Regensburg, Bayern (Bavaria):
Fürstliche Bräuhaus Thurn & Taxis
Monday 10th August 2015
In the past I have sometimes mentioned that a pub was palatial in appearance. Well this really is, both in looks and in fact as it is in a real palace. The Prince of Thurn and Taxis established his home in the former Benedictine monastery of St Emmeram in the centre of Regensburg in 1812 when Bavaria became secularised as a result of the Napoleonic Wars.
The buildings are extremely beautiful and were constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries. The aristocratic family still live there and the house is now run by Princess Gloria. She was a commoner from Stuttgart. In 1980 she married Prince Johannes Von Thurn & Taxis. Unfortunately he died in 1990 and the Princess took over the operation of the house, estate and business interests.
If I understand it correctly there was a brewery within the monastery (100% certain!) at the time of the takeover, yet in the middle part of the 19th Century it was decided to branch out into commercial brewing.
When the brewery was established outside of the palace walls is not known, at least to me. Sorry about this, but it gets a bit vaguer as I’m not sure where it was to be found.
Yet, I can remember a very large building to the south of the station with their name emblazoned along its roof. This would make much sense as a location as breweries of that age were very often built with a connection to the railways.
Their current address in Regensburg is to the east of the city centre, near the docks on the Danube. Described as a brewery, it is actually not, see below.
Fürstliche Brauerei Thurn und Taxis (Prince’s Thurn and Taxis Brewery) was its full title and during 1996 it was taken over by Paulaner of Munich. This was because the finances of the family had taken a temporary stutter and they needed to sell something.
Paulaner later merged with Heineken in 2003 to form the Brau Holding group, a global multi-national brewing company. Paulaner closed the Regensburg operation in 1997.
Nowadays it is believed that the existing Thurn und Taxis beers are brewed in both the Paulaner / Hacker Pshcorr brewery in Munich and also at Auerbräu of Rosenheim, another of the Brau Holding breweries.
However it wasn’t long until the family were back in the brewing business and on 7th July 2005 the Fürstliche Bräuhaus opened in the palace at Regensburg.
On this day I entered it through the gardens / park outside the surrounding walls. After a couple of turns from one interior alleyway to another and past an unstaffed security post I found myself in the cobbled street that is the middle of the palace.
The archway to the pub was on my left and the remainder of the 500-room palace on my right.
It seems hard to believe but where I was entering once formed part of the stables. Once through the arch I noticed to my left there was a biergarten on the cobbles of the courtyard. Yet what was odd about this was the large arched iron and glass roofing, not unlike that you would find at a railway station. What it was built for I wonder? Possibly to provide cover for horse-drawn carriages.
I went across the yard and into the main building. The first thing that hits you is the size of it; it is quite huge and holds 300 drinkers and diners. On the left is where the majority of the tables and seats are to be found. In the middle of the room is the gleaming equipment of the brewery itself. This is surrounded by a service area which doubles as a bar as there are some stalls positioned along it.
To the right is a smaller area with more seating and tall tables for standing drinkers. All of the furniture is varnished with the table-tops being made of scrubbed wood. There is traditional panelling on the walls. I would have normally have positioned myself at the tall tables but there was a terrace. I’d not noticed it before and it was nicely shaded. The outside areas of this pub accommodate a further 250 patrons.
I took a seat and ordered a beer. Sadly, there wasn’t a great selection; just the usual trinity of Light, Dark and Wheat. I’m not a big fan of wheat beer but i had the other two. I thought they were both excellent having a little bitterness; not always found in southern Germany. So, their three beers are: Regensburger Original Hell (5.3%) (light); Marstall Dunkel (5.5%) (dark) and Braumeister Weisse (5.3%) (wheat).
Naturally there is a complete menu available with lots of Bavarian specialities. So, for some good beer and maybe something to eat, in splendid surroundings, it can’t be beat.
Fürstliche Bräuhaus, Waffnerstrasse 6-8, 93047 Regensburg. Tel: 0941 280 4330
Open: Monday-Friday 11.00-24.00; Saturday-Sunday 10.00-24.00
The pub (and palace) are easily walked from the city centre in around 15 minutes.
Probably the best way if coming from the railway station is to walk.
Turn left at the front and walk along Bahnhofsstrasse. When this road veers slightly left, cross to the other side and go down the short street to Albert Strasse. At the junction, look diagonally to the right and on the other side you will see a path going up a hill. This joins another named Fürst-Allee which loops around the outside wall of the palace. Turn left on to it. Eventually you will come across a bridge. Turn right onto it and enter the palace.
The road inside the walls is Waffnerstrasse.
You will soon see the public palace entrance on the right and the pub on the left.