I’m sure there are some excellent articles on the Nuremberg Beer Fest; this one won’t be much help to future beer tourists. I’d start with Paul Bailey’s comprehensive review from last year, which even gives it it’s proper title.
I’ve have made a better job of it if I’d just followed Erlanger Nick’s steer, but that would have been too simple, eating first and starting on the weaker beers.
I caught the last day of Nuremberg’s beer fest along the moat behind the castle; it’s almost as impressive a venue as a National League North football ground, if such a thing were possible. The walk through the Old Town is one of my favourite of any urban walks.
The basic layout is a walkway with about 40 individual brewery stalls and 25 eateries either side, with plentiful beer garden type seating. My type of fest. Nick had reported it being close to overcrowding earlier in the week, and it was still busy as it headed for the final sessions, even with the threat of thunderstorms that appeared by magic as it closed.
What struck me was the age range here; lots of families with children but on average probably even older than your average UK fest, or certainly Cambridge.
Beerwise I started with a fairly average Landbier just because it came in a earthenware jug, then straight on to the 9.5% whisky bock (tasted like 4.5%) , afterwards going for a crafty collaboration Pils from a wooden barrel. Then I decided a bit of Ox would go down well.
Like the food, beer was priced very reasonably at an average 4 euros a half litre, with some hefty deposits for the branded jugs and glasses.
Tabor then turned up with Erlanger Nick to tell me which beers I should have had, and confirm that the words “craft” and “collaboration brew” aren’t always a winner, even out of a wooden barrel.
It was all very jolly, but I fancied a proper pub, and Nick obliged with the newish (by German standards) brewhouse Schanzenbrau, in the hip western suburb of Barenschanze, where the Nuremberg trials took place (essential visit).
Schanzebrau covers all bases, with traditional seating, a wonderful beer garden, Marx on the wall and an an unintrusive food operation. The Dunkel was superb too.
Keeping up with Nuremberg’s developments shouldn’t be too hard; new openings and closures are a rarity. But those well-thumbed German Beer Guides I saw on Ryanair are 10 years old now, and even Ron’s site relies on local updates.
We shouldn’t take our annual Good Beer Guide for granted, or the CAMRA newsletters like MerseyAle I left Nick to encourage his return to our shores.