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Pub Visit - Germany


Monday 19th September 2016

Bob Thompson

Even though it was founded in 1872 this brewery has virtually no history. It is in the hands of the fourth generation of the Griess family. Peter Griess is the current owner and brewer. His father Andreas Griess was responsible for the modernisation of the brewery from the 1950s onwards. The old brewery building was demolished and rebuilt in 1997 and produces around 1,000hl per annum.

They do not brew a large range of beers yet I can attest that what they do brew is very good indeed. Their main beer is Kellerbier (5.1%), a true style from the past. It is an Ungespundetes beer. This rather awesome word translates as “unbunged”. This basically means that the beer has part of its fermentation period in an open vessel which is not very similar to most beers that are lagered in closed maturation tanks. I understand that they produce a few other varieties of beer that are only available in bottle.

Griess2Every part of the brewing cycle is performed in a traditional way. No stabilizing agents are used and it is matured for eight weeks. Since 2010 the beers have been brewed with nothing but organic materials. It is unfiltered but I surmise that because it ferments for so long most of the waste material lies at the bottom of the tank. The beer is served in ceramic Krugs, so it could well be hazy.

At Christmas they brew a Bock Bier (7.2%) and the Bockbieranstich (first tapping) is always the last Saturday of November.

I had been to Geisfeld previously during the spring of 2014 and visited the Brauerei Krug, please see article in BeerVisits. Unfortunately the Griess brewery was closed on that occasion, so this visit was my chance to catch up. Walking the short distance from the bus stop I noticed the pub was actually quite an old building whereas the brewery was more modern. However, to my untrained eyes it looked a lot older than 1997, more like the 1960s or possibly early 1970s. Please study the photograph, above left.

Griess3nI went up the steps into the pub, turning left into the main room. I noticed that there was a small room on the right, possibly for use as an overspill.

The main room was very comfortable and there seemed to be a nice atmosphere. On the large table closest to the service are a group of local drinkers were getting stuck in. They probably come here every day the pub is open.

The ceiling is wooden, the floor is wooden and there is a lot more of it in between. Some old panelling almost reaches the ceiling and on the plastered section above there hangs a number of old enamel brewery signs.

There is a continuous wooden bench seat around all four walls. It has loose cushions on to prevent possible sore bums. On the window ledges there are many potted plants and on each table there was a sunflower head in a beer bottle, very appropriate and presenting a good appearance.

Griess4The table tops are of light scrubbed wood and the loose chairs are all varnished with fitted leather cushions. Behind the service counter I noticed the beer was served from a wooden barrel.

But, wait a minute, there are two taps. I must conclude that it is actually a fake as I have never come across a cask with two bung holes next to each other.

However the beer was entirely without artificial gas and I really liked it. I presume that it is propelled to the tap by the pressure of the natural gasses produced during the brewing process, this is entirely possible.

The toilet facilities are at the back of the pub, across the yard. Here, there are some additional tables and seats that are probably used by smokers. The menu consists of mostly cold offerings including some local cheeses along with meats and sausages. In the summer months there is a Biergarten at the pub and on the edge of the village (Kellerweg 9) is their Bierkeller that opened in 1995, which is said to be very beautiful. This is a great little pub with a very likeable beer. It comes totally recommended.

Important information:

Brauerei-Gasthof Griess, Magdelanerstrasse 6, Geisfeld 96129. Tel: 09505 1624

Monday-Tuesday/Thursday-Friday: 15.00-22.00; Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-22.00;
Wednesday: Closed

Bus 970 comes from the front of Bamberg station or close by. It is not very frequent and departs at very irregular times. This applies to Mondays to Fridays and it is essential that you consult the timetable.
On Saturdays there are a few buses but the last one returns to Bamberg from Geisfeld just after midday, so is useless.

There are two journeys on Sundays which could be used if you want to spend a long time in the pub. However, it might be of use if you like walking as there are some pubs en route that are just a few kilometres apart.