Brauerei Heller (Schlenkerla)

Dominikanerstraße 6
96049 Bamberg
Tel: 0951-56060

Bamberg Station 1.6 km

Opening hours:
Daily from 9:30
Closed January 1st, Fat Tuesday, December 24th-26th and 31st

Output: 20000 HL

Founded in 1405, the Schlenkerla pub was once the site of the original brewery but it was moved up the hill to Stephansburg in 1936 due to increased demand.  The atmospheric pub very much remains and it is hard to imagine a more sacred place of beer pilgrimage than this masterpiece of historical preservation. This would be an amazing place even without its beer. With it, it is as can’t miss as it gets in the world of beer. It’s also one of  Bamberg’s top sights and only someone totally devoid of information would not at least peek their head in.

Beer served from wooden barrels is part of Schlenkerla’s allure

What I love about Schlenkerla is that despite all the hype, it not only doesn’t disappoint but very much remains a locals’ meeting place, too. It also has many rooms so you can go multiple times and have an entirely different experience each time. From the main room’s dark wood to the vaulted ceilings of the adjoining rooms, you can’t go wrong.  Actually, you might not have a choice, grab a seat if you see one. This place is full nearly all day.

This is where I go every year for my birthday so I’ve been here many times.  It is at its best in winter. There’s something about tucking in here on a cold night that is unbeatable.  I’ve never had a bad meal and besides standbys like Schäuferla and Bratwurst, they have the Bamberger Zwiebeln.  This is an onion stuffed with ground meat (pork/beef mix) topped with a piece of bacon. It’s served with mashed potatoes and really hits the spot and pairs well with their Rauchbier. It’s not always on the menu and when it is, it seems to go quickly so if you really want to try it, go early for lunch and check the menu outside to see if it’s on that day.

Bamberger Zwiebeln

Their Schäuferla (pork shoulder) is great, too and I love the Bamberger Bratwurst, which is distinct from the regular Bratwurst, another meal on the menu. The town’s version is a ring of more coarse sausage.  Aside form their famed Rauchbier Märzen, there is generally one other seasonal on tap. Nicely, they have small notices on the table letting you know what they are, something other breweries should do. They also have a regularly featured Rauchweizen in bottles and it goes well with Weisswurst if there early enough. For those that hate things smoked, there is also a bottled Lagerbier which I’ve recently had and can attest to its being a great and much less smoky beer, due to residual flavors in brewing/storage vessels rather than smoked malt.


While Weißwurst is not typical of Franconia, having it at Schlenkerla is an interesting varation since their Weißbier is also of the smokey variety. I think it might be interesting if they put a smoky element in their mustard but one thing they could improve on greatly is their pretzels. I think if I get it again, I’ll get bread instead as this is something they do very well.

Rauchweizen with Weißwurst

If you’re feeling the fat from your meal, try one of their bierbrands. This is a distilled shot. They have two, one is a dark smokey one. They both do the trick of relieving this full feeling and warming you up if you’re cold.

Beers: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier from wooden barrels, Schlenkerla Rauchweizen in bottles, Helles Schlenkerla Lagerbier in bottles.

Beer calendar:
Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier is available from Ash Wedensday to Easter
Aecht Schlenkerla Kräusen is available from June to the middle of August
Aecht Schlenerka Urbock is on October to December
Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche is available from the 1st Advent through Christmas time
Bockbier Anstich is the first Thursday after October 3rd

Back to Bamberg breweries.