December 17, 2017

Bamberg plus Beer equals Dilemma

I have a dilemma and I am hoping someone will be able to help me out!

August 21 I land in Frankfurt Germany and head by train to Bamberg where I will spend the next 2 days visiting this picturesque Bavarian city on the Regnitz River.

Old Town Bamberg Bavaria Germany

Old Town from Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH

Bamberg is a UNESCO World Heritage City that is full of medieval churches, half-timbered houses, Baroque architecture and frescoed buildings.  The quaint, cobbled streets are bursting with outdoor cafes, bridges, shops and charming houses along the Regnitz River.

View of Bamberg Bavaria Germany

View of Bamberg from Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH

The vast cultural, architectural, religious and ancient history Bamberg has can be found within its well-preserved boundaries.

Little Venice Bamberg Bavaria Germany

Little Venice from Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH

But that is not all Bamberg is known for.

Beer aficionados will know Bamberg not for the aforementioned beauties but for the 9 breweries that call this village home.  According to the Bamberg tourist office these 9 breweries produce more than 50 types of beer!

This brewing tradition goes back 1,000 years and produces beers ranging from lagers, wheat, Gold Pils to the Rauchbier (a smoked beer).  These breweries have seriously been around a very long time.  Schlenkerla was first mentioned in 1405, Fassla was founded in 1649 and Klosterbrau has been brewing beer since 1533.  And that’s only 3 of them!

Rauchbier Spezial  Bamberg, Germany by Ethan Prater, on Flickr

Rauchbier Spezial Bamberg, Germany by Ethan Prater, on Flickr

So what’s a girl supposed to do with only 2 days, 9 breweries and 50 types of beer?

How do I choose which ones to visit?   I’m hoping you can help but first here is a listing and brief description of the breweries in Bamberg:

  • Ambrausianum is the newest and smallest brewery in Bamberg.  It is a modern brew pub complete with copper brew kettles.

    Dominikanerstraße Bamberg Germany by barockschloss, on Flickr

    Dominikanerstraße Bamberg by barockschloss, on Flickr

  • Brauerei Fassla dates back to 1649 and is a family run brewery with a lively atmosphere.  Reminiscent of an older typical brewery, the large entrance doors are still there making delivery by horse and cart possible.
  • Brauerei Greifenklau is a small brewery that was established in 1719 by Count von Greiffenclau.  Today it is a lovely old tavern with a shady beer garden that has been owned by the same family since 1914.
  • Kaiserdom is the largest brewery in Bamberg.  The Wohner family has owned it since 1718.  Each beer you drink at Kaiserdom has its own style glass or mug.
  • Keesmann has been a family owned brewery since 1867.  This brew house has a modern flair to it but is still able to cling to tradition.  You will find a herd of deer heads on the walls in this pub.
  • Klosterbrau was founded in 1533 and has been in the Braun family since 1852.  It is the oldest functioning brewery in Bamberg.  This picturesque brewery sits alongside the river Regnitz.
  • Mahrs Brau was founded in 1679 and has been in the Michel family since 1880.  This traditional brewery still includes beer served from the wooden barrel.
  • Spezial was first recorded in 1536 and is housed in a beautiful half-timbered building complete with overflowing window boxes. Spezial is a classic pub with a traditional atmosphere that also serves a smoky beer.

    Schlenkerla Sign Bamberg by barockschloss, on Flickr

    Schlenkerla Sign Bamberg by barockschloss, on Flickr

  • Schlenkerla was first mentioned in 1405 and is home to the world famous Rauchbier, a beer made from smoked malt.  This traditional brewery tavern is popular and crowded.

If you’ve been to any of these breweries, let me know your thoughts.

If not, vote for your favorite brewery or two or three by leaving a comment below.

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  7. Mandy says:

    I’m American, but my BF lives in Bamberg, so I am there quite often. I realize that this post is old- but since several people mentioned trips to Bamberg in the future…here’s my 2 cents.
    Fassla is the place to be, especially if you like Pils.
    Schlenkerla is known for it’s horrible service. Don’t believe me? Go there. It’s pretty damn bad.
    Keesman is okay.
    Spezial – across the street from Fassla has EXCELLENT food. Fassla is not bad either.
    Mahrs? My bf won’t be caught dead in there. I’m unclear why.
    Klosterbrau has a great setting next to the river on a nice clear day…but I don’t recommend it on a rainy/cold day. The inside smells…I can’t really describe it, but it’s off putting.
    What you didn’t mention is the AMAZING “kellers”. The kellers, though translated mean cellars are ON the hills. The keller is inside the mountain, where the brewerys used to (and some still do) store beer to keep it cool. Fassla has a great one, but Spezial Keller has a FANTASTIC view of the city.
    Most kellers are bier gartens which also serve light food.
    On another note- I am frequently in Bamberg, and would be happy to help anyone needing recommendations, etc.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thanks for your insight Mandy! I did experience the Schlenkerla service and you a right plus they are just not really nice. I did enjoy the Rauchbier though. I didn’t get to the Spezial keller but will definitely make sure I do next time I’m in Bamberg.

  8. Sabrina says:

    What a fun dilemma! 🙂 I love visiting local breweries and don’t do it enough. We had one in our little German town growing up and I went on at least 2-3 tours with tastings afterwards. Fun!!
    Sabrina recently posted..Do You Want To Speak Texan Here Are Some Texas Expressions For You

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I am looking forward to visiting the breweries in Bamberg. We have started visiting local breweries near my home too. I never realized there were so many!

  9. Laurel says:

    I like dilemmas like this :). Unfortunately I’m allergic to beer (gluten allergy) so despite living in Germany I never get to try any of the many fine beers. Looking forward to hearing more about Bamberg as well. It’s on my list too.
    Laurel recently posted..Discovering the Roman Limes in Germany

  10. Renee says:

    HA! Debbie, I wish that I could help you but I hate beer….nevertheless, I hope that you have a great time while you’re there and will figure out a way around your dilemma…..;-(
    Renee recently posted..The Inspired Traveler 13 – Laurel Robbins

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thanks Renee! I’m quite sure I’ll figure something out and will have a great time doing so 🙂

  11. Laura says:

    We have a small town in SC called Bamberg… this one is news to me! While I absolutely hate beer, I love touring distilleries and breweries so I’d definitely give it go if I went. Sounds like you have a tough decision to make with all of the options!
    Laura recently posted..A Breathtaking Day at Montserrat

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes it is a tough decision but one I will boldly face! I think I am up for the challenge.

  12. Bamberg is definitely my kind of place to visit. Did you say 50 types of beer? Wow, beer drinkers Disneyland.
    David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..Sarawak Longhouse Pictures in B&W

  13. Grace says:

    Debbie, where I am right now is close to midnight and the temperature is in the high 80’s with lots of humidity. I could use that beer on the photo right now!
    Grace recently posted..8 Things I Love &amp Hate about America

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Yes that sound like perfect beer weather but then again when isn’t it perfect beer weather? Hope you’re having a good time where in the world you are 🙂

  14. This is quite the dilemma… but one I wish I had right now. I LOVE good beer. And there ain’t much of it in South America. I suggest avoiding the popular, crowded ones. Go with the traditional, older places. Also, the ones that have something special about the beer like Mahrs Brau, where they serve beer out of the barrel.

    My final advice… drink lots of water and eat lots of carbs. Good luck! I look forward to your post about the breweries.
    The Travel Chica recently posted..Graffiti Art in Buenos Aires

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I really like good beer too and am looking forward to trying them out! The traditional, older places would be my first choice too but I do need to stop by Schlenkerla since they are so famous for their Rauchbier. Drinking beer right from the barrel sounds so special. I will definitely go for that too.

      Thanks for your wise advice too 🙂

  15. Scott says:

    Ok, I have not been to Bamberg so therefore cannot venture an opinion on the breweries. BUT … I once saw a travel show called “The Thirsty Traveler” and when he was in Bamberg he had some famous delicacy called the Bamberg Onion, which was a large onion stuffed with sausage, bacon and various and it looked amazing! So, that is my advice, lol!

    PS – here is a link to the story:
    Scott recently posted..Singing The St Louis Blues

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Great advice! The Bamberg Onion sounds fantastic. I’ll be on the look out for that one.

  16. Mark Wiens says:

    I like the idea of visiting Spezial – and sampling that smoky brew. I think whatever your choice is, you will enjoy it! Good luck!
    Mark Wiens recently posted..Guide to the 4000 Islands of Laos- Don Det and Don Khon Part 2

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I will definitely try a smoky beer and believe you are right – it will all be good!

  17. There are so many choices. I’m more of a wine person. If I drink beer – it’s Same Adams. So get something hoppy.

  18. Christina says:

    I love that you’re visiting my hometown! Why choose between the breweries when you can go to all of them? Seriously, there’s a thing called the Bamberger Bierdiplom, a brewery / pub crawl of 9 prominent breweries where you obtain a stamp each for trying their beer and then have a diploma issued. Just ask the tourist information about it 🙂

    If you’d rather take it slow, I suggest Schlenkerla as it’s in a wonderful old cobble-stone alley, so there you can check off the scenic/historic/ambience elements, and Mahrs for what locals drink – it’s really good.

    If you can, consider being in Bamberg for a few days longer: on the 25th, Bamberg’s big Voksfest / beerfest starts – it’s a fantastic place to be with great live music, dancing, awesome food, very diverse crowd and tons of fun for everyone.

    Very excited for you!
    Christina recently posted..Campsite review- Kinloch DOC campsite- Otago

    • Christina says:

      I should have mentioned, the big beerfest is called Sandkerwa, just in case you want to check it out online.
      Christina recently posted..Weekly photo- Rotorua thermal pools- North Island

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I read about the Sandkerwa and would love to enjoy it but I need to be in Innsbruck on the 25th so I will just have to go another time!

      I did read about the Bierdiplom but didn’t really pay any attention to it but now that you mention it, a beer diploma might be a fun thing to have 🙂 Thank you for your recommendations. I am really excited about visiting Bamberg!!

  19. I’ve never heard of Bamberg but it looks like a great place to visit!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Slovenia sets the standard for Green Tourism in Europe

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’m really looking forward to visiting Bamberg! I really like the looks and history of the village.

      • Germany probably has some of my favorite villages. Love the architecture and just the feel. Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia have the same feel as well. Love the alpine villages!
        Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I

        • Debbie Beardsley says:

          Germany is one of my favorite places to visit. I too love the small villages and am really looking forward to my visit. On my way from Bamberg to Innsbruck I am stopping Mittenwald just because it is supposed to be a very picturesque village. It also is a center for violin making which is pretty cool too. I just can’t get enough of those quaint Bavarian villages 🙂

  20. Oh dear, how to choose… can you walk past them, peek in and get a feel for the atmosphere? If not, perhaps choose the oldest and the newest. As well as the smallest and the largest. You’ve a bit of a challenge ahead. A fun one, though.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I know, it is a tough dilemma! I like your idea of swinging by to check out the atmosphere. I’m going to give it the old college try 🙂

  21. That’s a lot of booze. I would go to as many as possible, for research purposes, of course.
    Scott – Quirky Travel Guy recently posted..Streakers and greenies unite at the World Naked Bike Ride

  22. What a fun angle to write your story! Can’t you do a beer crawl and hit up all 9 breweries!? Although the town looks lovely and it would be a shame to miss out on sightseeing too 🙂
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..Where in the World Am I

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      You are so right! I definitely don’t want to miss out on sightseeing. I’ve been trying to calculate how many I could actually get in. . . one with lunch, one for an afternoon break, one with dinner and one as a night cap 🙂 Guess I would sleep really good.

  23. robin says:

    Mahsbrau do a fantastic kellerbier.
    robin recently posted..Flamenco

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Thats good to know! Looks like I’ll have to make sure I visit Mahrsbrau for a Kellerbier. I’ll let you know what I think.

  24. glen says:

    I can’t be of any help — I’ve never been there. But I’m really envious, have a great time and enjoy the beer!!

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Oh I will enjoy the beer 🙂 I’m really excited to visit Bamberg. I love villages like this one!

  25. Dave and Deb says:

    That is a dilemma. I can’t say that I am much help though, but I do love the reference material you have provided for my future trips to Bamberg. What a great round up of breweries. Kaiserdom and Klosterbrau look like good choices to me. The largest and the oldest.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Well I’m glad I could help. I’ll be sure to write about the breweries I am able to squeeze in! I like old things so I do think think that is for sure.

  26. Frau Dietz says:

    Well, would you believe it, I’ve actually been to Schenkerla for a Rauchbier (a couple of years ago now: It was brilliant – a great atmosphere and the smoked beer was really, really tasty – actually it just tasted like bacon to me. Bamburg is absolutely lovely, I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip! Be sure to wave as you fly over me 😉
    Frau Dietz recently posted..Montag Morgen Ablenkung

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have heard that it tastes like bacon or ham and, to be honest, that kind of scared me! Not sure I want my beer to taste like that. I will definitely visit Schenkerla and try their Rauchbier though. I will be waving as I pass you!


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