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Prioritising what to drink in Bamberg in 2022

How do you decide which pubs and breweries to visit when you’ve only got so much time to play with?

A couple of weeks ago we asked a question on Twitter:

This wasn’t an idle query.

In a few weeks, COVID and other circumstances permitting, we’ll be back in Germany for the first time in four years – and we’ve got a daytrip to Bamberg in the schedule.

These days, given our ever-diminishing drinking capacity, we reckon we can realistically only visit a maximum of three drinking establishments.

(Building in a little room for manoeuvre in case we really need a second pint of anything particularly good, or there are any lethally strong seasonal specials on.)

We have been to Bamberg before but, to our astonishment, apparently not for about 14 years. Our tastes have changed, and Bamberg might well have changed, so we needed some up-to-date advice.

Here’s a log of the responses:

Spezial19
Schlenkerla12
Keesmann9
Mahr’s Bräu8
Fässla6
Greifenklau4
Klosterbräu2

There were also three votes against – two for Schlenkerla, one for Mahr’s. But that doesn’t change the ranking.

We’re quite pleased with that list, based on our own past experience.

We can’t not visit Schlenkerla, given our memories of previous visits, and how much we enjoy the beer from bottles.

We also fondly remember how relatively hoppy Keesmann Herren Lager seemed. Apparently, its still good.

Then again… that trip out to Greifenklau was pretty special last time.

And can we really turn down the chance to drink a Mahr’s Ungespundet, even though people say that particular brewery is off the boil at the moment?

Just to further complicate things, there are also a handful of new breweries that we’ve never been to. Should we maybe prioritise trying something new over attempting to relive past pleasures?

Maybe the only logical conclusion to this tyranny of choice is to not go at all.

8 replies on “Prioritising what to drink in Bamberg in 2022”

With many memories of visits to Bamberg over the years, I’d be inclined to visit Zum Spezial, Mahrs then squeeze in two of the new ones. I doubt they would have built up the same age old atmosphere as the trad ones but there’ll be new beers and new customers to meet. Have fun!

As a regular visitor to Bamberg, most recently in July of this year, my two penneth worth is as follows:

Schlenkerla – Just impossible not to go. It’s one of the world’s greatest pubs and everything they do is spot on.

Ambräusianum – Too Disney, dull beer, good food.

Spezial – Although I’ve had some great nights here and the beer is exceptional, it isn’t always easy to get a seat and can feel a bit overly food oriented.

Fässla – A great pub, especially early and just after 5pm. The best place to mix with real Germans. Beer perfectly drinkable. Food merely adequate.

Keesmann – I’ve always liked it, especially the Sternla Lager but it doesn’t always have the best atmosphere and the opening hours are bonkers.

Mahrs – I’m conflicted about this one. We went, it was good. However, the beer quality is definitely variable these days, I’ve had some appalling bottles. Up to you if you want to risk one of your three being a disappointment.

Klosterbräu – Bizarrely, much improved following being bought by Kaiserdom. Great to have a third Rauchbier in Bamberg.

Greifenklau – I love everything about it, great pub, lovely beer, top notch food, always a good atmosphere. But beware doesn’t open very early.

Kaiserdom – Boring

Sternla – I’ve always loved the pub, the beers I tried were OK, wish I’d tried the Export. Best VFM food in Bamberg. Much changed outdoor area/courtyard, not sure it’s for the better.

Kronprinz – Modern craft beers, not what you go to Bamberg for.

Ahörnla – Haven’t tried it.

The other new one who’s name escapes me (begins with L?) – Was closed the only time I’ve walked past it.

That’s the one.

There are at least two more obscure ones.

The hop garden museum brews beer on a small scale. Often using weird herbs and fruit.

Weyermann maltings also brew. Mostly to showcase what their malts can do.

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