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
90
outstanding

117 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 172
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 8.91%
Wants: 38
Gots: 16 | 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
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 172
Photo of woosterbill
2.59/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for letting me review this one from the cooler in his back yard.

A: Cloudy light amber body with 2 fingers of frothy, persistent off-white foam. I'd like a clearer lager, but it's got a great head - lovely retention and lace.

S: Hmmm. Underwhelming aroma of sulfur, cooked vegetables, metal, toasty malt, and herbal hops. Some good, some bad, all boring.

T: Follows the nose (sadly) - pretty sweet, with a hefty amount of minerality, DMS, and metallic flavor. Pretty disappointing, but at least it's not totally bland.

M: Smooth, lively body with lots of roiling carbonation. Pretty fun.

O: I was shocked - shocked! - to see the plethora of positive reviews for this beer, as I found it to be a highly flawed, thoroughly forgettable offering. Perhaps I got an old bottle or something; I'll have to look for it on tap. Until then, I'll be glad to stick with fresh Elm City whenever I feel like some light CT lager (I'll be the first to agree that Hooker Liberator is the best overall lager brewed in the state, if not the nation).

Cheers! (1,100 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the bottle after warming, the beer features a body colored golden, hazy though no apparent sediment. The head is slightly off-white, just over two centimeters in height and comprised of small bubbles. As the head descends, there is little lacing (and this continues during drinking as well), and what remains is a persistent, thin layer of foam atop the beer.
Aroma is mildly bready with some detectable hops, rather weak in strength and presentation. Taste is similar: bland, malty with a small amount of bitter/spicy hops, a bit of lemon zest, and yeastiness.
The beer is a bit overcarbonated for the medium to medium-light body, resulting in too much foaming on the palate. While this does not make the beer terribly unpleasant to drink, it doesn't encourage further sipping, either. Overalll, nothing truly distinguishing about this lager. No aspect is that far from average, but without any particular strengths or aspects of the beer blending well (such as a solid maltiness mixed with a present, but ephemeral hop nuance) there's no reason to return to it. (1,070 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 4/25/09.

A - Clear, heavily carbonated amber body with half a finger of creamy, off-white head that reduced to a thin film and left sparse but thick lacing around the glass.

S - Sweet malts and buttery diacetyl with some bready/grainy malt in the back. Hop presence is very faint. Pretty subtle aroma overall.

T - Sweet caramel malt up front with an unfortunate buttery diacetyl flavor. Some light leafy, noble hops attempt to conceal the buttery taste, but do so minimally. Maple syrup sweetness appears in the backend, followed by a grainy, bready malt character in the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation resulting in a slightly bristly mouthfeel overall. Mildly bitter on the palate with some residual sweetness.

D - Not bad, but a little too heavy on the butter flavor, unfortunately. Not overly crisp, either. The diacetyl really detracted from my overall enjoyment of this otherwise tasty style. (986 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hyper clear bronze and gold amalgamaton with a pillowy white soap-dish head.
Aroma is somewhat classic for style with pale malt leading the way and an faint whiff of caramel and grains. Sone light floral and perfumey hop notes are given off as it warms a bit.
Flavor is sticky sweet, much sweeter than the aroma would indicate with husky, bready grain bits in the middle. Finishes with a very bland but bitter note.
Mouthfeel is lighter side of middle with heavy carbonation. I generally look for balance in this type of brew and just wasn't there. The sweet and bitter just did not flow well and the hop bittering seemed a bit off.
Drinkability was average. Decent;y made but very boring IMHO. I'll stick with the bigger brews from this phenomenal brewery. (769 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden-orange with a smooth white head with decent stay and lace. Musty metallic aroma hints of herbal hallertau. Peppery, dusty, dry. Plums, a little orange, maple sugar. Flavor is less complex, involving mandarin oranges, honey (as seems to be a TH signature), and a pinch of pepper. Feel is too big and too sweet (which is rare for me to say). The carbonation is good, but I want this dryer, thinner, and crisper.

I guess I do not understand who would want a beer with heavy feel and light flavor. I would rather have the opposite. I am a malt man, but this needs more hops and less body to pull it off. This was a fine beer, but 22 oz. is enough for me. (661 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light yellow-orange brew with a slight head that fades quickly. Not much lacing going on. The aroma is vague, bread/wheat, suggests a light refreshing beer. The taste comes on with a lemon highlight and a murky hops, but I detect the sweaty socks syndrome. It has a peppery finish but there is a wheaty sweetness that grows on you as you get to the end. Friends seemed to like this quite a bit but I couldn't see the attraction. It's OK, reasonably refreshing but just not crispy enough for my tastes in this style. Hooker is excellent as a rule so it may be me more than the beer, just not my style. (602 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Cambridge Common:

Whoa baby - this ain't your daddy's lager. I actually didn't particularly care for this brew. I found the hops and fruits a bit too strong when they blended together. Rather than the crispness which I expect, I found a stringent tingly sensation. Just not that drinkable.

A highly interesting brew and one that I recommend trying, but not one that was really my style.

N.B. Served way too cold on draft - not sure what effect this had. (473 characters)

Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My Golden Lager came in one of those old fashioned swing top bottles instead of the 22 bomber bottle pictured on BA. It's the same type of bottle that the Liberator use to come in. Simple sky blue label with the name of the beer in big yellow letters and 2 squared lion heads at the ends of the name. To the left and right of the lion heads in yellow squares is the address of Thomas Hooker, US Govt. warning, barcode, and refund values. For some reason, this one didn't have a brewed year yellow strip over the swing top.

Appearance: When poured into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, this Golden Lager is a hazy and bright golden lemon color. On top of this brew was a tall 1 1/2 to 2 inch fluffy head of white foam. This white head of foam had really good retention that left behind a 1/2 inch left over head of foam and quite a few streaks of white lace around the glass. Basically, it's what a Golden Lager should look like to me. Great color and a nice head of white foam!

Smell: The aroma to this beer is very dry with a few drops of lemon, subtle toasted malts (So subtle that it was hard to tell they were even there), a dash of black pepper, and some yeast here and there. In the beginning it was mostly yeasty, but as it warmed up a bit, the yeast receded and the lemon and pepper came out from the background.

Taste: I thought Thomas Hooker would take a basic Golden Lager and work on it to make it more than just your average lager. That wasn't the case with this Lager. It was just plain and simple dry and lightly hoppy taste of toasted biscuit malts, a hint of lemon, a splash of grapefruit, and some bitter citrus hops at the finish. It felt like the hops were increased a bit, but it was still just a basic Golden Lager.

Mouthfeel: It's a light bodied beer like a Golden Lager should be, but it had a nice little dry and yeasty aftertaste of bitter citrus hops and lightly toasted biscuit malts.

Drinkability: It's just a simple Golden Lager, but hell if it isn't highly drinkable. Overall, it was just a nice refreshing light beer that would make a nice choice for a summer Lager session beer. I thought it just came in those expensive swing top bottles, but it's nice to see that it now comes in a 22 oz. bomber bottle. (2,241 characters)

Photo of Soozy
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Golden, had a decent head that diminished to lacing. Has a tiny bit of hops in the smell, can't pick up on too much with this one. A very smooth brew, very buttery/biscuity malt and some hops present.

Wasn't too impressed honestly, nothing really stuck out with this one besides the drinkability. Wouldn't go out of my way to find this, but would have it again if I came across it on-tap. (390 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16 oz. draft served in a pint glass at Area Four in Cambridge.

The body is a straw, pale gold. Quite clear - almost perfect visibility through the glass. A white head clings to my glass and leaves some nice lacing.

Not too much happening in the aroma. Some grass, a touch of malt, but I had a difficult time detecting anything of note.

The taste is pure, unadulterated summer. Freshly cut grass and lemons come through in abundance. This is a really crisp, refreshing beer.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy for the style. More carbonation would help, but this goes down quite easily.

Nicely done. A straightforward representation of the style that was the perfect compliment to a gorgeous August afternoon. I'm not sure I've ever seen this on tap in Boston, but I wouldn't hesitate to order it again given the chance. (817 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$5.49 500 mL 5.30% No best by date, but this is a 2006 summer release.

Appearance:

Pours from a ceramic flip top, as the name implies this is a crystal clear straw gold in color with a half inch of tight white foam on top.

Aroma:

Light and airy with fresh sweet corn aroma gently masking some mild herbaceous hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

More bitter than the nose would indicate there is an herbal hop presence dominating until midsip when the beer has warmed sufficiently to allow a mild malt sweetness to creep into being. Mouthfeel is moderately smooth with decent carbonation levels, though it is a little thin. (630 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am splitting this bottle with fellow BA Stopper. The beer pours a clear bronze color with a soft bleached white head. Looks nice.
Aroma is some lager malts with caramel and toffee representing. I also get some light floral hops. The aroma is not overpowering but is very pleasant.
First sip, beer is average bodied and has average carbonation levels. The bubbles are very fine and prickly on my tongue. Flavor is toffee sweet up front with a bit of grainy corn presence in themiddle and actually has a bit of a soapy astringent finish. The glass was thoroughly rinsed so I dont think it was residue in the glass. The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. QUite refreshing on a warm Sept evening. Another great beer from Thomas Hooker! (739 characters)

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

True to its name, this beer has a light golden hue, and is topped with a frothy white head that settles down quickly. Light aroma of sweet malt and corn. Flavor is also mostly sweet malt and corn, plus a bit of citrus and butterscotch. Very low hop presence, perhaps just a bit in the finish and aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, with a fresh and crisp flavor. (356 characters)

Photo of PEBKAC
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler from New Beer. Fourth of July leftovers. Poured into a clear plastic big gulp.

Came out the color of a very greasy paper bag, with about the same amount of visibility through & through. Just a wisp of off-white lace after a slight sizzle.

Smell is grainy, with light Euro carmelization. A touch of honey, but more so, margarine. Faint whiff of soil & wet leaves.

Very light carbonation makes me think this one didn't seal too well. Matter of fact, I think I remember it being filled all the way to the top, impeding any gentle expansion. Anyway, taste is immensely bready. Almost like a double kvass if there were such a thing(There probably already is. I should start an ISO thread). Minerals, giving it a dirty water taste & feel. Green hops that are just barely adding some zest. An obvious amount of "The butter is burning in the pan, where did you put the eggs?!"(not a total deterrent to me). A little salt too. Finish is crackers & bread crust. Alcohol is negligible on my tongue, but apparent after settling on my empty stomach.

I don't know how it use to be before Conn. turned on Hooker for the direction they took, but it could work with a little tuning. I still drank it pretty fast. just eager to clear the fridge for some other stuff I suppose. (1,276 characters)

Photo of Deuane
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper kissed golden amber with a thin off-white head that reduced to a wispy veil and left sparse lace.

S-Touch of buttered biscuit, light hop spice and hint of fruit. All in all fairly subtle.

T-Sweet caramel malt up front with a touch of hop spiciness and a "bouncy" fruity note in the finish.

M-Medium-light bodied semi crisp with a building bisuit chewiness in the semi-sweet finish.

D-Not bad, a decent simple, straight forward lager. Decent flavour overall. I like the fruitiness in the background, whether intended or not. (536 characters)

Photo of ohoove
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head faded quickly with big bubbles of carb. Lacing fooled me, Ithought it clung pretty well at first then kinda disappeared as did the head to a small bead around the edges. Color was that of a golden/ orange with a murky haze with a "thick " look to the body. first couple nose hits were that of a dank basement and wet wood but towards the last couple fingers I stuck my nose right in the glass and it came back as a watered down rubbing alchohol- strange. Taste was immediately sweet and floral, citrus onthe front with an ever so mellow hop finish, slightly bitter, great balance between malts and hops. Mouthfeel was on the side of a cream ale,nice full body, and surprisingly smooth considering the amount of busy little bubbles that danced throughout the sitting. The first time I tasted this I knew I fouhd a winner so I went out and bought a case (12) of the 1.9 oz. flip top bottles (ouch ) $64 and change. Really hope that Curt and the boys at Troutbrook get away from the fancy (expensive ) bottling and release this in 12 oz. 6 packs. love everything about this except the price. (1,093 characters)

Photo of mcarroll10177
3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the swingtop bottle into a pint glass

A- light copper color with big offwhite head. color is interesting for the style has the look of an octoberfest style beer. Does not look like a helles

S- some nice hops in the nose

T- a bit over the top for the style. some strong hops, with a slightly bitter finish. A good taste but not a clean as I would have expected for the style

M- good nice carbination, a bit thicker than I expected

D- a nice drinking lager. Not as crisp or as clean as some of the other offerings out there.

Top rated munich helles? A good beer but it is not as good as some of the traditional german helles.

Note- not a big fan of the swingtop. This beer was bumped by another beer in the fridge and it opened up a bit. Give me the traditional cap anyday. (806 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.76/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22oz standard bomber. Poured a slightly cloudy golden with an excellent fluffy white head, but no real lacing. Retention was decent. The aroma was quite light and slightly dusty. Sweet cream and lager yeast were predominant. The taste was better with tangy malt and a crisp typical lager flavor with some apple on the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and delicious. Good matched body for the style- a little heft, but not enough to overwhelm. Pretty nice- I've really enjoyed all the German styles from this brewery. (531 characters)

Photo of Kookiekwan
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours golden/amber with a 2 finger head and some moderate lacing. The aroma is of roasted malts with hints of some floral grassy hops. The initial taste is sightly hoppy but soon the sweet malty character takes over and it finishes off with a spicy hop bitterness that I didn't expect. The beer is medium bodied, clean, crisp and very drinkable.

Reflection: This is my first beer from the Troutbrook brewing company and I thought it was excellent! I will be this one onto my friends and family. (507 characters)

Photo of
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle

Clear, straw yellow color. Medium sized, creamy, white to off-white head.

Spicy, peppery, floral and herbal. Malt fairly subdued in nose.

Nice balance, hoppy & some sweet. Honeyed wheat bread. Hops mainly at finish - herbal, pepper & other spices.

Light to medium body. Medium + carbonation. Somewhat dry.

A good beer. Nice taste profile and relatively light. (387 characters)

Photo of Jredner
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is a rich grainy thing that smells a bit like bread and wheat husks, but with a faintly dusty note. The body is bright gold and holds a fluffy, but mildly bubbly, white head. Grain accented fore is hearty and yet still light on the tongue. Tastes like a baked wheat cake with notes of barley and oats. That flavor gives it a thicker feel than the liquid itself possesses. Very light, mostly floral, hops with a slightly salty finish. (443 characters)

Photo of carln26
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at RedBones Wednesday night. Deep gold to amber color, mildly hazy with a thin tan head. Rich malty aroma of dates caramel much toffee. Taste has a lot of caramel, slight peanut brittle, almost chocolate. Nice rich mouth feel. This beer is the closest thing to a year-round Octoberfest that I’ve seen. Nice every day beer. Great drinkability. (361 characters)

Photo of Hautacam
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy gold..frothy head..drops quickly to a film.
Smells very malty...almost like a wheat.Some mild hop aroma.
Taste is fuller than I thought it would be. Heavy bready malt...sweet..hint of cider..nice balance of hop-bitter. This is very good...more than I expected from a golden lager.
Mouthfeel is light..good medium carbonation.
This is very drinkable stuff....I will buy this again...was a bargain at $3.29 for a bomber. (435 characters)

Photo of BuckSpin
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 500ml swing top bottle in a fluted Pilsener glass

I'm digging these wide bottom, 500ml swing top bottles. They pour with a great gurgle.

Poured with a gurgle (see above) yet very smooth, even a bit syrupy. Sweet, fruity nose, stone fruits like apricot, peach, maybe some ripe fig. Caramel quality is sweet, not burnt, a faint butterscotch quality. Pinelike hops are just barely noticeable in the background. With some air & warmth stony malts come alive, but with time the overall nose is pretty much gone. Head was, well, this was odd. There was none.. Nada. Zip. I'm actually quite surprised and a little bummed. It poured like a Braggot. How ironical that a beer from a brewery named Hooker didn't give me any....never mind....

On that note, it looks like a Braggot as well. Beautiful golden amber hue, hazy & clouded, transitioning from a richer, slightly brassy orangish hue near the top to a pale, straw toned gold at the bottom.

Very smooth, even. Mildly spicy hops play with sweetened malts, creating an almost syrupy sensation on the tongue. While this may sound odd, this is possibly the "thickest" tasting lager I've ever had...an unusual comment & mouthfeel, but nice. To that end its very wet, with only a peep of dryness in the very background.

With the bottle's remnants I refill with a straight pour to try to jumpstart any excuse of a head, but to no avail...odd.

The spice quality takes on a wee bit of heat with some ginger qualities over the subtly bitter hops & sweet malts. Not dry in the least, the wet taste does the syrupy mouthfeel well. Its super clean, easy to drink, with a very nice, straightforward, no nonsense, it is what it is taste.

It grows more even & balanced on the palate with everything coming together, more sweet than bitter, a trace of some dryness, then finishes with a flip-flop of more bitter than sweet (a nice transition), leaving a bittersweet, syrupy aftertaste that is clean and just a little to the bitter end.

This was pretty good. A lager lover's lager. As I said it is what it is. By no means a taste bomb, but yet a nice, clean, interesting lager. Could be paired with a lot of food styles but they would all have to be simple, non-spicy fare or it would overwhelm it. A nice change of pace. I'd recommend it and drink it again...give it a shot. (2,340 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a deep yellow lager, with not much head.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, almost a hint toward skunky, with a slight sweetness and touch of vanilla.

The taste was crisp, lightly hoppy, with hints of citrus... definitely a European lager taste.

Overall, the beer was pretty good... not as good as the beers of theirs I tried at the Connecticut River Brewfest, but good in its own right. (403 characters)

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.