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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

164 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 164
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 31
Gots: 7 | 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: 164 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Georgiabeer, May 15, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

BuckSpin, May 11, 2007
Photo of mcarroll10177
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

mcarroll10177, May 10, 2007
Photo of jmc44
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz swingtop bottle.

Cloudy, golden color with thick rocky white head. Head has good retention, some nice lacing as well.

Light toasted grain in the aroma, along with bready notes and some citrus hops, a bit of lemon.

Taste is initially malty sweet, followed by a bitter hop kick. Finishes somewhat cleanly, with hints of a clove-like yeasty flavor similar to some wheat beers. Quite flavorful.

Medium bodied, creamy, and easy to drink.

jmc44, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours with a big white head on a light cloudy yellow/golden body. Nice thick lacing and it sticks to side of glass as well.
S- Bready, light spices, some kind of light funkiness, and some classic German malts.
T- Full flavored, Munich malts, decent hop spice, medium to high bitterness (especially for a lager). Flavors are well balanced and slight complexity to it.
M- Full body with medium carbonation.
D- It is pretty good for the style. Not one of my favorite styles but it is drinkable.

BlindPig, Apr 05, 2007
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.

ommegangpbr, Mar 08, 2007
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.

NEhophead, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of Stimack
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to pick this up on a recent trip to CT, actually surprised that it made it this long? The brew poured to a clear golden color with a slight white head that broke down quite quickly but did leave a little lacing at the top of the glass. The aroma seems to be very doughy with a mix of grassy notes. The taste is very smooth, malt characteristics stand out giving it a toasted flavor and ends with just a light hop flavor that rounds it out very well. At 5.3% ABV this is a nice session brew, would be fantastic during the warmer months I would think. Overall a good offering from Troutbrook.

Stimack, Jan 14, 2007
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.

sraimondi, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of gpcollen1
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow with a huge head into my Kronenbourg 1664 glass. Head retention is nice, leaving a fluffy pillow on top for a long while. Aroma is crisp and clean with a hint of malt and hops.

Taste is clean and refreshing. The carbonation is mild and the light hoppy taste rolls from the middle to the end.

This is a nice treat once in a while. I would,t drink many of these but find it very refreshing.

gpcollen1, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Jredner, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a bounteous head that lasts forever and deposits wands of lacing around the glass

Smell: Doughy aroma, slightly sweet

Taste: Starts with a slightly sweet biscuity flavor; after the swallow, a touch of herbacious bitterness kicks in to provide balance to this clean, slightly sweet brew

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Not being a lager drinker, this is not one of my favorite styles; however, this is a very well made example of a Munich Helles

brentk56, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous gold in body, with a sticky bright white head and constant upward carbonation bubbles. Almost perfect. Aroma is a different story, with not much there, only some slight cereal notes. On the palate, clean and clear, with some nice fruit to the malts (sweet berries?) and a finish that's just shy of dry, but long and buzzy nonetheless. Mouthfeel features zippy carbonation and a good weight for the style -- substantial but not heavy. This is a very good, very drinkable brew... one of the better Hooker beers, I would say.

geexploitation, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of SteveO1231
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown swing top bottle. Pours a light golden yellow with a beautiful, fluffy cotton head. Slow strands of carbonation. Bready aroma of Munich and pilsner malts, nice herbal hop smell. Creamy texture and smooth mouth feel, light bodied. Light sweetness of German malts at first with a herbal/ grassy hoppiness about midway. The finish is very clean and crisp, lightly bittered. Really a great beer, balanced perfectly. An awesome, smooth drinking lager. Much better in bottle than samples I've tried on tap.

Cheers!

SteveO1231, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of TrickKnee
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wow, not being a big fans of lagers did not know what to expect but was very impressed. heard the Munich Lager was unbelievable on tap and they were definetly right. There was not to much a presence on the hops to take away from the overall taste and smell. Poured a beautiful yellow-orange color, but with very little head. Would definetly get it on tap again, if of course you can find it on tap. Actually was sitting next to the brewer from Hooker at the time Paul, so that just made it special too for some reason.

TrickKnee, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of cbl2
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

cbl2, Aug 04, 2006
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.

wedge, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden tangerine color with a chill haze and good retention. A pretty lager here. Nose is crisp, refreshing and bright. Floral hops, sweet toasty malt, citric lime and a finishing spicey touch. This is a great lager. Taste is hoppy, malty, spicey, and delightful. Same lime and spicey floral hop with an awesome malt balance. Mild bitter dryness in the finish keeps the lager clarity exciting. Drinkability is none other than....really drinkable.

Great hot day drinking.

tastybeer, Jul 18, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a pale gold color with a thick, foamy, white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is of honey and malt with a tiny bit of hops.

T: Malty, sweet taste of honey & lemon. There’s also an unexpected touch of smokiness that I wasn’t expecting. I’m getting very little hops in this one even as it warms, which translates into no bitterness at all. That may be good for some, but bad for those that like the hops bite. The after-taste is faint but sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, with a light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, mostly clean finish, but does leave a bit of a sticky residue.

D: This is the kind of beer that is drinkable because it’s got some flavor to it, but it isn’t over-powering. It’s not very filling at all and goes down quite easily. One of those beers that you “forget” you’re drinking. I think this beer can best be described as “how a micro does macro”. It was pretty good, but not out of the ordinary.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of falloutsnow
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

falloutsnow, May 17, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

CRJMellor, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of Bierman9
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in the fridge for a month or so, and last night opted to drain the 22oz bomber. No freshness date evident on the label anywhere.

Pours a clear, bright golden color, with plentiful, large carbo-bubbles rising steadily within. Head is off-white and creamy, laying in at about 1/2" and holding there a bit, until finally ebbing to a fine, thin layer. Sticks well down the glass during quaffing. as a robust nose of crackery malts with light sweetness, along with some lightly floral, grassy hop-action. A touch spicy, too, perhaps? This Hooker has a solid medium body, though with a sprinkle of prickliness on the tongue.

Nice malt evident here, a crackery/bready combo leaving a light coating of sweetness on the tongue, which lingers well. Hops are also well represented, with a super grassy aspect plus, again, a spicy, perhaps Saazy (?), character. Goes down quite well. Could do a Maß of this solid rendition easily.

Prosit!!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5

895

Bierman9, Mar 31, 2006
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.

hopsaplenty, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Lnedrive14, Mar 09, 2006
Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.