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Thread: Observations on Deutschland

  1. #1
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    Observations on Deutschland

    Back from two weeks in Germany with my very adventurous SWMBO, and I'm starting to get caught up on the more urgent items that I ignored for most of that time. So I'll post my observations here in no particular order. Those who have also traveled, or are traveling, please feel free to add your own commentary, too.

    Observation 1: Get off the tour bus. If you have a degree of familiarity with Deutsch (mine was two years in high school over two decades ago), people will meet you halfway or better. Your bravery in your attempts, schlect as they might be, will encourage them to dig out their rusty Englisch. We toured alone, part by Auto and part by Zug, and it was great. You'll never find the places we found and enjoyed if you're on a bus.
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  2. #2
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    Observation 2: The beer is consistently good or better. There are a lot of regional favorites, so if you're off the tour bus you'll see a lot of labels of which you've never heard. Most will be a very pleasant helles that define session beer here. Expect to also dunkles, wiezens, and an occasional schwarzbier or bock. You're not likely to be surprised by some out-of-left-field "I can't believe this you can brew a beer like this," but the consistent attention to quality of the product and care in serving it will impress you. Every now and then you'll see something cool, too, like walking through the Augustiner bier keller in Munchen and seeing a wooden keg rolled across the floor, hefted onto a table, a tap hammered into it, and mass after mass filled with fresh bier.
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
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    can you post your basic itinerary?
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  4. #4
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    Frankfurt, 2 nights
    Hannover, 1 night
    Waren (1.5 hours northeast of Berlin) 2 nights
    Zorge (hour north of Eisenach) 2 nights
    Bamberg, 4 nights
    Munchen, 2 nights
    Frankfurt, 1 night
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  5. #5
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    Observation 3: No Deutsch Biertour is complete without Bamberg.

    With 9 or 10 gasthaus-brauereien within walking distance of the downtown, and enough beer variety between them, plus some other notable structures that make this a UNESCO world heritage site, this is well worth a minimum of 3 days' time. We saw tour bus crowds arrive at both Klosterbrau and Schlenklera (thankfully after our orders were in), but they seemed to handle the sudden influxes without a hiccup. I'd rank Fassla and Spezial as the best to mingle with the non-tourists.
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  6. #6
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    Apr 2005
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    We've got 2 nights at Fassla, I'm glad you liked it.
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  7. #7
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    A night or two in Franconia, just west of Bamberg is also worth the time. The place in Germany where there is literally a brewery (or two) in every single village (and the villages are 3-5 km apart!).
    Not sure why, but the brewery is always across the street from the town church. Sounds like a good arrangement to me!
    Last edited by beerking; 05-24-2010 at 02:35 PM.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

  8. #8
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    We've also got 2 nights booked near Erfurt, just NE of Bamberg.
    Mr. Rat, was this an organized biertour or just a general trip around Germany? I wonder why they skipped Koln and Dusseldorf, 2 alleged famous beer destinations.
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  9. #9
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    Mar 2005
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    4,101
    Quote Originally Posted by corkybstewart
    We've also got 2 nights booked near Erfurt, just NE of Bamberg.
    Mr. Rat, was this an organized biertour or just a general trip around Germany? I wonder why they skipped Koln and Dusseldorf, 2 alleged famous beer destinations.
    My bad, I should have stated "WEST" of Bamberg. Even if you don't stay there, it is worth at least 1/2 a day driving through and stopping at various breweries.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

  10. #10
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    I was stationed in Hanau when I was in the Army. I spent a lot of off-time an the Frankfurt area. Your post did bring back some memories. Germany is responsible for opening my eyes to the world of good beer and eventually to homebrewing. In fact, I have an alt in the keg right now.
    Somewhere on a park bench Godot is waiting on me.

    Yes, I do simply walk into Mordor!

    Drunken sailors: What do you do with them? Next on The View!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by corkybstewart
    Mr. Rat, was this an organized biertour or just a general trip around Germany?
    No, This was a highly orchestrated trip organized by my SWMBO. The first part of the trip was more of an attempt to see our the burgen und dorfen from where our families left for the states.

    The second part was a little more beer-centric, but guided by our belief that you have more actual touring time, and certainly more planning flexibility, if you can pick a "home base" in a region and make day trips from there rather than spending an hour each morning packing up and checking out, and then another hour or two navigating a new town and checking in and unpacking.

    This is certainly not our last trip to Deutschland, and Koln and Dusseldorf are high on the list
    On deck: a clone of Carolina Beer Co's Rye Stout, clone of Breckenridge's Vanilla Porter,
    Primary: Schwarzbier
    Secondary: Dortmunder, Hopweizen
    Keg Conditioning: Dunkelweizen, Roggenbier, Okto, Ord. Bitter
    On tap: Alt, Hefeweizen, Cigar City Maduro clone, Mild
    Bottled: Mead, Quad Rajet, Granola Bar Braggot

    Too much of everything is just enough.
    - J. Garcia

  12. #12
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    Apr 2005
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    You have to go to Dusseldorf and Koln, the beers are fantastic and the beer culture is very different from where we've been in Bavaria. We hit 4 breweries in Dusseldorf and 3 in Koln. Unfortunately those were just quick stops for us so we'll have to go back again when we have more time.

    Bamberg was amazing. We got off the autobahn and Brigitte almost cried because the area was all post WWII ugly apartment buildings. It wasn't until we found the hotel that she started to relax a little, and then we went walking and she fell in love with the town. We spent the next day with a local couple we met getting a guided tour of the beer highlights. As they explained to us life in Bamberg revolves around beer. At Speziale we sat at a table with women in their 60's and older who had their 1/2 liter mugs of smoked beer. People of all ages, some very well dressed, some in their dirty work clothes, families, all sitting at long tables discussing their days over a delicious mug of beer. You just don't see that in the US, at least not anywhere I've ever been.
    It's always time for a beer

    On tap:Oatmeal Stout, ESB
    Primary:Imperial HoppyRoggenbier
    Bottled:2006 crabapple cider,Cherry Brett,Black Braggot,2 Prickly Pear Meads(1996 and 2006),Sour Pumpkin
    Lagering: Pecan Rauchbock
    Secondary: apple cider vinegar
    Next: Sticke Alt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    65
    I spent a semester abroad in Heidelberg. And while I also experienced to quality and diversity of German brews (I learned about kolsch in Koln and alts in Dusseldorf), there were also German beers I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole. The ones sold in giant cans that you would see people drinking on the train on the ride into town in the morning (?!?!). Eichbaum was one, and I sincerely never cared for Warsteiner and Bitburg, although I know they have their fans. Paulaner "Trocknen" was one of my favorites, and I've been searching for a decent clone. I also spent a good deal of time (and money) at the Lowenbrau pub in Heidelberg drinking their version of Maibock (Salvator?) Ahhh, the times...

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