Thursday, 9 September 2010

Bayerischen Anstich

We arrived in Bamberg to catch the last few days of the religious festival Sandkerwa which was celebrating its 60th anniversary. Bamberg is transformed from being a mere world class drinking town, into a world class drinking town with a bonus few dozen more drinking venues added, stretching along the river bank and taking up every square inch possible in the town itself. Stalls sell tacky souvenirs, bratwurst, candy floss, sweets, bratwurst, chocolates, bratwurst and beer. Lots of beer - almost as many beers stands as bratwurst ones. It is packed with people and has a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, with families mixing easily with the more dedicated beer drinkers, of which there are quite a few.

We were met off the train by our friend Nick who lives in the area. He'd done the necessary homework and had sussed out the top drinking stands - those that dispensed " vom Bayerischen anstich" or straight from the cask. (It is a style I'm very familiar with, not just from drinking in Franconia, but that's how we serve most of our German country beers at GBBF.) We threaded our way through the crowds to the riverside and made a start. Keller bier in stone krugs from Brauerei Zehendner from Mönchsambach provided a good start. Soft and easy drinking, it was hard to tear ourselves away, so we had a few. We tried several others too though, including, Brauerei Huebner, St Georgen Brau and probably more. The softer carbonation in this style of serving is perfect for keller beer and it slides down all too easily. Do look out for it if you go there.

One word of warning for visitors to this bucolic scene. Apart from the dangers of tasty keller bier, German mosquitoes are bitey little buggers.

Nick and Eileen on their first beer.


Velky Al said...

mmmm bratwurst! I lived in Celle when I was a nipper and loved bratties, although when I was very young I had a habit of peeling off the skin and chucking it over my shoulder - so endearing!

Erlangernick said...

For the record, the beers poured vom bayerischen Anstich were the Mönschsambacher Lager from Br. Zehender, (?) from Br. Büttner in Untergreuth, Lager from Br. Krug in Geisfeld, and Löwenbräu Kellerbier from Buttenheim. The St. Georgenbräu would be nice to try under this natural "Kellerbier" method of dispense, but the brewery's too big and industrial to be arsed with it, aside from the GBBF I guess.

All were in pretty good shape, but then all had been tapped only an hour or two prior to (y)our arrival. Pity you missed out on the World Premiere of the Beck Elevator 9.5% Amarillo Überlager (2€/1cl) though!

Barm said...

You lucky sods. I have found a bar in Glasgow that sells bottled St. Georgen Kellerbier for £4.95 a pop. I don't think it's quite that good.

Tandleman said...

Nick - Glad you remember - I couldn't. Not sure why.

Velky Al -I like the odd bratty, but you'd think the average German would be all bratwursted out by about age 18. They aren't.

Barm - Way too much!

Erlangernick said...

Not sure why you can't recall all the details? First day of hols, that's why! 5+% Lager's a bit different than your normal Monday afternoon/evening tipple, I bet.

But really, that Büttner is pretty rare. It's a little farmhouse brewery in a village just outside Bamberg, and they're only open Fr-Su, I think.

And I'm obsessed with bayerischem Anstich lately, so I wanted to know exactly where beer was being served that way.

Velky Al said...

I am not sure it is humanly possible to ever have enough of bratwurst!

Montague said...

Alright Alexander, looks like next year is the year we meet face to face. I'm taking a holiday to your island to see what the hoopla is all about. I'll meet you you at the GBBF and then head up to Manchester to Marble. If you've got the bollocks, we can then do the Tandle Hill Tavern and anything else that's interesting. There may be a camera crew. I want to make a film. I will drink your ass, Tyson's ass, and RedNev's ass under the table. Watch me back up drinking prowess in your house!!

Tandleman said...

Monty - I think we'll wait and see how this one pans out!

In any event, I'll leave the drinking contests to others. I'm too old.

Paul Bailey said...

Just to let you know, Erlangernick, my son and I managed to try St. Georgenbräu Kellerbier, dispensed from a wooden cask, when we visited Buttenheim earlier this year. The brewery tap itself was shut when we arrived, so we stopped next door instead at Löwenbräu for lunch, before heading out of the village to visit the kellers.

This time it was the Löwenbräu keller that was shut (the two breweries obviously have some sort of reciprocal arrangement between themselves), so we contented ourselves with the pleasant, shady St. Georgenbräu keller, which looks out over the village. Both the kellerbier, and the helles were dispensed from wooden casks, and very tasty they were too!

Erlangernick said...

Sorry to disappoint you Paul, but the Georgenbräu Keller employs "stealth" casks. They're wooden casks that have been fitted with taps and lines to the cellar, to look as if they're real casks, but it's just for show. It's fairly common around here, I suppose the most famous example of this is at the Spezial pub in Bamberg.

Pity the Löwenbräu Keller wasn't open, since you could've compared the Lager from the brewery with the Kellerbier at the Keller. And I'm a fan of most St. G beers --aside from the Kellerbier. The Helles is a great one.

Paul Bailey said...

Thanks for putting me straight on that Erlangernick; I guess the beer was starting to catch up with me by the time we got to St. Georgenbräu keller, and I wasn't paying enough attention!

I don't appear to have taken any photo's of thr bar in Spezial, although we did sit inside on one visit. The wooden casks in Faessla look real enough though.

Erlangernick said...

Fäßla also use stealth Fässer!

The last time I recall being fooled by one was at the Griess Brauereigaststätte in Geisfeld. There, it's a tiny little 5 litre stealth Fässla, and he uses a real brass bayerischen Anstich spigot too, so it even sounds "real". Pity der Tandelmann didn't get to see this in action though.

(ObLinguistica: The use of "ß" is actually outdated in the case of "Fass", and has been formally replaced by "ss". The brewery has no reason to change all their labelling though, as half the country can't keep the recent spelling reforms straight anyway. "Fässer" is plural, and "Fässla" is Franconian diminuative for "casklet" change in the spelling of plural diminuitives.)

Tandleman said...

You beat me to it Nick. Ever seen a cask changed in Faessla? Well you won't.