1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,266 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,266
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 43
Gots: 173 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München visit their website

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 all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,266 | Reviews: 452
Photo of mattcomstock213
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The classic Munich Helles poured into a glass.
This beer looked great, clear and golden. It tasted great too. The taste is clean and crisp, with just a notice of hops. Very refreshing. I think I like Augustiner better, but this is the classic of the style.

Photo of KyleMWood
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale golden color, small white head, with a true German helles lager taste. Also, crisp, with a good amount of hops. Lot of hops in the scent. Very drinkable, perfect for a few glasses on a warm day in Munich, or in my case, Austin TX.

The only complaint I have is that I wish it was a more gold, brighter in color. Otherwise, great helles lager.

Photo of philipquarles
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz green bottle into a pokal. Clear golden with a two-finger white head that dissipates to a foam film. Little lacing. Smells slightly skunked, but not horrendously so. Faint pilsener malt and grassiness come through after the skunk, along with some definite floral hop aromas. The malt is again very evident on the palate, with quite a bit of grainy character. Bittering hops are there to balance it quite well. Really refreshing. A nicely done helles--would certainly be even better out of a keg.

Photo of Prostman81
4.95/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. I get it on tap at a really good local German restaurant, usually by the 1L. stein. When I can, I also by a couple 500ml bottles at my local major liquor store. In glass, has a great golden color and a huge head, which eventually settles down. Aroma has a nice smooth malt note. Taste is clean, while having an excellent malt and hop balance, and goes great with whatever German dish I'm having at the time (or is good just on it's own). I can't comment on the 12 oz. green glass bottles (the 500 mls are brown). I've read bad reviews for that serving, but can't comment on them as I just prefer having it on tap thru the restaurant. I bet this one is even better in Germany.

Photo of mdcrouser
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant golden, and especially impressive when stacked one-atop-another in my grande Hofbrau Haus glass stein (acquired during a trip to the establishment in Newport, Ky., just south of Cincy).

Its heady frothiness streams down the sides of the glass following each drink.

Surprisingly malty for such a light-colored beer, both to the nose and the tongue. On the tongue, it's like a small gold ball, sandwiched between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, forcing space between the two, and then asking you to recycle the flavors at the back of the mouth once it's gone.

Trailing bitterness leaves you wanting nothing but the next drink - exceptionally enjoyable, and fitting of the season.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks again Mom. I really appreciate you contributing to my beer advocacy.

A - The body is a clear yellow but sitting on top is a snow cap, perfectly white and standing initially at three inches plus. It is a beauty.

B - The aroma of smooth hops fill my nose just from the pour. The lovely scent of malt, smooth as silk.

T - The smooth taste of German malt with a finish offering a kick of subtle hops. Just enough to notice.

M - Watery to start and watery to end. However, the finish kicks with a coarse lash that brings out some interesting flavors.

~ This is a good beer. This is something I will certainly recommend to my friends. I'd really like someday to travel over seas and sample one straight from draft.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Zum Schneider in a 1l Mas.

Appearance: Golden yellow color that is very translucent and clear. It yielded a nice 3 finger head that had long legs and left minimum lacing.

Smell: Very fresh smelling hops with nice notes of cereal and wheaty aromas. A little bit of citrus as well, but the true essence of the beer is that it smells very fresh and refreshing.

Taste: Its got some lemony hops and grassyness throughout the duration of the drinking. Nice noticiable hops came through with a good amount of citrus on the back end. very nice beer.

Mouthfeel: Good solid carbonation at the beginning of the beer. Towards the end, and its biased because it was out of a liter mas, but it had a much flatter feel by the end. Still it was nice textured and rolled well through my mouth.

Drinkability: nice medium to light bodied beer with good flavors and lasting taste. If i had to dirnk it only out of 1 litre mas all day, i would drink this beer among a select few for sure. Its a definate session beer.

Photo of TrinkGermanBier
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great draft German Lager. Nice golden color and lacing. Held a nice head. Bottled is good, draft is of course always better. Unfortunately this bier is somewhat difficult to get locally, however it is very popular in NYC German bars. Would recommed to anyone looking for a decent German lager. A must at the Munich Oktoberfest!

Photo of Moxley
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. Light and crisp yet full of flavor. Lots of bready yeast with sweet malt undertones. A touch of hoppy bitterness on the finish makes this beer well-rounded and a definite session

Thick white head with decent lacing. Lots of grain and yeast in the nose.

Don't miss out on this beer. Simple and delicious. Thanks for the sampling Hyland24.

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 kimcgolf
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a bright yellow with some carbonation and a thin white head that reduced quickly and left okay lacing. Not much in the nose except a little grain and some floral scents. Mouthfeel was medium boided with little bite, and the flavor is more of the floral and grainy hops.

This was an okay beer enjoyed cold on a hot day, but nothing special.

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.

Photo of andyinsdca
2.4/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From a bottle that had (what appears to be) a date of 0804, don't know if this is an expiration or a "born on" date.

Appearance was the same as an American light beer, weak yellow, thin head.
Smell: Vaguely beer-like. Maybe skunked?
Taste: Absolutely awful. Tasted like stale corn tortillas. No beer taste at all.

Overall: I poured this out after 2 sips. Not sure if it was expired/skunked or what. I will NOT drink this beer again.

Update, 10Nov08:
My ratings were 2/1/1/1/1 when I initially reviewed this beer. I bought some more this weekend after I saw it at Bevmo and it had a "date" of 12xx. I took the plunge and here's how the non-skunked stuff came out.
Appearance: No change; the head was a 1-finger, fizzy head that vanished quickly after being poured into a pint glass.
Smell: A little bit of malt, a little bit of flowers, a touch of corn, but nothing revolting.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Not a bad yellow-fizzy beer. Not much mouthfeel to it at all.
Drinkability and overall: It's actually an OK beer. Nothing spectacular, but very drinkable....this almost seems like damning with faint praise (cf: the current light beer ads in the US that plug drinkability), but it's not. Not very memorable.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

clear golden color, pretty close to the o'fest. came with a ring and left some lace.

smelled of faint grassy hops and sweet pale malt. the smell was reminiscent of the o'fest, but less malty.

taste, again, is much like the o'fest but much more watered down, with a longer aftertaste of mild grainy bitterness. but the grain tasted stale and lifeless.

low on carbonation, with flat sensations.

hoping this was just a lousy specimen and am probably willing to try once more some day, but j.p. henley's is supposed to be a decent place and i asked them about freshness to try to ensure a good experience. disappointing.

Photo of Pleepleus
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from green bottle to HB pilsner glass a clear golden yellow with a solid inch of white foam and a heavy bubble rise. Very fresh clean smell of grass and malts. Taste is crisp with grains and sweet malts and just enough hop bitterness to balance it out. Very crisp feel and this one goes down very easy. A solid choice of a six pack to keep stocked at all times.

Photo of tempest
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a brown half-liter from Key Foods in Astoria.

What happened? This has to be the first beer in a brown bottle I've had that's been legitimately and strongly skunked. Eventually the nasty aroma faded, but what was left wasn't terribly impressive. Just light caramel and bready malts without much else going on. This is a generally a clean and pleasing beer, but I've had better.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright, clear yellow color. Poured a one finger stark white fluffy head that dissipated to a healthy skim. Light lacing that was inconsistent. Slowly decanted continuously.

S: Wet, slightly sweet grain and slightly bitter hops.

T: Slightly sweet grains and bittering hops; left me a bit wanting.

M: Light side of nedium body. Ample carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Guess I was expecting more though as I had tried several of their offerings.

Photo of Slynger
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light, clear, gold with a modest lid of fuzzy, off-white, foam

Nose is skunkyish herbal and earthy-grassy hops with a hint of lemon.

Not bad flavor lightly sweet pale malts with a drop of sweet lemon, lightly toasted with a good amount of noble earthy-grassy herbal and lightly white peppery spicy hops. Crisp clean light-medium body, smooth and lightly dry.

Not bad at all. You could do much worse.

Photo of steveh
4.85/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay, I nearly topped out on this one, but having sampled it so fresh at Uberstein in Chicago, I was thrilled -- as fresh as when I enjoyed the HB beers in Munich.

A -- Clear, golden in color with a resilient white head -- settled quickly to a thin cap.

S -- DMS with bready, yeasty, malt melanoidin character prominent and spicy hops in the finish. Only complaint is that it was probably too thin on aroma.

T -- Sweet and bready, malt melanoidin finishing dry with mild spicy noble hops. Not cloying in any way.

M -- Medium-light body with a very soft mouth-feel.

D -- Top of the charts. I wanted to stay all night drinking nothing but this. Well, maybe a Dunkel too!

This is classic Munich Helles for anyone wondering what the style really ought to taste like!

Photo of alarusse
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Like watching a summer sunset through the back window of your parents' dirty station wagon. The beer pours mostly a simple golden color with a quickly-dissolving head that leaves little to no lacing in my pint glass.

S - Really got me here. Very refreshing smell, slightly sweet and fruity, slightly skunky. Wonderful.

T - Overall, a light, skunky flavor up front, which slowly gives way to a refreshingly hoppy finish and aftertaste.

M - Slightly over-carbonated in my opinion. I've let it air out a little while, and it still has quite a bite on my tongue. Nothing offensive by any means, but I'd prefer a gentler drink.

D - I think it is very well-balanced between substantial taste/aftertaste and simple refreshment/drinkability, and does both very well.

Now, I just have to find my way to Munich so I can appreciate it as intended.

Photo of mynie
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Average pour into a tall pilsener glass. Very light straw color but it's got a nice, fluffy white head on it.

Smells of crisp helles malt, very sharp and clean, along with some light noble hops as well as some mild skunking. Smells refreshing, more than anything. Very good balance.

Tastes a wee bit better than it smells. Crisp and clean and perfectly balanced, a weedy creamy malt starts everything out. This moves into a lightly bitter, lightly skunky middle that smoothly dries out into a wonderfully bitter hop and spicy hop aftertaste.

The firm carbonation and light flavor combine with a wonderfully complex and balanced profile to yield a remarkably drinkable brew. Kripes, it's no wonder the Germans consume so much beer. If I had cheap, easy access to this stuff I'd have it for breakfast!

Photo of nickynick
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hofbrau Original poured a light gold with a small white head. The smell was all hops. Taste was great. Crisp hop flavors. And became malty sweet when it warmed a bit. Very refreshing. Mouthfeel was good, refreshing, with good carbonation. Drinkability was nice, crisp and refreshing. Nice summer beer. I enjoyed this a good deal.

Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to enjoy this beer fresh from the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. I was used to the simple American Lager, so you better believe I was blown away by this! It came out in a 1 liter stein and was of course, at room temperature.

Its appearance was the normal golden color. I couldn't quite pick up on the smell. The taste is unbelievable, very light and crisp. There was a party in my mouth. After the first stein I was ready for another one.

The room temperature thing is the best way to drink this beer. I feel it would lose a lot of flavor being served ice cold. I found that out the hard way. I purchased a case of Hofbrau Original and was simply disappointed. All the original flavor and taste were gone. However, I did find drinking the bottle at room temperature made it a little better.

Photo of MarsMoose
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this from a bottle, too, and it's a totally different experience. From the is tap much better, in my opinion.

On this occasion, the beer was presented to me in a 1-liter glaskrug, with little head. It looked like your average clear, golden-colored lager, with little smell. However, it went down deliciously smooth. Light body with balanced hop and malt flavors made this a very fresh brew I could have kept drinking all night.

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

This was poured into a glass mug from the bottle.

A - pours out clear with a light golden color and a decent head that settles somewhat but is retained in a fine lacing

S - balanced malt & hop aroma

T - light malt character followed by a decent, balanced hop finish; very clean

M - light body with moderate carbonation

D - good session beer - very enjoyable; defines the style nicely

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 1,266 ratings.