Friday 17th August 2012
The White Hare is located slap bang in the middle of Augsburg on a pedestrian-only street surrounded by some classy shops. Assuming you're male it's the ideal place to retire to whilst your wife / girlfriend contemplates some retail therapy. However that was not possible this time as I, along with drinking compatriots Vaughan and Patrick, were here on an evening visit, and I don't think they were much into shopping.
This is not a brewpub but is the official brewery tap for Hasen-Bräu which is at a separate location. It is one of the best manicured pubs I have ever visited, full of Bavarian charm. Of note are the garlands of hops that surround the windows. This was a very hot evening so we sat at a table on the pavement outside.
Before we talk about the present day a little history is not inappropriate. Augsburg has a very important place in the history of beer because as long ago as 1156 it was a free city (from the crown) and a law was passed stating that no inferior beers could be made. The city had already had its own version of the Reinheitsgebot (pure beer law) as early as 1143.
The origin of Hasen-Bräu was in 1464 when a gentleman called Ulrich Alpershofen opened a pub and brewery called "Zu den Drey Glass". I've not been able to find out what this means as I can't get a translation of Drey.
The brewery continued with many owners until the Hasen (Hare) name first appears during the 18th century. It was owned by Martin Eberle and it is said that one day a hare entered the pub from an adjacent herb garden. He wanted it for a stew and chased it but failed and the animal got away. Thereafter he was known as the "hare-brewer".
In 1890 the brewery was the "Aktienbrauerei zum Hasen". In 1920 the Brauerei Lorenz Stötter was taken over, followed by the Kronenbrauerei in 1921 and Aktienbrauerei Augsburg in 1923.
It was by now a large organisation and the name was changed to Hasen-Bräu that year, the name it retains to the present. Following the Second World War the brewery had to be rebuilt and the acquisitions of small companies continued.
Perusal of the beer menu provided some evidence of these take-overs. Under their own name we were offered Hasen-Bräu Extra (5.3%), typical Bavarian beer, Pils (5.0%), dry in the German style, and Weizen-Hell (5.2%).
They also had beers from the Klosterbrauerei Scheyern and we could have had Export-Dunkel or Weizen Dunkel under their name. A few years ago Hasen-Bräu brewed for this brewery and I suppose they still do.
The last draught beer on the list was a bit of a surprise as it was Zirndorfer Kellerbier, a cloudy rather bitter beer that is often top-fermented. This beer comes from near Nürnberg so was a long way from home or maybe they brew this beer as well.
They also brew for two deceased Augsburg breweries that still operate their own pubs in the city. They are Bürgerbräu and Goldene Gans (Golden Goose). Zum Weissen Hasen (also known as the Weisser Hase) is a wonderfully comfortable pub to while away an hour or two.
Zum Weissen Hasen, Unter dem Bogen 4, Augsburg 86150
Open: Daily 10.00-23.00
A few minutes walk from the Rathausplatz tram stop on routes 1 and 2.
It's about twenty minutes walk from the Hauptbahnhof (Main Railway station). Ausgsburg is extremely well served by IC (InterCity), ICE (InterCity Express) and even French TGVs en route from Paris to Munich.