Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Smoked Beer in Bamberg

“It tastes like beer and bacon had sex and this was what happened. “

That eloquence came from Dan describing Bamberg’s famous smoked beer. While not quite bacon flavored, it is deliciously smoky.

It gets that flavor by the use of malted barley dried over an open flame and is known as Rauchbier in Bamberg. The evolution of beer brewing happened and smoke flavor in beer became less and less common, and eventually disappeared almost entirely from the brewing world.

Some breweries maintained the smoked beer tradition by continuing to use the malt that had been dried over open flames. There are two brewpubs in Bamberg that have continued the smoked beer production for nearly two centuries. Dan and I of course went to one immediately- called Schlenkerla.

It was a typical German pub with German food, but what I liked was the lack of an extensive beer list. The server literally just asked “Beer?” to which we responded with a more polite version of “Duh.”

Then the beer arrived and it was amazing. It’s an interesting taste, for sure. It’s a solid beer, but one that I would only drink one or two of and then want something a little less intense. Dan on the other hand wanted to order an entire keg.

After we drank those, we walked down the fussgangerzone (pedestrian zone) of Bamberg for window shopping and selfie taking. We then stumbled upon this very chic craft brewery store.  You’ll see pictures below- I’m a sucker for typography.

Dan was still reeling from how delicious smoked beer was, so we bought a few different bottles from different producers to do a taste test.

We took them back to the hotel to do a little happy hour and WiFi before dinner.

After a week of stressful moving and selling and goodbyes, sitting in a plush hotel bed with a beer in one hand, an internet connected device in the other (it had been a while), my love sitting next to me and the white noise of the river running past our window... I would liken it to a less conventional version of paradise. Equally relaxing. 

Taste Testing! 

Ok, so this isn't our hotel, but similar in that it sat along the river like that.

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