Fri, 8th Aug.
4th day of our 2-day visit, and I’m in no hurry to leave.
Joy wants to visit the Dom (cathedral). I want to visit the Brauerei Museum, so we go our separate ways for the morning.
The museum is at the top of Michelsberg; one of the 6 hills of Bamberg, and “a bit of a climb” on the bike. It’s absolutely crammed full of breweriana, but there’s no real explanation for most of the artefacts. I was hoping there’d be more about the history of brewing in Bamberg, but I was disappointed by its absence.
The Eiskeller in the Brauereimuseum was interesting: this is a cylindrical structure, three stories down – literally in the Keller (cellar). Its walls are about 3m thick, and it’s about 10m tall with a spiral staircase running down the walls (like a lighthouse). The breweries used to need ice in the summer in order to chill the fermenting wort to slow down the fermentation, and then to store the wort/beer for up to 6 months at a low temperature (lagering). In the winter, they’d chop out large chunks of ice from the frozen river Regnitz, and store them in the Eiskeller, gradually filling it for use in the summer.
There was a showcase full of bottled beers: one shelf for German beer, the row below being for “Beers of Europe”. Note the Boddington’s bottle.
Note also, however, the bottle of Budweiser next to the Boddy’s: This is a bit anoracky of me, but I’m afraid they cocked-up. That’s a disgusting American Budweiser brewed by Anheuser Busch. It’s NOT the proper Budweiser Budvar Brewery (Budějovický Budvar) in the Czech Republic that it should be. That man on the door was so uncommunicative and unhelpful, I didn’t trouble him with this information.
I decided I needed a beer after the museum, and I wanted to visit the Gasthof Kachelofen to try the St Georgen Buttenheimer Kellerbier on their menu. I was far from disappointed. Joy met up with me in time for a refill before we set out for Brauerei Mahr.
Mahr is a little way out of the town centre. We got there at around 5pm, and had to camp out on someone else’s table. It was absolutely crammed, almost entirely with locals. Ok, the inside rooms were closed – no need for them as it was a pretty hot day – but that still left a couple of hundred people sitting outside. We asked how it was in the winter and were told it’s just the same, only the inside rooms were in use. What a wonderful business these breweries enjoy.
Mahrs beers also come highly recommended, and the gemütlichkeit (roll together the English words “atmosphere” and “congeniality” for a reasonable translation) makes this one of the best Gaststätte in Bamberg.
All good things must come to an end, so after we’d had our fill of food and drink, it was time to say au revoir to Bamberg as we wanted to move on towards Nuremberg.