Friday, March 7, 2014

Rest Day

Thursday found me not much better. I managed to surface enough to head to Schlenkerla for lunch and couple of Fastenbier.

I also took some more pictures of the ceiling in the Dominikaner Klause.

Then a stop a the drug store for medicinal supplies and back to the room for a rest. 

The nice thing about staying at brewery is you don't have far to go for a beer. Just downstairs for dinner and a beer or four. I hadn't had the Spezial Märzen yet so I started with that.

It is not smoked and has a nice toffee aroma and a good malty flavor. A nice beer, but I still like the Lager and U better. The limiting factor in the brewery at Spezial is the production of Rauchmalz, which is why of their regular beers only the Lager is smoked.

The waitress (Helga) was too efficient and brought be another Märzen before I could order a Lager. Definitely a first world problem...

I played around with my new camera and took some pictures of the main room.

Uh Oh.

Wednesday morning found me waking up with a sore throat and a cough. Not a good sign. But there was beer to be drunk so I soldiered on.

First up was the Mahrs Weizenbock Anstich.

Surprisingly, it was served on draft (from a keg not a barrel) and I think it suffered from this. It was a bit too cold and it was a bit under carbonated compared to the bottled version. Still, it was good and fairly deadly. Supposedly 7.2% but they say that every year and every year I think it is a bit stronger than that.

Then it was along to Schlenkerla for the Fastenbier...

It is a less smokey than the Märzen, sweeter and richer -- as you'd expect for a beer you drink while you were fasting for Lent -- more food value. It is also unfiltered as the yeast would also add food value.

A note to future visitors: Drink the Fastenbier first, then switch it the Märzen -- if you do it the other way around you will find the Fastenbier to be too sweet.

By now I was starting to feel my bug, so it was back to the room for a nap. I did surface enough to have dinner and a few beers downstairs.

Faschingdiestag ("Fat Tuesday") in Bamberg.

Tuesday was a bit of a milestone for me -- I visited only two breweries and neither of them was Spezial or Schlenkerla (both were closed).

People were all taking about the Fasching parade. I guess it has become a big deal since I was last here during Fasching (2003, I think). It started at Max Platz, when thru the Grüner Markt, down Langestrasse then up over the Luitpold Brücke and then up Obere Königstrasse then over the Ketternbrücke and back to Max Platz.

I spent the afternoon at Fässla, watching the crowd -- lots of people where in costume and most of the rest at least had funny hats. I sort of lost track of beers, but I think I had seven Pils. Plus or minus.

For a change of pace and some fresh air, we headed up the hill to Greifenklau

They didn't have any special beers on, just the Lager (and Weizen, which is brewed elsewhere). In recent years the Lager is much improved and it was in good form.

They have a bock beer coming out April 3. We managed to score a sample. It is a bit darker than the Lager. If you are in the area then, be sure and stop by for one (or more) as it will be very good.
Greifenklau Bock from the lager tank.
We had some food and a few more beers.  Only two breweries and neither of the Spezial or Schlenkerla. Whouda thunk it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another Day Wondering Around Bamberg

Started off the day with a Gold Pils from Fässla -- just across the street. I do think I like it better than the Keesmann Herrn Pils, though both are good.

Window from the Schwemme into one the inside rooms.

I wondered around for a while taking pictures with the new camera...

Put I soon was thirsty and hungry and so stopped a Schlenkerla for lunch and a beer -- which somehow turned in to four beers. It was just so pleasant sitting there.

Lunch was a Bamberg Onion -- an onion stuffed with ground meat and a sauce many with the Schlenkerla Märzen.

There is this little ledge with 3 or 4 tables in the Dominkaner Klause -- it is a great place to just sit and while away the afternoon.

The ceiling has this wonderful detail -- which until fairly recently was hidden under 80 years of cigarette smoke.

Wondering down Sandstrasse I came across a California flag. It was flying in front the the Greissgarten pub/biergarten -- I guess they have a Mexican restaurant now. Not ready to try Bamberg tacos or burritos just yet.

So you come to Der Pelikan. The really only have one interesting beer on tap -- Huppendorfer Vollbier but they have a couple on the bottle list work drinking. Plus I find it a comfy place and they have decent Thai food when you are all Schnitzeled out.

So I had a Huppendorf Vollbier. It has a nice raisin-y note that I like.

I was waiting for some local friends to show up, so I had a Mönchsambacher Export. Usually a brewery's "Export" is stronger than their "normal" beer but with Mönchsambacher it is the other way around -- the Export has slightly less alcohol.

I met with the friends and we headed to Ahörnla (Bamberg dialect for Einhorn or Unicorn). This was once a brewery and then for years was various different pubs, none of which was too successful. About 3-4 years ago a new owner starting doing renovations but nothing seemed to happen until late last year.

They have done a very good job. The inside is quite nice, light colored wood everywhere. They have one beer that is brewed for them by Mahrs -- supposedly an old Einhorn recipe. It is quite nice and unlike any other the other Mahrs dark beers I've had.

Next it was off to Rotenschild, upstairs in the same building as Stihlbruch. During the week they only have bottled beer. I shared a one liter bottle of Metzgerbräu with Frank Wetzel. However it was a bad bottle -- very, very sour. With no fuss the replaced and and the replacement was delicious.

Not wanting to risk another sour bottle, I switched to Mönchsambacher Lager for the remainder of the evening. This weekend they will have barrels of both of these beers.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Walking around Bamberg, Drinking Not So Much Beer

I pushed things a little too much for a first day in Bamberg and paid the price on Sunday.

 I headed to Sternla on Lange Strasse for lunch. They claim to be the oldest pub in Bamberg and I have no reason to dispute them. They were a Maisel house before they stopped brewing. Now they have a variety of beers from Bamberg and the area around.

The sign out front advertised Huppendorfer Fastennacht Weizen, so I had one with lunch.

I was good, but a little too much on the banana side of things for me to drink another.

The rest of the afternoon I just walked around Bamberg playing with me new camera. I won't bore you with too many non beer pictures -- I do have a reputation to uphold...

I decide to check out Moe's -- a relatively new place that I've often walked by but never been in -- mostly because they don't open until 6pm on weekdays (3pm on weekends). But the menu out front lists some interesting beers.

The first thing I saw when I walked in was the chalkboard listing Hölzlein Lager as the beer of the month. I immediately ordered one but was told they ran out because of (understandably) high demand.  I had a Lager from Brauerei Krug in Geisfeld -- a beer you don't see that often outside of the brewery tap.

It was in good shape and went down way to quickly. The replacement was a Pils from Brauerei Kaiser in Grassmansdorf.

It was crisp and hoppy and very drinkable. Then Benedikt, the owner?/manager? came by and told me he had put on a keg of Lager from Brauerei Sauer in Rossdorf am Forst. I'm sure he didn't put the keg on for me, but I thought it would be rude if I didn't have one, so I did.

Another nice beer and in very fresh. The krug in the background contains Weiherer Lager from Brauerei Kundmüller in Weiher. It belongs to my friend Georg from Coburg who happened to be passing thru Bamberg. Another good and interesting beer.

As I was leaving, Benedikt gave me a bottle from Brauerei Kraus in Hirschaid -- Hirschen-Trunk. He described it as a new dark beer from Kraus but when I poured it back in my room it was a nice amber/copper color.

At 5.5% it is a little stronger than the typical beer but was very refreshing and just a hit or roast in the finish. I'd have another one.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Walking around Bamberg, Drinking beer...

Haven't see that post title before.

Started off by walking over to Cafe Abseits for lunch and beer. Or three.

My usual first beer there is Mönchsambacher Lager. I am in a rut because it was my first beer this time as well.

I paired with a Schnitzel Sandwinch, regular this time not XXL

Gerhard asked me if I had tasted the Weiherer IPA from Brauerei Kundmüller. I hand't so he brought one out to share.

It was very nice -- nice and hoppy -- but I don't think it will replace Racer 5 as my goto IPA.

Next up was the Gänstaller Affumicator Smoked Double Bock. At 10.2% this is a big beer. I had a half glass because I had a lot of walking to do...

Then it was off to Mahrs but I was early enough to have a quick beer at Keesmann (which closes at 3pm on Saturday).

I had the Herrn Pils. This and the Fässla Pils vie for the best Pils in Bamberg. I tough choice, but I think I still like the Fässla a bit better. But this one is very good as well.

The across the street to Mahrs Bräu...

...where it was too early for the U so I had a Helles from the barrel. A nice, drinkable beer.

Playing with my camera, I took some shots of the room...

And by the time I was finished with my Helles, they had tapped the barrel of U. So I had one.


I think they have reduced the hops over the years. This used to be one of my favorite beers in Bamberg -- and it is still very good -- but I think it was better in years gone by.

I do like the new Mahrs coasters. though. A nice mix of old and new.

On the way out I took a picture of the empty Schwemm. Don't see that too often.

I thought I would wander over to Eckerts, on the Obere Mühlbrücke, and take some tourist pictures along the way.

Eckarts is on an island in the river, so it has great views if you are eating,

I just sat in the bar and had a Gänstaller Zwickelpils.

Now came a tough choice -- I had to walk right by Klosterbräu. When I was last here, last October, I could't finish the beer I ordered. I figured I owed it to my readers (all six of you) to report on the status of their beer.

So I ordered a Braunbier. And it wasn't too bad. I was able to finish it but had no desire to have another.

Then I heard they were serving the last keg of their Bockbier -- which I assume was from last fall -- and since the Braunbier didn't do me in, I had a bock as well.

It was actually quite nice. Not as good as some of their hocks ten years ago, but eminently drinkable, which can be dangerous for a bockbier.

Then it was up the hill to Stöhrenkeller for another Gänstaller beer -- this one a rauchbier -- and a Panang curry for dinner.

Food and beer were both excellent.

On the way home I stopped at Schlenkerla for a night cap.

I long hard day, especially for the first full day in country. Maybe I will take it easy Sunday. Maybe.