Bamberg – a city of smokey beer

This tastes just like bacon

My first thought when trying some Bamberg beer last year. As everyone knows bacon is a food of the Gods, therefore Bamberg must be heaven.

We travelled down to Bamberg with our trusty Deutsche Bahn train from Dresden. After checking into our hostel, we made our way into the island district to visit the tourist office.

 

Bamberg Germany food drink Glasgow blog

The town of Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia in Bavaria. It emerged unscathed from World War Two and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is an extra plus for visiting.

There are currently 8 breweries, however in 1818 there were originally 70 (that would be some brewery crawl!).

Back in the day common folk were only allowed to brew beer with a special permit “brewing rights”. Making beer was initially restricted to personal use. Whoever owned these brewing rights could sell his surplus beer to the public.

To indicate the serving of beer to the public the landlords attached signs (“Gastfrieden”) to their house walls. Later from this the so-called “Schildgerechtigkeit” developed, i.e. fixing a sign to the house front which advertised the sale of beer. You will still see these signs around – look out for the Star of David like emblem.

We picked up a BierSchmecker Tour pack, BAMBERG Tourismusfor €22 you get

A rucksack containing
A Brochure listing all the breweries in Bamberg and Bamberg County and a detailled description of the breweries and the beer specialities that are part of the tour
5 vouchers for beer
(Participating brew pubs: Fässla, Keesmann, Schlenkerla, Spezial, Greifenklau, Ambräusianum, Kaiserdom, Mahr’s Bräu)
or other goods of your choice
(Entrance to the Brewery Museum, a wooden beer mug lid or a bottle opener)

 

BierSchmecker tour bamberg Germany beer tasting tour food drink Glasgow blog

We headed past the picturesque Old Town Hall towards Schlenkerla Brewery.

 

Bamberg Old Town Hall
Bamberg Old Town Hall

And found Schlenkerla.

 

Schlenkerla bamberg Germany food drink Glasgow blog

We had to visit here as this was the first smoked beer we had ever tried. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier – original Schlenkerla smoked beer. The waitress quickly plonked our seidla ( half litre) on the table. The coasters say

“Even if the brew tastes somewhat strange at the first swallow, do not stop, because soon you will realize that your thirst will not decrease and your pleasure will visibly increase.”

Very true, I loved it on draught. Not as strong as in the bottle and could quick happily have sat there all night, drinking beer and sniffing the passing dishes loaded with food.

Rauchbier bamberg smoked beer bamberg

More research was required so we headed off along the river to Brauerei Keesmann

Keesman brewery, Bamberg
Keesman Brewery, Bamberg

Brewing since 1867, this pretty brewery building has a sheltered beer garden.

Brewed beers include:
Bamberger Herren Pils, Keesman Hell, Sterna lager, Bock, Josephi Bock and, Keesmann Weisse.

Keesman Brewery Biergarten
Keesman Brewery Biergarten
Keesman Brewery Weisse
Keesman Brewery Weisse

The next brewery was just across the road, Mahrs Bräu Bamberg GmbHMahrs Bräu. Brewing since 1610, this brewery has a network of rooms in which to drink in, as well as a Biergarten.

 

Mahrs Bräu bamberg Germany food drink Glasgow blog

We settled at one of the huge tables and were quickly served by one of the lovely ladies.

Mahrs Bräu beer

Another good selection of beer, as well as food and “brotzeit” – bread time snacks. However, we had to keep going – purely for research!

A wander across the river took us to Zum Sternla

Zum sternla bamberg food and drink Glasgow blog

A delicious seidla of Spezial beer accompanied by some food. Leberkase (meat loaf) with fried egg and potatoes as well as some soused herring in cream sauce.

Zum sternla leberkase food drink Glasgow blog
Part Two to come…

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