Bamberg is known for its smoked Rauchbier.
Bamberg is home to eight breweries, Brauerei Fässla, Brauerei Greifenklau, Brauerei Heller-Trum (Schlenkerla), Brauerei Kaiserdom, Keesmann Bräu, Klosterbräu, Mahrs Bräu and Brauerei Spezial, and one brewpub, Ambräusianum
Bamberg, episcopal residence on the river Regnitz, world heritage site, and the town with the most striking beer history anywhere! The love for the “liquid gold” found here is unmatched in the world.
In Bamberg you will find almost fifty different beers in a town with 70,000 inhabitants, historical breweries, innumerable seasonal bock-beer keg tappings, and the legacy of the legendary Bamberg beer war!
In the middle of the old part of Bamberg, directly beneath the mighty cathedral, one can find the Historical Brewery Tavern Schlenkerla. First mentioned in 1405 and now run by the Trum family in the 6th generation, it is the fountain of
(in German language it’s called:
“Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier”)
Schlenkerla – in Bamberg a magical word with many meanings. Strangers will hear it from the taxi driver or, at the latest, in the hotel after the recommendation of a visit to the cathedral. The three syllables don’t just stand for the beautiful half-timbered house and the Smokebeer, tapped directly from oak-wood kegs, but for much more.
There is far more to Schlenkerla than delicious food and drink. If you would rather drink you beer by yourself, be forewarned: it is almost impossible to avoid relaxed, cheerful conversations at the wooden tables. In everyday life the ordinary Franconian acts somewhat reserved when dealing with strangers, but that characteristic is left outside when entering the Smokebeer paradise.
And that is a tradition. For centuries the tasty, dark brown brew has made our guests happy and loosened their tongues. As in the past, when high clerics sat at the same table with farmers, today the musician from the Bamberg Symphonic Orchestra drinks his beer next to the factory worker. Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer levels the differences between classes. It brings together the stranger with the local.
Here and there, between laughter and talk, you might see some serious faces. Ever since Bamberg has had a University, worlds have been changed in Schlenkerla – at least theoretically: the meaning of God has been newly defined or an alternative view of history has been taken. Students of the first semester are most passionate in this, but after the third or fourth beer they often lose their scholarly seriousness.
In the summertime – the house having been adorned with geraniums – the inner courtyard comes to life again. The places and tables outside are as popular as the ones inside. It is very common to see a couple in their best dress – having just come from a midday concert – sitting next to a family in hiking dress – exhausted after a long walk. Thirst binds them all together.
Schlenkerla is the secret center not just of the old town, but of the whole of Bamberg and its surroundings. Even the city fathers apparently see it like this, as they bring their guests from all parts of the world with pride to Schlenkerla. Its uniqueness just doesn’t seem to fit the usual definition of hospitality: it is more.
original amongst beers
Bamberg and Smokebeer (the Germans call it “Rauchbier”) belong together, a liaison which was not without consequences. The greatest of which is the Schlenkerla: the most productive, most visited and most traditional Smokebeer source in Bamberg. It originates in the middle of the old town, directly underneath the mighty cathedral, from a half-timbered house on which the geraniums effusively glow in the summer. Anyone who did not come here and try the strong, unmistakable taste of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (in German: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier) cannot claim to have been to Bamberg.
Schlenkerla has become a magic word for a long time, but many do not know where this word originated. Its roots lie within the Frankish vernacular, in which “schlenkern” is an expression for walking not straight – just like a drunken person does. Allegedly one of the former brewers had a funny way of walking due to an accident, or maybe due to the beer, and so he was called the “Schlenkerla” – the little dangler. The ending –la is the typical diminutive for the Frankish dialect. After a while, the residents of Bamberg also called the tavern Schlenkerla, and even though the sixth generation of brewers now taps the beer, the name has remained. Even in the phone book and the internet you can find the brewery under the name Schlenkerla. Today it stands for the tavern, the brewery and, most importantly, for the Smokebeer.
Smokebeer from Schlenkerla is a dark, aromatic, bottom fermented beer with 13.5 percent original extract, which is equivalent to an alcohol content of 5.1 percent. No doubt: there are stronger beers, but nevertheless, one should not underestimate
… it can make you “schlenker” quite a bit. Its smoky flavor is being achieved by exposing the malt to the intense, aromatic smoke of burning beech-wood logs at the Schlenkerla-maltings. After mixing it with premium-class hops in the brew, it matures in 700 year old cellars, deep down in the hills of Bamberg, into a mellow, magnificent-tasting beer, best drunk directly in “Schlenkerla”. An Original amongst the beers, even amongst the Bavarian beers. You can drink it in the “Alte Lokal” at white-scrubbed wooden tables – covering them with a tablecloth would be a sin – underneath an old timbered ceiling, even darker than the beer. You can drink it in the “Klause”, a former monastery, built in 1310, or you can drink it in the inner court next to a 500-liter wooden-keg. All this is the Schlenkerla.