Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
88
very good

168 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 33
Gots: 10 | 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:
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 added by: UnionMade on 09-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bditty187
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes…

Largely clear with a beautiful golden hue that lays a foundation that allows tawny-coppery influences to shine. There is plenty of animation noticed in the liquid. The head was white in color; at the apex the foam was slightly over two fingers in height. Head retention was fair; it faded quickly to a thin, soapy cap. This small cap did last for a while. There was no subsequent lacing. The appearance is average, on the whole. Sure the color is lovely but I want more to look at, if the head retention was better and there was some lace the appearance would be much improved. Oh well. It gets better from here! The nose is soft but ample in maltiness. There are kisses of toffee. I can easily notice whispers of herbal flowers. Caramel biscuits. Toasty. There are very weak, nondescript, fruity notes. The potency is moderate in potency but I really like what it says. Ghost suggestion of spiciness. Clean. This must be from Munich, CT. The nose is dead-on for the style. It is perfectly articulate. I do wish the bouquet had more liveliness though. It is extremely inviting! The palate is fantastic. Addicting. Liquid cocaine. This beer needs to come in liter(s) bottle because 22-ounces is not enough. I am drinking this faster than I can take write things down. I really don’t even want to review this beer anymore; it is so dam tasty. I mean screw it. Really. Shit. I’ll keep righting. The malt profile is perfect in this beer, it is sweet but wide and it encompasses soft caramel flavors and some toffee. There are hints of toasty biscuit with a whisper of honey. Sugar cookie. Toasted bread. Clean at the finish yet the aftertaste has some spicy hoppy notes. Damn this is good. It is simple but it is also everything I want with the style. Lovely. The mouthfeel is relaxing, a touch fuller then medium in body. The carbonation is on the low side but it is very fitting. Drinkability is perfect. I wish I had many more bottles. Wow, this beer is great. I’d love to “session” with this beer. The complexity is low but the end result can’t be ignored. Thanks UnionMade this beer was awesome.

Photo of meathookjones
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out an almost crystal clear golden yellow with a good sized white frothy head. Aroma is rich with grain and a nice light grassy hops. Some doughy malts were present as well. Flavor was similar with a big grain and biscuit malt. Light lemon with a faint crisp hoppiness. Light toastiness as well. Finishes on a lightly bitter grassy note. Crisp clean and solid body. Just about as drinkable as water. Very smooth going down and refreshing. Good stuff.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't know that this was at the top of the style when I purchased or first tasted it but it makes sense to me.
This is one that pale lager lovers should seek. The flavor profile is right between that of a good pilsner and a helles lager. The hop character is lightly bitter with an edge of crispness. There's a juicyness to the flavor that comes from the balance of malts and hops. Scents are fresh and herbal.
A refreshing balance of flavor and lightness of body makes this a really nice choice for a multi-purpose beer. There's nothing in there that should put off one who loves Pabst and plenty to enjoy for those that dig more challenging brews. The price of a 500mL bottle makes this a once in awhile occasion... but if in six pack form under $10? Yes, yes, yes.

Photo of fatstakkz
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is simply DELICIOUS. Reviewing straight from the bottle, as I prefer lagers in bottles.

A - Served in a brown bottle, so perception of appearance was minimal. Noticed a slight cloudiness, but not sure if it was the bottle or the beer. Rated a 4 for being "interesting".

S - Nice clean lager smell. Just a slight hint of earthiness. Smells a tad heavier than your typical macro lager.

T - Where the beer really shines. What I loved about this beer is that it didn't really taste different or unique, it simply tasted better. Nice clean smooth watery lager taste with hardly enough earthiness for you to notice, but it's definitely there.

M - Excellent smooth clean mouthfeel. I am using the word "clean" a lot because that is what comes to my mind, after drinking many complex and exotic craft brews lately. This beer wont do anything funny to your tongue, it just goes down easy and tastes great.

O - This was a pleasant surprise for me. I normally prefer craft ales for their complexity, but I found this beer to be simple and reassuring. It doesn't taste funky, it just tastes good. Super easy to drink, would certainly bring a twelve-er to a party (to share of course). To some up my opinion, cheap lagers typically leave something to be desired. This beer, as simple as it is, is wholly satisfying on its own.

Would love to drink this one again ice cold at a hot summer barbecue. Or tomorrow night.

Photo of sraimondi
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of NEhophead
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Photo of cameraman
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Matthew
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of chefelf
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of OldSock
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of ABV
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of radshoesbro
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HOOKER STRIKES AGAIN!

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!

Photo of wedge
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of drtth
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of iheartchicken
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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

Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of RMoeNay
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of theblub25
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of raythealeman
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of JTomczak
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of WhaleHopper
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.