Franconian Beer Message Board

Adventures in Franken - part 2
Posted by Barry on 2011-09-19 13:06:37
Now home and with access to www, will try to fill in some of the blanks from our visit. This is going to be a bit long – sorry. Most of the first week, we spent around Hallstadt/Bamberg and got to sample a lot of Hönig, as Goldene Lowene and Diller Keller, both excellent places, sell it vom Fass. I’m not sure whether they sell the lagerbier or the pils – whatever, it is pretty nice. We became very friendly with Frau Diller and many of the regulars of Goldene Lowene. Frau Diller was ‘outraged’ when we explained that we were vegetarian – couldn’t understand the notion. We visited the Hönig brewery later with Don & Cherie and whatever we sampled actually tasted a little different – not quite so ‘sweet’ but still pretty good. (Incidentally, the kids in the Schlenkerla schwemm were not particularly well behaved and neither were their parents. And, whilst on that evening, must say thanks to Frank and Ursl for a copy of Die Brauerei Landkarte – really useful.) On D & C’s first night, a table had been booked at Andy & Manuela’s new place. A much better venue that Trabelsdorf, more room and generally more commodious. Andy was much in evidence and the ‘zoigl’ was excellent. He showed us the old cellar and the old brewery – amazing places, he could market them as museum pieces, as I’m sure they would attract a lot of visitors. Just as in ‘Beck’s’, they have really got things going, lots of customers and a great atmosphere. Just to prove the old adage about pubs – it’s the hosts that make the difference and this couple really put themselves out to look after their customers. Courtesy of D & C, we had a couple of really nice outings to Franconian Schweiz. First day, we visited Hübner in Steinfeld, Will in Schederndorf and two Wattendorf breweries: Dremmel and a second Hübner. All had decent beers but we particularly liked Dremmel and its really good dunkel: a very friendly and homely place run by a youngish couple (Don now has the T-shirt). Second trip out took us to Hönig (see above), Grasser in Huppendorf (the vollbier vom fass is so much better than the bottled version plus the lunch was excellent) and Kathi-brau in Heckenhof (loved the dunkles lagerbier and the general ambience – my kind of place - but the ladies were not so keen on the long walk uphill through the forest). We ended up in Rothenbach in Aufsess – a complete contrast. This is one of those upmarket places in the same chain as Drei Kronen and Hartmann. The beer is pretty decent but the ambience is not really to my modest tastes. Tuesday night marked the arrival of D & C’s friends from Seattle, two more Dons (both brewers, from Naked City and Silver City), two Bobs, a Bruce, a Kurt and a Janet. The occasion was marked by dinner in Spezial and we all got on famously. We were to meet again on a couple of afternoons in Spezi-keller and on the memorable occasion of the visit to Weyermann. I was really pleased to get the chance to link up with the gang on this visit, which was organised by Don Spencer. Although the maltings were interesting in themselves, without doubt the highpoint was the end visit to the experimental brewery. What a little treasure and such a contrast to Andy’s old brewery - it would fit really nicely in my garage! We sampled three beers in generous quantities: first their schlotfergla, which our guide assured us was a registered name (? Brauerei am Kreuzberg) – a beautifully balanced dark lager; next a Bohemian style unfiltered pils, which was much to my taste; finally, and to general surprise, an untergäriges American-style IPA! All week, Don Spencer had been promising me a bottle of Silver City IPA but this came first. Whatever, it was very hoppy, thirst quenching and quite delicious. Following a quick visit to Hartmann’s in Wurgau, and a snack lunch for me with a seidla of Felsentrunk, it was back to Spezi-keller and, finally, to Don Spencer’s apartment and the long-awaited sample of Silver City IPA. It was definitely nothing like the old IPA of my youth in Manchester and nothing like the modern IPA’s sampled on our recent visit (including Holt’s) but it was certainly an experience. Hoppier than the Weyermann version (I suppose this is due to the Cascade hops) but not too dissimilar in general taste. Once I got used to the taste, I really liked it – surprise, surprise, but then I like most kinds of beer, if they are well brewed and this one certainly was. Perhaps we should go to Seattle after all! Well done to Silver City. Our final day ended with a quick trip to our local St. Georgen beerkeller. Sadly, only time for a last beer but then a bit of a surprise as our host offered to give us a tour of the old building. Originally, it had possessed a brewery, one of five that were in Hallstadt, but that had been knocked. However, the bar and cellars were in really good condition but Andreas explained that it was just not economic to reopen the building for business. A real shame because it is a place full of character, not unlike the Goldene Lowene, which, sadly, will probably suffer the same fate when Frau Diller decides that she’s had enough. Sorry yet again not to meet Gerhard, as another trip to Bamberg ends without our meeting. Unfortunately, the Seattle gang's dinner was planned for Friday, by which time we were in Leipheim (enjoying some excellent Hirschbrau). So ended yet another great holiday in Franken, mostly thanks to Don and Cherie, who inspired the visit and ferried us old codgers around the place, and were also great company. We were really pleased to meet Nick, Jan and Frank, and sorry that it was not possible to meet a few more forum members. I still have the idea for a general meet-up next year, so don’t make any plans before consulting the forum!
   Adventures in Franken - part 2 by TreinJan on  2011-09-20 02:58:17
     Adventures in Franken - part 2 by barry on  2011-09-20 09:24:12
   Adventures in Franken - part 2 by DonS on  2011-09-20 13:07:09
   Adventures in Franken - part 2 by Mark Andersen on  2011-09-20 14:36:05
     Adventures in Franken - part 2 by TreinJan on  2011-09-21 04:10:46
       Adventures in Franken - part 2 by barry on  2011-09-21 11:44:27
         Adventures in Franken - part 2 by DonS on  2011-09-21 13:04:33
           Adventures in Franken - part 2 by Nick B. on  2011-09-21 23:26:54
   Adventures in Franken - part 2 by Uncle Jimbo on  2011-09-22 01:10:39
     Adventures in Franken - part 2 by Barry on  2011-09-22 01:27:27
       Adventures in Franken - part 2 by DonS on  2011-09-22 03:08:28
       Adventures in Franken - part 2 by Mark Andersen on  2011-09-22 04:18:54