Sandkerwa, as any Franconian knows, is a 5-day festival in Bamberg in August. here's the web site. So why honor it in New Albany, Indiana, of all places. Because any excuse to serve strange beers gets Roger Baylor's attention and he is in the position to do something about it. As chief guru at the New Albanian Public House (Rich O's) he evidently has time to search out rarities and bring them to the Falls of the Ohio.
I got there about 6pm last Thursday and got one last sip from the first Anstich 20-litre kegs. It was a Mahr's Brau Ungespundet Lager from Bamberg's suburbs. An Anstich keg is very much like a cask of Real Ale except it isn't cask conditioned (with yeast added for a secondary fermentation). Think of it more like a growler. A 42 pint growler.
These are good, milky, thick, presentations of beer we haven't ever seen in these parts. Roger Baylor leads expeditions to Bamberg (as well as Belgium, etc.) and had not tasted these beers.
Unfortunately each keg lasts about 3 hours amongst the cruel, thirsty NAPHians. Friday's Fischer Rauchbier and Zum Grunen Baum Landbier suffered the same fate. A poor empty shell of the Fischer keg was all that was left by 5pm on Fri and the Grunen Baum didn't fare any better.
Fortunately these kegs were just the cinnamon on the apple sauce as a normal Sandkerwa lineup lay behind the wall of taps. Kulmbacher was the order of the day with Kapuziner Weisse, Reichelbrau Eisbock, Monchshof Festbier, Kellerbrau, and Schwarzbier. Oh and the must-have Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen along with Göller Pils. (I think my spell checker just locked up).
It's not over, in fact it's just a third over. Here's the next two weekends' lineups. The Anstich kegs have tapping times. Get there early, thirsty, and grab a seat. And remember it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Thurs, Oct 1 - Kraus Pils
Fri, Oct 2 - Löwenbräu (Buttenheim) Ungespundetes Lagerbier (Kellerbier)
Fri, Oct 2 - Spezial Rauchbier
Sat, Oct 3 - Schederndorfer Landbier
Thurs, Oct 8 - Fischer Lager
Fri, Oct 9 – Weissenohe Altfränkisches Klosterbier
Fri, Oct 9 - Rossdorfer Urbrau (unfiltered lager)
Sat, Oct 10 – Zehendner Mönchsambacher Unfiltered Lager
Plus Göller Pils, Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock, Kulmbacher Kapuziner Weisse, and Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen are still on tap. Still to come to the taps are Kulmbacher Monchshof Festbier, Mahr's Brau Ungespundet Lager (CO2 version), Spezial Rauchbier, and Weissenohe Monk's Fest.
Oh, and what does Ungespundet mean? There's about 100 words in the program. Yes, a program. And you'll have to head to the Public House in the next two weekends to find out (if you don't have, say, Google).