Bamberg and Upper Franconia
- September 2019:
- Thu Sep 19 – Fri Sep 20
- 2 days for approx. $575 (actual price 500 Euros)
- current conversion to US $
Likely breweries, visits, tours, and meals:
Heller-Trum (“Schlenkerla”), Spezial, Fässla, Mahr’s Bräu, Klosterbräu, Neder, Hebendanz, Weyermann Malting, and more
Discount available to Cicerones® and Certified Beer Servers, too! Info at bottom of this page.
Beauty, History, and Beer
Bamberg is a charming city in Upper Franconia, and is the heart and soul of one of the most important brewing traditions in the world. As a region, Upper Franconia has the highest number of breweries per capita in the world, and Bamberg itself has 9 breweries for its 70,000 people. Set among 7 hills, much of the city’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with narrow, winding streets flanked by half-timbered buildings, and arched bridges criss-cross the Regnitz River and its canals.
Beers with Soul: Rauchbiers & Kellerbiers
During a stroll through town, you’re sure to smell the sweet smell of wort and beer brewing, as well as wood smoke, both from cozy fires in fireplaces, as well as from breweries and maltsters smoking their barley malt. Bamberg is famous for the brewing of rauchbier, a type of malty lager with a deliberately smoky, savory aroma from smoked malts. (It’s a barbecue lover’s dream!)
Rustic lagers called kellerbier — smooth, bready, and unfiltered — are also a local specialty. The city and surrounding towns play host to an amazing number of quality breweries and variety of lager and weissbier styles, always with more complexity, heart, and soul than you can believe can come from just malt, hops, yeast, and water.
Special Beer Styles:
- Kellerbier, Ungespündet: fresh, bready, unfiltered lager
- Rauchbier Märzen: malty lager brewed with smoked malt
- Rauchbier Weizen: weissbier brewed with smoked malt
- Braunbier: toasty, hazelnut-colored lagers
- Franconian lagers: Bavarian lagers generally with more assertive maltiness and bitterness than elsewhere in Bavaria
- plus: lots of perfect helles, pils, hefeweizen, and a couple schwarzbiers, too
- Bamberger Zwiebelfleisch: braised beef and onions braised in local dark beer
- Schäuferla: bone-in roasted pork shoulder with crisped skin
- Bamberger Zwiebeln: seasoned-pork-stuffed roasted onions
- Gepökelte und Geräucherte Rinderzunge: pastrami-style beef tongue
- Käsespätzle: soft wheat dumplings with melted cheese and grilled onions
- Kürbis: orange-fleshed squash, made into silky soups or added to salads and pastas (late summer/fall)
- Kaiserschmarrn: rich pancake, applesauce, and ice cream dessert
Local Customs We’ll Join In On:
- drinking beers while standing in the cobblestone streets outside breweries
- drinking from earthenware steins
- drinking in tiny, single-beer breweries in the country villages
- using the fewest number of letters to order a beer: “a U!”
- drinking beer at beer garden next to beer cellars dug into the hillside
Local Non-Beer Sights We’ll See:
- Bamberg Cathedral, Michaelsberg Abbey, and the Altes Rathaus
- UNESCO World Heritage Old Town
- beautiful canals and islands
- hilltop views of town and surrounding hilly countryside
Places I’ve Enjoyed Staying At:
- Altstadt-Hotel Molitor, Obere Mühlbrücke 2-4, Bamberg
- nice rooms and in-room modern bathrooms in a small, charming hotel, with elevator
- located in the heart of the Old Town/Altstadt in the watermill quarter, surrounded by small pedestrian bridges over the Regnitz, canal channels, and locks
- from hotel: 23-min walk to the train station; 2-min walk into the historic heart of the Old Town/Altstadt; 50 feet from the fantastic Klosterbräu brewery
- honor bar in the hallway stocked with bottles of Mahr’s Bräu and Fässla beers
- (on their website, scroll down on the left to click on the UK flag for translation to English)
- Hotel Bamberger Hof Bellevue, Schönleinsplatz 4, Bamberg
- nice, spacious rooms in a large Belle-Epoque period hotel, with elevator
- located near the market area surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shops
- from hotel: 20-min walk to the train station; 2-min walk into the historic heart of the Old Town/Altstadt
10% discount for Cicerones® and Certified Beer Servers!
Hold a Cicerone® Certified Beer Server distinction or higher?
You’ll get 10% off your Immersion price!
Beer Immersions are the best way to study and learn about beer! Plus, participants receive a free Cicerone® Beer Journey tasting notebook and guide.
(Beer Immersions are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.)
Rich Higgins Beer Immersions
Bozeman, MT, USA
Registered California Seller of Travel #2130300-40