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Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OktoberfestbierHofbräu Oktoberfestbier

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BA SCORE
77
okay

517 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 517
Hads: 1,174
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 15.87%
Wants: 23
Gots: 128 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 517 | Hads: 1,174
Photo of steveh
3.94/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been enjoying a bounty of fresh HB Oktoberfest this season, so I thought I'd update my review from 6 years ago.

L -- Clear, bright gold with a long-lasting, firm white head.

S -- Mild DMS, yeasty bread, light spicy hops.

T -- Lightly sweet, bready malts up front and through the middle, finishing with a dry, lightly spicy hop character that lingers to the aftertaste with some very mild citrus notes. Yeastiness also lingers thru the aftertaste.

F -- The mouthfeel is soft and smooth up front to dry in the finish with a light-medium body.

O -- Freshness is key and definitely brings out flavor and body in this true Wies'n Festbier. It's definitely bigger and more complex than the HB Helles (of which I accused this beer of really being back in '09). This is a refreshing, highly drinkable beer -- even at 6.3 ABV.

*****
9, 16 2009 bottling. Definitely toward the Wies'n Fest style of Oktoberfest, but I already had a couple earlier in the week and was a little disappointed in the character -- so here's notes on a direct focus for review.

A -- Clear, pale straw gold color with a dense white head that holds well. 4

S -- Eek. Can smell some skunk at arm's length -- green bottle trouble. The skunk dissipated with the vigorous pour, but there's only some vague breadiness and hop spiciness coming through, maybe a hint of alcohol -- but it's more fusel or solvent than we'd like. Though it's light. Mild DMS with warming. 2

T -- Light, bready malt character up front that fades into the quickest hop note then the bread lingers and a mild touch of citrus. Not really rich in flavor as would be expected -- more Helles in character than a Festbier -- which isn't bad, just not what to expect from the label. 3

M -- Light body with a soft mouthfeel that turns very dry in the finish. Not impressed to style. 2

D -- Drinkability is definitely good, for a Munich Helles. Just a little disappointed in the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus on this one. I had a draft version at a bar that I thought was a little richer in flavor, but didn't take notes. I wonder if H-B pasteurizes their bottles, but not their kegs? 3.5
Total: 2.82 (2,141 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
4.37/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one came in a pony keg that we found in the beer cave at a local Virginia Total Wine. It was an easy choice to make after we discovered the other options only included watery brews with less than 4.5% ABV. This Oktoberfest was imported from Germany and arrived in a 5 liter mini-keg as I call it with 6.3% ABV.

Look-This is the first beer I’ve ever given a 5 out of 5 on the look, because it has the most beautiful golden color ever. If you would turn the lights off and shine a flashlight through this brew you will see something more beautiful than 18k gold glinting in the fresh autumn light at sunset. The clarity of this elixir is complete and would even inspire the bards and muses to vibrate and tingle with joy as the perfect autumn colors induced frolicking and merry-making.

Smell-The smell jumps from the glass and is definitely malt-forward, but with a thick honey-based malt backbone flecked with roasted walnut and ancient yeast strains. It has a very indistinct smell of grassy dank hops that float high above the malty beauty and even as a hop head, I must say that this brew is perfect.

Taste-The taste is a wet dream. It is wet, because it is moist and refreshing, but it is a dream because it is much more than I had anticipated. I literally thought that the taste would be dominated by a watery yeast flavor that was unsatisfying. Instead, I got honey-suckle and molasses, toasted walnut, and subtle dank grassy hops. The Germans really know how to make a great celebration brew for Oktoberfest.

Mouthfeel-It is so smooth that it makes Egyptian silk feel like sandpaper and this is a hyperbole that I would scarcely employ. The carbonation is fine-tuned and pleasant as well as fizzy and appropriately timed in its release towards the end when the hops are the most notable.

Overall-I would give this beer an extraordinarily high score, because it is unique and refreshing, well-balanced, and crisp. It is refreshing, moist, golden, delicious, mildly sweet, smooth, silky, beautiful, unique, and inspires joy. I’d buy more of this as the weather turns from humid heat to cool refreshing happiness that inspires dancing in the light of a full moon and the aroma of the reds and oranges of the falling autumn leaves. Cheers! (2,259 characters)

Photo of hophead723
4.32/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Me and my brother got a 5 Liter pony keg from a Total Wine in Virginia. We enthusiastically tapped it with the integrated taps and began gulping it down soon after. It was dispensed into clear glass mugs that gave justice to its clarity and color.

Look: The most clear and beautiful beer I have ever encountered. It pours an astounding gilded amber gold color with a smooth white head that perches atop the brew like a royal crown. When held to the light there are beautiful tendrils of light that dance on the wall mystically. It casts a golden hue reminiscent of the setting sun, with a clarity that mocks the finest of diamonds. Amber itself is mocked by this beer's amazing appearance.

Smell: The malt-forward aroma bursts from the glass, yielding a plethora of honey like aromas that represent the excellence of the brew itself. At first I perceive an unfiltered honey aroma with flourishes of grassy noble hops which were undoubtedly used in the brewing of this beer. The smell provokes thoughts of festivity and joy.

Taste: An upfront rush of honey and sunshine are followed by a backbone of delicate grassy noble hops. Well balanced yet somewhat sweet, this beer sports a laundry list of malty deliciousness which is best enjoyed with the company of good friends.

Feel: Crisp, smooth, refreshing, juicy, and mildly dry with a bony end and succulent beginning. At the end of each enjoyable gulp this beer begs you to take another drink. An overall refreshing and quenching beer that really is made for festivals.

Overall: Yet another literally shining example of the excellence of Hofbrau. They really know how to brew an excellent beer. They use centuries old yeast and know-how that invariably results in masterpiece after masterpiece. This particular example is best enjoyed in the company of friends, with an easy of drink ability that is unsurpassed worldwide. (1,882 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
2.41/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Scent of somewhat sweet malt and mild spicy hops. Taste of the same sweet malt, corn and a bit of a metallic flavor on the finish. Bland and thin bodied. (153 characters)

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.01/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hofbräu Oktoberfest.

Getting started early this year. Mini keg is a bit old, but I found it for $10 so I said what the hell how bad can it actually be?.

Look - Clear copperish golden with a one finger slightly off-white head that sticks around for a few minutes and eventually turns into cloud formations around the glass. No lacing is left anywhere. 3

Smell - Bready and quite sweet. The Munich in this one really stands out and takes dominance. Grapes after it sits a minute or two. 2.75.

Taste - Wow this is one sweet beer. Not picking up much else of the bready malts in this aspect. It is virtually all straight up grape juice to be quite honest. 3.

Feel - Medium though well rounded body with medium to high carbonation. Finishes very dry. 3.5.

Overall - Something about authentic German beers always leads to a sweeter brew than its American counterpart. I have surely had better examples of the style, but it ain"t bad for the price I paid. 3.

Just because it's a German original style, from Germany doesn't make it fantastic. (1,042 characters)

Photo of pugbutter
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 3.75

The moment I opened the bottle, the carbonation poured over the top for about 3-4 straight minutes. No wonder it feels so flat when I actually get to drink it.

Tastes nice, though. (181 characters)

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has light bread crust nose, pouring brilliant gold to almost straw. 1” snow white foam cap dissipates to a film. Good lace. Creamy smooth, lighter body, medium to a little less, carbonation a little above medium. Crisp. (221 characters)

Photo of supervike
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale yellow color and good foaming. Slight skunk/sweet smell. Taste hops on the backend. Hardly any carbonation, almost flat. Not bad, but is outshined by many other Octoberfest type brews. (192 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had been down to D.C. to visit my aunt and uncle this past summer and we visited on of their local Total Wine & More locations which is where I came across a 5-L mini-keg (CAN) of this beer. It is the website's policy that if it is not a pressurized mini-keg, then it is CANsidered a CAN, making it a CANdidate for The CANQuest (TM)! Yay! I brought it back to their house and since my mother and uncle were due for a visit in a few weeks, it fell to them to bring it back for me. I then made arrangements to bring it over to a local bottle shop to share as I did not want 5 Liters to myself and it was dated to expire "04.03.2015".

From the CAN: "Imported from Munich/Germany"; "The Original Brew of Bavarian Kings!"; "Since 1589"; "The world['s] biggest festival, the 'Munich Oktoberfest' attracts over 6 million visitors in the course of 16 days. Since 1810[,] this annual event in Munich, Germany, promotes the best in Bavarian food, entertainment and brews. Hofbräu München is an official supplier to this event. It uses the experience and knowledge of its brewmasters to create this special seasonal brew for just this event. It is brewed according to the German Purity Law containing only water, barley malt, Bavarian hop and culture yeast. This is the same product that HB serves in its tent at the Munich Oktoberfest and is now available to you." There were also instructions for tapping, but I am not going to transcribe them here.

Speaking of tapping, I had not had a 5-L mini-keg (CAN) for a while and this was only my third or fourth, so venting was initially problematic as I twisted it more than a quarter-turn, which was too far. When I realized my mistake, I backed it down and got a momentary spray of beer until it pressurized. I pulled out the spigot and readied my glass before twisting the spigot to the left. Beer began flowing unabated! This produced two fingers of fluffy, bone-white head with good retention. Color was Pale-Yellow (SRM = 1 - 2) with NE-plus quality clarity. Nose had a biscuity maltiness. Mouthfeel was medium. Taste was malty, but not cloying as many beers in the style are. Instead, it had a bready, nutty flavor that was a pleasant surprise. Finish was semi-dry, not very sweet at all. Everyone who got a taste agreed that it was less sweet than expected, so whether a result of inadvertent aging or by design, I feel like it was quite worthwhile. (2,398 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.39/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

So, this is a re-rate for me. Last year, this was one of my least favorite festbiers. I'm sure several things explain the difference in experiences: shifting palate, fresher bottles, etc. This year's bottle was about as fresh as we can get German imports in my part of the country, seven weeks old or so. Gorgeous beaming gold body. People talk about "glowing" hazy IPAs. No, this is glowing. Just gorgeous, nice dollop of foam atop that settles to an ever-so-thin layer with little lacing. Smell is a touch of DMS at first, mixed in with some nice bready malt and a dash of lager yeast. Palate is excellent, just excellent, tons of rich barley malt, like you can almost imagine the dry, cracked malt sitting in the palm of your hand, smelling its bready goodness, crunching it between your teeth. There's a hint of sweetness within the malt, but it's ably countered by a light dose of hops. Like so many well done German brews, it goes down like water. Really delicious water. This is an exceptional brew when found fresh. I can only imagine what it must be like to drink it by the liter in a tent in Munich. (1,109 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; pale gold in color; 1 finger white head that receded to a thin cap; nice lacing;

S: light malt for a moment, then sulfury;

T: grape nuts; sulfur comes at mid-palate; light bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: closer to a pilsner than an Oktoberfest; (312 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.4/5  rDev +1.8%

In pint glass from mini-keg

Appearance: pours a thick frothy white head that slowly falls with mild lacing. Color is clear light golden with mild streaming carbonation.
Aroma: lightly toasted barley malt, grass & floral hops
Mouthfeel: light and crisp with a pleasant mostly dry finish.
Flavor: bready malt, a bit of vanilla, some mild grass & floral hops.
Overall: not outstanding but nicely dine and enjoyable. (418 characters)

Photo of dabarton
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

A crisp, clean, excellent example of the German Octoberfest style. A lot of these reviews miss the fact that German Octoberfest beers are different from American versions. This beer is excellent to world class, not merely OK. (226 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.5/5  rDev +34.7%

Poured from the Euro-green bottle into a shaker pint glass. A moderate pour produces a big sticky off-white head that persists. The beer is a crystal clear, pale, slightly amber golden color, with light carbonation.

Wonderful aroma of light toasted malt- I'm thinking mainly Vienna malt. Grainy, bready and hint-of-honey aroma-flavors are the main highlights. A creamy mouthfeel complements just a hint of lingering hops bitterness with a light floral quality. Underlying everything is that unique mineral quality that never seems to be present in American beers.

This is just an awesome lager beer and a brand that literally defines the style. A must have/try. (669 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
3.61/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear golden straw color. A fingernail length head. Aroma is malty sweet. Taste of light malt and light hops. The feel is perhaps my favorite aspect of this beer. It has a lively carbonation. It is crisp and refreshing and light bodied. Not very complex, yet overall, a decent beer. (295 characters)

Photo of SliceofKimbo
4.25/5  rDev +27.2%

What sobuf posted is nearly 100% accurate. My only correction is that Warsteiner should not be on the list of Bavarian beers. It's from the North, not Munich. Otherwise, the comments are spot on. Criticizing any of the Munich Märzen beers as "not representative of the style" is laugh out loud absurd. An apt comparison would be claiming that Maker's Mark or Woodcord Reserve don't represent Kentucky bourbon - they ARE Kentucky bourbon, for crying out loud. Same for Chimay and Belgian Trappist Ale, Bavarian breweries and Hefeweizens, etc.

This is an excellent example of an Oktoberfest beer. I'm having one at this very moment, and it's delicious. (653 characters)

Photo of Reegze79
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Poured perfectly clear and golden. Aroma was malty and earthy. The body was a bit lighter than the typical American renditions but the beer was perfectly balanced and the familiar with the malty sweetness and noble hops coming through nicely. (242 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: September 20, 2014... GLASSWARE: Saranac willbecker...OCCASION: PSU/UMass--a Mass-acre to be?... APPEARANCE: hazy golden yellow body akin to a pilsener; steady upward bubbles; quite light for a fest; pale white head laces in tongues... AROMA: highly hopped in Saaz, apparently; besides the ping, some floral hops and grassy notes; not the fest expected... PALATE: active, vibrant and commanding--the aftertaste lingers with sweetness.....TASTE: sweet as a corn and biscuit combo can be; malty to the taste buds, but not as round as it is metallic to the nostrils; some wheat grass ...OVERALL: as Oktoberfests go, a surprise--much lighter and less malty than expected in its finish; perhaps drinking too many American fests has misled my expectations; still, balanced and worthwhile.... (798 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.21/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

yep. these ARE the original brews we drank years ago while America was languishing in Zima and Bartles n Jaymes....... I have had poor opinion of these recently but they truly are the originals. I miss being able to guzzle a hugely tasteful, hearty brew like this. gulping this down, I had a flashback to my Spaten days at Old World in Huntington Beach. anyone remember Club-Weisse? this aint it, but dang it provided a great flashback! prosit! (444 characters)

Photo of Mongrel
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Crisp and perfectly balanced, with plenty of honey and flower nectar notes. A little green and spicy on the finish - nice use of noble hops. Much more floral than you would expect an Octoberfest beer to be. This one is my favorite of the style, just a little above Weihenstephan's. (281 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours a clear straw color with a small white head, some of which remains on top and as a collar until the end. Good carbonation.

The smell is straw and wet hay; grassy spicy hops and earthy.

The taste follows the nose with straw and lemongrass. There is a light caramel malt background and light peppery hops on the back end. The aftertaste is crisp and clean with a little grassy grittiness in the background.

Overall this is a good, crisp tasting lager however it tastes more like a Pilsner than an Oktoberfest brew. That being said I would drink it again. (563 characters)

Photo of ssmack
3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden yellow looking like thousands of other beers.
Two inch white head that became hilly. OK carbonation. Very good lacking and retention.

Fresh, mild German hops aroma.

Tastes of mild grassy hops over a light carmely malt.

On the light side of a medium feel. Nice and crisp.

Overall just OK. (304 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%

Definitely on the paler side of the festbier family. Golden bright and exceptionally clear. Pours a good sized head with reasonable retention.

Complex nose with a fair amount of hops. Smells like a maltier pilsner.

Malty but balanced from the start, nice level of bitterness in the finish that isn't overpowering but encourages another sip. Slight lingering bitterness, but otherwise very clean.

Medium body and med-high carbonation. No astringency or warming. Clean on tongue as it is in the flavor.

Not what comes to mind with an Oktoberfest kind of beer, but a super drinkable stronger lager. Green bottle makes it seem a little bush league, though. (670 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.46/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. A golden straw color with a light film of white bubbles on top and a pleasing enough aroma, notably floral hops with an unexpected whiff of tropical fruit (lychee?), grapes, corn flake, and rather bready malts. Unfortunately, the taste was more pedestrian, subdued, and dare I say "macro" ... An understated graininess, maybe a very light pear fruitiness, crisp and dry with aggressive carbonation, thin body, and vaguely grassy noble finish. I agree that it is not really anyone's place to claim that this beer somehow fails to capture style guidelines. There are lighter Oktoberfests. However, to my palate this compares unfavorably with other German examples such as Ayinger. I'd prefer the flavors to pop more after the tease on the nose. (785 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.82/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

11.2 oz (GREEN >_<) bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear straw color. The head is a finger high, with a white shade and a creamy texture. Retention isn't that good, but it leaves behind nice lacing. (3.75)

Smell: *sigh* It's fairly skunked. When I try to focus away from the skunk (it's hard to do), it smells like a pretty typical wiesn, which means it has a combination of sweet, bready malts and a minor noble hoppiness. For those of you who don't know what a wiesn is, it's basically a light-colored oktoberfest and bears a resemblance to a stronger Munich helles lager, whereas the marzen (AKA the variant most people think of when told to describe a fest beer) is amber-colored and very caramel-esque in its flavor tones.

Anyways, skunk bad, skunk real bad. (2.25)

Taste: A fairly simple beer: it starts with notes of white bread and table sugar, while the finish is vaguely hoppy. I'm also getting touches of bubblegum. The flavor doesn't seem as badly skunked here; in general, it's not my kind of mar...oops, I mean wiesn. But by no means is it a bad fest beer. (3)

Mouthfeel: When I don't focus on its initial sweetness, I find it to be dry. Really dry, actually. And that's good! This is the kind of beer that should be easy to put down. Carbonation is medium. (3)

Overall: I really dig a good fest beer: they're all about drinking mug after mug in rapid succession, without a care in the world. This can get the job done, but you'd have to overlook the skunk first, and that's hard to do. But hey, a keg will be skunk-free...just saying in case those of you reading this review still want to try it. (2.75)

2.84/5: Even without taking the skunk into consideration, I'd still prefer a good marzen over this one (1,744 characters)

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Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier from Hofbräuhaus München
77 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.