Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

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very good

1,204 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,204
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 40
Gots: 133 | 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: 1,204 | Reviews: 441 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chefelf
2.3/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After reading the rest of the reviews here I'm convinced that I must've gotten a bad bottle somehow. What I had tasted exactly like a skunky Heineken. They only flavor really was skunk flavor. Overall very displeasing.

This was directly from a case of beer which had just come in at the store so theoretically it shouldn't have been exposed to too much light and should have been relatively fresh. I look forward to hopefully getting this again in the future to review it again. I can't imagine this is the flavor that has gotten such consistent high reviews here.

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

A very clear, pale-gold beer with a fizzy, white head. Bread and fresh hay aroma. The taste is smooth and creamy, despite the hop bitterness, with a slight metallic aftertaste that is not unpleasant. A very clean flavor. Finishes with a slight residual sweetness. Pretty high carbonation.

Overall, a beer with finesse. Very drinkable.

Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Al's of Hampden.

The beer pours a bright gold color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty attractive, showcasing light honey, bread dough and a hint of sandlewood. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, except this beer displayed more bitterness than I was expecting on the finish. Hence, despite some initial light sweetness, the finish is dry and slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is light and crisp in this well crafted, easy appreciate beer. Alcohol is barely even an afterthought in this easy to enjoy beer.

Very nice beer... exactly the sort of thing I could see drinking with some friends while watching the brats grill during football season.

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

A: Poured a clear true golden colored brew.

S: Smell is full of fresh grain scents and a clean hop smell. Mild grassy scents in this too.

T: Taste is not too sweet and very grainy. Assertive hops shows up at the very start. Not over hopped though well balanced.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

O: Nice drinkable brew might could be stronger in body.

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

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: clear, light blond; very nice carbonation; four-finger head; laces nicely
S: Very light, crisp aroma
T: As expected, a fine clear lager; sweet bread predominates; seems to sweeten slightly at the end of the swig

Overall, a very solid, well crafted beer; I'll buy more of these, especially for guests who prefer what they call "lighter" beers

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

A - A crystal clear, very pale blonde with a standard German mug beer head. Bright white and unmoving.

S - A nice light bouquet of sweet wheat bread and fresh honey. Faint hop bitterness/yeast note.

T - Bitter, lagered yeast and a small dash of semi bitter hops. Sweet grainy bread with sweet honey and wet malts. Background bitter hops.

M - This beer is light and very drinkable, wetting the palate.

O - A great German drinking beer, from Munchen's watering hole.

Photo of klintok21
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I took a special trip to Milwaukee, WI to visit The Old German Beer Hall and had the privilege to first enjoy Hofbrau on tap there in a large 1 litre glass. Absolutely delicious! When I got back home to Grand Rapids, MI I had to do some searching but was able to track down some bottled Hofbrau to give it a second go around and I think I'm even more in love with it! This fine Deutsche Bier is now my favorite! Prost!

Photo of fx20736
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz green bottle into glass mug.

Poured a brilliant golden beer with a thin 1/3" white head. Carbonation is not easily visible.

Aroma: more spicy hops, less sour grassiness here. Almost Pilsener like.

Moutheel: full. Plenty of carbonation which doesn't show up in the body or the head.

Taste: an enchanting minuet between spicy noble hops and Malts. Hops dance around but never get carried away. Beer finishes amazingly clean and crisp.

Notes: A fantastic Helles. This takes a spot up with Spaten in my pantheon. I could drink this all day long. Of all the big Munich brewers' Helles that I have tasted I would rank them thus:


This style has completely taken over all my Summer Lager needs and desires. Heavenly to drink, I can't imagine going without Helles.

Photo of thegodfather1076
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Very modest oldworld label and presentation.

Appearance - Poured a clear golden yellow with a 1 1/2 finger white foam head taht dissipates quickly into foam ring.

Smell - Smells of bready malts with a hint for grassy floral hops. Smells very fresh and downright refreshing.

Taste - Tasts of grain and again floral grassy hops. The bready malt type flavor shows up on the backend.

Mouthfeel - Very lightly carbonated but has a def medium bodied feel.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, light, crisp, and refreshing. Great taste

Cant really go wrong with this one. A solid offering that is super refreshing. Would be great on a hot summer day. Def worth a try!

Photo of DCon
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 1 Pint, .9 FL OZ bottle of this from Dierbergs in Ellisville, MO for $1.99. Poured from the Tan/Brown bottle (not the green version) into my Mizzou Pilsner Glass. Has l205j on the back (Date of some kind?).

Aroma- Very clean and low amount of malt and hop. Has a strong and dominate grain aroma and crisp.

Appearance- Pours a pale gold body that is clear with a 4 finger head that has huge bubbles. The retention is weak here...

Flavor- Strong yeast taste and slight maltiness all the way through (even finish). No bitterness and nothing here but a clean, easy drinking lager.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and leaves corn on the palate.

Overall Impression- I'm very sure I've had this Hofbräu while in Munich for the Oktoberfest but this American version is very different. Everything here was average and nothing really special. Showed decent signs of a Munich Helles Lager here and there but only at par.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hofbrau Original has a medium, off-white head and a clear, yellow appearance, with some lacing left behind. The aroma is very bready and a little hop aroma is detected. Taste is sweet bread, which stays in the aftertaste, and this beer has a nice, mellow hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Hofbrau Original finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and mostly dry. Overall, this is a delicious beer, and I think any beer lover should try it.


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

On-tap at Yard House - Irvine

A: The pour is a pale golden, straw, yellow color with a finger of white head.

S: Starts off with pale malts and a bit of corn. Light floral and earthy hop notes with a bit of lager yeast. Really light, but detectable, fruity esters in the background. Not the most fragrant, but good.

T: Like the nose, there's a light malt and bread flavor with a bit of corn-type flavor. A sweet and lightly floral honey type flavor with some light hops and minimal bitterness. The yeast comes through toward the back end.

M: Light in body with a medium carbonation.

O: A light, crisp, easy to drink beer with some good flavors. Solid stuff.

Photo of flyingpig
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden amber that has a fine lacing around the brim for a head with visible carbonation.

A skunky grain aroma that I got upfront followed by some corn. There was some nice grassy hops in the background here too but not much else really.

A lot like a standard pale lager for my liking with some skunky and metallic flavours being too strong. There is some nice grassy hops and a little sweetness as well with a light, slightly bitter finish.

A light body and very smooth, making it easy to drink.

This one is pretty decent for a pale lager but somewhat lacking for a Munich helles lager and definitely not one I would recommend over other helles.

1001 Beers to Try:

Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a flared flute glass at Bauer's Brauhaus.

Yet another brew here at the Brauhaus. I do plan on leaving eventually... Anyway, this one pours a clear sallow topped by a finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises wheat, flowers, and grass. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a light vein of lemon zest and a tiny pinch of nutmeg. The body is quite light, with a very light moderate carbonation, a nearly watery feel, and a crisp finish. Overall, an okay brew at best, one that would have been better if it's taste had been echoed in the smell and feel (the latter two being far too meek and thin and watery to be really enjoyed).

Photo of JayS2629
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured at the Hofbrau House in Panama City from tap. The appearance is a hazy gold with creamy white head that fades fast and leaves spotty lace. The smell is of earthy grain, caramel, bread and earthy notes of hops. The taste is caramel, freshly baked bread, and lemon with an herbal, earthy touch at the end. Overall a nicely balanced beer, but on the watery side.

Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pint bottle into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of fair thickness but no cream. Average retention. Clear yellow colour.

Sm: Light tones of cream and barley. Pleasant. I'm excited to try this beer.

T: The notes from the nose but unfortunately culminating in a sort of dirty barley finish that isn't balanced against the first two acts. Moderately complex, but not quite refreshing. It's built well for the style; I believe it's a flagship of the style actually.

Mf: Too smooth. Too wet. Almost watery on the finish.

Dr: It's probably fairly priced in Germany, but it's not in Ireland. I'd have it again as a run of the mill drinking beer, but it's nothing special.

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

The last time I had this beer I was downing it in multiple litre steins at the source which really wasn't the best way to review a beer. Too bad I just had a bottle for this but needs must.

Has few problems forming a pretty respectable head and while it doesn't retain its initial two inch size it always hangs about. Good deep golden colour the nose is a fairly robust combination of bread and yeast. Medium bodied with a fair degree of chewy finesse which largely masks a slight watery quality. To the taste there's a forward interplay between some bitterness and fruit where neither dominates. Alcohol emerges more with every sip.

Not bad at all.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa last week because the warmer weather is here and I had never tried this before. I once went to the Hofbrauhaus across the Ohio River from Cincinnati and figured that this was as close as I'd get to that experience! Expected a light beer and for the most part, that's what this was. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it and found it to be great for the season.

Nice golden hue to this pour with an equally enjoyable head. No lacing to be found and the aroma wasn't much past the biscuit and bread that I expected from something like this. There was lemon, straw, and a little bit of wheat to be found here with not a lot of carbonation either. The mouthfeel was balanced, smooth, and easygoing and at the bottom of the bottle, there was just a hint to remind me that this was a bit unfiltered.

I loved the fact that this came in a 16 oz. bottle since it was so easy to down. The alcohol couldn't be felt and this is about as "bright" a beer that I've had for a long time, given how light it appeared to be when I poured it out. This won't blow anyone away but give me a bunch of bottles of this and i'd be happy for a while. There's no doubt that this is simply wonderful.

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle

A- Clear and bright golden. Decent white head, decent retention, little lacing on the glass. Visible carbonation

S- Fresh. Bready malts, light hints of grass from the hops, maybe a faint lemon note. Classic but not much interesting

T- Again fresh. Typical bread Hell malts, maybe a bit more on the raw side in this one. More hop bitterness than in your average Hell, with not much besides the typical wet grass feel. Taste, and aftertaste, are also slightly metallic

M- Light body with a fresh mouthfeel. Very crisp and lively without excessive carbonation, not at all smooth though

O- Great drinkabilty, as you would expect. A good thirst-quencher with no major issues and nothing much interesting to say

Photo of morebeergood
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a bottle this past weekend while dining at the Beehive in the South End. Poured into a small dimpled mug. Loads of carbonation. Bright yellow body with a modest sized white head. Smell was fairly fresh, with only a slight smell of skunk from the green bottle. Not enough to detract points for though. Taste was actually pretty fresh. Lots of malt, just a bit of bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel was pretty smooth but uneventful. On the watery side, but needs to be to enjoy in mass quantities (no pun intended). Overall not as "euro" tasting as I was expecting. This beers holds up quite well on the journey over from Germany.

Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vom Fass, Las Vegas.

A: Blonde with a huge white head, good retention, awesome lace. I'd forgotten how great authentic, fresh German brews look.

S: Quite hoppy, steelie grass, floral & hints of herbs. Some underlying toffee & fresh baked bread.

T: Steelie, grassy hops dominate, this is an original helles that was chasing the Pils. There's still a nice breadiness from the continental malt, with hints of toffee and a balanced bitterness. It's good, but not really to my taste.

M: Smooth moderate body.

D: Enticing, but I didn't care for the particular hopping and 0.5 L was more than enough.

Photo of dbaker61
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Lisa's Pizzeria, Qingdao, China. 0.5L mug.

Appearance: Brought to the table, it had one finger of head, which had good retention, and left ragged rings of lacing as I quaffed it. Crystal clear golden yellow color with plenty of lines of bubbles.

Smell: Very light aroma of sweet malt, didn't pick up any hops smells.

Taste: A little on the sweet side, but with a noticeable undercurrent of hops flavors. Well balanced and very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied. Adequate carbonation. Slightly sweet finish from the malt.

Overall: A very drinkable lager. It was gone before my lunch arrived. I could drink several of these. Very nice indeed.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness date as far as I can tell. Poured into a

Appearance - Large white head with decent retention and light lacing. Clear golden yellow body with some visible carbonation.

Smell - Faint olive smell. Slight malt and hop.

Taste - Slightly astringent. A bit of hop. No detectable maltiness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and full bodied.

Overall - Decent beer. Pretty basic and uninspiring. I enjoyed it for historical reasons, since it's brewred according to the German Purity Law according to the bottle, which also says "since 1589".

Photo of bosox941827
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in 1L mug at the Chinese Tower biergarten in Munich.

A - Served foaming and darkish yellow in an absolutely massive 1L mug; a good 3-4 inches of head on top hangs around for a while.
S - A slight hint of hoppiness, with malt character thrown in as well. Sounds dumb, but it smells like a prototypical "beer" to me.
T - When you provide a beer that is typical served in 1L containers, it better be drinkable and this beer has that in spades. A bit sweeter and malty than the other Munich brews, it still has enough hop character to make it perfectly balanced. If you really want to, this beer has enough character to stand up to a detailed tasting, but really it's made to be drinkable and thirst-quenching, and it achieves that perfectly. Much more character to it than any large American beer, and remember, this is made to the German beer-quality law, so there are no adjuncts in here. A tasty, well-made quaffer.
M - Decent amount of carbonation despite the casking, with just a bit more heaviness than other typical lagers.
A must when in Munich, either at the Hofbrauhaus itself, or at one of the many other gardens or kellers in Munich or elsewhere.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.38/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours out an absolutely crystal clear gold, with one inch of white head

Smells of sweet skunk and baby grass alcohol and malts

The taste is of wet grains and really just super expected lager but less

Mouth feel is watery with a cheap carbonation like soda. I feel like this is their version of the US' fizzy yellow stuff

Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
85 out of 100 based on 1,204 ratings.