Spring Beer Garden Tour of Bamberg: Rauchbier & Beyond

Eight days, seven nights. | One DEPARTURE A YEAR
• May 31-June 7, 2018

Spring Beer Garden Tour of Bamberg: Rauchbier and Beyond
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In Bamberg and the Franconia region, they call beer gardens beer kellers because many of these forested hillside beer gardens traditionally were (and are) on top the underground cellars where they lagered the beer. Sometimes people will refer to going “on” the beer keller, rather than “to” the beer keller, which when you know the backstory makes sense. 

Welcome to the Spring Beer Garden Tour of Bamberg.  During this tour the emphasis is on experiencing the ambiance, culture, cuisine, and of course beers, of these famous outdoor kellers.  Locals call it kellering.  Keller season, aka Kellerzeit, typically runs from sometime in March to sometime in October, depending on the weather and global warming.  During this tour you will get a great cross section of the traditional beers from this region.  While we keep a pretty busy itinerary, you will also have plenty of unstructured time to explore on your own, hike, ride your bike, shop, take photos, visit more beer gardens, etc.  One of the goals of this tour is give you an idea of what it is to be a local.  We stay in the same hotel all week.  We don’t spend precious time relocating.  Instead, you can spread out, unpack, get to know the neighborhood and expand your knowledge and comfort zone of the city and region each day.  Simply put, we spend more time doing and being rather than driving great distances.

Rental bikes are included in the tour for the whole week for those of you who wish to ride.  For others, ground transportation is provided.  Three days include organized rides to breweries.  The other days, we will all be mostly on four wheels.  This itinerary serves as only a rough guide of where we will go each day.  I reserve the right to switch things around to take advantage of good weather to be outside in beer kellers, avoid known rain days, and visit special beer events as they may arise.  Get ready for a great tour!

photos from tours

Coming soon...

“You’d think being in the epicenter of German brewing I’d have more to say, but in all truth things around here don’t change much. A tour of the Schlenkerla brewery and you’ll know why that is – when it comes to Franconian brewing, change isn’t really a good thing. Indeed, tradition is what makes the beer scene here tick.”
— Beer Writer Josh Oakes

Tours Include

  • Hotel
  • Ground Transportation
  • Brewery Visits
  • River boat tour in Bamberg.
  • All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners.
  • Deluxe BBM! luggage tags.
  • One souvenir BBM! soft-sided cooler per household.
  • Name badges
  • Beer is included during group meals (aka company meals) and brewery tours, and on taproom visits included on the itinerary, but not informal pub crawls or café visits. 
  • The begins and ends at our hotel in Bamberg.

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Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers.
  • Some meals and beer on your own. Free-time sightseeing.Our guides are available to provide suggestions.
  • Fine Print: You are responsible for the costs of your free-time sightseeing.  Be sure to read our Terms & Conditions Agreement for important details.
  • Gratuities, at your discretion, for brewery tour guides and coach drivers.

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Tour Cost

Deadline to sign up is one month before departure. 

$1995/per person + Air, $325 single supplement*
* Prices based on double room occupancy.  If you are a solo traveler and would like to have a private room all to yourself there is a single supplement fee of $325 in addition to the base price of $1995 per person. We can also work with you to pair you with other single travelers to avoid the single supplement. Better yet, recruit a friend to come, too! Unless, of course, like Rick Steves says, you prefer to “snore alone.”

We require a minimum number of guests for each tour to be guaranteed to go, so it’s important to sign up ASAP, as opposed to waiting until the deadline. Also, tours can fill rapidly and suddenly, so signing up early ensures that you will go and not be disappointed.

Please share  BBM! tours with fellow Belgian beer enthusiasts, your friends in general, and encourage them to join the fun! 

map of overnight locations

SOME OF THE BREWERIES AND ATTRACTIONS WE HAVE VISITED ON THIS TOUR IN THE PAST:

  • Schlenkerla Brewery
  • Mahr's Brewery
  • Keesmann Brewery
  • Krug Brewery
  • Greiss Brewery
  • Drei Kronen Brewery in Memelsdorf
  • Hohn Brewery
  • Kundmüller Brewery
  • Klosterbrau Brewery and Monestery
  • Göller Brewery
  • Hartmann Brewery in Würgau
  • Zum Goldenen Adler Brewer in Höfen
  • Kellerwald in Forcheim
  • Spezial Keller
  • Wilde Rose Keller
  • Kreuzberg Keller
  • Weyermann Malting


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Spring Beer Garden Tour of Bamberg: Rauchbier & Beyond Itinerary • 2017 • 2018 Itinerary coming soon tour

Thur., June 1 • Bamberg   The tour begins at 3 p.m. in the lobby of our hotel.  From there we head right to Keesmann Brewery, home of the famous Herren Pils for a welcome beer. Afterward, we’ll walk across the street for our Welcome Dinner at Mahr’s Bräu Brewery, home of the famous “U” beer.  We’ll round out the evening at Schlenkerla, the epicenter for rauchbier and the Bamberg beer culture, for a nightcap in their Dominikanerhof  beer garden. (Dinner)

Fri., June 2 • Bamberg   Days two, three and four have morning bike rides to breweries.We will also be travelling there by van for those not on bikes, or those who wish to drive back rather than ride a bike.  This morning we’ll take delivery of our bikes for the week at our hotel.  From there we will head to the scenic Bootshaus beer garden on the Regnitz River for lunch and beers. In the afternoon, we take a day trip to the forgiving village of Geisfeld (8 mi.) and Krug Brewery and Greiss Brewery and keller.  Afterwards, you’ll have some time to freshen up at the hotel before we head to Spezial Keller and Wilde Rose Keller on Stephansburg hill, two of the largest kellers in the town of Bamberg.  Spezial Keller has a sweeping view of the city.  Dinner is on your own. (Breakfast & lunch)

Sat., June 3 • Bamberg   This morning we bike ride to the village of  Memmelsdorf (5 ½ mi.) and Drei Kronen Brewery and Hohn Brewery.  We’ll have lunch at Drei Kronen.  Afterwards, you’ll have some time to freshen up at the hotel before we head to Kreuzberg Beer Kellers (near Hallerndorf) and some famous grilled mackerel.  There are three kellers side-by-side in the Kreuzberg complex featuring the following beers: Rittmayer, Lieberth and Friedle (Brauhaus am Kreuzberg). (Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

Sun., June 4 • Bamberg   This morning we bike ride to Kundmüller Brewery in Weiher (5 ½ mi.).  You’ll love this family-run brewery/farm set in a bucolic valley with a nice beer garden of its own. Afterwards, you’ll have some time to freshen up at the hotel before we head to Forcheim and the famous Kellerwald with its 20 plus beer kellers.  This day concludes the organized bike rides.  You are on your own and encouraged to use the bikes as you wish the rest of the week. (Breakfast)

Mon., June 5 • Bamberg   Today is a big day and it involves the most driving we’ll do on this tour.  This morning we day trip to a different Kreuzberg (1 ½ hrs. drive one way) and the Klosterbrau Brewery and Monastery, located in the Rhöne Mountain range, where we will have lunch and beers.  On the way back we will visit Göller Brewery in Zeil Am Main.
(Breakfast & lunch)

Tues., June 6 • Bamberg   Morning is free to explore Bamberg on your own. This afternoon we do some blitzing, as I call it, to visit Hartmann Brewery in Würgau on the north edge of the Fränkisch Schwiez (Franconian Switzerland).  In the afternoon, we will visit Zum Goldenen Adler Brewery in Höfen.   The evening is free to explore Bamberg and dinner is on your own.  As a suggestion, visit the beer garden at Greifenklau Brewery and keller with a nice view of a valley and part of the city.  Another option is Klosterbräu Brewery, which traditionally releases its famous Maibock on May 1.  This is a pale bock with more than 7% alcohol.
(Breakfast)

Wed., June 7 • Bamberg   This morning at 10 a.m., we will tour Weyermann Malting (Weyermann World), visit its pilot brewery and gift shop.  Be prepared to be amazed!   This afternoon, we will visit Löwenbrau Keller & St. Georgenbräu Keller in Buttenheim.  Then, this evening we will have our Farewell Dinner. We’ll do some consensus-decision making on where we would like to dine.  Perhaps we will revisit one of our favorite places from earlier in the tour. (Breakfast & dinner)

Thur., June 8 • Bamberg   Breakfast concludes this amazing tour of Bamberg and Franconia.  Let’s all take great memories, photos and beers home with us until next time!

* Itinerary subject to change.

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