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Pub Visit - Germany

Saturday 18th May 2013

Bob Thompson

Torschuster 1The Torschuster is a pub with a lot of character and is worthy of an entry in BeerVisits even though it only serves two draught beers. This kniepe (local bar) opened in 2005 and I have read that it was formerly a disco, a concept difficult to believe as it is very small. The brain behind its creation is Thomas Grube, whom I met the evening I visited.

It was early evening when I arrived by taxi from the railway station because there was no direct bus. Add in the fact it was after 20.00 and I hadn't had a drink for three hours, I thought the expense was justified. The pub is rather on its own being in the Domberg district up the hill from the cathedral. This is a very ecclesiastical area as the pub faces the church of St Jacob, please see photograph right. It's a secular island in a sea of religion.

Outside there is a sign advertising that they offer beers from seven different Bamberg breweries. This is true, although it doesn't explain that five of them are in bottles. But l mustn't be churlish about this as it is a very small pub and couldn't possibly justify selling any more draught beer.

Torschuster 2Although it was on my list of pubs to do, it wasn't until Jeff Sechiari, the Membership Secretary of the Brewery History Society, mentioned how good it was, that I made the effort to visit.

I intended to stay for a beer and ended up having a bit more than that!

If you like classic rock and other music from the sixties, seventies and eighties, then this is the pub for you.

Add in that Thomas plays it all on vinyl on his immaculately maintained top of the range turntables, then you have the recipe for a good evening out. Now, my taste is a bit more avant garde than many of the albums that Thomas normally plays, so it is a great testament to him that he was able to provide a play list that I liked.

Torschuster 3If you look closely at the exterior photograph of the pub displayed above you can discern that the pub is right next to one of the old city gates with the eagles surmounted by a cross on either side.

Tor is a gate and this one takes its name from a shoemaker nearby, schuster in the local dialect, thus the name of the pub.

The two draught beers offered when I visited were Keesmann Herren Pils and Mahr's Ungespundetes, both very good. The pub is decorated with a many enamel signs from old breweries and other sources. I especially liked the one that advised American forces to halt or they would find themselves in East Germany! Thomas is a very personable host and he particularly liked talking to Jeff when he had visited earlier, they seemed to have a rapport. As happens far too often the time slipped by; at least the walk was all downhill to my hotel.

Important Information:

Gastätte Torschuster, Obere Karilinenstrasse 9, Bamberg, 96049. Tel: 0951 5099255

Open: Monday-Sunday 18.00-02.00
Some sources say the pub is closed on Mondays, so please be aware.
Also it has been reported that the pub has closed early when it becomes quiet. That shouldn't be a problem at weekends and I would guess it is always open to at least 24.00.

Bearing in mind that the pub opens at 18.00 there are buses from the ZOB (Zentral Omnibus Bahnhof – Central Bus Station) on route 910 only up to 19.10. Thereafter the service is provided by a taxi-bus operation. Please see the following website for all the timetables:
Just click on the appropriate route number for the full timetable.
Quite honestly you will probably only require a bus to get to the pub as it is uphill.
It's an easy walk downhill.

Update October 2017. Hours: Monday to Sunday: 19.30-01.00. The later opening time means that there are no buses to get here except for the last one at 19.10. Thereafter it is by taxi-bus.