Monday 7th April 2014
When I first visited this town it certainly had a lot of breweries, yet Schloderer was not one of them, as it wasn't established until 1998.
I first came here in the late 1980s, attracted by the number of breweries that it was possible to sample beers from. Sadly some of those names are no longer with us.
I cannot remember the details regarding my visit to the tap of Brauhaus Amberg which closed in 1990, yet I remember drinking their beers. This reminds me of the power that the photograph holds, it is so vitally important to recording past visits. I'm sure I did photograph it, but can no longer find the record. Their beers are now brewed by Kummert brewery of Amberg.
Other breweries visited back then were Schiessl which had a magnificent old brewery yard with beer sold only in a 1 litre Mass, the traditional ceramic mug.
This brewery closed in 1994 yet I understand that their pub is still going and the one litre only tradition is still with us, so I must make a visit soon.
On the subject of magnificent brewery taps the one of the Brauerei Malteser, now also closed, was particularly memorable.
The German word Malteser refers directly to the order of the Knights of St John of Malta, thus Malteser, i.e. of Malta. Nowadays they lie somewhere between the Order of St John in Britain and the Red Cross. They instigate large relief projects for third world countries. These are often in education, providing clean water and agriculture. They operate from Germany and the USA.
The Malteser brewery's tap was a wonderful place, a bit like a baronial hall with all the trappings such as flags, armour, swords and pikes.
It really had a genuine atmosphere, quite unlike anything that I had come across in Germany previously. The brewery shut up shop in 1993 yet their wheat beer lives on, as it is now brewed by Stuttgarter Hofbräu.
Sorry if I'm going on a bit about this brewery but I liked their beers and their pub. Others closed before I got round to visiting Amberg; there were once ten in the early 1970s. So, thank goodness for Schloderer, a brew pub that in a small way is redressing the balance in this town.
At first I didn't recognise it but that was only because I'd approached it from a different direction, along an alleyway by its side rather from the main street. At the main entrance you firstly walk through an archway into a small outside drinking area. It would be far too generous to call it a biergarten.
Once past this and you are given a choice of entering the pub through a door at ground level or climbing the stairs to the upper floor.
In addition to the outside steps there are two other flights of stairs to get you to the upper level, one right, and one left. The area to the left is a normal drinking and dining area. Turn right and you see the magnificent burnished brewing equipment. The components of it are on several levels between the two floors. The drinks service area is partially below the brewery, with direct connections from the fermentation tanks.
At this end of the building there are some aspidistras in giant terracotta pots. There is even a hop bine growing up a pole in front of the brewery. Also in this corner of the pub is a nice little touch in the form of two small child-size carved wooden chairs and a table that I'm sure is well liked by kids visiting the premises. One thing that is noticeable is that this brew pub is very well presented indeed.
On the first floor the furniture is more conventional. The tables are traditional scrubbed wood and the chairs are varnished wood with padded green leatherette fixed cushions.
There is really good view looking down at the brewery from the balcony. Further along there is a small bar with five stools. This was not staffed when I visited but I suppose it is at busy times. Facing it are some more stools with high tables. Beyond that there are more conventional tables and seating.
There are three beers in their permanent range and these are Hell (light), Dunkel (dark) and Weizen (wheat). I tried the first two and this was my humble opinion of them. The Hell was very light in colour and in body. I liked it as it was crisp and had a reasonable bitter finish.
My favourite of the two was the Dunkel as it had all the right dark tastes with a good balance of malt that was not overpowering followed some bitterness in the after taste.
Too late, I glanced up to see a small sign advertising a seasonal Bockbier. It had been a long day and needed to get back to the hotel in one piece! Nevertheless I regret not spotting that sign earlier!
The beers are good, the food looked good. Except for Sunday (10.00) they are open at 07.30 for breakfast. I can't think of many other reasons to visit this excellent brew pub.
Schloderer, Rathausstrasse 4, 92224 Amberg. Tel: 0962 142 0694
Open: Monday-Saturday 07.30-01.00; Sunday 10.00-01.00
From Amberg railway station cross the main road outside and continue down Bahnhofstrasse.
This soon changes into a pedestrian-only street. Carry on down it as it changes into Rathausstrasse.
You will then find the brew pub on the left opposite the Rathaus (Town Hall).
Amberg station is served by an hourly RE (Regional Express) from Nürnberg to Schwandorf with trains continuing to either Fürth im Wald on the Czech border or Regensburg.
Update October 2017. Hours: Monday to Friday: 09.30-24.00; Saturday: 09.30-01.00;
Sunday / Holidays: 10.00-24.00.