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Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

451 Reviews

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Reviews: 451
Hads: 1,339
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.29%
Wants: 55
Gots: 228 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hofbräu Original Alström Bros
Reviews: 451 | Hads: 1,339
Photo of puboflyons
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of andyfrancis
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (253 characters)

Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (1,561 characters)

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.24/5  rDev -15%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head with some retention. The body is a pure cotton white while the body is a clear, pale straw which looks like weak lemonade when held up to the light. The barest of lacing is left behind.

Nose- Pretty lackluster in this department. Very typical and basically nondescript lager aroma. Light grain notes, a slight sourness that has a metallic quality. Very light fruit esters (white grape) and a touch of soapiness. When I swirl it vigorously, I get stronger grain notes but still pretty boring. I get some sour grassiness as it opens up more.

Taste- Definitely more interesting than the nose. At first I get a bitter earthiness that mixes with grain notes (slightly sour) with hints of the fruit esters of the nose. I also note the noble hops which are much more buffeted by malt than in a pilsner. I'm liking it- it's quite robust for such a light beer but it's still crisp and refreshing. The flavor profile might not be that complex but it is well integrated and very well balanced. I could see this being a gateway beer for a BMC drinker. The earth and grassiness of this beer are definitely positive aspects. Some spiciness on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with plenty of zip. The slight spiciness of the palate in conjunction with the carbonation causes the tongue to tingle a little bit.

Drinkability- Very easy going and quite sessionable. At a little over 2 bucks, not a bad price either.

Overall- Not the most interesting beer in the world but appears to be a good reflection of the style and will be rated accordingly. (1,585 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a crystal clear golden color with persistant head.

The smell is full of noble hops, probably some German Hallertauer, which has some herbal, light resinous and even some grassy notes. The hops smell fresh and on top of the smell.

The taste is light with a light malty base and no caramalt or any sweet or dextrinous tastes, just pure malt. The bitterness is nicely balanced with the malt and the hops jump out of the beer. Again the hops are upfront and determine the character of the beer. The yeast character is clean. (537 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger white head that vanishes slowly leaving some lace. Crystal pale straw color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Grains and light hop nose and flavor is lightly sweet and hints of hops. 330ml bottle, from Gift Specialists Oceanside, California. (269 characters)

Photo of decimator
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a Weizen glass. ABV 5.1%.

A - Poured a clear golden yellow with a white frothy head, head reduced to surface bubbles, minimal lacing.

S - Pale malts, grassy bitterness.

T - Pale malts, grassy bitterness.

M -Medium carbonation, medium body, crisp finish.

O - Good lager with good drinkability. (323 characters)

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Pours a bright yellow with big bubbles. The nose is clean and fresh with notes of grass, grains and bright hops. The palate is rich and slightly sweet with notes of cereal and a nice dry slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel offers big creamy carbonation. Great lager for a hearty meal or just cooling off on a hot day. (347 characters)

Photo of stella77artois
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, poured into pilsener glass. As a huge Munich Helles fan, I was thrilled to find this stuff in a store while on the road. Should have bought more!

A - Typical lager. Medium yellow, some carbonation visible. Had a nice, thick head though, which dissipated at an avergae rate.

S - A typical Munich Helles. A little dank, with some hops noticeable. Not a whole lot going on.

T - Tasty and refreshing. Perhaps a bit lighter than other Helles'. Still a good amount of flavor, and the hops are definately noticeable. Pleasant aftertaste, slightly bitter, and sits well.

F - One of my favorite aspects. Very refreshing, a pleasant aftertaste, not filling.

O - A great representation of the style. There arUe still a couple Munich Helles' I prefer, but this is a damn good beer. Tasty and refreshing, perfectly sessionable. Look forward to picking up more. (868 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.61/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not much to look at as a darker yellow lager appearance falls under a fizzy, quickly dissipating head.

Get an oatey, kind of toasty, scent. Lots of German nuance, with a strong cereal malt aroma.

Served ice cold this has all the flavor and tons of drinkability expected in an Old World German lager. Strong oatey, malty, biscuity flavor and they disappear one right after the other. No wonder the English soccer fans underestimate German beers. 5 pct ABV, flavorful and drinks like water. (491 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Golden, clear body; effervescent, strong head, long lasting

Aroma: grassy, hoppy, citrus notes

Taste: Tangy, a little bitter; not particularly impressive

Remarks: Not a big fan of Pale Lagers overall; this was no exception

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (302 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pilsners and Pale Lagers would never have universally caught on if they weren't so attractive to look at; these clear yellow beers and their bright golden hue, entertaining bubbles and bleached white head are among the most aesthetic of all styles. This one, too, is very poster-friendly.

My first ever beer was at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich. I was 15 years old and very much uninterested in (if not staunchly against) alcohol. Furthermore, until that point I had yet to even smell a beer I could stomach. But the plain and lightly sweet cereal grain that emanated from the gigantic stein that night seemed inexplicably agreeable to me...

What I know now that I did not then is that this beer's ingredients are much purer and more wholesome than most commercial beers brewed in North America. In conventional terms it'd be referred to as "cleaner". More than that, however, good quality grain and time-honored brewing methods make for a beer that is just as flavourful as it is approachable.

The palate offers a mid-weight fabric woven from simple but substantial pilsner malt. It is delicately sweet and has a cracker-like taste as well as a soft bready graininess on the finish. Just as refreshing (but more substantial) than watermelon, it wouldn't be at all cliched to say that this lager is ideal for downing back on a sunny patio. Even a 2L stein won't last long!

Hofbräu Original expresses the true voice of Germany's proud brewing tradition. It is a model showcase of the simple yet substantial beers that made Germans so renown for their lagers and reduced breweries worldwide to mere copycats. True, you can easily find lager everywhere, but this reminds us that in Germany is still where you find the best. (1,725 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $3

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for about 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Corn, breads/grains, hops, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste corn, hops, and bread/grains. There are also some grassy/herbal/corn husk notes. It ends with a grainy/herbal slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall – A really refreshing solid example of the style. This is the type of beer I could drink all night long, especially during the warmer months. (651 characters)

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A very light tint of yellow, pilsneresque.
S- Grainy and plain.
T- A light and very palatable taste of either corn or grains.
M-Extremely light.
O- A very drinkable beer on par with the style guidelines. I would definitely recommend drinking this on a hot day. (265 characters)

Photo of BierStein711
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad lager.

Draught into 12 oz pokal.

pale gold color, two inch fast reducing head

Smells of grain, cereal, and barley

Tastes: grain, lager yeast, citrus, and a mild grassy finish

Mouthfeel: thin

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. I doubt I would seek it out in the future, and I doubt that the Munich Helles Lager is a style I would pursue in the future either. (370 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 330ml bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Poured a clear pale gold with almost no head and no lacing. Aroma is sweet with notes of bread and maybe green apple (there's a certain tart feeling to it). The taste is very malt forward, with the same flavors as the aroma and a nice hit of hop bitterness on the finish. There is slightest bit of carbonation and the mouthfeel is a little bit thin and both a really quite nice. A great German lager, simple and well made. (468 characters)

Photo of sagabrews
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Half-litre in the new Berlin Hofbrau Hall: 24 Feb 2013.

Usual helles/plisner/lager look and feel: bright gold, clear and clean, thin snowy white head that doesn't like hanging around too long.

Neither sweet nor dry: neither hoppy or malty, a run of the mill brew that I enjoyed because of the place and company where I had it.

Nothing stands this apart from the thousands of simular brews around the world: refreshing but standard fare really. Just above your average mass produced lager type beers. (502 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, at least they make 'em brown for the Canadian market.

This beer pours a clear, bright golden yellow colour, with two beefy fingers of puffy, loosely foamy white head, which leaves some circular bands of patchy, fuzzy lace around the glass as it recedes in an orderly manner.

It smells of grainy pale malt, raw cereals, a touch of field honey, mildly zingy lemon rind, and some softly weedy, grassy hops. The taste is more cereal-like grainy malt, a bit of lightly-toasted white bread, subtle overripe lemon peel, grassy, somewhat tangy hops, and a slightly stoney underlying mineral stripe.

The carbonation is perfunctory in its supportive workings, no more, no less, the body a decent medium weight, sturdy and working-man smooth. It finishes a tad off-dry, the graininess and understated grassy hops contending with a lingering honeyed sweetness.

Another of those German lagers, the kind where you start to wonder why you're wasting your time analyzing it, when a good chunk of your DNA has been co-opted by the general laid-back, but still stern, uh, pleasantness of this offering, and whether you should just get on with the drinking. I'm strongly inclined to just say 'Prost' to it all right now. (1,219 characters)

Photo of dogfishandi
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz green bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint.

Pours out a very clear golden color, very small amount of sediment if you look hard enough. About one fingers worth of white head that fades to a thin yet retentive layer. Some nice sticky, sporadic lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles rushing to the top.

A bit skunky and bland. Mineral lager yeast and some grains.

Similar to the aroma. Mineral, almost sulfer lager yeast, sweet cereal grains, hints of butter, finishes with a bit of crisp hop bitterness.

Crisp, refreshing, light bodied. A bit watery.

Pretty standard lager. Only slightly better than most American macros, not something I would strive to drink again. (684 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, golden yellow color with a white, 2 finger head. Good retention. Very little in the way of lace.

Smell - Aroma consists of grainy bread and honey malts, with a bit of grassy hop sitting beneath.

Taste - Flavor is predominantly light honey upfront, with a grainy malt malt backbone. Malt forward to begin, but by mid-taste the grassy hop character beings to cut through, then shows more presence near the finish. Good balance, though finishes more sweet than bitter.

Mouthfeel - Leans close to medium bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation. The sweetness leads to fantastic smoothness and drinkability; goes down nice and easy. One of the more impressive lagers in terms of mouthfeel.

Overall - Great all-around lager. Flavorful, without being cloying. If I were in the mood for a "honeyfied" sweet brew, I'd definitely buy this again. (877 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dense and abundant. Vibrant golden color. Good carbonation.
Faint aroma from malt and hops.
Strong grassy hops flavor mingled with mild sweetness from malt. Refreshing taste and very German.
Bitter and dry finish. Once it gets warmer you can better feel the grains.
Classic one, even nicer when having it at Hofbrau in Munich. (331 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a 0.2l Rastel pokal glass. Date stamp on bottle" L 156 L 09:47

Appearance: Bright golden yellow. Rocky white foam upon pouring died back to a thin skin across the stop. Lots of crazed lacing noted that would slowly slide back down the glass. Plenty of nice bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Strongly metallic with some herbal and floral thrown in for good measure. I can see why on the bottle back they mention "fine harsh aroma". Surprisingly it works here whereas you'd think by itself it wouldn't.

Taste: Solid malt up front and in the middle with a hint of caramel merging in the middle with the spicy German hops. Bitter finish is part metallic, part spicy, part skunky, part floral, part tea-like. Plenty of flavor and very German in style, classic really, but not outstanding. I think it needs a bit more malt.

Mouthfeel: At first quite fizzy, but later it became more lively in carbonation but not fizzy. Spicy carbonation on the tongue. A little bit sticky underneath the carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Not bad. Not the best German lager I've ever had, but not bad. I think the beer needs a bit more malt to balance out the hops, but, I think this beer would work really good with food. I had it by itself and I keep thinking I need something to pair it with and so drinkability is not high - one is enough. (1,367 characters)

Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
86 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.