of having an empire if you don't gt something good out of it.
I suppose that is why I like Neder - it's the closest you can get to a proper pub - I suppose a proper Eckkneipen (good). However, I have noticed an larming tendency for the bringing in of a a sandwich or a cut of meat to be extended to full grown picnics - do you remember all those ladies coming in with food in baskets Jason?
I had an interesting conversation wit Fred about US-licencing laws in Prague - it seems like a minefield. Of course, one of the things that Europeans can't understand is that it is possible to buy a firearm at 18 (and even younger if from a private vendor) but you can't buy a drink until you're 21 - astonishing to us. Florida has just raised the age for buying certain guns to 21 but no all, I believe.
Regarding alcohol on trains: not 'verboten' as far as I can see. I see loads of people drinking cans of beer on trains and the waste bins are often full of empty bottles and cans. On the train out of Schwandorf for Prague (an ALX), a chap came round and took our orders for drinks and we were still in Bayern. If you get on a train that's heading for a festival (my last experience was one going to the Kirchweih in Erlangen), slabs of beer are literally stacked up! Last year, I saw one chap open a bottle of white wine at Ebensfled and he had finished it before we got to Forchheim, where I got off, thank goodness!
I think it is a pretty well established fact that eating food slows the alcohol uptake into the blood stream. A quick internet search confirmed this. I always have thought the one of the keys to a succesful pub crawl is food.
I have been out with some who have the "Eating is Cheating" mentality and you really don't want to be around them by the end of the night.
Agreed. When leading beer tours, regular snacking is one of the things I encourage, together with not staying in one pub too long and walking between pubs.
Well I've done my web trawling and come to a completely different set of views! The one thing that is clear is that drinking on an empty stomach is bad - see my earlier comments about having tea/dinner before a night on the razz! Eating while drinking only delays the absorption of alcohol into the blood stream. Knowing the people that I know (no names, no pack drill), the sessions go on for so long that this is totally irrelevant!
There is a nice little article about fruit bats: apparently, they get drunk while eating ferment fruit (is that why they fly in circles?) but that the fructose in non-fermented fruit helps to delay the effect!
The foods that are recommended before and during drinking include milk, spaghetti, chicken, quinoa, avocado, almond butter,and cereals. Doesn't sound like the menu in many Franken Wirtshaueser, though Spezial are doing their best. Really sounds more like my like my veggie diet than that favoured by most of my friends. Chewing cereal bars seems to be much better than Schlachtschlussel (is that correct? Never thought that I'd ever be typing it!) but Kaesespaetzle seems to hit the spot, only that it's so filling!
It seems that not only does eating on an empty stomach make you get drunk faster, it also increases your overall BAC.
"According to several studies and experts on alcohol, a lot. In 1994, one team of Swedish researchers set out to answer the question by having a group of 10 people consume a few drinks on two separate days.
In one case they drank after an overnight fast, and in the other, they drank after they ate a modest breakfast.
On the day the subjects ate, the rate of intoxication was slower, even though the amount of alcohol had not changed. But the subjects also reached significantly lower blood-alcohol levels over all -- on average about 70 percent of what they were on the day they skipped breakfast.
In some cases, the study found, having a meal before drinking kept a person from climbing over the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving in most states."
If the above is true, it would seem that any food comsumption before/during a drinking session would mean less intoxication.
I don't think there is any debate about this at all. I have done more than enough drinking in my lifetime both with food in the stomach and without to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that having a meal before or during a session reduces intoxication. There is no doubt whatsoever about it. If you think otherwise you are simply just wrong. Period. End of Story.
And it doesn't seem like there is any disagreement about this on this thread as we all have plenty of experience at this.
Sorry Mark but the facts we suggest that there is a difference between drinking before, during and after. As far as I can see, that's the scientific evidence. However, really I'm not really concerned about the matter. As you well know, I'm not concerned whether other people eat or not whilst sharing my company - sitting with you and Dorothy while we all consumed our different grub did nothing to spoil the social experience. Personally, I prefer to have something reasonably substantial to eat before drinking, backed up by a small snack whilst drinking but, like my veggie habit, I don't demand that everyone else does the same. My comments were really intended to show to Nick the reasons for the 'weird' British drinking habits. It's a socio-economic thing, really nothing to do with science. We simply did not have pubs that sold food, apart from the odd packet of crisps, maybe the odd packet of salted peanuts. Nowadays, I don't have a huge appetite, so it's all a bit academic really. The thing that I would say that my choice of pub is never determined by how good the food might be or even whether they sell food (another reason why I like Neder, probably). In my experience, there are always more eating places than good drinking places, though being vegetarian in Franken (or Prague!) can be tricky. Sorry, slow Saturday morning, trying to get over a bad cold - again. Probably due to my diet - before anyone else says it.
"Sorry Mark but the facts we suggest that there is a difference between drinking before, during and after."
I think the facts suggest that eating at any of those times is going to slow alcohol uptake and lead to less intoxication. If you have been drinking for three hours and plan on drinking for three more, then having something to eat in between will help you be less drunk, and probably feel better the next day. If you eat after drinking and there is still drink in your stomach, that should reduce alcohol uptake also.
I don't think I'm splitting hairs here.
Thanks, Barry, your original response was in fact informative and interesting. That was exactly what I was after.
This "eating is cheating" business though...I've heard of that before, I think. I don't quite grasp it, but that's also OK.
I'm still fighting off the lung infection I've been plagued with 2-1/2 months now.
Glad to help!
Sorry to hear about your lung infection - check diet!
"Eating is cheating" connects with he English preoccupation with drinking to get drunk (I've never understood it myself).
I've never heard of this but can imagine that it exists. Groups of lads (& lasses) on the tare?
Jürgen, wonderful - thank you!
I've stopped at Holzlein a few times but not really heard of the other ones.
Excited to pass by!
Really taking advantage of OT now.
Called in to my nearest micropub last night for a night cap (it is only 120 yards away from my front door) to find that they had brewed a Ruby Mild at 5.1%, which is a bit less than the Sarah Hughes at 6%.
I asked Andy of the Black Cloak whether their Ruby Mild was a sort of homage to Sarah Hughes and he smiled and replied sort of! They just decided to have a try and to see how it worked out. Well, I'm pleased to say that it worked out very well! The last time that I was in the Beacon Hotel with Don S., the Ruby Mild was not too good - I ended up drinking the Pale Amber (probably this was a temporary glitch) - and the Black Cloak version was much better. Probably back tonight!
Andy of the Black Cloak and Barry of the Black Hat - just need Terry of the Black trousers and you’ll have a full house!
I'm sure we've discussed this, but have you had Purple Moose (?) Dark Side of the Moose dark mild? IIRC, it was 4.5% or so, and just...wonderful. Enjoyed it in the Welsh sunshine, of all things, years ago near Port Mad Dog with Mrs.
Have had both Ruby and Sara Hughes, but memory is foggy.
I'm sure we've discussed this, but have you had Purple Moose (?) Dark Side of the Moose dark mild? IIRC, it was 4.5% or so, and just...wonderful. Enjoyed it in the Welsh sunshine, of all things, years ago near Port Mad Dog with Mrs.
Have had both Ruby and Sara Hughes, but memory is foggy.
Yes, had it, it's good, like all PM beers - except the awful Elderflower hotchpotch (IMHO, others love it!).
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!
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.
.... apologies for bad grammer, spelling, and run on sentences btw.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
I'm sure that your recollection is better than mine, Fred; also, it was a bit noisy (lots of customers and an echoey industrial building) and I was sitting opposite rather than next to the chap.
But the essentials are much the same and more or less confirmed by Mosquit. It seems reasonably obvious to me that many of the new places in Prague are enterprises that have come from a revival of interest in beer and this seems to mirror experiences in many other parts of the world. This is fair enough and we should be generally grateful for what's going on, particularly the interest that younger people are showing in beer.
However, it shouldn't stop us walking around with our eyes wide open and being willing to voice an opinion - and discuss!
The very best commercially-brewed American-style "IPA" I have ever had on the continent was at the one proper old pub (well, sort of proper, except they had multiple beers on tap including a couple of IPAs) there in Prague back in autumn 2015. It was pale, clean, dry, bitter, around 6%.
I remember trying Andy's bottom-fermented IPA at Abseits once...no thanks. Lager is already dry enough, and something just doesn't go right when making it really hoppy like that.
Otherwise, Jason's post above seems to be very agreeable. The one Czech restaurant in Erlangen was, sadly, a restaurant and not a pub, so not great for going and enjoying a few Seidla(s) of big-name Czech beer, and the food...why bother when it's just blander versions of Franconian starch, pork, and carp? I totally get craving Czech beer in Franken. All the Pilsner Urquell we used to burn through at home...
Hostomice nalevarna: even though I spent hundreds of days in Prague, I've never heard about this pub. Sounds very interesting, i guess it serves as a *brewery tap* of the brewery of Hostomice pod Brdy, istn't it?
It is fairly new, early 2017 I beleive.
Location wise, it is lot far from Bierhuis (though I expect you, like me, don't go to Prague to drink Belgian beer).
They have three regular beers, Svétlé 10º & 12º and Tmavé 14º There is a fourth tap that sometimes has a special beer -- last week a Vienna Lager brewed with Unêticé
You are absolutely right! I would never drink foreign beers in Prague. I prefer Czech Lagers right at the source...
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
My (perhaps anbitious) itinerary includes:
Paulaner am Nockherberg
A beer garden in the English Garden
Augustiner am Platzl
Ayinger am Platzl
Schneider Bräuhaus München
Andechser am Dom
Max Emanuel Brauerei
Thoroughly recommend a visit to Tegernsee. Beautiful setting, the beer gets a bit of a rap these days but it’s perfectly enjoyable.
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.
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.
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:
And plenty more visits in Munich itself including Old Town, Olympic Park, BMW World, etc...
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.
Completely agree about Augustiner Salzburg.
Don’t forget Nürnberger Bratwurstglöckl across from the Frauenkirche. I’ll be there next week. Safe travels!
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.
The schwemme sounds OK,not sure I fancy the back entrance though.
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.
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.
Perfect! I could use some sensitivity training.
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.
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)
The original post mark, the forum doesn't always behave the way I expect it to regarding replays.
Why so much discussion on Muenchen, which, to my simple mind has little relationship to Franken.
Well it does say OT in the thread much like OT discussions regarding Prague, Eschawo, or wherever.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 ;)
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.
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.
(Ah...you 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!
***NOT VEGGIE FRIENDLY***
Damn....love 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.
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.
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 thing...so is having warm food. So is having toilets.
Meh...not sure where I'm going with this. Nowhere fast.
Doener in a pitta has certainly colonised the Greek islands as Gyros. Never been to Turkey so no experience of that.
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!
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.
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.
I hardly know Limburg except for Maastricht. Most of the time I only travel through it (by train, what else).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well crafted indeed. Schanzi the only place that I've found worth going to in Nuernburg.
Not quite sure why you wouldn't like Barfusser?
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
I'm STILL recovering from the pneumonia. The breathing and coughing are improving, but I still can't even walk the dogs without getting winded.
Now to think of inhaling any sort of smoke...just say no! (I understand you don't inhale a cigar.)
I dreamt last night that I was smoking cigarettes again...yeesh.
ObFranconiaBeer: When the Rauchverbot finally came in over a decade ago, I remember being able to smell the "age" of the Schlenkerla tavern for the first time. Mrs & I had all but stopped going out to eat & drink much in the couple of years prior to that, as the qualm had become unbearable, especially for her with her contact lenses. I also remember reports of a boom in the gastro trade in the year following the Rauchverbot, which ran contrary to the dire predictions of the smoking ban opponents.
Boy, how I used to get worked up over that!
I take it, Barry, you didn't call in at Landbierparadies Wodanstrasse? There's usually only one beer 'vom Fass,' but it's not going to be some taste-alike bogwater from a Radeberger-Gruppe subsidiary, and then there are fifteen bottled beers as well, all from small Franconian family-owned brewers.
All the Landbierparadies places will have a wooden (plastic-lined, pitched, or?) gravity barrel from a Franconian countryside brewery propped up on the bar. The woodwork in the places was done by travelling journeyman carpenters who wear the traditional outfits...I forget what they're called. Interesting places, though not necessarily old or quaint, as they have been taken over from some other sort of failed business, not originally taverns. IIRC, affordable prices for Nürnberg.
Erm...maybe not a *failed* business.
I went out with Nick one night to a couple of Landbierparadies. I think Ok would cover my impression. Both of the 'cask' beers we had had elsewhere and these were far inferior. Just nothing about them that would tempt me again; the same with all the Nuernburg Wirtshaueser (?) except Schanzi.
Nuernburg is a big city with a fantastic industrial history (first railway train in Germany), so there must have been a big working class thirsting for beer. So what happened to all the Eckkneipen (love that word)? You can walk for ages in the city and not find a pub.
German plurals...back when I was in school, I asked my classmates: If you could change one thing about German to make it easier or whatever, what would it be? For me, it was the plurals. How plurals are formed is somewhat less regulated by rules than other common aspects of the language. Sometimes an umlaut, sometimes not; sometimes an "-en" ending, sometimes not; sometimes no change at all...anyway. (Haus -> Haeuser)
You're right about Nuernberg -- why aren't there more good taverns for a city of its size?
I first got really familiar with the word "Eckkneipe" back during the Rauchverbot wars. Berlin still allows smoking in Eckkneipen, places under 75 sq metres or so. The argument was smoking should remain allowed in corner bars, but banned in more family-ish or food led places.
Landbierparadies...there was one that closed that actually had great character. I forget which one it was. It seemed like it had been a gold old tavern before that.
Yes, we had some bad luck with the Fassbier that day. I had had more good luck previously, running into Hetzelsdorfer or others of similar calibre.
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.
Hi Jeff would love to meet up but leave for Prague on May 8. Have a great time!
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.
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
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.
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 www.FredWaltman.com/tweets
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.
Barry, I'll do that. Let me know if you stumble on any great new places...
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!
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.
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”
Unfortunately I won’t be in bamberg from Thursday to Sunday. Happy to meet Sunday evening or Wednesday if you’re about.
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.(https://www.bierwandern.de/inhalt/brauereiliste.html - X means "closed")
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.
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.
I get it.
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.
15 Years ago....I've lost track of your age. You must be the archetypical hugely sought-after young CAMRA member!
R.I.P. I am sure he will be missed.
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.
I don't believe I met him, but sad news indeed.
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.
Sounds fine mark.see you at the bhf.
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!'
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.)
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.
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 ;)
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.
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
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.
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.
Right...you 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.
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.
I did Barry. And I like adventures. No problem at all. ;-)
A very fine trip indeed! Good beer, great company,nice scenery and unusual food. whats not to like.
Google walberlafest 2019
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.
Whilst looking at Alt of Dietzhof website spotted a link to a strange folk/beer festival. It translates as whale watching program. www schlaifhausen.com
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?
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?
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").
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.
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.
Or the danger of Google's translations Jason.so the word walberla means hilltop? Is it a slang word?
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.
Ahh! Now I see Barry.I wonder if the organisers know how it translates
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.
No probably not wise, you would get no privacy what with all the binoculars focused on me!
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!!
Only trusting translation on Google Jason.But I am actually not smoking only drinking smoke beer.(Red Herring from Greenjack Lowestoft).
only messing... see you next week!
I know. Cheers!
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.
TOPIC DRIFT AGAIN
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 food...um...I 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.
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!
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.)
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).
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.
Right, thanks again Juergen for cleaning up whenever I crap all over the place! Or something.
A bit wild and out of tradition? Drunken fun?
I reckon the missus and I are going to Walberlafest on Sunday!
Hope you recover soon Nick.
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.