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Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

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

1,021 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,021
Reviews: 428
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 32
Gots: 65 | 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: 1,021 | Reviews: 428 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NODAK


3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell here is mostly of sweet grains and a bit of Noble hops. Pretty nice.

Slight bit of grassiness upfront. Very fleeting, with a some tart flavor sweeping in....with a good snap of Noble hops afterward. Finish has a tart twang to it with a bit of malty sweetness lingering. Pretty clean.

Refreshing beer. A good amount of flavor and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 03:05:33 | More by NODAK
Photo of bgildea


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

A: Very light yellow color. Little head that doesn't fade too quickly. Large carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells of sweet barley and typical German lager.

T: The taste is a nice mixture of sweet and malty. The sweetness tends to linger in the mouth. The biggest fault in the taste is that the carbonation tends to overpower the other flavors at times.

M: Thin beer, with little chew. A lot of carbonation too, which I'm not a huge fan of.

D: It's a decent beer so it's drinkable. I would go out of my way to get another, but I'm not the biggest German Lager fan though.

Overall: Overall, it was a pretty good beer. Nice taste of sweetness to it, with a little too much carbonation. Not my preferred style, but still pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 23:29:41 | More by bgildea
Photo of jneiswender


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Hofbrau in Munich. Served in a liter sized crug at a cool temperature.

A-gold body, bright white and thick head.

S-clean, floral smell and slightly metallic

T-cereal, nice bitter hop finish at the end.


D-very good drinking beer. I would drink this beer again but I would only want it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 00:13:18 | More by jneiswender
Photo of tone77


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

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, a bit of sweetness. Taste is crisp, mild, some grains, just a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 16:02:25 | More by tone77
Photo of xylophonica


3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a schooner.

A - Very pale yellow golden colour with a good finger of head and plenty of carbonation bubbles.

S - Wheat, grass and honey.

T - Initially quite bitter and spicy but with a malty sweetness to follow that softens the palate.

M - The intial bitterness subsides fairly quickly as the malt coats the mouth and softens out any possible harshness.

D - Very easy to drink, a good refreshing lager for a hot summer's day.

Quite enjoyable, have had this on-tap before many times but this is the first time from the bottle. Much more spicy and malty from a bottle. On-tap you still get the crispness but the malt doesn't coat your mouth in quite the same way.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 08:21:17 | More by xylophonica
Photo of DrRosenscrotum

New York

3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

About 2" head when poured from bottle. Thin lacing on weizen glass after first sip. No fruity taste just a clean crisp taste with slight hint of the hops. Pale orange color with heavy mix of yellow hue. Great beer to enjoy anytime especially when temp of beer is around 40 degrees.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 01:30:08 | More by DrRosenscrotum
Photo of metter98

New York

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured clear light yellow in color with a thin white head that quickly faded away. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: Aromas of grainy malts dominate the nose along with some hints of floral hops.
T: The taste is rather malty and has a slight amount of sweetness; a mild amount of bitterness present throughout the initial taste and finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean and crisp on the palate.
D: It's very easy to consume this beer so it is sessionable and well suited for drinking several of these in one sitting out of litre-sized mugs.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:07:53 | More by metter98
Photo of gkunkle


4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer, I was able to enjoy a liter of it at the Hofbrau House in Munich (did you know that in the 40s one of hitler's pieces of artwork hung on the wall there?) Also, I was serenaded by a drunken yodeling swiss man as i enjoyed this beer, which made it even better.

The beer is a clear golden color with a nice thick white head (got a little on my nose, good sign) Smells hoppy and malty. Tastes very fresh, in the front is a sweet malty flavor and it finishes hoppy with a little bitterness. The bitterness is perfect, enough to make you want another sip, but not enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth. It has a medium/light body and is pretty easy to drink, very sessionable (the way this style is meant to be)

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2010 00:39:49 | More by gkunkle
Photo of JMD


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

A: Crystal clear golden yellow with some light peachy tones. Thick white head that fades quickly and leaves very little lacing.

S: Clean aroma of grains and fresh fruit. Some light hops as well.

T: Grainy, earthy flavors. With a blast of fruity sweetness that reminds me of fresh apples. Light hop bitterness as it finshes.

M: Light bodied, low carbonation

D: Munich Helles Lagers are intended to be light and very drinkable while still having some depth and flavor. Hofbrau Original is finely crafted and spot on for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 21:35:17 | More by JMD
Photo of DrJay


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

Crystal clear and light gold with a fluffy white cap. Decent head retention, lots of sticky and streaky lace. Cereal grain and malt aroma, with floral notes and a hint of spice. Solid hop bitterness that has just a bit of bite, floral and grassy up front with more of an herbal finish, almost minty. Mild malt sweetness and flavour throughout. Light bodied, moderate carbonation, a bit dry. Crisp and refreshing, quite tasty. I ended up liking the hop profile even though I wasn't sold on it at first taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 23:57:08 | More by DrJay
Photo of Stinkypuss


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A perfectly clear gold color and a soapy white head that provides some lace.

Earthy smell of European hops and bready malt. Flavor follows suit with a clean lager flavor, leaning heavily on the malt, which is probably of a Munich origin. In fact, this is a Munich Original. A malty lager and a tasty one at that. Hops are subdued and just do enough to balance, slight earthyness and soft bite.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and fairly smooth, good level of carbonation.

Drinkability: A good session lager here from Hofbrau, and one that I may revisit someday soon.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 19:53:34 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Boneheadmx


4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The last time I had this, it was on tap and I remarked at just how damn good it was. Finding this finally in a bottle, I had to snag it...

Pours out to a copper-ish yellow with a head that subsides to nothing.

Smell is very faint, of apple and the hops. Quite pleasant.

The taste isn't quite as good as I remembered it, but even still, better than many! Extremely light malty taste with a lingering hops in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is a thicker than it looks, with medium carbonation.

Drinkability is phenomenal!

In all, I'm very glad that I know where to find this in the case that I want something tried and true.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 00:28:35 | More by Boneheadmx
Photo of Mora2000


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a clear yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is grain and grassy hops. The flavor is more of the same with some light malts and some grassy and slightly earthy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 05:42:43 | More by Mora2000
Photo of generallee

New York

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into a Pilsener glass. The bottle has no freshness date or any info other than the style.

Appearance: It has a bright yellow body with very good clarity and some visible carbonation. The head is tall and full of soft white bubbles. Its retention is good as it slowly fades to a thin covering, that with a little swirl of the glass, lasts all the way to the last sip. On the glass it leaves behind some nice spotty lacing.

Smell: There are note of light pale malt notes with a solid floral/spicy/grassy hop presence.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor has a delicate sweet bready or sugar cookie like maltiness up front with a lemon meringue pie like undertone. Nice spicy/floral hop notes soon move in and add their bitterness and character. The hop character is in my opinion is in perfect balance to the malt. The finish has a good snappy, crisp and dry character that makes it extremely drinkable.

Notes: Again to sum up this beer it is well balanced, tasty and easy to drink. It makes for a good summer drinking beer and works well with a light snack of soft sour dough pretzels.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 12:24:41 | More by generallee
Photo of BigIrishman

New Jersey

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

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden color with a big white fluffy head and tons of bubbles running through it.

Smell: Sweet buttery malt with hints of those awesome spicy aromas given off by noble hops.

Taste: First off I'm amazed that this green bottle made it's way to my table without being light damaged, simply amazing. The sweet malts dominate those backburner noble hops that give off a spicy grassy/freshly mown lawn flavor. The malt here reminds me of butter cookies, but not in a bad way. Overall this is pretty decent.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with a bit of jumpiness from the high carbonation.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable brew, I usually never pick it up due to the high probability of it being light struck. This time the fates were aligned and I lucked out. If I make my way to the Hofbrau house in Munich, I'll be grabbing a liter or two.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2010 22:42:34 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of SamN


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Odell Brewery specialty tasting glass. Awesome.

A- Looks like your average macro: yellow and clear. However, the yellow is more of a golden straw. Huge carbonation activity visible thanks to it's perfect clarity. The head starts off wonderful, full and rocky and bubbly. Fades to an inch of fine bubbles. Nothing to compare it to, as this is my first Munich Helles, but if the goal of the appearance is to make me want to drink it, mission accomplished.

S- Slightly soured adjuncts up front. Powerful aroma, much more than I expected. Sour, bitter, herbal and metallic hops. Big hops profile, however, I just don't care for this smell much at all. The strength is welcome; the actual aroma, however, is not.

T- Hmmmm, interesting. Flashes of that strong strong sour hoppiness, but quickly fading to a subdued flavor profile that includes and surprising amount of malt characteristics (faint breads), better tasting floral hops (tulips/roses) and a fading sharpness. Somewhat balanced, more than I expected from the aroma. Bittered and almost tart finish with a sweeter metal lingering taste. Not bad. Not bad at all.

M- Outstanding. This beer really shines here. More than a light body, but not heavy whatsoever. Unbelievably smooth and just solid feeling. So good.

D- Not bad. Not exactly my cup of tea (or beer, as it were), but I could definitely see this as a good change up from PBR or Coors, a real German beer that serves as a great intro to "real" beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 03:03:11 | More by SamN
Photo of hustlesworth


4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Decided to fill up my great lakes growler with this classic. Call it growler or on-tap, either way I'm thirsty.

A- growler went boom when I popped the ceramic cap. Poured into giant 36oz dimpled hofbrau mug. Standard golden amber with a big billowy white head. Foam stays at a nice disk with many spots of lace.

S- sweetly malty aroma with some light toasted and raw cereals. Light but very floral hop aroma.

T- it's hard to say bath water in a way that sounds appealing. Mineral water doesn't quite describe it here. It's not soapy but the hops have such floral character that it conjures up images of splashin around havin a good old time. Pale toasty lip smackin boiled barley with a pinch of salt flavor and French fries. Can't call it bitter until the malt sweetness fades In the finish allowing some herbal and spicy hop juice to shine it's love light down on me. Clean almost fresh feeling aftertaste.

MF- light but with some structure and creamy almost wheat protein like feel. I'll call it a hair under medium bodied. Soft extremely tight carbonation graces the tongue and gently scrubs away all residue except for the lingering hop feel and flavor.

D- late June, rack of ribs in the wet smoker, and havin 2 litres of this is helpin me deal with the skeeters. Glad it's in my mug. Back before I knew anything about beer I thought helles tasted like shit. Except for the a/b endeavour burnin helles back in say, 2004-05, but that doesn't really count I guess and, ah look at me, I'm ramblin again. Point is, enjoying a style for what it is and what it's worth is truly a righteous time. By far and completely the best helles I've had and totaly on par with jarhundert century bier from my salaciously coveted braueri von aying. Which I'm still tryin to find a case of. I haven't showered today.

Serving type: growler

06-21-2010 02:15:59 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of OlRasputin989


3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pilsner glass...

A: a bright golden beer with great clariy and a foamy, white, 1 finger head

S: mineral background behind a honeyed, biscuity malt aroma back by earthy, lemon scented hops.

T: carries the same characteristics as the aroma, although more of a grain character up front (i don't mean an adjunct lager grain flavor, this has been properly implented), finishing salty with citrus, grassy hops

M: foamy medium-full body with a refreshing dry finish

Overall: a very drinkable beer that leaves you wanting one drink after another. great for a session.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 01:14:54 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of appenzeller


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

Found this in a bottle in the States. Have sampled direct from the source (that big tourist trap in Munchen) several times but will review the bottled version here.

A: Gold, of course. Good clarity, of course. Nice frothy head, of course.

S: Standard German helles, floral overtones and spice. That's not a bad thing.

T: Good, straightforward helles, good balance, barely discernable malt with appropriately subtle and mild hops. Crisp, refreshing, classic session beer.

M: Good bite, balance of sweet and bitter, this is a true session beer.

Good memories associated with this beer, even without that, it would taste just fine. I've rarely seen this in the States but it's a good bottle and fresh as can be expected.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 08:40:22 | More by appenzeller
Photo of revdrkevind


4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I'm a little wary of filing this report just because I'm going to give a 5 in smell to a skunky beer, but this is one of those times when you just have to know what you're dealing with.

s- I've had this beer both American Hofbräuhaus locations, fresh from the tap, and I've also had it from the bottle and the keg on numerous trips to German tourist spots. Definitely aim for fresh from the tap, preferrably in a fine German eatery.

a- There's not much to the appearance, but there's something to be said for that. A nice, very expected pale straw color. A sudsy head can be poured as high as you want it (2+ fingers), and goes away fast with very light lacing. Not hugely remarkable, but there's not a single fault either.

s- Yes, it's supposed to smell like that. Hofbrau's "skunked" smell is bottled that way at the factory, to lend the beer a certain unique punch. You can't really realize the effectiveness of this technique until you've had it with mounds of wonderful German food, preferrably on-site at a Hofbräuhaus. The pungent beer actually goes wonderfully with fresh food, and as soon as you decouple the smell from skunkiness and realize that's just the style, the smell is just another characteristic of a fun beer. Under the skunk you'l find pine nuts, grass, and hops.

Watch out for old bottles and less-than-stellar taps with this beer. The natural skunkiness quickly gets out of hand in the green bottles, and any place that doesn't keep their taps clean is going to build up some funk. You want this beer fresh from a reputable server, or not at all.

t- Hofbrau is a pretty simple taste, designed to go down easy. You won't find anything much more complex than any other light pilsner, although the unique smell lends a certain character that pulls the tasting experience above the average. Some light hops, some grass accented by the aroma, and that's about it.

m- Purely average. Light, refreshing, a little heavy on aftertaste from the aroma. You'll learn a whole new level of mouthfeel if you're following tradition, eating a nice hearty meal with this beer, and then burp up a mouth and nose full of skunk. Hold back your beer-snob senses, realize this is intended, and soon you'll learn to love that feeling as a hallmark of the experience.

d- Give your designated driver the key to your stein safe, and make them sign a contract that it's their job to cut you off. This beer goes down easy all through the night, and you just don't want to stop. The smell is absolutely addictive once you've learned to love it, and you'll never think of fresh food the same way again without this beer in hand (or, stein).

verdict- I want to rate this beer down, call it an average pilsner swill with a rotten nose, but darn if it isn't just the most drinkable and refreshing thing you can get from a tap.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2010 14:26:35 | More by revdrkevind
Photo of jmhart


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Hofbrauhaus

Golden-stray color typical of a Munich Lager. Very clear, no sediment. Fluffy white head that left a nice residual.

Aromas typical of a Munich Lager: straw, hints of malt, slightly yeasty. Not really any hops on the nose.

Taste tends to favor the sweet side, but not overpowering. Hints of resin and grain. Quite crisp and refreshing. Overall taste is well balanced. As it warmed, the sweetness subsided and the beer became much easier to appreciate.

A decent amount of carbonation that tingled the tongue and spread the flavors.

Overall this is a very drinkable beer, at least on tap from the source. I'm not sure how this beer would hold up in a bottle on a shelf for a few months, but it's worth a shot.

Ultimately, a nice brew that I would enjoy again. Held up well with food.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2010 14:17:21 | More by jmhart
Photo of AgentMunky


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours very light, with copious bubbles and a very fine head (~two fingers).

S: This beer smells like skunk. I've heard of skunky beers, but this truly epitomizes the description. As my nose acclimates, it smells a little better, with grass and herbs dominating.

T: Thank the gods it tastes better than it smells! Grassy, crisp, grainy, good. It reminds me of Grolsch, but better. Mildly sweet, but always light. The aftertaste resurrects a bit of the skunkiness, but in a much pleasanter manner.

M: As mentioned before, Hofbräu is light, crisp, and refreshing. The carbonation is pleasant and not overdone.

D: Very drinkable. The relative lightness of this beer combined with its crispness go down easy. However, I just can't get past the godsawful smell.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 05:01:07 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of srandycarter


4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear straw, white head that leaves to ring fast. Some sudsy lace.

S - Crisp and bright, grain and hops in a fresh blend.

T - Nice. An honest true taste, subtle yet solid, malt backed by gentle hopping.

M - Light bodied, good balance.

D - What I imagine something like Heineken SHOULD taste like. A real beer and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 04:51:50 | More by srandycarter
Photo of soju6


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

This beer is a clear golden color with a fair head. The smell was of grain, a good clean aroma. The taste was crisp & clean with a slight sweetness. The feel was light, smooth and went down very easy Another very drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2010 13:58:19 | More by soju6
Photo of flagmantho


3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: crystal-clear golden body with two fingers of pillowy white foam, which dissipated somewhat quickly. Looks nice.

Smell: very clean, refreshing light malt aroma. It lacks graininess, a quality I quite appreciate.

Taste: clean, light malt flavor. There is a hint of graininess here that wasn't in the aroma, but other than that it is pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a very nice level of carbonation. As lagers go, I rather like this mouthfeel.

Drinkability: ah, the light lager's strong suit. I rather like Hofbräu Original more than most other lagers I've tried, and on top of that it is mega refreshing on the palate. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 01:29:45 | More by flagmantho
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 1,021 ratings.