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Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

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

1,110 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,110
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 38
Gots: 94 | FT: 0
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: 1,110 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright medium gold with a large cap of eggshell colored foam. The head persists for a bit and leaves a respectable amount of blotchy lace when it eventually fades away. It isn't an overly impressive look, but it gets the job done. Clean and uncluttered.

Thanks, no doubt, to the green glass bottle, there was a moderate skunkiness when the crown was cracked. As is often the case, very little of it remains at the several minute mark. Hofbrau Original smells like a noble hopped pilsener. It's big on perfumy florals, less so on herbal spice.

This isn't a bad little beer. The characteristic that keeps it above average is an underlying malty sweetness that grounds the flavor profile and keeps the hops in check, effectively blunting what would otherwise be a too sharp bitterness. Although pale malt isn't a major contributor, any less wouldn't work as well. The hops taste like Saaz to me: grassy and sassy.

The finish is brief with intimations of lemon zest before there is... nothingness. Clean and dry, clean and dry, clean and dry. The mouthfeel is light-medium with a fine-bubbled, long lasting carbonation.

Hofbrau Original (think my bottle with the upside down label is worth anything?) is a good example of the Munich Helles style even if it isn't among my favorites. Although it lacks that certain something that would garner effusive praise, there isn't much wrong with it either. I think it all comes down to the fact that this style isn't a 'boat floater' for me.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 25, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep gold/yellow with a two-finger foamy white head that retains fairly well.

Smell is toasted grain, light fruity hops, and a little grass.

Taste is slightly bitter with toasted malt that really comes through in the finish and the aftertaste. There's also a notable crisp apple flavor that's kind of refreshing, too. If anything, I would have liked the malt to have been a little more pronounced.

Mouthfeel is fairly light; just shy of medium.

whartontallboy, Jun 15, 2005
Photo of jimbotrost
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium deep gold, grain and malt both evident in the nose. creamy white head. Slightly sweet flavor, somewhat grainy and malty. Slight hop flavor. Medium body, no fruitiness or astringency. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkable, finishes slightly sweet.

jimbotrost, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of wl0307
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted this beer at a Badger's pub, the lovely two-halves Ship & Shovel near Embankment UG station, London. According to the information kindly provided by the Badger brewery, this beer is brewed by Hall & Woodhouse (Badger) under licence in the UK and to the original Munich recipe. Hence I don't know if I should place this review under Badger or Hofbräu München?? I am not even sure what style this beer should be categorised, as I haven't tried Hofbräu Original, but it tastes like maltier, Munich Helles Lager to me but also like other more common and mundane Euro lager. Anyway, I wish somebody someday could kindly correct me, or I'll just have to ask Hofbräu München myself...

It pours a slightly pale golden colour in a half-pint glass, with overly abundant carbonation and a thin white head which quickly disappears. It doesn't look quite right, I think... On the nose there is very lively, dryish and toasty lager malt, with undertone of delicate, grassy hops. Smells not too bad but of just average quality for any interesting lager. On the palate a lemony taste dominates, with chewy bready maltiness underneath...quite clean and dry in the finish with a touch of delicate aromatic hops. Fortunately there is no suggestion of unpleasant, residual sugary mouthfeel in the finish, as often appears in a lot of cheap Euro lagers, but overall the aftertaste falls a bit short. A light-bodied, medium-flavoured lager, it's quite drinkable but easily getting boring... I look forward to trying Hofbräu Original and see how different it is from this replica by the Badger.

wl0307, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of BeerNutta
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Hofbräuhaus so it may be a little biased due to the fact I was having a kick ass time.

Amber in colour with a thick white head.

Not sweet like I was expecting. But had a good malt flavour with a hop kick.

A little too carbonated. But thats Ok with me. Pretty good beer.

BeerNutta, May 25, 2005
Photo of rousee
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw gold color with a small head of white foam that diappears quickly. Nice slow mellow carbonation.

The smell is typical euro golden lager. Very malty with some mild hops and grassiness.

Taste is identical to the smell with a slight metallic edge that is noticeable but not nearly as pronounced as it is on some other beers of this style.

Very smooth and drinkable. A decent German lager.

rousee, May 14, 2005
Photo of surfmeister
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice beer, but beaten out by it's competitors...
Looks great, crystal clear yellow, white frothy head that stayed. Smell was malty but lacked some of the sweetness the others have. Taste was a little surprizing in that it was more highly hopped than I'm used to in a Helles, it was more like a pils IMHO. Mouthfeel was full and foamy, and of course I could drink this one happily. Unfortunately, this one is beaten hands down by the more available Spaten and Paulaner.

surfmeister, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear straw color, minimal head. Aroma is kinda nice, grassy and grainy. Taste is fairly rich and full of malt. Nice. Mouthfeel is thick and lush. My only rant about this beer is yes, it is good, but I paid $2 a bottle at a party store. It's not bad, but it's not that good.

deejaydan, Mar 04, 2005
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is a mixed review, based on both a very very very fresh liter on draft at the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas, followed up by a bottled half-liter as I write this (to help my memory).

Pours a medium golden, very clear, with a huge fluffy white head. The bartender had to let the head settle a couple of times to get it down to a decent size in its dimpled HB stein.

Aroma fresh and inviting and full of grains and some grasses, off-set by a slight sweetness. Flavor follows through, the bottled version with a somewhat more bitter hoppy aftertaste than that on draft.

Mouthfeel and, in particular, drinkability is as good as it gets. This one is for having more than one. Especially in the social outlet such as a biergarden.

Dukeofearl, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of inebrius
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You've got to dig the back label text that promotes the "fine harsh aroma". Let's not put a red satin thong on a fat, pimply ass and tell you it's good, let's endorse our 'bare' fat, pimply ass as the original. Grain laden nose touched by butter and matchsticks escorts a wash of honey drizzled weeds. It's a good beer here, imagine a liter or two in Munich.

inebrius, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of bceaglejoe
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a 12oz standalone green (!) bottle from Marty's Liquors, Allston, Mass., 27 January 2005.

Presentation: This beer poured a goldenrod color into a standard pint glass, with about a two-inch head. It had decent retention on top. The scent wasn't as good as I thought it would be (or at least as I had remembered from trying it before) - it was sharper than that of most lagers I have tried.

Tasting: This had a clean, crisp taste. There was virtually no aftertaste. I caught the slightest hop bitterness. I didn't really find much malt balancing it out though. The mouthfeel was pretty average. It wasn't knock-your-socks-off great, but it wasn't bad either. There was definitely more carbonation in this beer than I expected. I'm not really big on higher carbonation, so that affected my review.

Overall, I might order one of these at a restaurant, but I don't think I would drink more than one of these at a time. I'd want to go for something more adventurous after one of these.

bceaglejoe, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

RoyalT, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a half-liter bottle.

Appearance: Crystal clear pale gold, with a good initial head that unfortunately fades away within seconds.

Aroma: Grainy malt, with a slightly higher than average hop nose (more like a German pils than most Helles I've had; very nice).

Flavor: Plenty of light, slightly sweet malt, with a touch of hop bitterness drying out the beer at the end.

Body: Light body, well-attenuated. Medium carbonation. A bit of the mouthfeel I associate with high sulfates (like Sam Smith, or some bohemium pilsners).

An underappreciated style, I admit I find Helles beers a bit bland. This example is clean and quite drinkable, though.

allengarvin, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of mentor
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle purchased cold from the Beer Depot (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and consumed later the same evening in December 2004. I did not expect this beer to hold up to my memories of the beers served in the actual Hofbrauhaus from earlier this year. This beer was, however, enough of a shadow of those beers to almost bring a fond tear to my eye. Poured a crystal clear rich golden straw with a delectible 4 finger head that had the consistency of clingy marangue. Smelled of noble hop (possibly Tettnanger) a non-descript sweet, and perhaps some grain. Medium-light body. Tastes sweet with some hop character. The sweet is mildly grainy, but clear and clean of fruit, with a possible tiny hint of tannic. There is a small bit of metallic to the hop. Finished somewhat dry with a fine carbonation originating off the flat of my tongue. An acceptable beer, but nothing close to the quality of a fresh one at the brew house in Munchen. Now if I could only get something that tastes like the cheese-bread/pretzel thingies!

mentor, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear true golden colored brew.

Smell is full of fresh grain scents and a clean hop smell. Mild grassy scents in this too.

Taste is not too sweet and very grainy. Assertive hops shows up at the very start. Not over hopped though well balanced.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Nice drinkable brew might could be stronger in body.

Zorro, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of Brent
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Radiant golden color, but very little aroma (the only real ding against this beer). Up front some grape/apple flavors, quickly followed by grain flavor that is not "grainy," more like fresh malt. Very smooth and drinkable. While I had this without food, it struck me as something that would go really well with some roast pork. Sounds like a good excuse to buy more.

Tiny print on the back lable did have the curious description "full bodied, refeshing and fine harsh aroma have made it world famous." Fine harsh aroma? I think something was lost in translation.

Brent, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, bright gold color with a nice foamy white head that disappated into a cloud.
Smells of malt and a subtle hop presence.
Light sweet malt flavor nicely balanced with a pleasant, tangy hop bitterness in the finish. Simplicity at its finest.
Light bodied with a full carbonated mouthfeel. Good for the style.
Nice balance. Fresh, clean and highly drinkable.
This is a sentimental favorite of mine. First had it in the mid 70's when I was drinking mainly macros. It showed me beer could actually have flavor. It disappeared for a long time. Good to see it back on the west coast after a long absence.

rkhaze, Oct 23, 2004
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh no...a green bottle from Europe...Relax, no biggie if you keep it out of the light.

A bright golden body, topped by more than three fingers of tight hand-whipped cream, which briefly rose above the rim. Good lacing starts almost immediately.

Freshly moved grass, a whiff of hay, and a breeze of hops vie in the nose.

A light landing of malt softly dances across the tongue, before quickly giving way to a crashing wave of hops. The hops carry thru to the finish, and linger long after the liquid, not biting, just reminding. Its simple, but very refreshing. Somewhat clean, somewhat crisp, there is still enough left at the end to swrill around for a bit.

Good clean mouthfeel. Very easy drinkability

A solid if unspectacular helles. Would be fine for a crowd with mixed preferences.

RonfromJersey, Oct 09, 2004
Photo of soper2000
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

soper2000, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of joecast
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

clear deep golden color with a tiny white head that "bubbles" away rather quickly leaving a thin lace.
strong clean grassy hop aroma.
good sharp flavors. bitterness combines nicely with the sweetness of the malt. also a crisp finish that leaves you waiting for the next sip. seems to be a distinct difference between the hops and malt that keeps the flavors seperate.
light on mouthfeel which is not bad at all. keeps you from filling up, and keeps the beer refreshing.

joecast, Jul 15, 2004
Photo of elmocoso
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three fingers of boulbous white head. Marshmellowy, clinging. It is not two fingers sitting on a very light gold liquid. Beading is low, but persisistant.

Smell - another light german lagar. Clean and sweet with malt and a slight hop smell.

Taste - very light. Slightly watery but refreshing. Clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel light but pleasent.

Drinkability - allright.

elmocoso, Jul 08, 2004
Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas. Clear light gold in color with a 1/2" head that produced some light lacing. The aroma was dull as some malt was barely detectable. The flavor was much stronger than the aroma, as the malt was balanced with some decent bitterness.

The mouthfeel was crisp and clean, with a slightly dry finish. Lighter bodied with relatively strong carbonation. A perfect beer to have with german sausages or a large pretzel.

Gavage, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear pale golden color with lots of bubbles racing towards the massive 2-1/2 finger white pillowy head. The smell consists of a slightly tangy grain, hops, and with a touch of a sticky sweet aroma. The taste starts with a grainy malt taste that starts smooth and fades to an astringent hoppy flavor and ending with a sticky dry bitterness. This is a light bodied beer that goes down fairly easy. Prosit!

BeerAngel, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of Globetrotter
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at a German restaurant in Moscow, this most famous of beers came out a deep clear gold with lots of bubbles under a 1.5 finger white head that displayed very good retention and some nice lace. The nose features some sweet malt, but is very subdued. The mouth is fairly prickly and surprisingly heavy. The taste knocked me out with the tons and tons and tons of malt - sweet, bready barley all over the place. There's a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish, but not enough to overpower the malt. The aftertaste reflects the bready sweetness. Definitely a unique Helles.

Globetrotter, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another import served at Chicago's downtown Christmaskindlmart. Noticeably darker than the normal straw colored lager. Taste was surprisingly complex, too. The hop profile was almost flowery. This was served pretty cold, but some nice aspects came through. Malt taste was actually held back a little. I suppose this is more representative of the Münich style of Helles. Very nice.

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 26, 2003
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
86 out of 100 based on 1,110 ratings.