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“Good food and beer, too busy”

Schlenkerla, the historic smoked beer brewery
Ranked #10 of 259 Restaurants in Bamberg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $6 - $16
Cuisines: German, Brew Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: In the middle of the old part of Bamberg, directly beneath the mighty cathedral, one can find the historic smoked beer brewery Schlenkerla. First mentioned in 1405 and now run by the Trum family in the 6th generation, it is the fountain of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer (in German language it's called "Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier"). The smoked beer is here at the brewery tavern still being tapped directly from the wooden barrel according to old tradition. "Even if the brew tastes somewhat strange at the first swallow, do not stop, because soon you will realize that your thirst will not decrease and your pleasure will visibly increase."
Reviewed December 8, 2017 via mobile

We had smoked beer and haxe. Both were wonderful and certainly worth the visit. But it is true that the place was overcrowded and it took 45’ for the food to arrive.

Thank Willie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 5, 2017 via mobile

Long time TripAdvisor reader, first time poster. I feel compelled to write about my bizarre experience at Schlenkerla. I love Germany and have visited the country many times. I’m also a lover of beer and have over 2000 unique check-ins on Untappd. I know exactly what smoked beer is and went out of my way to find this place on a particularly chilly Tuesday afternoon in Bamberg. Disappointingly, the service inside was colder than the weather outside. We wandered in and tried to figure out the run of the place. There was no obvious bar area and no obvious beer fonts and we were trying to ascertain whether it was table service (as is common in Europe) or bar service (as is common everywhere, including Europe). It was not particularly busy so we sat ourselves at a table, unsure if we were supposed to wait to be seated. Since we only wanted beers and since we didn’t want to be rude, we wanted to clarify if we were sitting in the right area. My fiancée speaks okay German and I know the very basics, but it was going be a much simpler conversation in English. In my experience most Germans enjoy practicing their English anyway. After a few minutes of waiting a surly old velociraptor appeared out of nowhere at our table. What followed was the most ridiculous exchange I’ve had with another human being for quite some time. “Sprechen sie Englisch?” we asked. Velociraptor seemed instantly annoyed with this and snapped “YES??? WHAT DO YOU WANT???” She did not give us time to answer “UGH! ENGLISH MENUS IS IT???” (we were perfectly capable of ordering from German menus). She briefly disappeared and then returned and tossed English menus onto our table and stomped off. It was quite bizarre behaviour. So now we had menus for food, as well as beer menus. Still confused, I went to investigate to figure it out for myself. I noticed a small window in the entry way where people were buying beer that I’d missed when we first walked in; and tables in the hallway where we could sit quietly and grab some beers - this is what we were after! I returned to find the waitress at the table giving my partner loads of attitude. “SO WHAT DO YOU WANT???” She then rudely interrupted me every time I tried to answer “FOOD????” “No we-“ “DRINKS???” “Yes, but we-“ “WE ONLY HAVE SMOKED BEER” “Yes, I know but-“ “WELL WHY ARE YOU HERE?” My partner motioned to me to leave. She snatched the menus back off the table and then sarcastically declared at the top of her voice “OKAAAAAY! BYYYYYYE!” and gave us a big wave, as if to say “Everyone look at the stupid tourists!!!” It was incredibly childish. We went to Fässla and laughed hysterically about it over some cracking beers (try the Gold-Pils!!). I will never forget it. And I will tell everyone I know about it. Her attitude was smokier than the smokiest rauchbier. Tarter than the sourest gose. Darker than the blackest porter. Unfortunately for her now everybody knows that she’s pathetic, not just her and I.

2  Thank Hayden K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthiasTrum, Inhaber at Schlenkerla, the historic smoked beer brewery, responded to this reviewResponded December 9, 2017

Dear Hayden K,

we are very sorry, that you were not satisfied with your visit to Schlenkerla. Please give us more details (via eMail to service@schlenkerla.de) so that we can follow up with the responsible staff. Thank you!

Best regards,

Matthias Trum

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2017 via mobile

I made a reservation for 8 pm on a Monday night, 4 Dec. Went there at 7.15 pm but wanted to try our luck anyway. After 5 minutes of wandering around on our own, we went to the bar and told them we had a reservation. We were told to walk around by ourselves to look for our names on reserved tables. We thought that was odd, but did it anyway. We had been treated well in Germany so far and they seemed busy, so gave them benefit of the doubt.

We couldn’t find our names on reserved tables but saw available tables, so asked a waitress to help. I tried to show her my email which said that I had a reservation which she didn’t bother to look at. She just gestured to a table with 2 persons already seated (ie she wanted us to share a table when there were available tables (with no names), and told us rudely to sit there. I said we had a reservation and she said “two persons, so sit”. We left promptly. We were treated badly and demeaned, not sure if it’s a racial issue (we are Asian). I read that this place is an institution and has been around for a long time. Maybe that’s why the attitudes of wait staff are in dire need of an update.

3  Thank Youngauntysg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MatthiasTrum, Inhaber at Schlenkerla, the historic smoked beer brewery, responded to this reviewResponded December 6, 2017

Dear Mrs. Youngauntysg,

we have followed up on the events of Monday evening during your visit to Schlenkerla:

The first room you went to (the “Altes Lokal”) and addressed the staff there, did not have your reserveration, and hence they sent you to the other section of the tavern, to check with staff there. This is common practice at most larger venues in Germany unless they have a reception area, which to our knowledge does not exist in any brewery tavern.

The waitress in the other section, which you described, states, that she was quite aware, that you had reserved a table. But that table was due to your early arrival not available yet and nor was any other table. Hence she wanted to place you at the shared table until your reserved table would have become available. This waitress does not speak English very well. We therefore assume, that she was not able to convey this to you in a proper verbal manner. The fact that you felt offended by it furthermore indicates, that she did not show a friendly body language (smile etc.) either.

We are very sorry, that this misunderstanding and the unfriendly posture happened. Please accept our apologies for it.
Best regards,

Matthias Trum

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2017

Others try and emulate Schlenkerla rauch beer but this brauerei family still does it best. Despite it being a tourist destination its still dominated by the locals and the food sticks to its roots

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank fiat500cc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2017 via mobile

they were super busy when we arrived but the service was still quick and the food was good. Salad was a bit over dressed but the baked potatoes were awesome.

Thank karldb123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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