Monday, May 30, 2011

Glenn's Beer Tour of the Rhine and the Danube

Good friends Glenn and Mary Ellen are currently floating up the Rhine; life's tough for some. To help Glenn in his travel preparations, I offered him a list of recommended beer venues up the Rhine and down the Danube, from Amsterdam to Budapest.  Sadly, these recommendations are not from my personal experience (yet), but from BeerAdvocate ratings.

But, I charged him with letting me know how he goes.  So here are some extracts from his first two reports.

Hi Michael,
Can finally report that we went to one of your suggested venues, the Päffgen Obergärige Hausbrauerei in Cologne, as well as a second one being Brauhause Sunner im Walfisch.
In both cases, Kolsch was the expected drink to have. They assumed in both places that Mary Ellen would also be drinking, and therefore always poured two glasses ... luckily for me Mary Ellen is not a beer fancier and therefore I consumed all. The beer is always poured into a glass called a Stang but sometimes referred to as a Reagenzglas (test tube).

So, an enviable start to Glenn's beer journalistic career. Cologne, as most of you will know, is the home of Kölsch, traditionally served by abrupt barmen (Köbes) who will keep doing so until one covers their glass with a drink coaster.  Ask not for anything else, as you will be advised in no uncertain terms where to go.....

Another edition from Glenn, a week later....

Hi Michael,
Had some spare time in Bamberg and therefore had time to get a taste of the Rauchbier from the Schlenkerla brewery. We were warned prior to tasting (from our cruise director) that it might not be to some peoples taste .... I think some people were put off by the thought of drinking liquid bacon, but I only found that from the head of the beer, past that it was an acceptable old style German beer.
Our next step Nuremberg, where they arranged for a beer tasting on board the boat .... and the following styles were presented.

Bright beer - Hartmann Hell, Hartmann brewery Wurgau

Pilsner - Rossdorfer Pils, Sauer brewery Rossdorf

Dark lager - Krug Brau Lager bier, Krug brewery Brietenlesau

Wheat beer - Eber-Weisse, Sonnenbrau brewery Ebermannstadt

Last stop for now was Regensburg, where I had a quick stop at Gaststätte Spitalgarten which was a popular drinking hole of the current pope whilst he was a professor at the Regensburg University.
At that's it so far .... next stop is Passau and Salzberg.
Cheers from Germany, Glenn

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