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BAMBERG, Germany — The small taproom behind the beer garden transports you back in time.

With a free-standing tiled fireplace in the middle, not a single matching light fixture and wood, wood, everywhere, it’s the kind of place that could keep a thirsty man warm on the coldest of Bavarian nights.

It’s the Mahr’s-Brau in Bamberg, and it’s fantastic.

I could practically brush my hair with the ceiling near the entrance, granted at 6-foot-3, I’m not the shortest guy around, but from the moment I walked in, I felt welcome. And oh, the beer.

In operation since 1670, and owned by the same family since the 1890s, Mahr’s-Brau prides itself on holding to the Bavarian Purity Regulation of 1516, meaning all that’s in their beer is hops, yeast, malt and water.

The bar staff kept switching out small gravity kegs from a walk-in cooler, continuously tapping and pouring.

And although it was lightly raining, the beer garden was quite lovely. Most of what looked to be around 75 seats were vacant, a few brave souls were happily drinking their afternoon away.

The restaurant wasn’t much larger than the taproom, although it was well-lit and appealing. The menu featured a variety of German fare, about half of the dishes featuring pork. The priciest item was a rumpsteak for 10.80 euros, which is far cheaper than many other places local to Bamberg.

The real deal at the Mahr’s-Brau is the beer. Not one of the many on the menu was more than 2.90 euros for a half-liter. Most were around 2.10 euros — a very small price to pay for what many aficionados consider one of the best breweries in the world.

See previous After Hours reviews here.

Mahr’s-Brau

Bamberg, Germany

Prices: The most pricey thing on the menu was a steak for 10.80 euros. Most items averaged between 4-7 euros. Every beer on the menu, including the nonalcoholic beers, were less than 3 euros for a half-liter.

English menu: In German except for the last page but the wait staff speaks decent English.

Specialities: If you can get 15 people together, a brewmaster can show you the tricks of his trade.

Dress: Casual.

Clientele: Mostly German, but very friendly.

Location: Wunderburg 10, 96050 Bamberg. From the Berliner Ring going toward the A73 interchange, take a right on Moosstrasse. Go past the Maisel brewery on the left and under the train tracks. Go across the next road, taking a gentle left. The road turns into Holzgartenstrasse. Mahr’s-Brau will appear directly in front of you after a block or so. Hours: The taproom and beer garden are open daily from 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. The kitchen is open Monday – Saturday from 5:30-9:15 p.m., and 11:30 a.m.-2:p.m. Sundays and holidays.

Telephone: 0951-915170

Web site:www.mahrs.de (Translates into English)

E-mail: info@mahrs.de

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