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Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

904 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 904
Reviews: 420
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 420 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of sagabrews


3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale blonde; pretty translucent, head all but disappears after initial pour. Very little lacing. Bubbles rise to the top like a champagne.

S: Not the greatest; somewhat metallic, but could be result of can.

T: Crisp and bright! A happy beer that conjures a smile. Very enjoyable beer. Aftertaste is good too.

M: Can feel the spice on my tongue.

O: This is a beer you drink after a long day at work. Plop on the couch, pop some popcorn and watch/read something.

Serving type: can

03-28-2013 18:26:04 | More by sagabrews
Photo of Mises85


4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this in a pint glass around 44 degrees.

Appearance: light gold color with a lot of bubbles floating to the top. not too much head although I wonder whether it was because the glass wasn't clean enough or whether the beer is like that.

Smell: Barnyard funk, hay, grassy, fruity (pineapple), touch hoppy

Taste: bright but nice spicy noble hop on the finish

Mouthfeel: quite effervescent, medium body

Overall: I normally don't like lager but this one was quite good. Another home run for the germans.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 23:22:27 | More by Mises85
Photo of KFBR392


4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Extremely clean light yellow color. Medium active carbonation for the style. Light head on the pour and not present while drinking.

Smell: Straw and cloves on the front. Bite of skunkiness on the nose as well. Balanced hop body is present yet plays along well with everything else going on here. Slight nuttiness on the back end with a touch of pepper.

Taste: Breadiness on the front. Solid buttery body that compliments some mild fruit hop tones. Oats and barley make their presence toward the back end of the body. Lingering dry malt flavors, with accents of nuts, biscuit, and oats.

Mouthfeel: Clean malt really shines on the palate. Light hop bitterness hangs around with a substantial malt, grainy body. Carbonation is mild but fitting for the style.

Overall: Just a classic munich helles lager. The hop tones play along seamlessly with a airy biscuit malt body. A beer I would share with anyone with conviction that this would be enjoyed by all.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 06:00:56 | More by KFBR392


3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Lager glass. Gold color, crystal clear appearance. White froth, lasting head. Slight sulphury odor, pale malt, grain, floral & Noble hop aromas, hints of hay & vanilla to the nose. Crispy upfront, sweet pale malt flavor ar first sip. Light body. Moderate carbonation. Dense to watery texture. Subtle spicy & grainy flavors in the middle. Funny & sparkling palate. Low hoppiness resolves in a long bitter/sweet finish. No flat, no fat, but clean bitter beer. Easy drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 22:18:27 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a flute. A lighten golden yellow brew with a massive white head, immediately making its presence known via a pleasant noble hop spice and sweet doughy malts on the nose. Good head retention. Palate is dominated by clean pale malts, only faintly sweet, with hints of lemon rind, licorice, hay, cinnamon, and strawberry candy. Clean and crisp, with an uber-smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Damn near perfect helles lager except for a little skunk and metal in the dry spicy finish. Less sweet and more malty than other commercial examples with a complex array of German hop flavors that of course do not overwhelm what is essentially a malt showcase. Not hard to find and well worth it if you wish to experience a classic helles flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 19:29:26 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of Ohiolager


3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 22:12:29 | More by Ohiolager
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hofbrau Original

I was ready to dismiss, ready to make a black and tan out of it.
But HB just totally pleased me, here in the middle of winter. A beautiful clear lager.

A: Bright pale golden color, the big frothy white head comes up, and leaves dots of lacing, but there's very little visible carbonation to support it.

Smell: Clean, fresh grassy aroma, faint but balancing noble hops.

Taste: Super fresh and crisp. Pears, grass, hay, nobel hops, fresh golden apple, on top of an unsalted soft pretzel malt base. Refreshing, and surprisingly big, with a great finish and a long pleasant clean aftertaste. Will be GREAT with food.

Feel: One of the best mouth feels for a light beer ever. Must try.

I wish I could get a permanent supply of this in cans. As others wrote, it's not much to analyze, just drink, enjoy and not wonder why it's so simple yet so good.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 22:13:18 | More by Act25
Photo of DionysusAwakened

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good beer that purposefully has a skunky smell to it. It was enjoyable and refreshing, with a good mouthfeel and clear but flavorful taste.

Glue was stuck to the underside of the lip of the nozzle on one of the beers which detracted from the taste and was poor packaging. Other than that oversight it was a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 20:33:20 | More by DionysusAwakened
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Bert's
Pours a crystal clear deep golden color with a smallish white head that dissipates rather quickly. Huge skunky aromas as soon as I pop the cap and pour into the glass. Luckily those dissipate rather quickly revealing a pleasant bready decocted pilsner malt aroma with a hint of floral earthy hop. The flavor is rich melanoid and pilsner malt with just enough earthy hop flavor to provide some balance. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. Decent Helles, I've have had better, but I could drink this.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 01:24:48 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of utopiajane

New York

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

Pours golden with a brilliance and perfect clarity. Fat head of off white foam that fell well to a ring and some clusters of foam on top. This beer is shining. Nose is pristine. Light sweet grain, doughy malt., a touch of floral and some fresh cut grass and wet hay. Crisp and light on the palate with just enough bubbles to tickle the tongue. Wet grassy flavor in the middle and drinks so easily and refreshing. The noble hops are so light they engage the palate effortlessly as the lightly sweet grain kisses the drink as a faint little bitter leaves you wanting more. Truly motivating. Simply outstanding. You could drink a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 15:44:21 | More by utopiajane
Photo of RaulMondesi


3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This reminds Raul of that one time he found himself driving through the flatlands of Iowa/Nebraska; this thang is just clean, crisp, grassy, and smooth. A bit bready like your granmama's baked goods, and dry like socal's rainy season.

I like it. I'm not trippin' on a splinter, but it's a bit more than aite.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 08:04:15 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of BeerWithMike


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled last night on 11/26/13 from a 330ml (11.2 ounce) bottle. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a clear golden-yellow in color with a 1+-finger white foamy head that doesn't last long. No lacing was actually seen, if very little. The aroma is of some grassy malts. Most brews that come in a green bottle have a 'skunky' smell for some reason, this one had just a very light hint of that BUT not like many others. The taste was clean and crisp with a very slight drier finish. No bad aftertaste. Overall a very good brew despite the higher carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 00:10:35 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of RandomExile


4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: pale, translucent gold, soft foam head which quickly recedes; clingy foamy lacing early on
S: characteristic clean, "papery" nose; faintly grassy/herbal; malt
T: fresh, bright, papery, what other reviewers note as dough, bitter
M: thin but crisp, dry
O: a near-perfect example of its kind, somehow the sum is greater than the parts. Beautifully constructed.

250mL / Tulip Glass / Schmankerl Stube, Hagerstown, MD

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2013 00:06:51 | More by RandomExile
Photo of RJP159

British Columbia (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Golden with a generous head that dissipates quickly leaving a couple millimeters on top.
S: Earthy with some citrus
T: Grain and and a touch of hops combined with substantial carbonation. A touch of citrus made this lager dynamic.
M: The sparkle is most pronounced.
O: Crisp and flavourful. Definitely a beer I will have again.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 01:35:55 | More by RJP159
Photo of Brenden


4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2013 22:42:07 | More by Brenden
Photo of hopsputin


4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: slightly hazy bright golden yellow with lots of bubbles streaming from the bottom. 2 finger rocky white head that fades to around .5 fingers and sticks around

s: right away you pick up that distinct 'lager' aroma. some pale malts, sweet citrus, earthy grains, and finishes with some clean hops

t: fresh dough right away. creamy sweet citrus, straw, clean caramel maltiness with some faint honey. ends with that clean earthy straw flavor and the faintest hops. real clean tasting

m: lighter mouthfeel, but has a lot of carbonation. the fizziness really helps the sweeter citrus flavors pop and blend well with that nice doughy flavor

o: i went in not expecting too much on this, and i was pleasantly surprised. it doesn't have the biggest of boldest flavors, but its put together real well, and the that taste is crisp, sweet, and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 03:59:43 | More by hopsputin
Photo of Tone


3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of hops, hint of sulfur, and a hint of adjunct?. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sulfur, pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of hop, and a hint of adjunct. Overall, I'm sure this is better in Germany, but still not too bad here in Missouri; decent Munich Helles Lager.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 12:31:40 | More by Tone
Photo of MajorTim

New York

4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear pale gold, 2 fingers of white foam, high carbonation, leaves very nice lacing.

Smell: malty sweet, slight smell of hops, pretty standard.

Taste: Starts malty sweet but finishes slightly bitter and dry, underlying taste of noble hops

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied, clean and crisp, moderate to high carbonation, very drinkable.

Overall: A very good lager and an excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 01:02:33 | More by MajorTim
Photo of mjurney


4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep golden color, a little haze. Lots of carbonation rising. Thick bright-white head.

Sweet, bready, biscuit, a little caramel.

Very rich malt, bready, biscuit, dash of caramel. Hop bitterness is mild. Finish is crisp and clean. Medium bodied, very refreshing, crisp, clean, a little dry.

It's an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 22:40:02 | More by mjurney
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from LCBO for$2.80 CDN into a pint glass. To be enjoyed before June 27, 2014.

Appearance - Clear crisp golden colour with bubbles continuously rising to top of glass. 1 finger of head is poured and recedes quickly. Looks refreshing.

Smell - Malts override the hops here to a certain extent although both are mild. Some grassy scents here as well. Nothing overwhelming for the style.

Taste - Crisp and Refreshing, Slight malt backbone shines here, but mild hop flavors also present. Grassy, slightly earthy notes also detected. Overall, the taste is not overwhelming but just tastes damn good. Vague sweetness to the beer as well, but only on the back end of the beer and in the aftertaste,

Mouthfeel - The carbonation allows this beer to hydrate above and beyond expectations, and the feel in the mouth is nothing if not refreshing.

Overall - Really enjoyable especially if you need something to quench your thirst. I can also only imagine the copious amounts of this that is served at Oktoberfest every year in Munich, and wish I was there to enjoy it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 02:41:20 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

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

From the 330 ml. bottle marked L-045-M-120:35. Sampled on October 2, 2013.

It pours pale yellow with a quick lasting white head and moderate clarity.

It was from a green bottle so there is a touch of skunkiness. But once I navigate around that I do pick up a decent malt forward, grainy, and doughy character.

Light to medium in body with a smooth feel on my tongue.

The bready, doughy, and malty characters are just as prevalent in the flavor making this tasty in the German tradition. Clean but dry finish that lingers briefly. I bet I would have liked it more from a keg or a brown bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 22:37:11 | More by puboflyons
Photo of andyfrancis


3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 00:19:16 | More by andyfrancis
Photo of Cylinsier


3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours clear light gold, white sudsy head.

Light grassy and pilsnery malt aromas.

Flavor is of light barley malts and some mild sugar sweetness.

Light body with a soft carbonation.

A decent helles, nothing special but solid and thirst-quenching.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2013 01:48:47 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping


4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looking forward to prospects of one day having this on tap. This was a good lager, but the green bottle has taken its effect. I don't know if this is wholly intentional or not.


Pours with the same brisk and blowing out head that the dunkel does. A white crisp head. Has a very nice rich gold tone, a bit dense in my opinion, but nice. Very little lacing.

The nose presents the green bottle overtone with minerals and a touch of lemons. Kind of a damp wood and grain smell that mingles well with the rest of the smell.

Taste is pretty spot on and the green bottle funk is not nearly as strong as I had anticipated. Brings in the sharp grains and mineral right off. Carbonation flares and then the notes dive toward the green bottle taste with the drying hops and touches of lemony citrus. Really great bitterness as it warms. Pretty straightforward and pretty neat. You can tell there are some pretty good quality ingredients taken into the German tradition for this lager.

Mouthfeel is pretty close to being perfect for this lager, but... There is a point at which the smoothness lags a bit for me and chews up a bit. When I think of a lager, I think of drinkability and crispness. Though very crisp and smooth. A part of it is a bit sticky for me. Maybe it is the bottle. Otherwise, good carbonation and has a perfect dryness.

Overall, a very fine lager. Don't know what else to say. I would drink it again if I felt like a lager and wanted a good quality lager at that. Holds up much better than many. Improves with warmth which is a big plus.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 03:11:36 | More by Misanthropy_Sipping
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd


3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours crystal-clear straw yellow with a thick white head. Quickly falls to just a hazy cap above the brew.

Original smells of sweet corn and a slight ethanol aroma. Other than the slightly peppery hop aroma, there isn't a whole lot going on here.

The tastes of this brew are primarily clean, sharp malt, as well as a peppery noble hop bitterness. There is still a strange sweetness.

Texture is thin, light-bodied.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 23:10:31 | More by MrHassellYaHurd
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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.