Monday, 31 August 2009

Top Beer of the Trip

Sitting here in grey Manchester, after pretty good weather in Bamberg, I recall saying to E, "this reminds you that ordinary people elsewhere in the world actually get a real summer." By that I meant one with sunshine and high temperatures, an outdoor lifestyle and not just slightly warmer rain.

On one such lovely day we traipsed off on a rail replacement bus to Forchheim, followed by a local bus out to a four keller set up at Kreuzberg, where a large, steep hill has one keller (beer garden) at the bottom and three more up a fairly steep track, a kilometre or so up an equally big steep hill. More of these later, but at the first Brauerei Roppelt of Stieberlimbach, having short cutted through the brewery yard with our mate Erlangernick, our guide, I encountered the best beer of the holiday, Roppelt Keller Bier. Served in a traditional steinkrug, it was off pale, hoppy and delicious. Proper lager, the likes of which you will most likely only encounter in Franconia. We had plenty other decent keller beers, but this was truly a stand out. I can see why Nick makes the 26k cycle ride there more or less every Friday. I would too, but like Nick, I'd take the train back from Forchheim. You'd be too full of good beer (and pork) to cycle back.


Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Herr 'man, one doesn't need to go to Franconia to get Zwickelbier. I should know, as I'm part kraut. Unpasteurized lagers can be brewed in the home setting. Just for shits and giggles, I think I'll brew one here soon in the likes of a Dortmunder Export. I'll call it the "Herr 'man Challenge."

Erlangernick said...

Just because RateBeer lump Zwickel-, Land-, und Kellerbier zusammen (together) doesn't mean one has fuck-all to do with another, eyether at home or abroad.

I'm just glad all the beers we encountered that day were so spot on for Tandleman, given how much I'd been hyping the little area. I'm now pretty sure that the new (year+ old) Friedel brewpub up on the Kreuzberg is one of Krautley's very bestest modern breweries/brewpubs.

(It took me a year or two of going there to get the spelling right--StiebArlimbach. The Stiebar were some lordly landed type or summat, I think.)

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

I take no part in ratebeer or beeradvocate. They are related in that they are both unfiltered/unpasteurized lagers. Same mit Zoiglbier. I can see why Herr'man enjoys these beers. They are similar in dispense to his real ale, ungespunded.

Tandleman said...

Sausage. Dortmunder Export, no matter how good, isn't kellerbier. Brew a kellerbier.

Erlangernick said...

Eh, I should've said "I'm glad all the beers that were spot on were spot on that day...", since not all were in fact completely spot on.

Unfiltered Pils and Doppelbock are also closely related to Kellerbier, I guess.

Funny how that Roppelt Kellerbier ain't dispensed like Real Ale though, and yet it was better than the one beer served that day which *is* served in the old, traditional, gravity-pour way. (It's a pity Roppelt can't really do Bayerischen Anstich with the quantities he pours; his beer would be even that much greater.)

Just what *is* Kellerbier then? Beer served at the Keller and preferably brewed to an old recipe. Ideally also lagered at the Keller. Ungespundet, brewed at a communal brewery, served from the fermenting vessel a bit early (a name don't make a Zwickelbier a Zwickelbier)...these are all fairly extraneous.

But the more traditionally a beer is brewed, the more traditional it is.

This reminds me of Yanks calling beer served with a hand pump "cask conditioned" regardless of whether or not the beer really is.

You go far enough back in time, and beer was brewed pretty much the same all over Europe, I bet.

Erlangernick said...

I was back at Roppelt's again yesterday for their monthly (or so) Schlachtschüssel day. "Slaughter bowl" is what that literally translates to; loosely, perhaps "fresh pig bits".

I wonder what the names were of the poor Schweine who gave their lives early yesterday morning in order for me to enjoy fine, fresh Blutwurst, Leberwurst, and Kesselfleisch ("kettle meat", or odd bits of pig from the kettle) promptly at 11:00 AM.

It was rich, but it wasn't so much that I couldn't bike the 18 km further on to the Griess-Keller, the other greatest Keller in Oberfranken which you will have to get to next time, where the freshly-gezapftes cask was similarly excellent. (And then another 40 km home, having just missed a train which would've nearly halved that stretch.)

Roppelt's beer was just as good yesterday as it was on Friday. I think I'll head back again today for an afternoon Maß or two. It might be my last chance for a week or so, seeing how the weather's turning crap and I'm quite busy next week.

Look for me at the Keller-Kam: