The history of the Schlenkerla

Bamberg at the time when Schlenkerla was built

Bamberg at the time when the Schlenkerla was built

If the former owners of the house in Dominikanerstrasse 6 had had less self-esteem and initiative, today we would know much less about the history of the Schlenkerla Tavern building. As they were constantly building on, buying additional land and - mostly because of that - having trouble with their pious neighbours, the inhabitants of the powerful Dominican monastery, many trial records and land register entries give us important information about the former building BLUE LION belonging to the property UNDER THE STORKS.

The history of the Schlenkerla Tavern building starts together with that of the monastery, which was founded in the 14th century.

In the time between 1405 and 1615 the building was sold a number of times. During the 30 Year's War (1618-1648) the house was destroyed and rebuilt. The reports before 1678 are scarce, but in that year the brewery was founded and from that time on one can find more and more in the records.

Since 1678 there have been numerous owners of the brewery. Very important of whom was Johann Wolfgang Heller, who took over in mid 18th century. He already owned an old rock-cellar for beer storage up on the hill "Kaulberg" just outside Bamberg. Later on, this storage facility was moved to another hill, called "Stephansberg", which is nowadays in the middle of town. In the 19th and 20th century the brewery was moved step by step to that location just above the ancient cellars on Stephansberg. In the trade-registry the official name of the brewery is "Heller-Bräu", even if everybody just calls it Schlenkerla.

tavern around 1670

The tavern around 1670

1875 was a very important year for the tavern, as Andreas Graser became the new owner. He was a little bit handicapped and moved his arms in a funny way when he walked. In the Franconian dialect this is called "schlenkern". People soon started to call the place Schlenkerla, and the name has remained until today.

In 1907 his son Michael Graser took over the brewery. More and more guests came to the tavern, and a part of the former monastery was taken on lease from the Bavarian government, which had become the owner during secularization. The paintings in the beautiful gothic-arched sealing of this "Dominikanerklause" were being restored by the Germanic Museum of Nürnberg in the 1920s.

In 1960 this part of the tavern was bought from the state and Michael Graser's daughter, Elisabeth, and her husband, Jakob Trum, took over the brewery. In 1967 they handed over the brewery and tavern to their son German Trum.

[family line of the Schlenkerla] [building history of Schlenkerla]

This text is an excerpt and translation from the 1978 issued Schlenkerla anniversary book.