The S-Bahn whisked us into the main station and five minutes later we were dumping our bags in our hotel and back out to Marienplatz for our first stop, the Augustiner Gaststatte. This lovely old wooden-beamed building always seems busy and bustling, but still friendly and relaxing. Weissewurst was enjoyed with great gusto, being washed down with Augustiner Helles, Dunkel and weissebier. As ever, we didn't want to push on but many delights awaited us, so off we went.
Next stop, the Weisses Brauhaus (Schneider tavern). As we approached it didn't appear open, and it wasn't, being closed for some small building works - it was closed for holidays last time, grrr (though just means we'll have to go back again, darn!).
Oh well, down the road and round the corner and into the Hofbrauhaus. This is one of the classic drinking houses of Munich, and seems as popular with the locals as with tourists. We enjoyed a Hofbrau Original which was rather nice, before moving on. We thought the service here was a bit lacking and a bit blunt, but it is perhaps understandable in a big place like this.
Next stop was a brewpub on the edge of the Luitpold Park called Bambergerhaus. At least it didn't close on us this time, but neither is it a brewpub now. It was bought in 2003 by Augustiner and is now a bar on the top and a Mexican restaurant underneath - so we enjoyed some more Augustiner beers.
Back to public transport as we headed out to Gollierhof, a bar selling Weihenstephan beers. We got off at Schwanthalerhohe but made a wrong turning which turned out to be a bonus, as this huge black thunderstorm loomed above just as we were passing a bar called Cafe Bis. We looked at the menu and decided to stop for a couple as it was selling beers from Wildbrau (a little brewery to the south of Munich), just as the heavens opened. The Helles was excellent, as was the Weissebier which unusually for a German weisse tended more toward the citric and was very nice. The bar is on the corner of Kazmairstraße and Langhoferstraße. Malcolm also tried the Schwartz beer which was from Grandauer brewery and he liked this. The bar itself was nothing special but worth the stop.
The rain stopped and, having recovered our bearings, we proceeded to Gollierhof and enjoyed the Weihenstephan Weisse and Helles which are both good beers. The bar again was nothing special but nicely done as most German bars are. We noticed that across the square from Gollierhof was the Wirtshaus selling Ayinger beers; it looked quite interesting but we decided to push on.
Unfortunately the bad luck bug caught up with us again, as the tube station we headed for was closed for work. After a detour, a bus ride and another short tube journey, we finally managed to get to the Paulaner Brauhaus, just off Goethplatz station. We were a little unsure of what we would find as Paulaner is now owned by the big H, but we needn't have worried - the brew kettles are still there and are still brewing! Which is good as the building has been used to brew beer for over 100 years although it was only opened as a brewpub in 1989. Here we enjoyed the house beer called Thomas Zwickl which is an unfiltered Helles, fantastic. We also tried their seasonal beer called Pauline which was a Dark Weissebeer, yum!
We found time was against us for our next destination, and we were flagging a bit. We stopped off in the Augustiner for another beer, then headed back to the hotel, stopping at the all-night eatery we know for supper, for our last disappointment of the day. Although it was open, it had stopped selling Schneider Aventinus, no! Oh well, a couple of weisse beers with some food then off to bed. We were hoping to walk across the road from the hotel later as the Weissbierkeller was only a couple of minutes walk. It is a bar that only opens from 3am to 7am - yes that's right - but unfortunately we didn't wake up, so we didn't make it!
Saturday dawned, and no hangover? Hmm. OK, time for breakfast, take bags and dump at the station and head out to Perlach for the Forschungsbraustuberl which is a brewpub and tavern with very good food. They sell St Jackobus Blonder Bock and a Pilsissimus which is more like an unfiltered Helles. Both of these were excellent as well as a dark bock they had brewed. We relaxed for quite a while, but then as time was ticking we headed back into the centre and the Hackerhuis - only Hacker Pschorr beers but they're not bad. The building itself holds lots of breweriana and is well worth a visit. The food looked good as well.
However, we had decided to finish Munich in the Augustiner, so we stopped for a last one on our way back to the station, as we were catching the 1640 ICE for Bamberg.
ICE: well what a train: fast, efficient, very comfortable, quiet although maybe a little expensive. Our bunch need to look at this because it certainly blew GNER and Virgin into the weeds! And on time in Bamberg which was over a two hour run. I'll say no more!
So to the hotel, dump bags and head straight for the Schlenkerla Tavern. A couple of Rauchbiers and some goulash was much enjoyed here. We could enthuse about this place for ages, but why don't you go see for yourselves! Anyway, we decided to head for the small brewpub and beergarden of Griefenklau which was so packed last year we couldn't get in. After a longer than expected walk (that'll teach me to do it from memory!), we got there and found it was well worth it. Although they don't brew a Rauch their helles and weisse was exceptional and well worth the walk. If you want to do it the easy way, there is a bus service that comes up the hill from town. So the place closed at 11, and we walked back down the Kaulberg for another beer to a bar called the Kachelhofen. We were looking for the Hans Rockenbachs Garten, but couldn't find it. Either the address is not right or it has closed. However we found the Kacelhofen sells St Georgen Kellerbier which we enjoyed, then decided to head off to bed.
The next day after breakfast, we headed out to the tourist office to pick up a map and some other information, then decided to walk along the river to the Buger Hof in Bug.
After a half hour walk we got there to find it was closed for a private party, grrrr.
So we walked back along the other side of the river from the park, at the end up some steps to a road. At the end of this road (I know where we are!), turn left there is the Schlenkerla Brewery, turn left, round a corner, through a gate and Spezial Biergarten, yum time for some Rauchbier. Although not quite as powerful in the taste as Schlenkerla this is an excellent Rauchbier, and this beergarden is not to be missed. Some lovely views, a kids play area and some good food.
After a couple in here, we stopped back at the hotel, we went down to the bus and rail stations looking for info which was not forthcoming so we headed out to the Maisel Keller which is the brewery and a small beer garden in one. They had their Pils, Kellerbeer and Weisse beers from the wooden barrel, and also had the formula 1 on so we stopped for a while. The small amount of people there were all cheering one M Schumacher, I wonder why?
After some excellent beers here we pushed on to the Mahrs Brewery and their small garden and bar. There is such an atmosphere here you have to sample it yourselves. The bar here is all old wood paneling and the corridor is a large standing up area for drinking. Relaxing we tried their fantastic U (unfiltered lagerbier), Vollbier (helles) and Gig which is their Dunkelbier.
Thinking we were going to take root here we went across the road for the Keesman which is unfortunately closed on a Sunday, grrr, so we pushed on to Fassla which closes at 2pm on a Sunday, grrr, so across the road to Spezial Tavern.
Walking in here is like going back in time, so we joined a table of locals and sat back to demolish some more Rauchbier, their Unfiltered Lagerbier (which picks up a bit of the roasted taste) and some wiesse bier. Food is also available, but this is a superb place where time doesn't seem to matter (until closing time!). We pushed on back to the Schlenkerla tavern which was so busy we could only stand at the tables in the entrance for a beer. Whilst there an American said hello, and said he had been coming to Bamberg for the last 30 years.
When Schlenkerla closed we headed across to the Kachelhofen for a kellerbier, then around the corner to Hofbrau for a last Schlenkerla and then to bed. The Hofbrau is not a bad bar in itself, and is useful for a late drink.
Monday dawned wet, which left us with a bit of a quandary. There was a bar we wanted to visit, but with no public transport to it, taxis are rather expensive and we couldn't find anywhere to hire a bike, we decided we didn't want to walk 4 miles in the rain. Another place we looked at was closed Mondays, so we plumped for heading to Buttenhiem and the St Georgean Brewery tap. Are we glad we did, this is a lovely wood paneled bar on the front of the brewery, with all the beers and some excellent food. Slices if well cooked pork with dumplings in a kellerbeer sauce were enjoyed along with the Helles, Kellerbeer, weisse and pils beers.
Some souvenirs were bought and with the Lowenbrau brewery tap being closed Monday, and the weather too inclement for a beer garden we headed back toward Bamberg, stopping off at Hirschaid and Braueri Kraus.
This is an older small brewery in a newer building that looks old, but has its own charm anyway. Very much a locals bar, we enjoyed their Lagerbier which appeared unfiltered are reminiscent of the Mahrs U.
We whiled away an hour or two here then headed back into Bamberg and into Fassla, where the service had certainly improved from last year. A more modern brewpub, it is very nice with a small courtyard for drinking in. We had a chat with a Dutch couple who came from Utrecht but didn't know the Odean, oh well!
We were flagging a bit so we walked back to the hotel for a late afternoon nap, which turned out a bit longer than we expected!
So we headed out to Sternla, the oldest pub in Bamberg. It was smaller than we expected, but very quiet and sells Maisel beers. The helles was good, but the pub had decided to close, so we headed for Kaiserdom, but ran out of time, so into the Kachelhofen for a Kellerbier then they closed. Tried to Hofbrau, but they has already closed, so we eneded up for a last beer in a trendy nightclub bar which was also very quiet. It obviously used to be a beer hall. The best beer they had was Jever of all things so we had one of those, and then they closed. Oh well, off to bed.
Dawned our last day in Bamberg, so dump bags at station, off to do some shopping then out to Mahrs for a couple of U's. Back into town for a Schlenkerla, oh no restday Tuesday, they are closed, grrr.
Across the road to Alt Ringlen for a beer but they were so busy, we headed toward the rail station, stopping in Spezial for one, which turned into a few after we bumped into my German beer supplier who was there picking up some beer! This was a lovely end to our trip.
I am not going to say anything about our trip home, it was a nightmare, but we got home although later than planned that day. We came back with Air Berlin who were on time.
Once again though, a fantastic trip, but there is still so much to do in Bavaria that we will have to be going again. Unfortunately we didn't get time to go Zoigl hunting either. Maybe next time!