Saturday, May 16, 2009


A combination of poor weather (not much bike riding), a harder class (more homework) and clients back home with problems have kept me from keeping current. With what spare time I had I could either work on the blog or drink beer. Guess which won? Plus, if I didn't drink beer the blog would be fairly boring ("Today, after washing my hair, for breakfast I had ...")

I'll upload some pictures and fill in the text as I have time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday, May 12

One brewery in the area I had never visited was Brauerei Weber in Röbersdorf. Its about 22km by bike from Bamberg. I had a test in school Wednesday morning, but I was going crazy studying, so I decided to ride down to check it out. It started raining, I sort of got lost (missed a turn and went the long way) got a flat tire, but all in all it was a fun day. Oh, yeah, the beer was great too. While riding back along the Main/Danube canal a river cruise ship went by.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday, May 10

Rittmayer and Friel Kellers on the Kreuzberg, the Roppelt Keller in Stiebarlimbach, the Leiberth Dorfkeller in Hallendorf and the Witzgall keller in Schlammersdorf. All great beer (and one great fish)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday, May 9

In the afternoon the school organized a bike ride to the Schmausen Keller, outside of Reundorf. This is the keller of Brauerei Müller (in Reundorf) and is famous for one of the most scenic views of any bierkeller in the area. Plus the beer is fairly good, too.

I started off the day with a visit to the new Fässla Keller, formerly the Maisel Keller, located adjacent to the now closed Maisel brewery on Moostrasse in Bamberg.

Along the way to Reundorf, we crossed the Regnitz river in a ferry that is primarily for bicycles (pedestrians are allowed, but its a long way from anyplace that regular pedestrians would go)

When we got back to Bamberg it was still light, so we headed to Spezial Keller on the Stephansberg to watch the sunset. As the sun was setting a hot air balloon floated by...

I waited too long at the Spezial Keller because it started to storm -- thunder and lightning and heavy rail. On the way home I had to run from pub to pub during the lulls. It took me a long time to get home.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday, May 7

Oh Glorious Day!

It was warm and sunny, a perfect day for a ride. I headed off to Memelsdorf, about 9 km away and home to two breweries, Brauerei Höhn and Brauerei Drei Kronen. Brauerei Höhn is notible in that they still use a wood fired brew kettle. But since I could only stop at one brewery on the way out, I left if for a possible stop on they way back and went to Drei Kronen instead.

As I pulled up to the garden in the rear, Herr Straub came out and greated me warmly (I think he recognized the bicycle). I asked about his daughter, (who is in training to be a brewer) and he said she was in Switzerland teaching them how to brew Franconian beers.

I ordered some lunch and a Hefe-Pils (unfiltered Pils).

Drei Kronen Hefe-Pils

It was a good starter beer for the day, a nice bitterness and a little bit of character from the yeast.

Next it was off to Merkendorf, about 5 km from Memmelsdorf, mostly a gentle uphill. Merkendorf also has two breweries: Brauerei Hummel and (another) Brauerei Wagner.

You come to Hummel first. This brewery does a wide variety of beers, include a great smoked double bock for Lent. Their kellerbier is one of my favorites and sadly seems to be no longer available on draft in Bamberg.

Hummel Kellerbier from Merkendorf

Off in the corner of the courtyard where the biergarten is I noticed a couple of bicycle wheels attached to the balcony. It turns out Brauerei Hummel hosts a bicycle club that is having their 100th anniversary next weekend. I wonder if they brewed a special beer?

Looking around the courtyard some more I noiticed a sign I missed on the way in -- Maibock! So I had to have one.

Hummel Maibock

It was a nice Maibock, but I think the Mönchsambacher was better -- this one was a bit too sweet in the finish. But I had no problem finishing it.

Down the street a bit, around the corner from the local church is the second brewery, Brauerei Wagner. They have nice tree shade table out front, where I ususally sit in warmer weather.

I went inside to the window and ordered an Ungespundetes. A nice refreshing beer after the long, tiring 300m ride from the last brewery.

I particularly like the mosaic as you walk into to the brewey (having the same initials, FW)

While there they were moving cases of beer from one side of the brewery to the other. I tried to get him to leave me so, but had no success.

Well, I'm late for a beer, so I'll have to finish this text later, but I'll leave you with a couple more pictures...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday, May 6

Wednesday found it still threatening rain, but it warmed up a bit in the afternoon so I went for a ride.

I rode along the Mhain river to the village of Viereth. There is a brewery here, Brauerei Mainlust but I am not a big fan of their beers, finding them a bit thin and weak. A bit inland from Viereth is Weiher, home of the much better Brauerei Kundmüller. But I wasn't ready for a beer yet -- I wanted to ride some more first, so I cross over the Main to the north bank and rode back towards Bamberg. Nearby was one of the many breweries named Wagner, this one in Oberhaid. Again, its not one of my favorites so I continued on to Dörfleins, home of Brauerei Eichhorn.

Brauerei Eichhorn, Dörfleins

They brew a very, very nice Kellerbier. When Stöhenkeller on the Stephansberg first opened this was one of their regular beers and I spent many a night drinking it.

It is asparagus ("Spargel") season here, so I had a bowl of "Spargelsuppe" to go with the beer. But I was so thirsty the beer was gone by the time the soup came so in order to be polite I ordered another. It was as good as the first.

Eichhorn Kellerbier (trust me)

They use unadorned Krüge and the beer coaster I was given was for the weizenbier so I didn't put it in the picture. So you'll have to trust me on this one.

After the beer it was a short 9 km ride back to the apartment. I went at a little faster pace than usual -- though still slow by any rational standard -- so a short nap was in order.

After the nap I took a quick ride down to Mahrs Bräu for a couple mugs of "U" and I nice talk with Stephan Michel, the head brewmaster and future owner.

Total distance riden was only 30km but it was a hard day for this trip (since I still had homework to do).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday, May 5

The weather ended up threatening all afternoon, so I didn't go for a ride, but was just lazy, reading and doing a little work for clients back in the US.

I went to Schlenkera for a nice dinner of smoked trout (and smoked beer, of course) and afterwards met a couple of gentleman from Scotland making their first trip to Bamberg. It turns out they had printouts from my website with them so we were soon great friends.

Hopefully the weather will ease up a bit Wednesday. I may go for a short ride anyway -- those breweries aren't going to visit themselves.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday, May 4 (Updated)

Well, school started to day so the vacation is over. But it only lasted until about 2:30 so there was time to get in a short ride. It was threatening rain, so I did want to go to far. A bit north of Bamberg is the village of Kemmern and one of the three breweries in the area named Wagner.

I headed out, but was dreaming of that first beer and missed my turn and ended up in the harbor area. Needless to say, they don't get many bicycles there and so it took a while to find my way to the right direction.

When I arrived the sun was shining enough that the beer garden was open so I sat outside. They have three beers on tap today a Schwarzbier and Hefeweizen on regular draft and a pils from a gravity barrel. I started with the Schwarzbier - it was dark brown and malty. Sort of on the border between a standard dunkles and a schwarzbier. Very drinkable and was soon gone. Beer number two is the pils. This is one of my favorite beers around here -- clean and crisp with enough hop bitterness that you know its not a helles. I want to have another but if I do I'll won't be able to stop at another brewery on the way home. What a dilemma!

Pils from Brauerei Wagner, Kemmern

(I appolgize for the picture quality -- I left my camera in my room and took this with my laptop's web cam)

Update: Well as a wise man once said "Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance" -- I forgot that Brauerei Eichhorn in Dörfleins is closed on Mondays. But it added a few km to my ride and it didn't rain so I'm not complaining too much. For consolation I went to Spezial for dinner and had both and "U" and the lagerbier (rauchbier). Yumm.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday, May 3

The plan for today is Geisfeld (two breweries), Rossdorf on Forst for the Braunbier at Brauerei Sauer and then back to Bamberg, hopefully in time for an Ottobier at Stihlbruch.

If you head for Mahrs/Keesmann and keep going on Wunderberg it becomes Geisfelder Strasse. Its a simple ride (in terms of directions) and only about 6 mi. However there is about a 100 ft climb. Since most of my riding is on the beach in LA I am a little out of condition for hills. But I made to the top of the big hill just outside of Geisfeld, but the bench at the top was most welcome. You have a great view of both Bamberg on Geisfeld

View of Bamberg from outside Giesfeld

View of Geisfeld from the same hill

Friday outside Brauerei Krug, Geisfeld

Lunch at Brauerei Krug: Schinken mit Ei and Krug Rauchbier.

Off to Griess Keller (Brauerei Griess) for a couple beers and then to Rossdorf.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday, May 2

It is a gorgeous day, though it looks like it might rain tonight. After getting my chores done (putting the bike together, grocery shopping, etc.) I started off for a ride. My initial goal was Cafe Abseits for a Mönchsambacher Maibock, but I had to ride by Spezial so I stopped for a bowl of soup and a beer. The beer was as wonderful as ever so I had another.

Lunch at Spezial

Bike Friday at Spezial

Then it was off to Cafe Abseits. Since the weather is nice the biergarten was open. My original idea was to have the Lager first then the Maibock, but I was feeling (just a bit) the two beers at Spezial so I went straight for the Maibock. It was wonderful. Slightly hazy (all their beers are unfiltered) and a pleasant touch of sweetness in the finish to go with enough bitterness so you want another sip. And the alcohol was well hidden. It would be too easily to drink two or three of these and then fall off your chair.

Mönschambacher Maibock

The Garden at Cafe Abseits

After suitable rest, I decided to be a bit more adverertous for my first day (I had planned to just ride around town). I came to the Regnitz and took the river bike train south towards Hirschaid.

I am out of shape in more ways than one -- a knee injury and bad weather (by LA standards) had kept me off my bike for a while so my conditioning was off. And I haven't done much in the way of beer/bike combo's recently either, so I was feeling the beer. And I've lost all the calouses on my butt so it was complaining as well. But its a beautiful day and there is beer to be drunk so I am pushing on. At least I wasn't passed by little old ladies on the way home from the market -- that is embarrassing.

Brauerei Kraus in Hirschaid has a nice beer garden out back. But trees are shedding and I while I have a cover (bierdeckel) for my beer, I have nothing for my keyboard. Very irritating.

Lagerbier (you have to trust me) from Brauerei Kraus in Hirschaid

The Garden at Brauerei Kraus, Hirschaid

I am off to Buttenheim to one (or both of the kellers there). I may wimp out and take the train back. Depends on how many beers :)

Update: It started raining fairly hard when I reached the Buttenheim train station (which is not actually in Buttenheim). Ducked in to a pub across the street (serving Löwenbräu Buttenheim) to escape the rain. While there a couple of hiking Brits came in, also seeking shelter from the elements and it turns out the had a copy of my "Beer Drinker's Guide to Bamberg." The world is small and its even smaller when I tell you the "rest of the story" in another post."

Löwenbräu Buttenheim Lagerbier
The Gaststätte where I shelter from the rain

Oh, I ended up taking the train back to Bamberg. But I did pennance by stopping at Fässla for a beer on the way back from the train station.

Fässla Pils