Nice places to drink in Nuremberg, Franconia, Germany

Fran­co­nia has only been part of Bavaria since the ear­ly 19th Cen­tu­ry, and appar­ent­ly “many of its peo­ple do not con­sid­er them­selves ful­ly ‘Bavar­i­an’ “. Well, that’s the kind of guff Lone­ly Plan­et comes out with, but I would say that there is a dif­fer­ent type of beer cul­ture here than fur­ther down south.

If Upper Bavaria (Munich et al) is about swig­ging litres in beer gar­dens, Fran­co­nia is more about savour­ing indi­vid­ual and local styles. It’s esti­mat­ed that there are around 200 brew­eries and thou­sand beers in “Upper Fran­co­nia” alone, and you see styles here that you don’t see else­where (such as “Rauch­bier” (or “smoke beer”)). It’s home to famous brew­ing towns such as Bam­berg, Kulm­bach and Bayreuth. Fur­ther­more, peo­ple seem gen­uine­ly inter­est­ed in their beer here, and proud of the vari­eties. Unlike oth­er parts of Ger­many, where you get strange looks if you ask for a dif­fer­ent drink on the sec­ond round…

Nuremberg

Nurem­berg is the cap­i­tal of Fran­co­nia, and a very inter­est­ing and beau­ti­ful city to vis­it even if you’re not a beer lover. It’s also very well con­nect­ed, with high speed links across Ger­many and excel­lent local con­nec­tions to the small­est vil­lages, mak­ing it an excel­lent place to base your­self for a beer hol­i­day.

Nurem­berg has two brew­pubs, the Alt­stadthof and Bar Fuess­er (see below), and is also home to Land­bier­paradies, a chain of five pubs (and one large off-licence) sell­ing beer from small brew­eries in Fran­co­nia. We fea­tured them in an arti­cle on this blog last month.

Rec­om­mend­ed pubs

This is not a com­pre­hen­sive guide! I have a feel­ing most of the best places to drink are prob­a­bly out­side the cen­tre, but Nurem­berg is a big old place, and this is just intend­ed to be a start­ing point.

From Nurem­berg sta­tion, it’s only a short hop to Kloster Andechs “Das Wirthaus”, in the ground­floor of the Hotel Deutsch­er Kaiser. This does the full range of Andechs, one of Germany’s most famous monastery brew­ing cor­po­ra­tions. They even do a tast­ing plat­ter (which takes them a while to put togeth­er).

About five min­utes fur­ther up Koenigstrasse, you get to Bar­fuess­er, a cav­ernous “Haus­brauerei” and restau­rant. They brew two tasty refresh­ing beers (a dark and a light), which you can see fer­ment­ing from cer­tain parts of the beer hall. The food’s pret­ty good too.

Top of our rec­om­men­da­tions has got to be the Alt­stadthof, in the mid­dle of the old town (up the hill near the cas­tle). This is a cosy brew­pub where, on a cold Jan­u­ary day, we real­ly fell in love with beer. They brew a Helles, a Schwarz­bier, and most spe­cial of all, a “Roth­bier” (which they trans­late as “Red beer”).

altstadthof beer mat

I’m intrigued by how they man­age to brew beers which taste so dif­fer­ent from any­thing else, yet are absolute­ly deli­cious (and still in accor­dance with the Rein­heits­ge­bot!). The red beer has a strong aro­ma of tof­fee apples, but is also very bit­ter for a Ger­man beer, and pos­si­bly slight­ly sour. It’s not very car­bon­at­ed (like a lot of beers in this part of the world). It’s incred­i­bly refresh­ing and more-ish.

It was also pleas­ing to see (dur­ing one of our many after­noon ses­sions there) the num­ber of locals com­ing in to buy beer to take­away. You can go on a brew­ery tour and even watch a play in the small the­atre attached. There’s also a dis­tillery where they make sev­er­al dif­fer­ent types of schnapps.

The clos­est Land­bier­paradies out­let to the cen­tre is prob­a­bly the one on Rothen­burg­er Strasse. It has one draft “land­bier” on tap and around 30 in bot­tles. See our ear­li­er blog for more on Land­bier­paradies. If you’re hunt­ing for sou­venirs, their shop on Gal­gan­hof­s­trasse (about 10–15 min­utes walk south of the main sta­tion) is an excel­lent place not just for local beers but also for orig­i­nal stone mugs and glass­es at very rea­son­able (i.e. not touristy!) prices.

Oth­er areas for pubs etc

The area around St Sebal­dus church (between the Haupt­markt and the cas­tle) is a great place for wan­der­ing. The pubs can be quite touristy, but it’s a great place for food (par­tic­u­lar­ly Nurem­berg sausages). For some­thing dif­fer­ent, there’s a trendy cafe attached to some kind of arts cen­tre, near the Rathaus, which has sev­er­al vari­eties from the organ­ic Neu­markt Lamms­brau brew­ery. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, we can’t remem­ber the name of the cafe or the street…

There’s also a good area for pubs to the east of Konigstrasse – lots of small bars with beer from local brew­eries such as St Geor­gen and Kuchlbauer.

Notes & fur­ther links
1. Link to GoogleMap with the above places marked and full address­es.

2. The Fran­co­nia Beer Guide is a com­pre­hen­sive data­base of the 300 or so brew­eries in Fran­co­nia; it also con­tains news, arti­cles and a down­load­able tour guide. You can upload details of your own beer trips or read oth­er people’s. Very use­ful.

3. Deutsche Bahn web­site is very easy to use for look­ing up train times and even book­ing fares. If you want to get to Nurem­berg by train from the UK, you can get Eurostar to Brus­sels, and then use this site to get a tick­et from Brus­sels to Nurem­berg via Cologne. If you get the con­nec­tions right, you could get from Lon­don to Nurem­berg in around 9 hours.

If you are trav­el­ling around Fran­co­nia, then the “Bay­ern tick­et” is an excel­lent deal. For 27 Euros, up to 5 peo­ple can trav­el between 9am and 3am the fol­low­ing morn­ing on any local trains. Read here for more.

4. There’s more infor­ma­tion about types of beer in Bam­burg and Fran­co­nia here, writ­ten by John Conen, author of CAMRA’s “Bam­berf and Fran­co­nia: Germany’s Brew­ing Heart­land”.

5. Here’s anoth­er page list­ing Nurem­berg pubs.

Lamb and Kriek Pie

I noticed that the Pem­bury Tav­ern in Hack­ney, East Lon­don (my favourite pub) was serv­ing Lamb and Kriek Pie today. I didn’t try it, but I’ve been pon­der­ing oth­er pie/beer com­bi­na­tions.

Obvi­ous­ly, there’s the clas­sic steak and ale – I’ve found Hook Nor­ton Old Hooky a great ale to use for this, as it’s on the malty side. I used ESB once and it was a touch too bit­ter.

But what beer to go with chick­en in a pie fill­ing? Some­thing not too bit­ter, light in colour, per­haps cit­rusy… a Ger­man weiss­bier? Chick­en and weiss­bier pie could work.

How about for the veg­gies (like Boak)? Lentil, car­rot and onion cooked off in Koelsch might work. Or mush­rooms in mild… as long as a com­plete­ly black fill­ing doesn’t make the pie look too unap­petis­ing.

Adnams and Sustainability

adnams1.gifAs part of their push to build a rep­u­ta­tion as one of Britain’s green­est brew­ers, Suf­folk brew­ery have stuck a nice lit­tle book­let (print­ed in veg­etable ink, on recy­cled paper) into every issue of New Sci­en­tist this week. The book­let out­lines, in some detail, every­thing they’re doing to reduce their envi­ron­men­tal impact.

Brew­ing and beer (espe­cial­ly beer from abroad) is a guilty plea­sure for peo­ple who wor­ry about the envi­ron­ment. Most brew­eries waste a lot of ener­gy to turn bar­ley and water into beer. Adnams are ahead of the game in try­ing to reduce the wastage. For exam­ple, they say they reuse 90% of the steam pro­duced by the process. They’ve also made their bot­tles lighter and, in so doing, reduced their “car­bon foot­print” sig­nif­i­cant­ly, because they’re eas­i­er to trans­port.

I’ve nev­er been par­tic­u­lar­ly excit­ed by any of their beers – I sus­pect this is to do with the crap­py pubs where I’ve tast­ed them! – but do applaud the huge com­mit­ment they’ve appar­ent­ly made to this cause.

Update: I’m not the only one who’s inter­est­ed in green brew­eries today…

Truman, Hanbury and Buxton in the East End

Tru­man, Han­bury and Bux­ton were one of the biggest brew­eries in Lon­don in the 19th and ear­ly 20th cen­turies. They moved to Bur­ton in the 1970s, merged with Wat­ney Mann not long after, and then closed alto­geth­er. East Lon­don – the area imme­di­ate­ly around the old Black Eagle Brew­ery – is par­tic­u­lar­ly rife with small reminders.

bethnal_green_road.jpg

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bethnal_green_station.jpg

More after the, er, “more” link…

Con­tin­ue read­ing “Tru­man, Han­bury and Bux­ton in the East End”

92 Squadron

Did you know there was a Bat­tle of Britain Loco­mo­tive Soci­ety? No, me nei­ther. Can you work out from the name of the organ­i­sa­tion what they actu­al­ly do? No, me nei­ther.

The impor­tant thing is that they inspired the Bunting­ford Brew­ery Com­pa­ny from Hert­ford­shire to cre­ate 92 Squadron, one of the most deli­cious beers I’ve had in ages. It looks like a brown bit­ter, but has a shed­load of flo­ral, cit­rusy Amer­i­can hops in it (Amar­il­lo and Colum­bus) so tastes a bit like an IPA. High­ly rec­om­mend­ed.

The pump clip for the beer adver­tis­es the soci­ety, with a the weblink above. Nice idea.