Goodbye to Brauerei Barth-Senger

I was sad to read the other day on the Online Beer Guide to Bamberg and Franconia that Brauerei Barth-Senger in Schesslitz, a few kilometres from Bamberg, is to close. It may already have done so.

I was only ever there once, and that must be ten years ago, but I remember it quite clearly.

There was only one kind of beer, the typical amber-brown Franconian Vollbier. I wish I’d taken a photo of the drinks menu that everywhere in Germany has tacked up outside the door. I could swear it just said “Bier” on it, along with what even then was a ridiculously cheap price.

To be honest I didn’t think the beer was all that great. But I was awed by the little tap-room. Just a few tables and a barrel in the corner and that was pretty much it – possibly there was also the locally ubiquitous crucifix on the wall, I don’t remember. It was only about ten in the morning, I was the only customer, and it was completely silent. Quieter than a church.

Mark Andersen writes about the place better than I could, here.

These irreplacable little family breweries are still disappearing – Barth-Senger is by no means the first, and won’t be the last. It’s a terrible shame. So few people even seem to be aware of the huge wodges of beer culture we lose, every time one of them shuts up shop for the last time.

Still, at least some guys with a trendy logo are brewing a copy of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, so that’s alright then.


  1. Should this not be directed at the German version of CAMRA rather than an apparently succesful business. Hell, CAMRA annually have a pot of ( £20 * 130,000 =) £2.6 million. They could help a small European brewpub if they wanted to.

  2. that oversimplifies things stuart! not everyone pays full price membership (under 26, joint, plus there's a substantial numbers of lifers). From this is the cost of distributing newsletters, beer magazine and other promo activities. On the other hand there is significant revenue from publishing and beer festivals.

  3. If the beer "wasn't that great" (I agree, I was there once ~6 years ago, and I live a few dozen km away), is it really THAT big of a loss -- especially if a SN clone opens up to keep the number of breweries from actually declining?

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  5. Would it make matters better if I took the place over and put a barrel of a Jarl clone on the bar (with or without crucifix)? How about a second barrel with a clone of Mallinson's mild?


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