Thursday 16th May 2013
Drosendorf is one of the many villages surrounding the city of Bamberg that still retains a brewery. It is about nine kilometres from the city centre and en route the regular bus route 907 conveniently passes through Memmelsdorf where two more breweries are to be found.
I was in the village with a knowledgeable party from the Brewery History Society. Although we thought there was a brewery visit on the cards, this was not entirely certain when we arrived. However Events Secretary Chris got busy and not long after we had settled in the biergarten, we were being divided into two groups of seven persons to go round it. Before I get down to the brewery itself, can I please offer some background information?
The pub and brewery were built in 1865 and basically that's it. It has continued trading alongside the Bamberg to Schesslitz road ever since. In fact, there is a new faster road that means that existing route is now much quieter. Once, on a previous visit, I walked from Göller to nearby Merkendorf and passed through the village of Drosendorf en route. There I observed there was another pub-brewery that had sadly closed, so the relentless number of closures of the village breweries in this area, has not left Drosendorf unscathed.
The brewery is located behind the pub and we entered from the biergarten. The enterprise is still in the hands of the Göller family and we were let in by Georg Senior and conducted around the building by Georg Junior. He told us that the sudhaus (kettle) was installed in 1977 yet some of the other equipment was much older than that. It was like a veritable old museum although it was not all in use. There was a cool ship to cool the beer before fermentation, the third in consecutive brewery visits, and I'd not even seen one before!
We were told the beer undergoes the first fermentation in open vessels for around 7 to 8 days, followed by maturation in closed tanks for 5 to 6 weeks.
It was quite difficult to work out what the full range of beers actually is. I think the following is correct as it is displayed in the beer garden. The staple beer is Lagerbier (5.2%) (hell / light), and is available all year round.
Then there are the seasonal beers: Höpflabier (hoppy) from January to March; Görchlabier (5.2%) (dunkel / dark) from April to May; Urstoffbier (brown) from June to August and Schwartzbier (black) from December to February. However there are some anomalies, as the two beers available that day were Lagerbier and Rauchbier (5.0%) (smoked beer). The latter is a style not previously known to have been brewed here. It was very good! They also brew a Pils (5.0%); is this Höpfla? I'd like to get this right so, should you know the answer, please advice?
Georg told us that the annual production was around 300hl and it all went to the pub with a little bottled in Bügelflachen (flip top) or placed into small casks, for home sales.
Our two groups reunited back in the beer garden and we met Fred Waltman of the website: www.FranconianBeerGuide.com. He was on a cycling tour of the area and imparted some useful information regarding our next visit. In the beer garden self service is the norm and beers and brotzeit plates were obtained from a kiosk-type window in the side of the building. Brotzeit, literally bread time, is cold meats and / or cheeses served with dark bread. I like it but if you've not had it before, be careful with your choice, as the meats often include blood sausage, brawn and pressed tongue. The Lagerbier was served directly from a wooden cask.
The beer gardens are very extensive, as there is a smallish one just inside the gates that is covered, useful during a summer shower. This is followed by a larger version, also covered, inside the rear yard and that leads on to the main area, out in the open, on the grass at the rear of the pub. Whilst the rest of the group were consuming their well-earned liquid refreshment I asked Georg if he could show me the gaststätte (pub) because it was closed. When the weather is nice and the biergarten opens, after the lunchtime period, they close the pub.
I found three very comfortable separate rooms in various different traditional styles. Two of them are separated by the bar area and it was interesting to see that the wooden seating and even the doors were all decorated with floral paintings on the dark varnished wood.
The other room, which I guess is used as an overflow or as a functions area, was comfortably furnished in light wood. I thanked Georg for allowing me to photograph the interior.
This is a great pub and, with a half-hourly bus service during the day, is an easy journey from Bamberg.
Brauerei Göller, Schesslitzer Strasse 7, Drosendorf. 96117. Tel: 09505 1745
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00. Monday: closed
If Monday is a holiday it is open, but closed on Tuesday
Drosendorf is served frequently with bus 907 from Bamberg ZOB every 30 min to around 19.00 on Monday to Saturday and hourly to about 18.00 on Sunday and Holidays.
Routes 917 and 927 at irregular times supplement the 907 Monday to Friday.