1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,281 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,281
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 44
Gots: 183 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,281 | Reviews: 455
Reviews by GossageBrewery:
Photo of GossageBrewery
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Munich Helles from a 12 oz bottle into a ping glass. Poured a clear pale golden color, produced a thick white head, excellent retention and left a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of malted barley, fresh cut grass and floral hops. Light in body, this Helles is full of malted barley, fresh baked bread, and a hit of hops at the finish. Clean, crisp, refreshing and this is even better on Tap I have had the privilege of drinking this fresh at Hofbrauhaus in Munich, while i would say it was much better in person on tap- I enjoyed this bottled version very much. Prost!!!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ohiolager
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

i first had this brew about a year ago on my birthday. i instantly found a favorite. it has to be my favorite german imported lager.

the beer pours very nicely. a two finger head that stays around longer than i thought it would. gives way to minimal to no lacing. the appearance is not quite straw yellow but not quite gold either.

it smells like a fresh beautiful spring day. crisp, clear and refreshing. a little hint of skunk was found but most german lagers are a little skunky. maybe the green bottles?

it tastes great. at first a crisp grassy taste followed by a hoppy taste with a touch of honey. the after taste is hoppy with a touch of skunk. pardon my language but even the burps taste good. very crisp, very clean and nicely carbonated

mouthfeel is a little watery but at 5.1 abv its not an IPA. so i did not expect a thick feel. however this brew is all about the taste.

at $8.99 a six pack 11.2 oz bottles. there are craft beers at this price point with higher abv. but like i said this is about having an authentic munich specialty lager. worth every penny, if you ask me.

Photo of Kelby777
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured delicately into a pilsner glass. Temperature is about 35-37 degrees.

Appearance - Beautiful light golden color; one of the most handsome beers I've seen. Has a good one finger head, excellent lacing on the glass. Appears highly carbonated.

Smell - Skunky...

Taste - Crisp taste, bready, slightest of hops. Tastes even better with food.

Mouth feel - Plenty of carbonation, great texture, not too watery and not too thick. Just right.

Overall - This is a good beer, as it should be for the price. This beer has been around since the 1500's; WOW I'm impressed! I am a bit disappointed that the beer was slightly skunky, considering that this is one of the most famous beers in the entire world. I can't imagine what this beer would taste like on tap, but is still good from the bottle. My only advice to the Hofbrauhaus is to import your beer in dark bottles - you should know better. Otherwise, I'm glad I tried it and I would drink it everyday if I didn't have to pay over $11 for an 11.2 ounce six pack.

Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this out in a bier garten yesterday and it just seemed to hit the spot best out of all the brews I had.Poured a nice golden color with medium head that left some lacing,smell was slightly malty and very juicy fruity,very appetizing.Taste was a little fruity and grainy,very quaffable warm weather beer great for sitting outsied under the beer tent.

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – The body of this beer is absolutely brilliant. It is crystal clear and yellow in color with a tinge of orange and sports a nice white head.

Smell – The grain here is strong and heavily lagered. I can pick up a bit of sugary sweetness but mostly this is a grain bouquet.

Taste – The grain here is unabashed. It is just huge. There’s a lingering malty sweet finish, as there should be.

Mouthfeel – It’s not quite medium-bodied, but it’s big and extremely smooth.

Drinkability – This is why I wish I lived in Germany.

Photo of andyfrancis
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mason jar. Clear light gold with a snow white head. Just the sight makes me want a big soft pretzel.

Pretty standard pilsnerish aroma. Almost a little sourdough.

Much fuller flavor than I expected. I guess I've been conditioned by american beers of the same appearance being so watery. Bready malt, lightly backed with some german hop bitterness.

Medium bodied, light oily mouthcoating and lingering bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, not my favorite style by any means, but I can enjoy a few of these. I've never been to Oktoberfest or the Munich Hofbrauhaus, but I've had a few layovers in German airports and some mugs of this with some soft pretzels are always a bright spot on miserable travel days.

Photo of generallee
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into a Pilsener glass. The bottle has no freshness date or any info other than the style.

Appearance: It has a bright yellow body with very good clarity and some visible carbonation. The head is tall and full of soft white bubbles. Its retention is good as it slowly fades to a thin covering, that with a little swirl of the glass, lasts all the way to the last sip. On the glass it leaves behind some nice spotty lacing.

Smell: There are note of light pale malt notes with a solid floral/spicy/grassy hop presence.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor has a delicate sweet bready or sugar cookie like maltiness up front with a lemon meringue pie like undertone. Nice spicy/floral hop notes soon move in and add their bitterness and character. The hop character is in my opinion is in perfect balance to the malt. The finish has a good snappy, crisp and dry character that makes it extremely drinkable.

Notes: Again to sum up this beer it is well balanced, tasty and easy to drink. It makes for a good summer drinking beer and works well with a light snack of soft sour dough pretzels.

Photo of baw185
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent Munich Helles lager. One of those beers that taste much better on draft if able.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz green bottle with a no freshness date.

Appearance: Bright and sparkling pale golden colour, the big frothy white head does wins my eyes over.

Smell: Clean and fresh grassy aroma of “just milled” malt and slightly flowery hop oil.

Taste: The crispness is spot on and raises the refreshing level of this beer, a big mouthful of grain hits the palate with fresh cut hay and bitter noble hop flavours. Biscuity and slightly doughy flavours hit middle to end showing the freshness of the brew.

Notes: This lager has grown on me over the summer and has won a spot in my fridge, a plate of grilled bratwurst and braised cabbage went perfect with this brew.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is grain and grassy hops. The flavor is more of the same with some light malts and some grassy and slightly earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Byeast
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: poured a paler golden color with a medium sized white head.

Smell: some nice grains woth a touch of sweetness, grassy and lightly floral hop.

Taste: Very balanced and drinkable taste, good amounts of bready/ doughish/crakerish malts, mixed with a nice crisp grassy fresh hop, nice grains to the afterytaste. Extremely well crafted.

Mouthfeel: refreshing, medium bodied.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable beers iv'e had, the flavor and feel of this beer make me just want to chug! Im drinking it out of a mug but i wish i
was at the actual Hofbrauhaus in München with a huge 2 litre mug!

Gemütlichkeit!

Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap. Pours clear light gold with a minimal white head. Metallic and sour malt aroma. The taste is just like a pilsener. Light pale malt, a bit of saaz sweetness, and sharp metal. Very easy to put down a lot of these. Just not as as good as the hefeweizen.

Photo of dogfishandi
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz green bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint.

Pours out a very clear golden color, very small amount of sediment if you look hard enough. About one fingers worth of white head that fades to a thin yet retentive layer. Some nice sticky, sporadic lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles rushing to the top.

A bit skunky and bland. Mineral lager yeast and some grains.

Similar to the aroma. Mineral, almost sulfer lager yeast, sweet cereal grains, hints of butter, finishes with a bit of crisp hop bitterness.

Crisp, refreshing, light bodied. A bit watery.

Pretty standard lager. Only slightly better than most American macros, not something I would strive to drink again.

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

This is not my favorite style of beer but i figured I'd try to expand my palate and give it a try. Poured a very transparent pale yellow with a light white head.The Nose I quite enjoyed with very herbal/floral notes suggesting the dominance of hops over malt in this one. Taste is bright and fresh with a surprising amount of maltiness to the middle but ending in pure hops with tart evergreen flavors. A nice clean, quenching lager and one that has opened up my eyes to the more positive aspects of the style.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear yellow and gold pour, nice 2" deep pristine white head. Somewhat skunky aroma, more helles and lagers should be skunky.

Taste, noble hop presence? Heavy carbonation, decent hopping, mild lager aftereffects on the mouthfeel. Mild sweetness. Relative dry finish, you can pull some lemon out of it if you really look hard. Overall, a decent representative of the style. Certainly fits summertime more than it does winter.

A little pricey for the lack of ingredients, I guess the time it takes to make/cellar/lager a lager weighs into it, as well as the transportation issues, but still. . .

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear bright golden hue with an eggshell white head. Minimal lacing speckled around my glass. Aroma has a nice grassy/herbal spicy noble hop accent with hints of green bottle but nothing like the average Euro lager. Pale biscuit malts balance out the hops, flavor has a slightly metallic edge with a spicy h erbal hop note in the flavor. Mouthfeel is light bodied sturdy carbonation no off flavors left behind, nice hop burps after a couple sips. Refreshing and solid everyday drinking beer, this could definitely be a staple if cheap and readily available.

Photo of rastaman
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Promising aroma, sweetish start, relatively bitter, slightly hoppy finish, a bit of a chemically preservative taste in the finish, but very enjoyable, highly drinkable.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer has a thick sticky snow white head that sits on a golden yellow crystal clear body. There is a nice carbonation of bubbles gliding to the surface. The head pushes above the rim and last for most of the beer.

S- The light dry pale malt aroma has a slight sweet grain note to it and a sulfury sweetness in the finish.

T- This beer has a smooth soft taste of dry pale malt with a Munich malt flavor and a slight sweetness to it. There is an interesting taste that is like the smell of a new pair of leather gym shoes. It is odd and a bit out of place. The finish is a soft green hop hint but it is pretty light but very dry.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish that fills out the mouthfeel a bit. There is a light watery note that comes through stronger as the beer warms.

D- This beer has some nice malt and grain qualities but there are some off flavors that get in the way. I didn't mind drinking an American pint of this beer but I couldn't drink a full liter.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh uh, a green bottle. Thats like beer blasphemy these days, I hope it wasn't in the light to much.

Poured into the glass a clear golden blond with a big frothy head that falls back into the beer looking like white caps on the ocean.

Smell is light and malty with a little honey. The malts smell somewhat subdued kind of like the scent of grains right before they are milled.

The taste is sweet, malty and clean. A crisp flavor with a moderate spice in the finish. Nice carbonation that bites the tongue enticing you to drink more.

This is a great lager that grows on you as you drink. The green bottle be damned!! I like this beer. I can't wait to have a cold one this summer after mowing the lawn.

Photo of Brenden
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exactly what I expect a Munich Helles to look like, particularly one that's more likely to stick to tradition, this beer is a bright pale yellow-gold and plenty transparent. It brings up a nice froth of soft but very firm, pure white head that resides neatly at about one finger's height and takes plenty of time to recede. Some remains always, dropping behind plenty of patching as it does.
With a nice, light hops bitterness and a good supporting dry malt, plenty of grassy and flowery notes with a touch of perfume, this beer is the cleanest, most refined and, thus far, deepest representation of this delicate and likely difficult style that I've had. There's an aspect of the malt that isn't "grainy" and isn't exactly "wheaty," but something almost doughy through dry, maybe crackery, that's fairly unique set beside a real freshness to the hoppier notes. Very light sweetness of soft pale fruit flesh add something else to make a very complete beer.
Light and fairly crisp, with plenty of nip but lots of give as well, this beer is active but flows smoothly and easily. It's fluffy without being airy, and is really very nice to drink.

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

500ml bottle, at least they make 'em brown for the Canadian market.

This beer pours a clear, bright golden yellow colour, with two beefy fingers of puffy, loosely foamy white head, which leaves some circular bands of patchy, fuzzy lace around the glass as it recedes in an orderly manner.

It smells of grainy pale malt, raw cereals, a touch of field honey, mildly zingy lemon rind, and some softly weedy, grassy hops. The taste is more cereal-like grainy malt, a bit of lightly-toasted white bread, subtle overripe lemon peel, grassy, somewhat tangy hops, and a slightly stoney underlying mineral stripe.

The carbonation is perfunctory in its supportive workings, no more, no less, the body a decent medium weight, sturdy and working-man smooth. It finishes a tad off-dry, the graininess and understated grassy hops contending with a lingering honeyed sweetness.

Another of those German lagers, the kind where you start to wonder why you're wasting your time analyzing it, when a good chunk of your DNA has been co-opted by the general laid-back, but still stern, uh, pleasantness of this offering, and whether you should just get on with the drinking. I'm strongly inclined to just say 'Prost' to it all right now.

Photo of soper2000
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mixed sixers of some decent brews for only $5.00! How can I go wrong??? I scarfed this one up in one of my sixers. I was expecting another pale Euro lager and I was pleased when I popped the cap to smell something similiar to Vienna style lager only lighter in the malt aspect. The strength of the nose seemed to fade pretty quickly though. It poured a light golden color with a whispy white head on top. Taste was very clean with a pleasant noble hop bite present at the end. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel wasn't as thin as I was expecting (thank god). This could be a superb session beer and I'll definately be picking more of these up if I get into a lager kick anytime soon.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, golden yellow color with a white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Very little in the way of lace.

Smell - Aroma consists of grainy bread and honey malts, with a bit of grassy hop sitting beneath.

Taste - Flavor is predominantly light honey upfront, with a grainy malt malt backbone. Malt forward to begin, but by mid-taste the grassy hop character beings to cut through, then shows more presence near the finish. Good balance, though finishes more sweet than bitter.

Mouthfeel - Leans close to medium bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation. The sweetness leads to fantastic smoothness and drinkability; goes down nice and easy. One of the more impressive lagers in terms of mouthfeel.

Overall - Great all-around lager. Flavorful, without being cloying. If I were in the mood for a "honeyfied" sweet brew, I'd definitely buy this again.

Photo of DiUr
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden with a lovely textured head that recedes fast. Smell is full of grain, sweet malts and hops, with a hint of lemon peel. Quite a malt bomb for a lager, with hops balancing the sweetness and adding bitterness for a dry finish. Medium body and carbonation, which make for a good drinkability. Smooth, crisp, refreshing and tasty.

Not the finest of the Helles, but still a lager with lots of character and very well balanced. The one the likes of Heineken should look to.

Photo of GilGarp
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'Its full bodied, refreshing, and fine harsh aroma have made it world famous.' Not sure about the fine harsh aroma but that's what it claims on the label. Probably just an unfortunate translation...

Pours from a brownish yellow 500ml bottle into a pint glass with a half inch of fine white head. It has a pale golden yellow color and excellent clarity.

Aroma is light and sweet with slightly floral elements. Not harsh at all, actually quite pleasant.

Flavor is also subtle but very clean and refreshing. It has some citrus flavors and just a hint of hop bitterness. All around very enjoyable, crisp, and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is just right for what the style should be: medium-light body and good levels of carbonation.

Very drinkable, I could easily see having this as an everyday beer. It would be a good watching-the-game or grilling-some-brats kind of beer. This type of beer wouldn't normally be my bag but this one is really well done.

to view more.
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 1,281 ratings.