In the year that Sonic Youth’s much abused Goo sleeve was released, I bought the Wagner Ring cycle (’60s Karajan, obvs) from Garon records in Cambridge.  I must have played one side of those 19 LPs in the 25 years since, that good bit from Tristan und Isolde.


Without the mental fortitude acquired from a session on Brew Dog on cask in Brescia,I can’t ever imagine sitting through a whole Wagnerian opera, particularly in a famously uncomfortable Bayreuth Opera House.  The Etihad has softened me up a lot.

But I wasn’t missing Bayreuth on the way back from the Franconian farmland to Nuremberg, and even Matt, bless him, was happy to stroll the streets for an hour or so. He only complained when I started taking photos of old men in a big, gorgeous pub.

If I’d bothered reading the European Beer Guide I wouldn’t have fallen for this Maisels place  (Oskar) with its big brewery rubbish and desperate grab for the craft market.

But what friends ?

But the Pale Ale was very lovely, as it should have been at £2.30ish for 0.4l. If it hadn’t have been 11am I’d have stayed for the Choco Porter as well. Sometime even the big brewers get it right by accident.


It was a gorgeous old place, however false, and to be honest I didn’t notice anything obviously better in town. Most of the coach parties descended here too.

I’d love to know what they thought of the dinosaurs;


There’s plenty of cobbled streets, but nothing better than the tranquillity of the gardens behind the Wagner museum, or, to be honest, the cookies ice cream for a euro in the market place.  Germany really is the best place in the world for ice cream.


  1. Envious of you finding the Pale Ale on tap, even if only evil keg. It is a great, clean, very well-hopped pale ale in the “American” vein, a nice bolt of passion fruit flavour and aroma. It’s also reasonably priced at 1€ / 33cl at drinks shops here — very reasonable, considering the hype going on with the microbreweries here all of a sudden, with prices 3x that for beer of crappy quality in specialty shops. I drink it at home often, mixed with high quality alc-free beer to yield a clean, hoppy 3.7% session beer.

    So, a big brewery getting it right. The way I understand it, young Jeff Maisel put a 25 hl brewery in the brewery museum some years ago: That’s where they brew the “craft” stuff, whereas the original brewery is still churning out the Weiße and Pils. And hey, it looks like there are a couple of bottled IPAs in the lineup now, I shall have to order some for home delivery.

    About 5 years ago, right about when “craft” beer started showing up here and there, the big, corked 75 cl bottles of “Signature” beers appeared at the big drinks shop here….at 5€ a piece. I tried each of them, ONCE. Horrible, nasty messes they were, typical of Bavarian brewers using a Hefeweizen yeast to try to make “ale” in their ignorance and fear of using a proper ale yeast.

    But the new 33 cl bottles are great, properly done, and as I said, surprisingly competitively priced. I’d like to meet Jeff some day and find out where he got the idea to do this.


  2. I once asked Maisel what kind of yeast they used for their Dampfbier, in order to try to either substantiate or disprove the stuff you read on American websites about it being a barley beer fermented with Weizen yeast. They wouldn‘t say. Very open and craft. And yes, Jeff’s Bavarian Ale is utter crap. Wouldn’t waste my money on trying the others.


    1. I believe I will eventually try a Sam Smith’s 4x Lager (or whatever the Humph’s good lager is called), but yes, conversely, when I’m in Britain, I’m drinking traditional British ale.


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