Würzburg, Bayern (Bavaria):
Wednesday 24th April 2019
The story of this brewery goes back to 1643 when it was founded by the Franconian Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp von Schörnborn.
There was a definite need for a brewery at the time as the city is found at the centre of the Frankenland (Franconian) wine growing region and because of the many Swedish Soldiers there, the wine reserves were being depleted.
As can be seen from its name Hofbräu, it was a court brewery and continued through the years as an important source of revenue for the Prince-Bishops. The crown that is part of the logo is a further reminder of this connection.
The brewery built itself up to be dominant in the area and by the end of the nineteenth century was exporting beer to the USA.
At the end of the Second World War it was one of only two breweries in the city, the other being the Würzburger Bürgerbräu. Again, please note the name. A bürger is a citizen, thus this was the peoples’ brewery as distinct to the Court’s brewery. Its decline started with its takeover by Patrizier Bräu of Nürnberg in 1972. Its last brew was in December 1989.
In 2016 Hofbräu produced Würzburger Bürgerbrau Haustrunk, a Zwickelbier made in memory of the lost brewery.
A program of modernisation commenced in 1993 and the company expanded by acquiring several other breweries in Upper Franconia. In 2005 Hofbräu was taken over by Brauerei Kulmbacher which itself is part of the Brau Holding International and so became a part of a multi-national company. Although it appears that they have left Hofbräu to their own devices since.
I was with wife Linda when we visited and as it was a beautiful day we took a place in the biergarten. It is of medium size and after a while I had a look at the pub. I could walk directly into it from the garden and it was very comfortable.
At the rear was a big long bar counter of varnished wood. To the right of this were two old brewing vessels no longer in use. Also there were many other examples of old brewing equipment used as decoration.
We had four draught beers here and these were: Schwarzbier (4.9%), a dark lager; Sternla Original Helles (4.9%), a light beer typical of Bavaria; Premium Pils (4.9%) and the aforementioned Würzburger Bürgerbrau Haustrunk (5.2%).
They were all surprisingly good with the Premium Pils being a stand out beer. There was also a Weizenbier (wheat beer) that I didn’t record the name of.
If you have some time in the city it’s well worth taking a trip out to here, especially if the weather is good.
Würzburger Hofbräukeller, Jägerstrasse 17, 97082 Würzburg. Tel: 0931 42970
Hours: Monday-Sunday 11.00-24.00
The Keller is a short walk from the Wörthstrasse stop on tram routes 2 and 4.
The 2 comes from the station. The 4 runs through the city centre.
From the stop continue along Wörthstrasse where the tram turns right. Then turn left into Jägerstrasse. Take the first road on the left and the Keller is to be found on the right.