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Hofbräu Original | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
474 Reviews
For Trade:
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München
Germany | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 1,454
Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic beer.

Just a slight notch below Weihanstephaner Original. A bit more raw.. more grassy and unrefined is how I would compare it. In fact sometimes I would prefer this to it. Not available in my area so I only get it when my parents bring it in so it may be a superior value pricewise.

A must have for any fans of the style.

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Photo of eckk_rachel
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : Golden Color, Clear Bubbly Head

Smell : Earthy, Bread, Nothing too Strong

Taste: Very very light, not a great flavor profile, lemon notes

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Photo of e_creed
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: honey colored. Nice foam head.
Smell: faint, earthy, hints of honey and lemon, faint smell of skunk
Taste: Very light with some bitterness - easy to drink.

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Photo of Kristie_Duve
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Lots of foam on initial pour. Little flavor, went down very smooth. Somewhat watery to me with no aftertaste. I would not drink this beer again. Earthy undertones left me with no great flavor profile.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served cool to cold from 500ml brown (not green!) bottle into straight glass.

L) Golden colour, crystal clear, bubbly white head that very quickly dissipates to a film. Very few visible rising bubbles.

S) A bit of a let down, smells a bit like any other mass market lager, and not a Munich Helles.

T) Light lager malt, a pleasant bit of bitterness. Way off the balance that you get from Augustiner etc.

F) Very nicely fizzy, a bit of bitterness bite, the best aspect of this beer.

O) A disappointment being as it is perhaps the most famous Munich Helles, but this is from a bottle and I can't remember complaining when I was stood on the table necking a Mas of this in the Hofbrauhaus,. All I can say is go to the Hofbrauhaus and drink some, you will be happy. If you are looking for a bottle of Helles, go Augustiner.

 827 characters

Photo of OldBrewer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle.

L - 2 finger head, which reduced to one finger after 1-1/2 minutes. Some foam on surface for entire drink. Lots of lacing. Very clear, golden colour. Lots of carbonation, like champagne (small bubbles).

S - faint - earthy, bready.

T - malty, rich, bready, earthy. Some melanoidin (likely decocted).

F - medium bodied, well-blanced, lots of carbonation, crips.

O - a very enjoyable, quality beer. Will definitely drink again.

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Photo of Galgari
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear and bright golden color with nice but fast disappearing head and minimal lacing. The smell is rather neutral with some fruit notes. Taste is light and refreshing with the hints of bread and light citrical aftertaste.
All in all very nice and balanced beer, surely will go back to it.

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Photo of stevoj
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Light, tangy helles from Hofbrau. Light grassy and citrus elements in the aroma, some grapefruit in the taste. Appearance is kind of flat, almost no head. Very drinkable, and light enough for the warmer months.

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Photo of Dravin
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Sam Adam's "Perfect Pint". Bottle code of L 321 O.

Look -- 3 fingers of white head atop a crystal clear sea of pale straw. It leaves nice lacing but the head retention leaves a little to be desired.

Smell -- Biscuity malt, grassy hops, hints of lemon, and some mineral notes and a very faint whiff of skunk.

Taste -- As the nose with a light bitterness and a touch spicy. A veritable ode to barely with a backup of hops.

Feel -- Moderate body and lively carbonation leaves it crips, clean, dry, and very quaffable.

Overall -- A good helles. I just wish I could try it fresh/on tap and I suspect that hint of skunk in the nose is a result of the beer being a victim of it's green bottle. Without that hint of skunk I'd rate higher in my book.

 784 characters

Photo of AnalogReigns
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic German beer. Needs to be very fresh (which is hard to find, from a bottle, in the USA). Big frothy head, fun to drink through...and get on the tip of your nose. Very clear, light, yellow appearance. Head leaves lacing on the glass(sign of a well made beer). Smells of light malt, and some crisp hops.

Taste is basic beer--but quality--very unlike Bud or Miller (which really are the US versions of light helles lager). I know this style is my Bavarian friends' favorite style---but, I think they just see beer as an accessory to friends and long Stamtisch-ing over table....still, all German beer styles are classic.

Given all the exotic beers out there, this one is basic. Kind of like basic (European) white bread.

Solid, thickish, mouth feel, which contrasts with the gentle balanced malt taste. Easy, crisp finish.

OMB (Olde Mecklenburg Brewing) needs to do a Helles again---as they could do (even) better than this.


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Photo of Assman
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly refreshing beer great after doing chores or lawnmowing.
A summertime staple in my garage fridge. I usually try to buy them in the large brown bottles.

 162 characters

Photo of Caleb_Varebrook
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank out of 1L mug at Old German Beer Hall with Ry. She's awesome so that helps the beer out. Extremely good for a light beer. #GoodCompany #PrettyCompany

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Photo of Catracho5
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a stein

A: Pours an honey orange color with a white head, lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom, some slight lacing, big frothy head when poured and has retained about a 1 finger head.

A: Bready, malty, grassy, grainy, earthy, touch of honey, not getting any floral hop aromas, smells good.

T: Malty, bready, earthy, grassy, hint of lemon and honey, aftertaste is malty and bready.

M: Light, crisp, has a frothy mouthfeel, very easy on the palate and very drinkable.

O: This beer is solid, nothing impressive but definitely doesn't disappoint. I can really taste the quality in the beer, but nothing really pops. Probably won't seek this out again but definitely would not refuse if offered.

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Photo of MACrist
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

LOOKS: Ultra clear and golden with small bubbles rising slowly. Off white, 1 inch head that dissipated in about 5 minutes leaving a thin layer on top of the beer. Leaves a mild lacing down the Pilsner glass.
AROMA: Pungent grassy-grainy hops. No skunk that I'm picking up. The smell is similar to Pilsner Urquell, but not as punchy.
TASTE: Bread, Grass, and grain. Nothing off, or skunky. Pleasant beer.
MOUTHFEEL: Very dry the whole way through the sip. Medium thin body. Carbonation is nice, not overkill or champagne like.
OVERALL: Much better than I was expecting. A bit of a 'one' note beer, but pleasant enough. The green bottles always make me hesitate buying, but I got a single to try. No bottling date, though, so buyer beware.

 738 characters

Photo of lisiate
2.09/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Something was dreadfully wrong with the bottle I had. The beer looked okay, bright and gold with a fine head, but the smell was off putting and there was a dreadful, metallic overtone to the taste which was unpleasant. Maybe it hadn't traveled well and had been poorly stored? The best before was only two weeks away. Very hesitant to try again.

 346 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Geared up, yellow and gold pour, nice 1.2" pristine white head. skunky aroma, more helles and lagers should embrace

Taste, noble hops. Heavy carbonation, decent hopping, mild lager effects on the mouthfeel. Mild sweetness. Relative dry finish, lemony in the smallest way. Overall, a decent representative of the style. Certainly fits summertime more than it does winter round these parts.

A little pricey but it does come from the other side of the world, so transportation costs money for sure.

 500 characters

Photo of Kevin_Langford
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I was actually not as impressed with this beer as I expected and hoped to be. The smell was a bit stale and sour. The taste was moderately better but had a bad aftertaste - slightly sour. The feel was smooth, but as the taste wasn't my personal favorite, it was harder to drink. I respect and enjoy other brews from this brewery, but this one wasn't my favorite.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: November 21, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Paulaner pokal... OCCASION: a double review Sunday... APPEARANCE: lively, bubbly body that light gold; head is snow white, fluffy and a bit soapy, with swirling arches of lacing... AROMA: doughy and flowery, with a light fragrance of perfume; delicate and almost apologetic in its approach... PALATE: clean, crisp and light in body; texture is smooth...highly drinkable...TASTE: nicely balanced hops and malts produce a mellow, subtly sweet experience; the bubblegum in the yeast is appreciable; malts are grainy and cereal, almost toasted oats...the hops are soft, evoking fields of flowers... OVERALL: what one expects from a German Helles--a sharp-as-cheddar slicing through the palate, with a dry finish and some spiciness to boot...a beer whose great experience trumps its good individual aspects...

 850 characters

Photo of anon
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw gold, a one finger head and not much lacing; the appearance of a typical lager. Smell is pretty much grains up front and not much else. Taste is where this lager surpasses most on the market. Very earthy and bready, doughy, slightly caramely and malty. A bit chewy but overall very crisp and zingy, a clear cut lager that feels good on the tongue with decent carbonation but still goes down smooth. An excellent definition of a lager done right and one that can be enjoyed on both warm summer days and cool autumn evenings.

 543 characters

Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
1.75/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I was looking forward to trying this German beer. Afterward? Over rated. The green bottle gives this beer a poor taste that smacks of sour. The aftertaste was unappealing. The smell was not so appetizing and got worse as the beer warmed. I looked all over for the brown bottle that I see on the website, but it is nowhere to be found. Pass this one by in the store and go get a German beer that you have a history of liking.

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

Appearance is almost nothing more than that of an adjunct lager. However, it does have a golden glow that sets it apart. Aromas are grainy, grassy and slightly skunky. Taste and feel are spot on for style. Overall a highly enjoyable Hellen lager . . . One of the best I've had.

 277 characters

Photo of radshoesbro
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma - Moderately spicy hop aroma with pleasant grain. Minuscule amount of diacetyl.

Appearance - Clear golden straw. Fair head retention. Decent amount of bubbling due to carbonation.

Flavor - Moderate spice, straw, & homestyle biscuit. Finish is crisp and and the spicy hops and malt linger on the palate.

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Photo of haharight
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Light golden colour. Smells grainy. Taste of malts, earthy feel like grains. Leaves a bread like aftertaste. Very refreshing and well carbonated. Great beer, distinctive taste.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 liter at Hofbrau in Munich. About as forgettable a hells lager as you will find. Nothing really off, but nothing really good to say either. A bit bready, a touch of malt sweetness, crisp, light mouthfeel. Nothing I would seek out again.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A very tasty, well-balanced lager. Refreshing, crisp; the colour is a beautiful crystal-clear gold capped by some surprisingly persistent head and visible effervescence. Lots of crisp, biscuity malt character and a solid amount of hop aroma and flavour without a tremendous amount of hop bitterness. There's no star of the show here: it's all about how each of the elements comes together.

This is the lager that a lot of the adjunct-heavy major American brands should aspire to be.

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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.