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Old 09-26-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
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My understanding is that Bamberg also wasn't leveled either. There wasn't enough industry in the area to bother. It has a great Olde World feel.
Yes, Bamberg is well preserved, and quite beautiful. I was too hungover to have a rauchbier when I was there, so don't make that mistake.

If you are in that part of the country, you can take part in what I think is the greatest beer experience ever, the Aufseß Beer Trail. I am sure there are other similar trails, but here is the Aufseß version(link in German, sorry, but you can use Google Translate to get the gist). You basically hike a 8 mile loop down a beautiful country path that happens to connect four different small breweries, where you stop for refreshment. They are technically in the same town, so they claim the world record for most breweries per capita. Streams, cows, giant crucifixes along the way, it is easy to imagine yourself in a classic vampire movie. It was the most amazing hike I have ever been on, and you get to taste beer that you will never find in the states, or even outside of Franconia, probably. Well worth a day. Here is another blog post, again in German, sorry, to get you salivating.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:53 PM   #12
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If you happen to make it to Freiburg im Breisgau (extreme southwest corner of the country), Hausbrauerei Feierling brews an unusual unfiltered Helles lager called Inselhopf.

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #13
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Kneitinger In Regensburg has my absolute favorite bock beer. They also have great Schweins Hax'n. Regensburg is a beautiful city and has 5 breweries in the area including Weltenburg which is the oldest monastery brewery in the world. Regensburg is about an hour by train from Munich.
Another vote for Regensburg. I was stationed about 20 minutes from there for four years and its my absolute favorite city in Germany. Also be on the lookout for fests as you pass through some of the smaller towns. The beer will be local and it's always a good time.
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #14
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I've only been to Frankfurt and Berlin, but as a west coast hop head my advice is: try every beer you can. If its new, try it.

After traveling to Germany, and Prague, I developed a taste that I never had for well made lagers, and non hoppy beers.

Central Europeans know a thing or two about making beer; after all, they've been doing it longer than almost anyone else. AND they were the first to isolate lager yeast.

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:58 PM   #15
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Also be on the lookout for fests as you pass through some of the smaller towns. The beer will be local and it's always a good time.
This is going to be the truly rewarding beer experience in Germany. There are world famous breweries, but be sure that you get out into the country and find a keller where they serve their own beer that you can't find outside of that town. We beer geeks talk a lot about Belgian farmhouse and rustic ales. The "farmhouse lager" (my term) culture in southern Germany is probably just as deserving of our attention.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:26 PM   #16
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I'm getting excited about the trip the more I read My "home base" will be in Stuttgart but we plan on making our way to Prague, Plzn (Pilsner Urquell brewery), Heidelberg, etc...

Here is what our tour guide (my father in law) sent me for a rough intinerary (this is a trip my wife bought me for my 40th )

Oct. 5 - arrival
Oct. 6 - Heidelberg
Oct. 7 - Wilhelma (Stuttgart Zoo & Botanical & maybe Cannstatter Volkfest
Oct. 8 - Stuttgart city environs, maybe Mercedes Museum, maybe Cannstatter Volkvest
Oct. 9 - rest / local errands
Oct. 10 - early morning drive to Garmisch, usually at least a 3 hr drive. If we arrive early enough, go to Zugspitz (tallest mountain in Germany) and Eibsee (a huge lake about 3000 feet above sea level)
Oct. 11 - Neuschwanstein Castle?
Oct. 12 - Munich city tour (Hofbrauhaus included)
Oct. 13 - Eagle's Nest/Bergtesgaden?
Oct. 14 - drive to Plzen, CZ, tour brewery, drive to Prague
Oct. 14/15 - Prague
Oct. 16 - Prague? / Dresden?
Oct. 17 - Return to Stuttgart?
Oct. 18 - Day before departure
Oct. 19 - departure

While I have no idea where most of these places are yet, it seems to hit a lot of the country. really looking forward to this!

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:37 AM   #17
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Prague is amazing. The city was largely spared during World War 2 and is IMO one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is more expensive than it was 10 years ago but I would still highly recommend it. This sounds bad but if you are out wandering around, especially after dark, be mindful of your surroundings and where your wallet is. There are pick pockets who will try to distract you to rip you off.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:03 AM   #18
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Prague is my second favorite city in the world. I saw history dating back to the 1200's, amazing beers, amazing food, beautiful architecture, hella easy to get around. And the women. Oh god, the women.

Go to the Strahov Monastery. This is a must. 100% authentic well crafted Czech food, and they're their own brewery. Literally, the best lagers I have ever had.

Go to a bar called Usudo. It's not far from Winsislov(spelling?) square(the downtown part) . It's a really cool bar that is placed in a basement dating to the 1700 hundreds.

And the sausage stands! Amazing kielbasa, with authentic Budvar/Pilsner Urquell on tap. But count your change, they're notorious for ripping tourists off.


If you PM me I'd be happy to tell you everything I know about Prague. I stayed there for a month, and my twin brother was lucky enough to live there.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:11 AM   #19
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I agree with most other post try everything. Garmisch is awesome, make sure to take the cog train up zugspitze (sp?). Also I know this is a beer forum, but west Germany has some pretty amazing white wine, Riesling to be specific. Have a great trip, our trip to Germany has been our favorite.

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:22 AM   #20
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+1 for trying everything possible.

My favorite part of traveling through Germany and the Czech Republic is always trying the large number of beers specific to a city or region. Even the different neighborhoods of Berlin and Munich will have totally different selections, though Berliner Pilsner and Becks seem ubiquitous. And because you can drink in public and on trains, within reason of course, there's plenty of opportunity to try as many as possible.

Prague has a booming microbrew/craft beer scene right now if you seek it out. Don't expect any West Coast IPAs yet, but I'm always blown away by the depth and complexity they can coax out of lagers.

Happy travels!

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