Schammelsdorf, Bayern (Bavaria):
Tuesday 8th April 2014
Schammelsdorf is yet another of the many small villages in the hinterland of Bamberg that support a brewery. Although I have been to many in the past, I didn't think I had previously visited this one as I certainly didn't recognise it. This is very much family owned and run brewery and pub, more so than others I have come across. The Knoblach family owned farms in the area and in 1880 they opened the pub featuring products from their land along with a brewery. And well; that's it!
The family still own the pub and brewery and have a very "hands-on" approach to brewing and catering. Basically they do it all themselves as I found out later.
I noticed outside that there was a large biergarten that was partially under the canopies of some very large trees. Further down the yard I could see the self-standing brewery which is a considerable size for a small village. It has been modernised and I guess they do a lot of bottled and cask beers to take-away.
I entered the main room of the pub and was immediately impressed by the light and airy feeling that exuded. This was helped by the large windows on two sides. On the walls there is wood panelling up to head height.
Above this are some glass-fronted cabinets that display old drinking vessels and the family's brewing diplomas. You get the impression that the entire history of almost a hundred and thirty-five years of brewing are contained within them.
The windows are leaded and partially glazed with frosted glass. The lightshades are also made of leaded glass and provide a lovely atmosphere. The window shelves are laden with pot plants that provide a lot of colour.
Above the wainscoting there is a wood-framed pendulum clock and some paintings. Along one wall is a fixed continuous bench type seat. The remainder of the tables of various sizes and the seats are of varnished wood.
As I sat down I observed that there was a small notice on each table promoting their Fastentrunk or Fasting drink for Lent. Even though it was a massive 7.2% I had to have a small glass.
I would say that it was Bock Hell (Light Bock) in style and it had an intense taste with fruitiness, nuttiness and not a lot of bitterness. However, it was more or less what I expected and who knows, when will I ever have the chance to try it again?
I noticed that beyond the bar in the serving area there were two barrels. I quickly cottoned on to that one of them was false as there were stainless steel taps protruding from it. But the other? Well, that was the real deal.
Even before I asked the server what beer it held, I think I knew the answer. It was Ungespundetet Lagerbier (5.2%), a cloudy bitter beer that has some partial fermentation in an open vessel. This type of beer is served in a ceramic mug (Krug). I thought it was an extremely fine version, with good bitterness.
After perusing the menu I wish I could have had several more beers but the bus was not going to wait for me.
The draught beer list was completed by the following: Räuschla (5.0%) that, despite its similar sounding name, is not a smoked beer but a Märzen (5.2%), a traditional style once brewed in March and then stored to be imbibed after the harvest. They also had Weizenbier (4.9%) (wheat) and Dunkles Landbier (5.0%) (dark).
Whilst investigating the barrels I got talking to the gentleman behind the bar and I asked if I could take some photographs of the pub to which he said yes. It transpired that he was no less than Michael Knoblach, owner, brewer and afternoon / evening barman. No doubt about keeping it in the family. His wife is the chef and his son assists with brewing.
Obviously there are many other waiting staff in the warmer months. An interesting aspect of his photograph is that in the background you can see the personal krugs used by the regulars.
I thought the two beers I had here were exceptional with the Lagerbier possibly being the best example of this style that I have ever had. Of course there is a full menu with specials so there is no real reason not to visit here if you are the greater Bamberg area.
Brauerei Knoblach, Kremmeldorfer Strasse 1, 96123 Schammelsdorf. Tel: 0950 5267
Open: Tuesday-Friday 15.30-23.00; Saturday-Sunday / Public Holiday: 09.00-23.00.
Monday: Closed, except when Monday is a Public Holiday, then it's closed on Tuesday.
Schammelsdorf is reached by Bus 927 from Bamberg.
It runs eight times a day on Mondays to Fridays only.
Despite its infrequency it is possible to make use of it in the late afternoon and evening.