1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OktoberfestbierHofbräu Oktoberfestbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,155 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,155
Reviews: 513
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 20
Gots: 110 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,155 | Reviews: 513
Reviews by DaveFL1976:
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We tried this beer out at our pub. For those that have visited Munch, it's tough to find a much more recognizable noun than Hofbrau. It's easier to say and spell than the Marienplatz Glockenspiel, is it not? And it's just a few blocks away.

So I think that's part of why this beer's special. It's not the most flavorful German Oktoberfest. I'd give that nod to Spaten. But, still, it's solid. Marzen beer's don't have to be amber and caramelly. They're the brewer's idea of what should be drank during Oktoberfest. And here's Hofbrau's version.

A light-honey colored body. a decent, bright white head. Smells of barley malt with a hint of grass. Taste is smooth yet full. There are definitely some hops that hit the back of the tongue. A nice balance, indeed.

No, this is not the most flavorful Marzen around, but if I were in Germany on a hot summer day, listening to um-pa-pa bands and swaying side to side with the other people at my table, this is probably what I'd be drinking.

More User Reviews:
Photo of sobuf
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Just a general comment and observation on some of the reviews of the German Oktoberfest on here. To say Spaten-Franziskaner, Paulaner, Warsteiner, Hofbrau, etc "are not good representations of the style" is an erroneous and quite snobbish, ignorant American view. Although all large breweries, those companies ARE Oktoberfest and are all that's served in the Munich beer tents. Far, far before American micro-breweries, craft brewers, and snobbish beer geeks, these styles epitomized what not only an Oktoberfest brew is, but their main line epitomized what German beer is. Before Papa Joe's IPA shack was sold all over the place, going to a German restaurant and having a Spaten on draft was beyond a treat. Now that we're all so spoiled, and 5000 beers in a store still isn't enough, we've cast off some of these larger European breweries to the curb and put them in the same class as a Miller. These companies ARE "the style". Some backyard hipsters operating in a 1000 sqft facility craft brewing are not "the experts" and leading what an Oktoberfest is. In fact no American brewery is. There's a huge difference between the German style and the American version. I look for authentic beers, and when it comes to Oktoberfest, the ONLY beers to drink are from Munich. The American versions are drain-pour. Sometimes it's just about the drinkability and being able to pound liter after liter and have fun. Not jack up the ABV to heightened levels, sell it for a premium, and make every bottle some ride on the wild side. Tis the Gemütlichkeit - ein prosit!

Photo of RoyalT
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – This one is light yellow in color with some mild carbonation. It looks more like a Helles Lager than an Oktoberfest. The head was modest and went down rather quickly.

Smell – This one smells like a grainy Helles, too. Where are the toasty malts?

Taste – Ah, a bit more in line with the style at the taste, but not much. There are some good caramel notes here but the grain is out of place.

Mouthfeel – A bit bigger than light-bodied. This one is almost refreshing and crisp.

Drinkability – This really wasn’t a bad bier, but it’s not even close to an Oktoberfest.

Photo of JMD71
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden with little head. Looks effervescent...

Smell: Malty, earthy with hints of fresh mown hay

Taste: Yeasty & crisp with solid malty base. Slight hop bite in the finish...

Mouthfeel: Smooth, clean feeling. Light to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Easy drinking. Can see these going down fairly quickly.

Comments: This was an average Oktoberfestbier. I've had many better, but I think a lot of the problem with this one was its freshness. I questioned its freshness, but there was no date on the bottle to tell. I think this would be a much different beer had it been sampled in Munich fresh. By the time it made it to my LBS, it tasted sort of tired....

Photo of generallee
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into a small mug. The bottle has no freshness date or ABV but on the back label there is a short description of the Munich Oktoberfest and how Hofbrau Munchen (HB) is one of the breweries granted the privilege of supplying beer at the fest.

Appearance: It has a golden clear body with some carbonation and a tall bright white head on top. The head is light and soapy so it settles quickly. As I drink it does make some lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is pale and biscuity with lots of dried leafy hop notes.

Taste/Palate: Mostly I get the dry leafy hops with some very light pale biscuity maltiness with just a slight nutty character. The finish is dry with lots of leafy hop spice and mild nutty notes hanging onto the tongue of a bit.

Notes: Overall it was a nice but an average Oktoberfest beer in my opinion. For me it was a little bit of a let down since I really enjoyed their Dunkel, Hefeweizen and Hells.

Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz green bottle pours a clear, pale yellow body with a one inch white head. Retention is fair, and there are some streaks of patchy lace left on the glass. Aroma is hoppy for an O'fest, with spicy and floral notes dominating a subdued caramel malt base. Mouthfeel is light bodied, with considerable carbonation and a slight hops bite. Taste is somewhat like a pils or helles, with a dominant floral bitterness. Caramel maltiness is very understated. Not exactly to style, but very drinkable. No skunky character from the green bottle, thankfully.

Photo of Billolick
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light yellow/golden, minor head and lacing. Nose is toasted malt. Not the most exciting style for me. This one has less malt and more hops then expected. Notes of spicy honey and maybe some melon. Balanced and quite drinkable. Quite full bodied. Reasonably enjoyable sessioner, fairly tasty brew.

Photo of Mora2000
2.69/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is strongly skunky with nothing else coming through. There is clearly something wrong with the beer, but if the brewer chooses to use green bottles, they deserve the bad reviews when the green bottle causes skunking. The flavor is not as skunky and I get some grain and corn. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Disappointing.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Oktoberfest hangover is nearly over in Kitchener-Waterloo, but there is still evidence of the festival lingering around the cities. Case in point, a large stash of this Oktoberfest brew still available at pretty much every LCBO in town.

Poured into a nonic. Pale golden, with visible carbonation lasting for quite some time. A 1/2 inch head that survives quite well in the form of a ring and thin layer. Some flecks of lacing - decent retention actually. Not the robust brew I was hoping for, but it still looks just fine.

The nose is extremely mild and hard to discern. Cereals, malty sweetness, a touch of hop bitterness. Truth be told, there's not much separating this brew's nose from that of the many Eastern European macro lagers that grace the LCBO's shelves.

Surprisingly sweet and fruity, with notes of apple and pear. The sweetness is quite overpowering, but eventually diminishes to a tart, peppery hop finish. A touch of warming alcohol here. Drinkable, nothing offensive or artificial, but the sweetness is almost cloying.

Thin, watery (actually a plus for an Oktoberfest brew), but with tart, aggressive carbonation that nips at the back of the tongue.

I had this last year and wasn't that impressed with it; after a year, my tastes haven't changed much on this brew. For me, it struggles with the basic test of an Oktoberfestbier: "Would I want to drink a LOT of this in one sitting (i.e., a stein or MaB worth)?" A big no on that one - the sweetness is simply too much, and there isn't much else to distinguish this brew from other Euro lagers to make it worth my while. I can drink this, and a pint isn't bad, but marking for the style, it's not one I'd pick up again.

Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright gold pour with a fizzy white head. Metal, caramel, sugar, and grass in the aroma. Butter, wheat, malt, and a slight Heineken hop skunkiness. Look, I know this beer is not supposd to be as full-bodied as the others as this is to be drunk is large quantities at Oktoberfest. I just wish it tasted better.

Photo of deebo
2.13/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-served in a stein this one has much less color than most-definitely more golden than amber. The white head quickly is gone leaving hints of lace on the glass.
S-not a lot going on here-very light on the sweet malt, very pale
T-same as aroma
M-fairly clean finish, otherwise pretty average across the board
O-Really surprised that even on tap this one has some hints of skunk. One of my least favorite marzens

Photo of Swedes21
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - beer pours with an excellent amount of head, as well produces a smell of hops right off the bat. Clear beer with minimal carbonation, however, present.

Smell - some hops and grassy smell, little alcohol smell however not over dominating.

Taste - very clean taste, some hopes based tasting, goes down very smooth with almost no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - beer does carbonate and provide a nice mouth taste. Same taste except last a little longer.

Drinkability - I am learning, but for a 6%+ alcohol rated beer, i found this to be very clean and refreshing. I am most certainly impressed with the "freshness" this beer offers and could drink a few in a sitting.

Photo of ehammond1
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Clear orange and amber with a moderately sized near-white head. Lines and spots of lacing left down the glass. Nearly perfect per the style.

Grassy and earthy hop character combined with a touch of caramel malt. There's a hint of the dishrag/wet sponge aroma I despise, but it's faint.

Fortunately, I'm far more of a fan of this beer's taste than of it's aroma. There's quite a bit of toasted and caramel malt, a bit of sweetness, and some sharp, yet grassy hops. Overall, this seems like a classic, incredibly drinkable Oktoberfest.

Medium mouthfeel, ample carbonation. Wonderfully drinkable. Near perfect per the style.

A simple, classic Oktoberfest. I would happily drink this again.

Photo of MattyG85
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz. green bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear pale golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: Pretty grainy. Bready and moderately toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, cereal grains, hay, grass, and crackers. Decent amount of noble hops add a little spice. Has a moderate skunked scent from the green bottle. Decent smell overall.

Taste: Has that bready, caramel driven taste typical of Marzens. Toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and crackers. Notes of grass, hay, and husk. Decent earthy hop presence with some spicy noble hops. A little bit of skunk lingers throughout.

Mouthfeel: Body on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is moderate. Crisp and pretty smooth.

Overall: A decent tasting Marzen, but its held back by the skunking from the green bottle. I would be interested to see how this tastes from the tap.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a light copper with a thin white head leaves specks of lacing around my pint. Aroma has sweet apple notes with German noble grassy hop notes not the typical roastier nutty American interpretation of this style but okay. Flavor has a clean mild sweetness low hop bitterness but with some good hop flavor that grassy herbal character is great with a touch of cereal presence, I think I could drink this by the liter at an actual O fest much more so than the caramel malt infused versions. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied good sturdy carbonation flows smoothly. Drinkability is quality like I said not as complex as or quaffable as some but you could put a few of these away with no worries.

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Golden/straw color. Active carbonation. Thin retention. Decent lacing.

Smell - Honey, coriander, oats, other citrus?

Taste - Sour citrus, honey, and malts then a hoppiness comes through.

Mouthfeel - Light mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated. Dry finish

Drinkability - Easy to drink, but I'd rather have other octoberfest beers.

Photo of rastaman
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent little beer, but for me it was a bit too sweet. Very sweet maltyiness, almost has a honeyed flavour, low bitterness, and lacks any bite to the flavour, quite good however, but yes, a little sweet, probably not the best example of the style.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a golden straw yellow crystal clear body with a thin soapy head. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that rise to the surface.

S- This beer has a slight sweet but mostly dry honey malt smell with a faint Munich malt smell and a noble hops and sulfur finish that makes me think of a good Kolsch beer. As it warms the hops bitterness and sulfur dominate over the grain smells.

T- The bitey noble hop taste has a fresh Munich malt taste following it. There is a slight sweet sulfur note with a tangy bitterness of hops in the finish. It is a little bit of club soda in the finish.

M- The light mouthfeel has a fizz finish that boost the hop bitterness a bit.

D- This beer has a fresh malt flavor but it is overpowered by the noble hop bitterness that doesn't have much depth. I like the malt flavors and if the hops were a little lighter or had some depth to them this would be a good session beer.

Photo of Brenden
2.94/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best thing about this beer is the appearance. A big, thick mass of a head looks like bubble bath and has good retention. It fades after a time, leaving some lacing that's respectable, though thinner and less voluminous than I'd expect from the head. The color is a very clear dark yellow.
I've never had one of there and not gotten a skunky aroma. Grains form the back with a weak malt.
The outright flavor is grains, pretty crisp and clean, but the skunk remains. There's a light malt presence and minimal hops.
The body is on the light side of medium. There's a nip of crispness, but otherwise no real impression in the mouthfeel. Pretty tame.

Photo of schuim
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this beer yesterday in a tasting session. A fresh bottle that poured a filtered blond beer with a malty flavour. A little fruityness in it to.

The taste was a little warming and started with sweet malt followed by a hoppy dry bitterness. A beer that is made for drinking in half liters, it becomes well.

Photo of zjungleist
2.87/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours yellow with a poor white head. Smells grainy, with a hint of apples, and some skunk is present too. The taste is slightly tart and sweet, with some bitterness, and some skunk and sulphur tones in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is suprisingly heavy, but not extremely so. Drinkability is decent despite it's flaws. Ok, so this is oktoberfest beer, right? This beer would pass for pilsner. Probably a pretty fair pilsner, but oktoberfest? This almost seems like a mix up at the brewery to me. I gotta give low marks, just based on style, not so much because it's a bad beer.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Incredible craggy snow white head sitting on top of a light straw colored clear beer.
Aroma a tiny bit of skunk but I think that may just be the scent of the lager yeast that I am not used to. Otherwise aromas of biscuit malts is very pleasant.
Taste of biscuits, sweet light malts, light hop drying on the tale-end. Nice.
Aftertaste is slightly sweet still..but clean and refreshing.
This is a good Marzen...mine might be slightly skunked (Damn! I wish Europe would stop using clear or green bottles)....I am not sure because normally I don't like lagers anyway. But when I get past the slight (and I mean slight) funk, this is very pleasant and I will enjoy finishing off the 6 pack.

Photo of biboergosum
3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. The titular celebration is well over for another year, but the beer lives on.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, aggressively foamy, and frothy eggshell white head, which leaves some decent random webbed lace around the glass as it evenly ebbs away.

It smells of grainy, slightly bready pale malt, stale lemon juice, a hint of further drupe fruit, and rather perfume-heavy earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more gritty, grainy, cereal malt, a mixed bag of apple, pear, and lemon fruitiness, a more prominent leafy, grassy hoppiness, and a subtle metallic booziness.

The carbonation is soft, but tightly so, the body medium-light in weight, and maybe a tad watery in its perfunctory smoothness, all of which bears strange witness to a mild creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the hovering pilsner malts still doing their thing, bolstered by some lingering fruit salad, while the hops seem content in their day at the alcohol spa, Baden-Baden-style, the place so nice, they named it twice!

Another one of those German standards, where differentiation seems like a hard row to hew - it's difficult to not just proclaim 'yup, tastes very much like a real Bavarian Marzen', and leave it at that. But no, we have to go and talk about the headier than normal orchard fruit notes, the barely contained booze (which is technically a fair bit higher than average, no?), and the general zeitgeist of an offering that slowly, but surely grew on me by the end of the (import, hence the time lag) bottle.

Photo of mintjellie
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium gold with an orange tint; of shining clarity. Topped by a pillow of fizzy white head the quickly recedes to a thin coating over the body, leaving no lace behind. Grassy aroma with crackers, hints of lemon, and kiss of sulphur. A very faint whiff of caramel buried below. Tastes of biscuity pale malt with a touch of caramel. Sweet. A mild, but firm, grassy bitterness dries things out a bit in the finish. Approaching medium bodied, with spritzy carbonation. Not sure how well this fits the style, but as a strong pale lager it's really not bad.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A--Pours a decent two and a half finger frothy snow-white head that lasted pretty well and left some lacing. Body=do what now? This is the color of Budweiser, whih is to say pale goldenrod. Much, much lighter than I thought it would be, and than the style I thought dictated. Oh well.

S--Mostly sweetly alcoholic with hints of corn, pretty much a cloying astringency on the nose. I couldn't detect any hops.

T--Um, huh? I don't get it--this tastes like a slightly more hoppy, less watery MGD to me. Lots of corn and rice without much of a toast or roast in the malt coming through. The six pack tells me this was brewed under the German purity law, but I taste Crispix up front and throughout. Finishes clean and crisp with a hint of hop bitterness, but really, the complexity here is almost nil. Lots of sweet with the alcohol peeking through toward the end.

M--Thicker than an American macro, and less carbonated. Less metallic, too, though the generic flavor suggests this was made in steel tanks the size of Eastern Iowa. Actually the mouthfeel wasn't too bad, though thinner than I would expect for the style.

D--Well, yeah, I could polish off more than my fair share of these, but for about half the price I could have about the same experience with what I can find around the corner at a Bodega.

I paid ten bucks for six of these? Oh well, it's better than Corona.

to view more.
Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier from Hofbräuhaus München
78 out of 100 based on 1,155 ratings.