A recent article in the NYT describes a three-city beer crawl the correspondent took through Germany: Cologne, Leipzig, and Bamberg. It's good work if you can get it.
Despite having done German at school, I've spent little time in the country, and Bamberg is the only one of the three cities I've visited. I can certainly endorse the writer's comments about the local specialty, rauchbier: it really is extraordinary stuff. I don't know about "liquid bacon" as a description, since that makes it seem over-the-top. But I've had people look at me strangely when I wax lyrical about "smoked beer", trying to work out what that could possibly mean. (For the record: apparently the malt is wood-smoked.) All I can say is, try it.
My Lonely Planet guide advised dividing one's time on a short German trip between Bavaria and Berlin, with a stopover in Bamberg [or another town, whose name I've forgotten, as an alternate] along the way. I have no quarrel with that advice. Bamberg is a delightful town for a quick visit, pleasant in aspect and with a great variety of architecture in a limited space that can be walked in a day ... and the beer is like nothing else going. The food was great too.
To my delight, when I was working in Blackburg VA for several months, I discovered that one could buy Schlenkerla Rauchbier from a specialist alcohol merchant there. I've not found it anywhere else. If anyone knows how to source it in Sydney, I'd be very glad to know.