Much is written about Bamberg and its beery attractions and I did most of them again this time. One thing though I hadn't done much of before was to go to three of Bamberg's loveliest kellers, high above the town. It is a fairly steep hill which takes you up to the earliest opening keller, that of Spezial. Good job this was open, otherwise, we'd have had none - not a problem in E's view - as the Spezial pub was closed for "urlaub" or holidays. Yes my friends, the pub shuts for a couple of weeks at one of the busiest times of year, while they go on holiday. What you must remember though, is that a lot of German establishments are family run and that's just how they do things.
Once you get to the gate of the keller, promptly at 15.00, you walk up another steep gradient to the keller, where to your surprise, the place is already quite busy. How is this? Well there is another gate higher up on the road where the wise can go directly into the keller, thus stealing five minutes on those of us choosing the hill. This keller commands lovely views of the town and has two areas, one with waiter service and one without. We chose the latter and enjoyed - well I did - the slightly smoky kellerbier and the slightly smoky hefe weizen. Now I am not the biggest fan of smoked beer, but compared to my girl, I love it. Our visit was therefore relatively short, as E found the beer undrinkable. Nonetheless for its setting its well worth a look and if you like smoky beer, a must.
The top photo shows the self service area of the keller.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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