1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,122 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,122
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 38
Gots: 99 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website
Germany

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hofbräu Original Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,122 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whynot44
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, very nice clear orange gold color with a substantial white head.

Aroma is mild sweet barley malt with a light floral/grassy hops note.

Taste is very malty, sweet bready barley malt with a hint of caramel and just enough floral/herbal hops to offset the sweetness a bit. Well carbonated. Altogether a very tasty lager, much more flavor and a bit more complex and more filling than the typical mass market American lager.

Well worth a try.

whynot44, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of JanM
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hofbräu is best known as the brewery that gave birth to the weizenbier and perhaps the bock bier. It is one of the famous "six sisters" of München, and supplier to one of the most famous bierhalle in universe. Naturally, my expectations were high. When I poured the beer there wasn't much foam although plenty of carbonation, perhaps too much? It smelled hoppy amd tasted bitter with a touch of citrus and a little herbs. It had a crisp and full taste but didn't quite reach the heavenly heights of a Czech pilz like Démon. It's good, no doubt about it, but it will never be a five-sweep field marshal in the battle of European lagers.

JanM, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of ggroller
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I blew through a case of this in less than a week.

Light straw in color with a nice fluffly white head. Plenty of carbonation.

Malty nose with a very, very slight sulfur smell in the background.

First taste is of grapes. Then of biscuity maltiness and followed by bitter hops.

This is a very drinkable session beer.

ggroller, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is honey golden with a large, frothy head. The retention is a little bit less than I expected, but not bad. The aroma is of light, sweet bready German malts. Smell could be a little stronger. The taste has the classic Munich malt flavor with a touch of straight-up grain towards the finish. Light noble hops mostly provide a balance. This is another in a long line of tasty German beers, my only complaint here is that I think the malt flavor could have had more depth. I bet this is truly excellent fresh at the Hofbrauhaus.

Gagnonsux, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of BierManVA
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Original Hofbrau Helles Lager is certainly a treat. One that should be appreciated by all. Strangely, I find their bottled version to have a bit more depth than what one gets at the Hofbrau Haus in Munich. True there in Germany and here.

Well balanced, lightly malty, immensely drinkable. Very refreshing.

Of course, even though I say it is somewhat better from the bottle....I would give anything to be sitting in Munich this moment and enjoying this bier over a few drinking songs.

Prost!

John

BierManVA, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of nortmand
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aaahhh... German beer.
Pours golden straw yellow, with a fluffy white head, which leaves some lacing.
Smell is sweet straw with a hay-like noble hop hit.
Tasres slightly sour to begin, then broadens out into a soft bittersweetness.
Nice, refreshing carbonation.
Very extraordinarily drinkable. After all, meant to be drunk by the liter.

nortmand, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hofbrau Original
12 oz green bottle
Freshness date on the back of the label that reads L336D 0943
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a brass colored goldish yellow. Sudsy white colored head on top with some nice retention. Spotted sticky lacings cling to the sides of the glass.

Grainy aroma with a backdrop of German hops in the nose.

Sweet grains with a grass flavor quality to each sip. Nicely balanced as well. Very clean, crisp, refreshing and drinkable. A solid Helles Lager and perfect after a hot day like today.

Hibernator, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of LarryKemp
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was bright golden with a tall white head. In all visual aspects this was a picture perfect beer.

The aroma was very, VERY subdued. A little earthiness and a little malt

The flavao was crisp and clear and no off flavors but was subdued.

The mouthfeel was light to medium light.

This is the classic for the style. It is a very drinkable beer but I am not in love with this one.

LarryKemp, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 Pint 0.9 fluid ounce (500ml) standard Teutonic brown glass bottle. Gold colored crown cap has the blue and white HB logo on it. My bottle looks just like the one in the BA Database. Described as “Hofbräu München Hofbräu Original”. No strength or discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Just as I remember it, crystal clear with a shockingly transparent golden body which looks powerful with the soft thick whipped white head atop. The condensation on the external glass sides induces a terrific thirst as the droplets accentuate the clear unfettered thirst quenching looks of this marvelous brew. A gentle tip of the large HB München Stein I purchase in Vegas reveals a finely dissolved carbonation which lends a terrific conditioning to this one. The head never gets below ¼” thick throughout. Archetypal Teutonic looks.

Smell: Breaded malts and a light doughy presence with a mere clinical hint of yeast. Fresh and exceptionally clean, this one has an odor akin to smelling like a woman that has just stepped out of the Shower….oh my, very inviting….

Taste: Soft talcum like bitterness is a trademark of this one. Munich malts thread through a breaded sweetness that carries a nice clean bitter feel throughout. Exceptionally well presented.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean, nothing sticks in this one, superb balance and very refreshing with a ‘just brewed’ quality about it.

Drinkability: Simply put, this is basically the definition of……

Overall: I drank several (large ones) of these in the presence of DukeofEarl and UncleJimbo when I was honored to share some time with them at the Hofbräuhaus in Las Vegas earlier this year. Seems a little crisper on tap, it could have just been the environs as well, but this is still a damn good brew nevertheless. Prosit!

Donner und Blitzen, Zis iz verhee gut, Ya, Wunderbar!

Music: Deutschland Űber Alles.

TheLongBeachBum, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of Opethsprite
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful yellow-orange with a pure white (though fleeting) head. Smells of hops, musty organics, and a slight, ambiguous sweetness. The hops are quite strong on the tongue, perhaps overpowering. There is a thin, butterscotch finish that tastes a little artificial, but still nice. The strength of the hops is tamed by a striking lack of carbonation. More balance is needed here. In the end, the faults are noted, but this is still a very good beer.

Opethsprite, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of horndecker
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's a clear brassy honey gold brew. A fine bright white head foams up and lingers long into the life of the glass.

Nose: The first whiff brings full grassy hops, almost minty. There's a slight sulfurous aroma which emerges after a bit. Then the malt, dense and bready.

Taste: The gentle bite of hop bitterness yields to big, round and smooth malt flavors. This thread of sweet toasty malt leads to a dry finish. A nice herbal aftertaste sets you up for the next sip.

It's refreshing, smooth and clean. Uncomplicated yet well-balanced. One to keep in stock.

horndecker, Jun 30, 2005
Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 29th June 2005, best by date 19.05.06 (500ml brown bottle: cost €2.00 in one of Molloys off-licences Dublin).

Saw this on the shelf, and said why not? Poured into stemmed beer glass, very pale straw colour with nice head. Head went thin fairly quickly.
Smell very pleasent, buttery caramel with some maltiness.
Taste only average, being a little watery.
Average mouthfeel, not offensive but not inspiring either. Yes I would have another, but only if there was nothing else.

Inexpensive when compared to €2.80 for a Westmalle dubbel (330ml), or €3.15 for a 500ml Poperings Hommelbier purchased at the same time. But price isn't everything!

JohnfromDublin, Jun 29, 2005
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
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
86 out of 100 based on 1,122 ratings.