40 Years in Beer, Part Thirty Four: In 1991, a smoky Bamberg sojourn with Happy Helmut
Stein hoisting at the final beer fest in Maximiliansplatz, 1991. Previously: 40 Years in Beer, Part Thirty-Three: Herzlich Willkommen in der Weltbierkulturerbe-Stadt Bamberg. Photo credit. Prior to the summer of 1991 and my first visit to Bamberg, the only smoked beer I’d ever tasted was Kaiserdom Rauchbier, as imported in the United States by the seminal Merchant du Vin importing company (founded in Seattle in 1978). Occasionally I’d stock a case of Kaiserdom Rauchbier at Scoreboard Liquors in New Albany, and usually proceed to drink most of it myself. Although my comprehension of beer styles was rudimentary, I found smoked lager utterly fascinating—and most of my friends found this state-of-palate alarming. The family-owned Kaiserdom was, and remains, the largest Bamberg brewery in terms of output. While it retains a local presence, much of its production during the modern era has been brewed for export, either to distant locales where “Made in ...Read more