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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thomas Hooker Munich-Style LagerThomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

118 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 118
Hads: 178
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 38
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 09-27-2003

A true Helles style, our lager is golden in color with a pleasant, malty aroma balanced by a rich, smooth flavor. Using only the finest Bavarian malts and finished with Saaz hops, one sip will make you feel like you're in one of Germany's finest beer gardens.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 118 | Hads: 178
Photo of counselor
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good helles lager. Pours golden honey color with 4 finger head in my Lowenbrau 0.5L stange. The aromas are like crisp dry fall day in the woods. The taste is clean, bright malt with a slight nutty grain undertoe. Dry finishing beer that strikes a super balance between the sweet malt flavors and the noble hops. This is a beer that goes down well one after the other.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is a pretty regular offering at The Cambridge House in Granby, CT, which is where I have had it. I very much like Helles beers in general, and this one is quite good in the bottle. However, it excels on draft. The mouthfeel is much softer, which makes the drinkability excellent. The appearance, smell and taste are on style. If you like this in the bottle, seek it out on draft; it is worth it.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt .9 fl oz brown, swing-top bottle.
Served in a pilsener glass.

Pours a whitish-golden in color with remarkable clarity; lots of energetic carbonation. Bright white, sculpted rocky head with amazing retention. Very sticky condensed lacing that hardly budges around the entire glass.

Semi-sweet toasted malt aroma with a fine layer of diacetyl. Spicy hop character: pepper, with an underlying touch of must. A nice balance in aroma between spice and buttered malt.

Almost moderately sweetened in terms of this Helle's malt character up front, with a strong flavor of rounded, malted wheat. The peppered-spice fromt he hops keeps the semi-sweet malt alive throughout the sip, making for a dry finish. Notes of lemon, pepper, and toasted oats linger in the aftertaste.

Light bodied; dry and crisp on the palate. Well balanced spice and butteriness.

A tremendous Helles with balanced flavor and texture. Troutbrook did a nice job bringing some exciting flavor aspects to a pretty mundane style. A nice session lager for springtime when the weather turns a bit warmer.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, I'm down to my last bottle out of a case, so it's time to write a review.
The beer pours into a 23oz hefe-style glass a rich, burnished gold. An energized plume of ivory froth billows up on a gentle pour, creating a gorgeous crown reaching about an inch above the glass. Great clarity, a reverse rainstorm of carbonation rising to feed the head. Head retention is fantastic, with a solid sheet of lace clinging in it's wake. If this isn't the most perfect presentation on a beer, I don't know what is.
The aroma is pretty spot on for the style. Toasty, cake dough sweetness flecked with a soft, floral noble hopping. Perhaps a pinch of saaz spiciness. Very, very clean, with the distinct signature of munich malt. A slight grainy touch abrades the malt like a 220 grit sandpaper.
The flavor starts out squeaky clean, the malt allowed an open road to travel. Cake or sugar cookie sweetness, toasted at one on the dial....maybe two. A ghost of peach esters, perhaps some grassy notes mingling with the incoming hops, moving directly into a mildly hopped finish. Just a slight bitterness, enough to balance, contributing to the flavor with a bright floral tone. The aftertaste snaps off pretty clean, just a slight residual munich malt graininess. Medium to light bodied with that signature Paul Davis microscopically fine-yet-spritzy carbonation. An excellent mouthfeel with a snappy crispness in the finish. My only complaint is that it gets so dry in the finish after about half the beer that my tongue starts to feel rough.
This is really a soft, subtle session bier masterpiece. It's certainly no monster, and won't flood your palate with flavor, but for a normal strength beer, I'm having a hard time thinking of stuff I'd rather drink. It blows my mind that this is brewed in my home state. This is the kind of stuff better suited for sale in the tapered 500ml bottle with lots of german text. Very, very authentic, probably what it's like to go to Munich and drink helles bier from the source. I count myself lucky to have Paul Davis and the folks at Thomas Hooker making beer only 20 minutes away. One hell of a summer beer, and a different style for a change. If you're in Connecticut for the summer, do yourself a favor and buy a few bottles for you and your friends. Very Highly recommended.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Munich Style Golden Lager pours from the bomber a very nice cloudy golden orange color with a bubbly arid two finger head atop the brew. Aromas of crisp pale grain maltiness that seems to have a touch of lemon zest along with a forward green, spicy, herbal hoppiness. Sweet cereal grains predominate with a touch of dough. Nice stuff.

First sip brings a crisp, chewy pale, munich maltiness that has a nice sweetness with fruity undertones. Hints of dough come out in the flavor, its a touch nutty as well. The spicy, herbal hops meld into the background and assimilate harmoniously into the rest of the brew. Crisp and well balanced throughout with a slight lingering noble hop presence. Quite an enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy with a rush of carbonation that comes with each sip. Easy to drink and really quite refreshing. A tasty representation of the style and an easy candidate for a session brew. I'd sample this more often if it was readily available. Thanks to UnionMade for this one!

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Photo of cameraman
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber, with wonderful golden color and nice head at the top. Light citrus aromas with a touch of flowers, with a little bit of malt coming through at the end. The taste comes in with the roasted malt at the start and then some lite hops comes in at the end. The feel is medium bodied with a nice crisp, clean finish. This is a really drinkable beer, particularly in sessions, with great malt flavor, but with enough hops to balance it out. This is a great starter beer for thos who drink prodominantly macro brews.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle, brewed and bottled by Troutbrook Brewing Company, Hartford, CT. No date, but 6642 202 was ink jetted on the bottom of the bottle.

Vibrant pour, generating a tall eggshell colored head of loosely packed small and medium bubbles. The head is slow to settle, and leaves no lacing. Brassy gold with tons of jetting carbonation streams. The smell is clean and slightly husky with some grassy hops. The taste is sweet and husky also a bit grainy with a gentle spicy hop finish. Nice and well meshed, not dominant in any one area. Medium bodied and light on the tongue, with moderate carbonation. Refreshing and enjoyable, this was a nice beer, if just a touch sweet. Quite drinkable and an easy suggestion for new craft drinkers.

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Photo of Matthew
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped open the bottle I had in my stash to start the thanksgiving day off with. This beer pours a golden yellow color and has a nice big fluffy white head.
Smells slighly yeasty, citrusy, and theres a slight hop aroma lingering in there too.
This is a nice crisp, smooth tasting beer. The citrus aroma in the nose is matched but this pleasent citrus taste hiding within the hops and a nice malt body.
This beer is very drinkable and very refreshing. Thomas Hooker continues to prove they are worthy of lots of respect from the beer world.

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Photo of chefelf
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this as part of a limited edition last summer so I was really excited to see it return this summer. I had it a couple of nights ago and recalled what I'd liked about it so much. This is undoubtedly the highest-rated lager I've ever had.

It has a light straw color and pleasing scent. The taste is somewhat bready with a faint sour taste that if it were any more pronounced may be a too much.

I'm hoping they keep this beer up. I don't know enough about Munich style lagers to know if this is representative of that style but if so there is finally a lager that I've had that has some flavor to it!

Very easy drinking, and low ABV. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of OldSock
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance and Presentation – 22oz bomber poured into my .5L mug. The beer is a clear golden yellow with a creamy white head. There is large amount of streaming carbonation shooting through the beer that keeps the head up nicely for most of the drink.

Smell – Even sitting back from the beer I can detect the strong herbal hops. Taking a closer inhale I get more hops, herbal and spicy, with just a hint of grain sweetness. This beer has a very high quality, powerful aroma.

Taste – Stellar, loads of fresh noble hops, mostly herbal with hints of spiciness. The slightly toasted sweet malt come in at the front, but gives way to the hops in the back. There is not a lot of malt complexity, but that’s fine for the style.

Mouthfeel – Good mouthfeel, medium bodied with perfect carbonation that is strong but not overwhelming.

Drinkability and Notes – This is flavorful and easy to drink, particularly on a hot summer afternoon. This is one of the better Munich style lagers that I have had and yet another reason to drink local. Most imported light lagers, in my experience, have an oxidized/skunked component that this does not have because it did not have to be shipped across the ocean.

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Photo of ABV
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, lively and superbly balanced. An unexpectedly delicious session brew, since this isn't one of my favorite styles. I'm a huge hophead and tend to prefer bigger beers like barleywines, so why am I drooling over a light summer lager? I guess the moral here is that even an unexciting style, if brewed properly, can be outstanding.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


big 'ol bomber bottle with a no freshness date.

pours a nice hazy golden that isn't toally cloudy, but isn't the typical crystal clear of a lager. big frothy head that leaves some lacing, but not all that much. the head slowly receeds and leaves a nice half finger left that stays over the beer for the rest of the time.

smells very doughy with hints of flowers and mild hops.

has a slight biscuit flavor to it with nice bitterness in the finish. there is a subtle lemon flavor here that combines with the hops in the finish. very complex lager.

definately smooth and creamy with a solid finish. goes great with a beautiful, crisp, new england fall day. i still haven't had anything by thomas hooker that i don't throughly enjoy!

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Photo of iheartchicken
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: small head which removes itself from my sight quickly. straw colored with a slight orange hue

S: very floral, bready, maybe some pale malts in there, and a touch of bright fruit

T: crist and clean, with some grassy/lemony notes

M: smooth with a little kick from the carbonation on the finish

O: I can drink a lot of this, too many. I have never had any other beers of this style but this particular one reminds me of a american light lager with flavor.... way more flavor and complexity especially given its clear and light appearance

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Photo of wedge
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep gold with even chill haze and a thin, bubbly white head. Condensation is soaking the outside of the glass...damn its hot out (I love it). Toasted malt and grain aroma with a german hoppiness - got that "lagery" smell. Tastes toasty and pleasantly sweet. Light fruity notes and spiced noble hops balance it perfectly. Medium and smooth with a soft dryness.

Balance is what this lager is all about. Hits the spot on a hot summer evening but would be damn tasty anytime.

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Photo of drtth
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear burnished gold color with a 1/4 " white head that recedes to a small ring of foam around the glass with a small thin patch of foam on the liquid. Throughout the beer sipping leaves some scattered speckles of lacing that slide slowly back down to the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and clean with light breadiness and no alcohol but some nice floral notes from the hops showing.

Taste: The flavors include pale sweet malt that gives a nice busquity flavor. There is also a light but definite touch of herbal hop bitterness to serve as a counter point to the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied and quite soft with the gentle carbonation. The finish is medium long and basically turns from the sweet bitter balance to a simple dryness with no residual bitterness.

Drinkability: I've quite enjoyed this beer and found it quite drinkable. Each sip has followed quite easily from the last and it was quite easy to have a second one. I'll certainly be happy to have this beer again and am glad to have tried it when I had the chance.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at bmanning's wedding rehearsal dinner. Served in a beer boot, courtesy of bmanning. Thanks, Ben!

Pour yields a good white head of foam and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings a nice subtle noble hoppiness plus light grain and a bit of bread. Excellent balance between all the components. The flavor is very nice as well with a good lightly-sweetened malt presence and a good level of hop flavor and bitterness to cut through the malt character. Light body and really crisp. Great dry finish and a high amount of carbonation. Really, really solid beer. Thomas Hooker seriously knows how to make lagers. Great way to say cheers.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thans to ppoirtas for this one. It pours a peachy orange color with a finger of head that falls to slightly coat the beer. The nose is caramel sweet and grassy. The flavor is not bad. The grassey/grainey tones are prevalent, but balanced with a caramel sweetness. The everpresent lager funk comes through as well. The feel is moderate, with enough carbonation to carry it through. Not bad at all for a lager. I find it refreshing.

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Photo of tempest
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Farmhouse, served in a pint glass.

It's clear, light gold in the glass with a short white head. The aroma immediately hits me with spicy, grassy Euro hops, with bready malts in the background. The flavor is spot on for the style with a mix of biscuit and light toast paired evenly with gentle, but spicy hops. While this beer isn't drastically different from other helles lagers in terms of the flavors present, I believe it stands out because everything is so rich as a whole. This beer is drinkable, yet more aromatic and full-flavored than many of the best in this style.

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Photo of FirstMan
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at the Linwood in Boston. In fact, it was MY first time at the Linwood - and what a great first time it was. This was actually the first thing I tried that night - mainly because I wanted to start light and knew that the evening would eventually move on to more daunting beer (like an aged V-12 and a Panil Barique). But that's another story.

I love a good American style lager. Mainly the reason I love them is because when you have a good one - like this one or Skagit River's "Dutch Girl" - you realize just how low Macrobrewing in America has gone.

This is a beautiful clear deep orange-golden beer. It has enough dark coloring to it that you know you aren't dealing with a weak beer here. Nice little bubbles in the head that settle into splotchy patches of rising bubbles. Very nice looking.

Great nose. Malty sweet with the low-tone grain/grassy character letting you know it's a lager.

Taste is clean, yeasty, and delicious. Notes of toasted grain and grass with a sweet backend. Makes me want to slap it. Hop brightness balances out the mellow lager yeast nicely.

Great mouthfeel on this one. Not overly corn-syrup sweet and parching the way so many low-end American lagers are. This one is smooth with enough carbination to keep it interesting.

Overall a very good lager. I like it.

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Photo of WhaleHopper
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at sushi restaurant in West Hartford. A very satisfying, cleanly made golden lager. Carbonation level was great, held a nice head throughout most of it, and was a great pairing with the sushi. Could have been served colder, but that's not the beer's fault. Overall, among the better new england golden lagers on the market.

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Photo of jswigart
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not typically a fan of lager beers. I tend to prefer ales and heavier beers, but I find myself drawn to this particular lager. First of all, it is very drinkable. No aftertaste. Not very heavy, but not too light either. Color is a dark, deep gold hue. Does not seem to hold much carbonation or form much head - would be nicer if it did - so I dinged it a bit for appearance. I can't explain the smell, but I like it. Taste is a bit bland, but very pleasant. In all, this is for me, a very solid lager and one I would choose over many other lagers. I think Thomas Hooker is an underrated brewery.

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Photo of elinash
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sadly, this might be one of the last T.H. beers I'll taste...

Their Munich Lager has been one of the best lagers I've had. ever. I am a huge fan of most helles lagers, though.

Swingtop bottle.

It pours really nice, with lots of head at first that disappears after a while. The color is rich and slightly cloudy. There was some yeast in the bottom that I dredged up for the last pour.

Aroma is slight grass, malt, some yeast. It smells really fresh.

Taste is full with great yeast, bread, and grass/ hay. I detected a light ash quality on the finish. The long finish is slightly dry and a little acidic.

I've already said it, but this beer is great and super drinkable.

I know that some of the swingtop bottles are off, so if you get a bad one, you'll know it from the non-enthuastic pop on the swingtop.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Wyllder. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 2" slightly off-white head above the amber brew. Laces excellently, and aroma is mainly of pale malts, with an effervescent undertone. Taste is maltier than any other golden lager I've had, which is nice, and well-balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent as well. Still wishing they could get these over the northern border, would make my daily brew choices that much harder.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bomber came to me courtesy of BeerAdvocate spritdeus via a trade. After poring, the beer revealed a clear golden colored body, and a two inch tall foamy off white head. The aroma was clean with honey like pilsner malt, and faint florally grassy hops. The taste was malt driven, with a sweet honeysuckle flavor and very mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was creamy and soothing with a medium thick body. This style is supposed to be difficult to pull off as there is no way to hide any off flavors. And Troutbook is clearly at the top of their game, as they have brewed a beer that does not possess any off flavors that would need hiding.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say that I have been very impressed with all of the "Hooker" offerings thus far. This beer pours out a slightly cloudy straw-yellow color with a good size white head. The smell is yeasty, zesty with hints of hay and malt.

Taste is much more full bodied than I expected. Malt and light citrus notes come through quickly as well as something sweet. Then they give may to some floural hop notes and more hay-ey hints. Overall the taste is so much better than I expected.

Overall just a wonderful beer. Full of flavor and way more complex than I would have imagined. I only wish that Troutbrook comes out with different styles of lagers.

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.