BAMBERG. We arrived in Bamberg yesterday, zipping immediately to Schlenkerla to meet with Matthias Trum. He's a youthful 37, but Trums have been running the brewery for five generations before him.
Probably a lot of people are familiar with Schlenkerla, the most well-known of the rauchbier producers. Trum brews on a "new" system (1930s) from barley he malts himself in a smoky beechwood kiln--from which comes the characteristic smoky flavor. The pub is an extraordinary 600-year-old place and the site of the original brewery. Now Trum brews at a location a few blocks away that sits atop a warren of old cellars; that's where the beer is lagered now.
As I have discovered time and again on this trip, freshness is key. Schlenkerla is great in the bottle, but I have never apprciated the nutty, plummy nuances of the malt until having a fresh-from-the-cask "seidla" half liter.
More Bamberg today, with stops at Spezial and Mahr's in the offing. (Next to Schlenkerla, incidentally, is Bamberg'a newest brewery, Ambräusianum, which has an excellent helles.)
Received: Portland Brewing ZigZag River Lager
3 hours ago