Monday 7th October 2013
Joh. Albrecht is a small chain of brew pubs which are a shop window for its core business which is building breweries. The one in Hamburg that is the subject of this article was the very first, opening in March 1990.
There are four others in Soltau, Bielefeld, Düsseldorf and Konstanz. They have built over a hundred brewing plants including three located on Aida cruise liners.
My previous experience of these pubs is limited to this one in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and an outlet they once had in Regensburg. This still exists and is now known as the Weissbräuhaus, although it does brew other than wheat beers.
Although I thought their beers were acceptable, I didn't acknowledge them as being anything more than that. I was to have my mind changed on that point after this visit.
There were four beers offered:
Messing (5.0%) (A hoppy light beer);
Kupfer (5.0%) (A mild malty dark beer);
Weizenbier (5.0%) (Wheat beer);
Bräuhaus-Festbier (5.8%) (An Oktoberfest special).
I tried two of these and rather strangely started with the Festbier. This was a Märzen and a very good example indeed with a number of tastes making it a very complex beer. It was full-bodied and possessed a very autumnal flavour reminiscent of bonfires. I thought the Messing was extremely good also, having a nice medium bitter taste and finish.
The pub began to fill up with lunch-time diners so I had a quick look around before it got too busy. Although it is located in a modern building the interior is quite traditional. Outside there is a terrace that accommodates around 60 patrons. It overlooks the Alsterfleet, a canal that connects the River Elbe with the Alstersee, a large lake that lies in the centre of the city.
The entrance is on the corner and it opens in to the main bar room which is generally L-shaped. The bar faces the door and the shiny copper brewery is on the right. The area in front of the bar and brewery is set up for drinkers as there are a number of tall tables.
If I was to continue to the right I would end up in a large room that is more of a restaurant. To the left of the bar there is a further dining area.
The pub is situated in the Area around the Rathaus (City Hall) and is a couple of minutes away from the Neuer Wall, with its up-market shops. I will definitely visit again when I am in Hamburg.
Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht, Adolphsbrücke 7, Hamburg-Altstadt 20457. Tel: 040 367 740
Open: Monday-Sunday 11.00-24.00
There are several ways to get to the pub, all involving the U-Bahn or S-Bahn.
From Hamburg Stadthausbrücke S-Bahn station (Lines S1 and S3), cross Graskeller into Neuen Wall. Walk along here and turn right into Aldolphsbrücke. The pub is on the right just over the canal bridge.
From Rödingsmarkt U-Bahn station (Line U3), cross Grasskeller into Alter Wall.
Take the first left, Aldolphsbrücke, and the pub is on the left.
From Rathaus U-Bahn station (Line U3), turn right into Rathausmarkt, then right into Aldolphsbrücke. Cross Alter Wall and the pub is on the left.
All of these walks should take between 5 and 10 minutes.