1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hofbräu Original - Hofbräuhaus München

Not Rated.
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

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

1,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,074
Reviews: 432
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 34
Gots: 80 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hofbräu Original Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,074 | Reviews: 432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goblet

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

cracked the cool looking cap with a crown on top of a HB ,poured this from a green bottle into a pint glass.the date 15.09.2009.

Appearance:i got a paper white fluffy head after the pour that went away completely . the color is a golden yellow very clean and clear.

Smell:the aroma is hay,grass,fresh picked corn on the cob and lite malt ,the oily hops make this very freshing.

Taste:very freshing for this style, clean and crisp hay and fresh cut grass on the golf course the hops are picked right from the tree.

Mouthfeel:lite body ,and fresh hoppy feel it`s crisp and very smooth.

Drinkability:what can i say thats never been said ? this is a fine lager the hops are pleasant, tasty and clean ,i`m not the biggest fan but this is nice.

04-21-2009 16:31:09 | More by goblet
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.35/5  rDev -11.8%

I had this a the newportville inn in PA. Poured into a Hofbrau stein. Poured clear golden with a white heading. This stick's around a while.Lacing is in full force till the end.

Smell is of citrus hops and a kind of grainy taste but very subtle.

Taste is of the same but a little more lemony and hoppy flavor to it.

Mouth is flat. A light-bodied average carbonated beverage.

Drinkability is good. Goes down really smooth and settles really nice.

04-11-2009 23:24:50 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of giblet


4.47/5  rDev +17.6%

this is a damn fine german lager. pours golden with one inch of head. good lace down the glass. smells of fresh grass with hint of hop. the taste for me is the bomb! i could drink this with any food or without. if it were cheap and abundent it would be my daily brew for certain.

absolute good for the style.

suckem up and movem out!


04-09-2009 12:58:46 | More by giblet
Photo of AccidentalKate


4/5  rDev +5.3%

Appearance: A light straw color with a bit of a head that slowly fades away. The lace holds on to the side of the glass, but not overly so.

Aroma: Strong hoppy scent, a bit floral. Strong, but not overwhelming.

Taste: A small hit of bitterness right at the beginning followed by a nice grain taste that seemingly lasts for minutes on end. To be honest, I expected something a little bolder, but it's still pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Weakest part of this beer. Was expecting a zip, when all I got was a blip. Maybe lagers just aren't supposed to play on the tongue.

Drinkability: A flavorful beer, not quite robust. Tastes wonderful, but could have played better in the mouth. Carbonation should not be something a brewer is fearful of, yet the Hofbrau seems as if it is.

04-06-2009 00:58:17 | More by AccidentalKate
Photo of wahhmaster


3.38/5  rDev -11.1%

Poured from a 0.5l bottle into a small stemmed pokal glass.

Appearance: Golden and translucent with a quick-dissipating fizzy head.

Smell: Citrusy with grassy notes. Smells quite pleasant. Strong smelling too; I could smell it as soon as I put it in the glass.

Taste: Sharp, bitter taste that comes on strong up front. Nice mix of hops and malts, but nothing too special.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and biting with way too much carbonation. Not that pleasant, really.

Drinkability: Not bad, but nothing special either. Definitely wouldn't buy it if there were other choices.

03-23-2009 14:18:04 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of Mosstrooper


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured from half-liter bottle into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden color with a lot of head with large bubbles that disspipates pretty quickly, leaving a bubbly lace. Lots of carbonation bubbles are visible rising from the bottom.

Smell: Slightly grassy, with a fresh-smelling sweet malt character.

Taste: Pretty grainy, with the usual sweet apple-juice type flavor found in this style. Finishes with a decent hop spice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and refreshing, with a carbonation bite at the beginning that strangely leaves the mouth quickly before being swallowed.

Drinkability: A good refresher, and overall a solid beer. Not the best of the style, but damn good. I wanna have this with a giant buttery pretzel.

03-23-2009 14:09:48 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of armock

New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

A - Poured a golden yellow color with a white head that leaves slight lacing behind

S - Has a light smell of sweet grainy malt touch of hops

T - Nothing is very strong in the beer sweet grainy malt mild hops

M - This beer has a light body with medium carbonation to it

D - To me this is a fancy lawnmower beer good for when its hot out and I want a cold beer I guess the style doesn't get me going all that much

03-18-2009 20:29:34 | More by armock
Photo of cedricwarner

New York

2.88/5  rDev -24.2%

A small release of sulfur upon opening the bottle, despite this being in the brown half liter bottle (it's not always due to green glass). Once poured it forms a lovely frothy head giving off honey sweet malt aromas. Probably the best aspect of this beer.

As far as taste goes, it's got the proper small amount of hop bitterness for the style but not enough malt sweetness to balance out. There's also some mild metallic twang happening that I find only slightly unpleasant, and it's not just this particular bottle, I've had loads of these.

It's still quite drinkable, but out of the big Munich six, this is my least favorite Helles.

02-07-2009 01:47:48 | More by cedricwarner
Photo of mattcomstock213


3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

The classic Munich Helles poured into a glass.
This beer looked great, clear and golden. It tasted great too. The taste is clean and crisp, with just a notice of hops. Very refreshing. I think I like Augustiner better, but this is the classic of the style.

01-25-2009 18:55:44 | More by mattcomstock213
Photo of KyleMWood


4.18/5  rDev +10%

Pale golden color, small white head, with a true German helles lager taste. Also, crisp, with a good amount of hops. Lot of hops in the scent. Very drinkable, perfect for a few glasses on a warm day in Munich, or in my case, Austin TX.

The only complaint I have is that I wish it was a more gold, brighter in color. Otherwise, great helles lager.

01-13-2009 02:31:18 | More by KyleMWood
Photo of philipquarles


3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Poured from a 12oz green bottle into a pokal. Clear golden with a two-finger white head that dissipates to a foam film. Little lacing. Smells slightly skunked, but not horrendously so. Faint pilsener malt and grassiness come through after the skunk, along with some definite floral hop aromas. The malt is again very evident on the palate, with quite a bit of grainy character. Bittering hops are there to balance it quite well. Really refreshing. A nicely done helles--would certainly be even better out of a keg.

01-07-2009 23:48:20 | More by philipquarles
Photo of Prostman81


4.95/5  rDev +30.3%

Love this beer. I get it on tap at a really good local German restaurant, usually by the 1L. stein. When I can, I also by a couple 500ml bottles at my local major liquor store. In glass, has a great golden color and a huge head, which eventually settles down. Aroma has a nice smooth malt note. Taste is clean, while having an excellent malt and hop balance, and goes great with whatever German dish I'm having at the time (or is good just on it's own). I can't comment on the 12 oz. green glass bottles (the 500 mls are brown). I've read bad reviews for that serving, but can't comment on them as I just prefer having it on tap thru the restaurant. I bet this one is even better in Germany.

01-02-2009 17:02:12 | More by Prostman81
Photo of mdcrouser


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

Brilliant golden, and especially impressive when stacked one-atop-another in my grande Hofbrau Haus glass stein (acquired during a trip to the establishment in Newport, Ky., just south of Cincy).

Its heady frothiness streams down the sides of the glass following each drink.

Surprisingly malty for such a light-colored beer, both to the nose and the tongue. On the tongue, it's like a small gold ball, sandwiched between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, forcing space between the two, and then asking you to recycle the flavors at the back of the mouth once it's gone.

Trailing bitterness leaves you wanting nothing but the next drink - exceptionally enjoyable, and fitting of the season.

01-01-2009 05:24:04 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of cdkrenz


3.68/5  rDev -3.2%

Thanks again Mom. I really appreciate you contributing to my beer advocacy.

A - The body is a clear yellow but sitting on top is a snow cap, perfectly white and standing initially at three inches plus. It is a beauty.

B - The aroma of smooth hops fill my nose just from the pour. The lovely scent of malt, smooth as silk.

T - The smooth taste of German malt with a finish offering a kick of subtle hops. Just enough to notice.

M - Watery to start and watery to end. However, the finish kicks with a coarse lash that brings out some interesting flavors.

~ This is a good beer. This is something I will certainly recommend to my friends. I'd really like someday to travel over seas and sample one straight from draft.

12-31-2008 03:55:15 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

Had on tap at Zum Schneider in a 1l Mas.

Appearance: Golden yellow color that is very translucent and clear. It yielded a nice 3 finger head that had long legs and left minimum lacing.

Smell: Very fresh smelling hops with nice notes of cereal and wheaty aromas. A little bit of citrus as well, but the true essence of the beer is that it smells very fresh and refreshing.

Taste: Its got some lemony hops and grassyness throughout the duration of the drinking. Nice noticiable hops came through with a good amount of citrus on the back end. very nice beer.

Mouthfeel: Good solid carbonation at the beginning of the beer. Towards the end, and its biased because it was out of a liter mas, but it had a much flatter feel by the end. Still it was nice textured and rolled well through my mouth.

Drinkability: nice medium to light bodied beer with good flavors and lasting taste. If i had to dirnk it only out of 1 litre mas all day, i would drink this beer among a select few for sure. Its a definate session beer.

12-23-2008 01:28:11 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of TrinkGermanBier

New York

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%

Great draft German Lager. Nice golden color and lacing. Held a nice head. Bottled is good, draft is of course always better. Unfortunately this bier is somewhat difficult to get locally, however it is very popular in NYC German bars. Would recommed to anyone looking for a decent German lager. A must at the Munich Oktoberfest!

12-21-2008 22:25:28 | More by TrinkGermanBier
Photo of Moxley

New York

4.28/5  rDev +12.6%

Love this beer. Light and crisp yet full of flavor. Lots of bready yeast with sweet malt undertones. A touch of hoppy bitterness on the finish makes this beer well-rounded and a definite session

Thick white head with decent lacing. Lots of grain and yeast in the nose.

Don't miss out on this beer. Simple and delicious. Thanks for the sampling Hyland24.

12-19-2008 02:03:13 | More by Moxley
Photo of magictrokini


3.33/5  rDev -12.4%

Tap. Pours clear light gold with a minimal white head. Metallic and sour malt aroma. The taste is just like a pilsener. Light pale malt, a bit of saaz sweetness, and sharp metal. Very easy to put down a lot of these. Just not as as good as the hefeweizen.

12-16-2008 18:27:10 | More by magictrokini
Photo of kimcgolf


3.23/5  rDev -15%

Poured to a bright yellow with some carbonation and a thin white head that reduced quickly and left okay lacing. Not much in the nose except a little grain and some floral scents. Mouthfeel was medium boided with little bite, and the flavor is more of the floral and grainy hops.

This was an okay beer enjoyed cold on a hot day, but nothing special.

11-30-2008 21:43:09 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of GilGarp


4.15/5  rDev +9.2%

'Its full bodied, refreshing, and fine harsh aroma have made it world famous.' Not sure about the fine harsh aroma but that's what it claims on the label. Probably just an unfortunate translation...

Pours from a brownish yellow 500ml bottle into a pint glass with a half inch of fine white head. It has a pale golden yellow color and excellent clarity.

Aroma is light and sweet with slightly floral elements. Not harsh at all, actually quite pleasant.

Flavor is also subtle but very clean and refreshing. It has some citrus flavors and just a hint of hop bitterness. All around very enjoyable, crisp, and drinkable.

Mouthfeel is just right for what the style should be: medium-light body and good levels of carbonation.

Very drinkable, I could easily see having this as an everyday beer. It would be a good watching-the-game or grilling-some-brats kind of beer. This type of beer wouldn't normally be my bag but this one is really well done.

11-25-2008 23:30:14 | More by GilGarp
Photo of andyinsdca


2.42/5  rDev -36.3%

From a bottle that had (what appears to be) a date of 0804, don't know if this is an expiration or a "born on" date.

Appearance was the same as an American light beer, weak yellow, thin head.
Smell: Vaguely beer-like. Maybe skunked?
Taste: Absolutely awful. Tasted like stale corn tortillas. No beer taste at all.

Overall: I poured this out after 2 sips. Not sure if it was expired/skunked or what. I will NOT drink this beer again.

Update, 10Nov08:
My ratings were 2/1/1/1/1 when I initially reviewed this beer. I bought some more this weekend after I saw it at Bevmo and it had a "date" of 12xx. I took the plunge and here's how the non-skunked stuff came out.
Appearance: No change; the head was a 1-finger, fizzy head that vanished quickly after being poured into a pint glass.
Smell: A little bit of malt, a little bit of flowers, a touch of corn, but nothing revolting.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Not a bad yellow-fizzy beer. Not much mouthfeel to it at all.
Drinkability and overall: It's actually an OK beer. Nothing spectacular, but very drinkable....this almost seems like damning with faint praise (cf: the current light beer ads in the US that plug drinkability), but it's not. Not very memorable.

11-10-2008 18:38:13 | More by andyinsdca
Photo of brewmudgeon


3.08/5  rDev -18.9%

clear golden color, pretty close to the o'fest. came with a ring and left some lace.

smelled of faint grassy hops and sweet pale malt. the smell was reminiscent of the o'fest, but less malty.

taste, again, is much like the o'fest but much more watered down, with a longer aftertaste of mild grainy bitterness. but the grain tasted stale and lifeless.

low on carbonation, with flat sensations.

hoping this was just a lousy specimen and am probably willing to try once more some day, but j.p. henley's is supposed to be a decent place and i asked them about freshness to try to ensure a good experience. disappointing.

10-15-2008 00:41:22 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of Pleepleus

New York

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured from green bottle to HB pilsner glass a clear golden yellow with a solid inch of white foam and a heavy bubble rise. Very fresh clean smell of grass and malts. Taste is crisp with grains and sweet malts and just enough hop bitterness to balance it out. Very crisp feel and this one goes down very easy. A solid choice of a six pack to keep stocked at all times.

10-11-2008 17:46:09 | More by Pleepleus
Photo of tempest


3.3/5  rDev -13.2%

Picked up a brown half-liter from Key Foods in Astoria.

What happened? This has to be the first beer in a brown bottle I've had that's been legitimately and strongly skunked. Eventually the nasty aroma faded, but what was left wasn't terribly impressive. Just light caramel and bready malts without much else going on. This is a generally a clean and pleasing beer, but I've had better.

09-25-2008 16:04:15 | More by tempest
Photo of Haybeerman


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%

A: Bright, clear yellow color. Poured a one finger stark white fluffy head that dissipated to a healthy skim. Light lacing that was inconsistent. Slowly decanted continuously.

S: Wet, slightly sweet grain and slightly bitter hops.

T: Slightly sweet grains and bittering hops; left me a bit wanting.

M: Light side of nedium body. Ample carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Guess I was expecting more though as I had tried several of their offerings.

09-10-2008 21:06:38 | More by Haybeerman
Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
86 out of 100 based on 1,074 ratings.