Schlenkerla (Heller)

Brewery  –   Heller

House  –  Gastätte

Address  –  Dominikanerstrasse 6, 96049

Date of first visit  –   July 29th, 1997

Most recent visit  –  January 29th , 2018

Ruhetag  –  (formerly Tuesday) – Now open 7 days


Bier Notes

Märzen, 0.5 Direkt

I had first encountered Rauchbier (Smoked Bier) in Hamburg in 1976 during my first Inter-Rail. It was strange, distinctive but was being given free from the fridge by the wonderful person who was putting us up after two weeks on the train. By the mid 1980s it was appearing in the Allison Arms (Glasgow) and the prior experience made it easier on the palate.

My first encounter of Märzen vom Fass was in Koln two days prior, at least I now knew what was coming. The Source of course sells it with gravity pouring which is the best way to taste ant Bier surely. Bacon crisps and smokes sausage in a glass, simultaneously, is the best description for this onslaught. I have witnessed people force one down and then depart to drink Lager, eh Phil? Keneth calls it The Burny Bier and disappears to drink anything else. Most people of character stuggle through the first, know that if the company is staying, so are they, and about the third are hooked. After Rauchbier usually comes bed, nothing can follow this. Steve has remarked that we always end up at Schlenkerla too late to really enjoy it, so on recent trips we have started here about 13.00 and had the session. This works. A long walk, usually to Keesmann or Mahrs does the trick, along with food.

Weizen, 0.5 Fl

The Weizen appeared in the late 1990s, this was the ultimate creation as far as I was concerned given this was at the peak of my Weissbier intake. Eventually one realised that the Hefe was not that apparent, the strong flavour of the Bier won out. I have not ordered this at Source for years, it is only ever available in bottle so one can have that anywhere. One is not in Bamberg everyday so maximise the draught.

Urbock, 0.5 Direkt

October 13th, 2003. This was Marg’s first trip to Bamberg, I was sitting two days before thoroughly enjoying the Märzen Marg asked: ‘Bock, that’s the Bier you like?’ She had spotted a sign for the Urbock. As it was getting late I went to find out ifit was available. ‘Morgen’ I was told, but tomorrow was Tuesday, Ruhetag. We were back on the Wednesday, the Urbock was on!

Hector had been enjoying an annual crate of Urbock delivered each December. I did not know the Bocks came out this early. Indeed, this was our October Week Holiday and in in 2003 it was in the second half of the month, perhaps this was the significant break, a week earlier and nothing…

To say the Urbock is wonderful is another understatement. Stronger yes, but somehow smoother. This is the king of smoked Bier. I texted Dr Stan to tell him it was on. The reply was such that this was the first time the expletive ever needed deleating in a Dr Stan text.

The next time the October Week was ‘late’ was in 2009, so Hector had Dr Stan, Howard, Steve and Marg primed for a visit. By 2010 we had been made aware of the website which gives the launch day for the Bocks of Franconia. Bamberg in October, it must not be missed.