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Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

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

1,109 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,109
Reviews: 436
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 37
Gots: 93 | 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: 1,109 | Reviews: 436 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

generallee, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of BigIrishman
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

BigIrishman, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of SamN
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

SamN, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

hustlesworth, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

OlRasputin989, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of appenzeller
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

appenzeller, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of revdrkevind
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

revdrkevind, May 17, 2010
Photo of jmhart
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

jmhart, May 04, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

AgentMunky, Apr 24, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

srandycarter, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

soju6, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

flagmantho, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Krevee
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden light yellow with a large head that dissipates fairly quickly. Has mild lacing that falls quickly.

S - Has a light skunky smell that goes along with a light grain/malt smell. The skunky smell fades as the beer goes down.

T - Very light grain malt flavor, with a little bit of hop flavor in the middle. And little sweet after taste that goes away quickly.

M - Very light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very good for this type of beer.

D- Light beer very easy to put down.

Krevee, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of NA1NSXR
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Miniscule head, very clear dark gold, moderate carbonation. Light lacing. Looks tired.

Smell - Slight skunk present, remainder of the smell is hoppy with a trace of spice.

Taste - This isn't bad at all. Its like a maltier pilsener with maybe a half strength hop bite at the finish.

Mouthfeel - There is more carbonation bite to it than the appearance lets on, which is a good thing for this kind of lager.

Drinkability - This is actually pretty good for a lager. If I want a lighter colored lager and not looking for the more intense bitterness of a real pilsener then I would probably grab one of these. Pretty impressive overall considering the type of beer.

NA1NSXR, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of Minkybut
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this beer while holding my nose into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was blond nearly and poured the best head of the night. It was big and white. However the skunk smell made me think something was going to crawl out of it. The beer had a sweet taste that was too much,tasted green. I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 liter stein of this beer went down so smooth and quick I shocked myself. Beer served in a Hofbrau stein mug on draft at a local beer bar.

Beer is clear and yellow and forms a soapy white head of medium and large bubbles that fall away and cluster into smaller local heads of smaller bubbles that persist. There is some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and steady.

The aroma overall is weak but there is some malt sweetness and a crisp pilsnerish aroma.

Beer is medium to light bodied, slightly sweet but finishes really nice. Overall its a lot of fun to drink. There is good carbonation in the mouth, the body is right, the flavors are subtle but good. Overall its all excellent. I really enjoyed it.

drabmuh, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of bum732
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear straw yellow, small head with good lacing. Smells of grassy hops, slight breadiness, some cat pee. Tastes of slight bready malt with a good grassy bitterness. Finishes fairly dry and very crisp. High carbonation with light mouthfeel.

A pretty solid Helles, nothing special and not much stood out, but definitely drinkable.

bum732, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Ultra-clear pale yellow with light gold tints. A pure snow white head fades quickly into a little, patchy lacy film.

S: A sweet malt character with a skunky corn scent and light biscuit grains. Grassy hops, very mild.

T: Sharp carbonation on the front and through the middle with some corny and malty hints. Dirty, musky German beer finish with suggestions of sour apples and grapes.

D: I could drink these all night long!

Value: For $8.99 this is a bargain.

WeezyBoPeep, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of snpub540
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a clear straw colored hue. Nice two finger head turns quickly into a ring of white bubbles. Barely any lacing left on the glass.

Smells of sweet malt and floral hops. The malt aroma is bready and there is a slight earthiness to it.

Taste is very much sweet biscuity malts up front followed by a slightly spicy hop bitterness. Very crisp dry aftertaste.

Nice, chewy medium mouthfeel. I think I could drink plenty of these because of how refreshing they are. Would definately make for a great sessionable beer.

snpub540, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of cagocubs
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this on-tap in Munich and from the bottle in the States...While I believe this was better on tap, I think the experience shaped my reasoning.

This is a review of the bottle:

A: Pours light gold, clear, quickly dissipating white head. Real nice active carbonation. Good clear gold color.

S: A real fresh and crisp smell. Can smell sweet malt and moderate hops.

T: Crisp and sweet. The malts give it a sweetness that is fought off by the bitter hops. A good clean and crisp beer.

M: Really nice carbonation. The hops finish leaves this a pleasure to drink.

D: Really high. I could see myself drinking this frequently.

cagocubs, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle into pint glass.

Clear, golden goodness. Not a strange yellow, coors like color, but golden loveliness.

Smells very nice and clean. Bready, with some grassy hops in there.

Taste is good and to the point. Very clean and refreshing with balanced malts and nice mellow hop finish.

Very crisp and refreshing.

Could drink an ocean of these. Just a well rounded drinkable beer. Spend the extra few bucks and drink this instead of some corn and rice beer from the states.

MirkoCroCough, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of rebel1771
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear straw yellow color with a fluffy white head that sticks around a while.

S: Dense aroma of grass and grains, par for the style.

T: Sweet malt flavor up front with a dose of cracker flavor thrown in at the end.

D: I had this beer on tap in Munich and it was a hell of a lot better there. In the bottle this beer is just above average.

rebel1771, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of randawakes
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In Munich, appearance is not indicative of taste, apparently.

The beer is super light, looks like a high life/budlight/corona.

GERMAN beer! finally from the house itself. I loved this beer in the liter glass beer steins with a pork knuckle. Fulfilling taste, grassy, honey malt and hop finish, drinkability is exceptional.

randawakes, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got it on tap at Wolff's Biergarten in Albany on 12-1-09.

A: Served in a 1/2-liter mug. Body is light golden yellow with a small white head. Leaves behind good rings of lace.

S: Grassy hops over cereal grains. Clean.

T: First impression is that word "clean" again. I wrote "clean, crisp grains" and that about describes it. Definitely pils-like in the way it's crispy, light and refreshing. Nice grassy finish with a touch of straw or hay. Does become a bit sweeter as it warms a bit.

M: Light in heft, carbonation is there but non-intrusive.

D: This beer is extremely quaffable. Goes down real easily. My favorite of the non-Doppelbock offerings at Wolff's.

Kendo, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of bristol2120
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml brown bottle. Pours with a medium sized head initially that subsides leaving a thin layer of foam and only moderate lacing. Aroma is pleasant but subtle; bready, yeasty notes predominate, with hops far in the background. Taste is malty at first, with citrusy hops notes coming on a bit more in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very soft and well-rounded with a medium carbonation that feels very suitable for the style. This is a very drinkable beer, and one of the best representatives of the style I have had.

bristol2120, Nov 20, 2009
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
86 out of 100 based on 1,109 ratings.