Posted by: musinganorak | August 12, 2010

Closed on Sundays

Holiday Musings – Day 8

After an uneventful drive through Bavaria we arrived in the medieval town of Bamberg in the early afternoon. This was our second visit to this beer drinker’s “mecca” and the plan was to visit the brewpubs that we didn’t have time to visit on the previous visit. The town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the second we have visited on this trip. As we’d done most of our sightseeing on the previous trip we were free to concentrate on the beer drinking.

First up was Greifenklau which is situated just off one of the main roads out of town and is a steady 20 minute uphill walk. We arrived at about 3 O’clock and found the doors firmly closed. A check of the opening times showed that it closed at 2 O’clock on Sundays. D’Oh! I had made the big mistake of not checking in advance if any of our destinations were potentially going to be closed. D’Oh! A quick check in the beer guide showed that another of our planned visits, to the Stöhrenkeller, also wouldn’t be taking place as it was closed on Sundays. D’Oh!

We headed back downhill in to the town centre and located Klosterbräu which was open. We sat by the river and enjoyed more bratwurst whilst drinking the 4 beers that were on offer, Bamberger Gold, 4.9%, Braun’s Weisse, 4.9%, Schwärzla, 4.9%, and Braunbier, 5.7%.

The next brewpub on the list was Kaiserdom which is technically in the next village along from Bamberg although in recent years it has become subsumed into “greater Bamberg.” Claire didn’t fancy another long walk so I left her back at the hotel and set off in to the unknown. I broke the journey early on with a visit to the Stilbruch pub as the guide suggested that Vollbier, 4.7%, from the small Hübner-Bräu brewery, was available on gravity on Sundays. Unfortunately it wasn’t available on this particular Sunday and I had to make do with the bottled version. I then walked for about 30 minutes along a long, straight, boring road before I reached Kaiserdom. As time was getting on, and I still had the same distance to walk back, I limited myself to just one of their beers, the Meranier Schwarzbier, 4.8%, and boy did it taste good after that walk!

I looked in at the Pelikan on the way back in to town but the place was heaving and I decided to press on. I called Claire and got her to meet me in town rather than me have to walk back to the hotel only to walk back in to town. We headed first to Ambräusianum, the youngest brewpub in Bamberg having only opened in 2004, where there was just time to have a tasting stick of their three beers before they closed. We then decamped to Schlenkerla a couple of doors down the street. Here we able to have a substantial meal and drink some Rauchbier. Rauchbier is the one style of beer that Bamberg is famous for and it literally means smoke beer. They use heavily smoked barley in the brewing process which gives the beer a unique flavour not dissimilar to smoky bacon flavour crisps! It is one of those love it or hate beers and I happen to love it. There was no way I was going to visit Bamberg without drinking some more of the stuff, and this provided the perfect end to the evening.

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