Hofbräu Original | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
474 Reviews
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Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München
Germany | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 1,446
Photo of Premo88
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: crystal clear yellow ... pushes up solid 3/4- to 1-inch head of very white foam that dissipates quickly, not much sticking, a little lacing that's pretty cool and it keeps a tight little collar of white foam; the clarity is stunning, allowing you to see a slow but steady stream of bubbles rising right up the center of the column ... not a ton of bubbles but the tight little stream they form is fun to watch

S: some definite green-bottle skunk to begin with, but there's a lot of nice grassy hop aroma as well as bready malt ... very pilsener-like and pleasant, even with the skunk

T: donuts ... super sweet bready malt with no butter, creamed corn nor almost anything else in the way, perhaps just a hint of skunk ... the first sip really is almost like a donut, it's SO sweet; a quarter in, some grassiness shows up, not enough to make it bitter but still a good little green nip of hops

F: light, dry, perfect amount of carbonation ... it's crisp but not overdone

O: very taste lager, almost a tamed-down pilsener with loads of sweet malt balanced by about a 1/3 of the typical pils hop bite ... definitely not bitter; the green-bottle skunk is distracting -- it's mixing with the malt flavor to give it a bit of green onion/onion flavor, but it's not the typical American pale ale onion-hop flavor ... it's a skunked-up flavor.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I went to the store with one mission: to try such a variety of different beers in order to become well rounded in the world of beers. I am, after all, the hop head so I made sure to toss some Hofbrau into my cart. It boasts a mild 5.1% ABV and German Purity Laws since 1589 which definitely gives the beer a major historical element that elevates it to an experience instead of just a beer.

Look-It pours a startlingly crystal clear and light colored liquid. The carbonation trails are medium and the head is thin and readily dissipates allowing one to see clear down to the bottom of one’s glass. The color is light golden yellow and monotonic.

Smell-I smell German yeast and buttery bread.

Taste-The flavor is nice, but a bit one-sided for my taste. It is pleasant with flavors of malts, yeast, and spices with a crisp finish. There is no problem here with dry mouth as this leaves an oily coating and is pleasant.
Mouthfeel-The mouthfeel is oily and smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Overall-Overall I’d say that I’m glad that I added this one to my repertoire, but it is not as dynamic as the powerful Double and Imperial IPAs that I am used to. It’s all about variety and experience so I am glad to have a good old sixer of these historical German brews that come in a nice green bottle to preserve freshness.

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Photo of silverevo9
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice bread, dough type smells. Delicious pils! Get a very nice head that gets discolored on the first pour. Been searching for a German pils that's top notch. This and Konig are really worth trying. Although this is much better. Much more character and flavors going on. Taste is smooth and flavorful with no bite. Love the malty sweetness. Hop flavors linger on the tongue. No problem enjoying a six pack of these. Carbonation is strong but doesn't detract from the beer at all. Smell and taste are all there. Nice hopped up pils. Reminds of being in Europe sitting at an outside cafe. Definitely has a European feel and flare to it. Just great!

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Photo of Myotus
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours with a fingers worth of white foam that dissipated into a quarter of a fingers worth within 15 seconds. Very bubbly at first then bubbles become mild once head settles. Pale yellow in color. Typical lager malt aromas minus the strange chemical odor that all adjuncts have. Hop aromas mild. Initial taste is very strong--yet pleasant--with malts. Malt flavors persist as mild hop and spice flavors enter the palate. Fullbodied from plenty of malts and has a crisp finish. Dry mouth not a problem with this one. Carbonation is mild and tickles the tongue. I have to say that this is a brilliant lager. Definitely need to buy a six pack of these.

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Photo of BayernMunchen3113
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Carmel undertones really shine through in this great German lager. Carbonation quite high and creamy finish with earthy and a little citrus at the end. At first, smell does not make it stand out, as it smells just like a lager typically would. However, the finish is quite smooth and is extremely drinkable. Had this one at the Hofbräuhaus in Chicago. Would have ordered more if I didn't want to have the Hefe Weizen as well. Overall, this is a solid German lager and I was extremely impressed. Extremely fun to drink in that type of environment as well.

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Photo of Hellvira355
4.81/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is a nectar of the Gods, crafted by Jesus himself in a laboratory fueled by the happiness and laughter of children, pieced together like a fine tapestry or a mosaic. Van Goh gave Jesus a high five for this wonderful creation of reinheitsgebot deliciousness. If you don't like this beer I'm willing to bet you like boys. And you have an outie instead of an innie.

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Photo of drmeto
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

-pours clear golden with a big, foamy white head
-high carbonation visible
-earthy,honey,slight grassy notes
-Follows the nose plus spices and a slight metallic note
-medium-high carbonation,light-medium body
Quite hoppy for a Helles.Solid overall

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Photo of beergoot
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unique label info: L 60 N 8:30

Light gold colored body; thick, dense, frothy white head; streams of roiling carbonation rising to the top; thick rings of foam. Aroma exudes wet grass with a touch of biscuit and cereal grain. Low-key malt sweetness; bread crust; slow-building but ultimately dominating hop bitterness at the finish. Creamy, velvety mouthfeel; mostly dry finish.

A most satisfying lager. It starts with an incredible appearance and follows-up nicely with a well-balanced blend of light malt grains and a bold hop bitterness. It delivers a nice warm and toasty palate pleasing beer experience that warrants many return visits.

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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.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Time for a German beer.

It looks : creamy white cap, about 1 finger tall; leaving lacing around the glass in licks. The body is golden straw colored, very transparent.

It smells : Dew grass, pale Pilsner malts, hay, straw, a hint of lightly toasted and baked grain. Volume is somewhat weak.

It tastes : full flavored for a Czech Pilsner/Munich helles lager. Some grassiness and hay, a bit of spicy hop, some toasted grain heads, and a crisp finish. Mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel : very clean, very pure, very crisp. Lightly creamy. Ends semi-dry.

Overall : while not the best per se, this isn't a bad lager. Worth a try but maybe not worth it's price tag. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Mikus
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is THE legit lawnmower beer for me. Poured 12oz into my Spiegelau, clewr, golden, and carbonated throughout... fluffy finger of white head. Bready, clean, and slightly vegetal/grassy nose. Ridiculously light, balanced, and crisp taste. Bit of nice bitterness in there. Refreshing as hell, and really well done. This has to be the blueprint for the American Adjunct Lagers... they have a long way to catch up.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; golden - SRM approx. 4-5; less than a 1 finger white head that receded to a very thin collar; very little lacing;

S: grainy, bread, no hop characteristics;

T: a little malt sweetness up front; grainy; a touch of spice and bitterness at the finish;

M: light bodied; low carbonation;

O: a little flat, but nice flavor;

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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.

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Photo of mmmbirra
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

0.5 liter brown bottle.
The archetypal helles lager. Golden and clear.
Crackery, sweet aroma and a smooth, crackery, pale malt flavor with just enough noble hops in the back. Not too thin as some in the style can be, not certainly not as full and rich as others. A nice middle ground for when you're just craving a good classic Munich Hell.

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Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

03/18/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Full bodied & less bitter than the famous weiss these guys do. Very good & goes down too easy. Thank goodness it's a mere 5.1 ABV.

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Photo of smorbrod
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

I like to have a nice strong IPA or other Pale Ale, or two, then have a Hofbrau Original. The smoothness of this lager is a great palate cleanser after the hoppy beers. If I just have one of these right away I would give it a 3 but for some reason after a couple of pale ales it seems almost creamy.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours a pale yellow with a fizzy head. The smell is a little sour with mostly the malt coming through and then some citrus from the hops finishing the beer. The taste is mellow in the beginning with an almost tart finish from the hops. I thought it was a nice german style but it didn't floor me in any category though.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330mL green bottle
L - golden with super clarity, foamy white head dissipates fairly quickly
S - light grain, delicate noble hop, grass, yeast
T - light toasted grain, biscuit, spicy & grassy noble hop, yeast
F - lighter body, very clean and crisp finish
O - I had given this a simple rating a long time ago, so it needed an upgrade. Very good Munich Helles Lager and much better than I remember.

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Photo of Zach136
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear straw, paper thin white cap. OK lacing.

S - Light hints of grain, virtually no hop aroma, and luckily no skunk.

T - Pils malt, light to medium-light grassy hop character.

M - Light bodied, light carbonation, dissipating and refreshing finish.

O - Great example of the style. Beer flavored beer hits the spot some times.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The liquid is a clear, nearly transparent straw color, with a couple strings of bubbles rising through it. The pour produces a somewhat meager nearly-white head that fades quickly and leaves little in the way of lacing.

Aroma is dank, somewhat peppery, and a bit citrusy. Nice sweet malt and grassy hops.

Taste follows the nose - sweet malt up front, followed by some crisp citrus and grass. Less dank on the palate than on the nose. Finish is clean, with a lingering toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, almost watery, with tons of prickly carbonation.

Overall, nice flavors, and easy drinking, but not much to rave about. Solid beer.

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Photo of Mojo
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a Wicked Weed snifter

A - crystal clear medium gold with a nice two inch head with spectacular retention and lacing

S - The nose is not particularly notable. Bit of a fresh smell.

T - This is just a great tasting lager. Very crisp and full bodied with a clean finish.

M - medium thick, great carbonation.

O - what's not to love. It is not overly complex, but it is just a great beer.

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

I picked up a sixer of these from the Class Six. Hadn't had this in a while and had yet to enter a review.

The beer appears a clear golden hue with an inch of thick, white head. Distinctly German lager scents rise up to the olfactory senses before the glass is even lifted. Refreshing flavor, with a bready, yeasty quality that can make a lager beer so quaffable. A standard of the style and one I shall certainly return to. Tasty.

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Photo of AugustusRex
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh for an imported lager. Bottled October 20th, 2015. Under 3 months old.

Fantastic dry malt character. The hops blend seamlessly into the overall profile and become pronounced in the aftertaste. Very mild beer. Perfect everyday Helles.

It's funny its called Original when the Dunkel is the older style.

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

500 ml bottle into lager glass, bottled on 3/26/2013. Pours crystal clear golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of light lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of light lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, straw, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light lemon, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, straw, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; with a very clean flavor profile and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Helles style. All around good balance and robustness of clean pale malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of barczar
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lightly bready malt in aroma, floral hops are subtle. Flavor is slightly stale cardboard, but bready and malty. Might be a little oxidized. Not what I remember or expected, and I hope it's the bottle. Will have to review on draft to hopefully get a better experience.

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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.