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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 AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: Poured a medium straw with light reddish hues and a thick, sticky white head that clung to the sides of the glass.

S: a light faint aroma of sweet malt and buttery toast.

T: For flavor there was lightly toasted grains, floral hopping and a light sweet maltiness.

M: The mouthful was light-medium bodied but crisp on the finish. There was a sligtht grainy texture.

D: A great semi-sweet malted lager that was crisp clean and left you waiting for the next sip.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Max Fish in Glastonbury, Conn.

A: Poured a nice clear golden amber with a thin veil of carbonation that lent to a nice lacing for the most part.

S: Smells a little sweet, but mostly clean toasted grains.

T: The taste is pretty delicate, with a definitive maltiness and a slight dry hopping finish. The taste carries a bit of sweet lemon with it, but it's not a dominating flavor.

M: Moutfeel is a tad on the watery side, but it's not supposed to be a big, sticky beer. Very clean and refreshing.

D: This brew was easy drinking and tasty. The ABV is sessionable and there's nothing offensive about the brew. That said, it might not hold the attention of some who demand more complex palates.

Hooker has had some nice offerings outside of their staple of fairly non-impressive variety pack brews. I should seek out an Old Marley Barleywine of there's still some to be had, just to see how they step outside the box.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rcently revisited after not having one for a few years. This pours a clear golden with A SMALLISH WHITE HEAD THAT DOESN'T LAST AS LONG AS IT SHOULD, LEAVING THE GLASS STARK OF LACE.

The aroma is clean and mild, with plenty fresh malt notes, toasted bread, and tangy, herbal hops.

The flavor is crisply malted with biscuits, roasty grain, light caramel and a healty dose of spicey, grassy hops. Balanced and tastey.

Body is on the light side with a creamy mouthfeel and light carbonation. 22 ounces disappears quickly.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Clear golden color, that left some lace on the glass. Good amount of carbonation.

smell - Malts and grapes here with some hops.

taste - Has some malt taste with a lemons, and some hops at the end. Has some grapes taste to it.

mouthfeel - Medium

drinkability - Easy drinking summer beer, enjoyed this one

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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 BeerTruth
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber picked up on my way back from MA.

Poured into a pilsner glass.

This one pours a tinted gold hue with a pillowy two finger white head that slowly dies down to a solid layer. Little to no stickiness with bubbles racing to the top throughout the entire tasting. Smell is of big noble hops, pepper, butter, and some faint caramel malt. Probably the best smelling lager I've ever sampled. Clean buttery biscuit flavors up front with some pepper and spice emerging midway. Aftertaste is very weak and almost fades away to nothing, but a bit of a hop bite lingers. Mouthfeel is a creamy medium body with a good amount of carbonation. What a great lager. I really wish this was available in Central New York because this could easily become my staple summer beer. If you're someone who appreciates a solid lager, definitely get your hands on this one.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus foamy head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, some spicyness, and some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly spicy, and some caramel thrown in. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is another awesome brew from Thomas Hooker, they do a Helles justice, recommended.

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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 AChamberlain
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Bierkraft. A great Helles. Almost perfection. Golden yellow with a foamy white head. Biscuity malt aromas. Drink more lagers. More maltiness and bread in the flavor, delicious. Crisp and smooth at the same time. Soft and luscious. Again, great lager. I feel this style is underappreciated, it's one of my favorites, great session beer.

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Photo of ohoove
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scthaden for this flip-top bottle.

Pours a golden color with a nice sized white head. Lacing isn't to be seen, but the head did fade slowly.

The aroma is of spicy herbs, peppery, and very faint malts.

Taste is of spicy herbal flavors, with some floral qualities. There is some bready wheat like flavors in the beginning. It all blends together very well.

Smooth, yet biting. Thinner body, good bubbles. Very easy drinking, enjoyable beer. Thanks, Shannon.

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Photo of Durge
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

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

Harvest gold with a small splash of tangerine. Atop the beer rests a smallish cap of ivory colored foam whose upper surface features hundreds of glassine bubbles that are busy popping in rapid succession. A thick collar of lace adds to the visual appeal.

The aroma is both 'bass line' pale malty and 'top note' brightly hoppy. I'm thrilled that I don't have to inhale the beer to appreciate what the nose has to offer. Golden Lager smells like it will be one of the best versions of this style that I've ever had. Here's hoping.

This is wonderful beer. As in the nose, malt and hops dovetail beautifully. From a start that favors the former to a finish that favors the latter. How is it that the best craft brewers are able to inject such depth and personality into the simplest of styles? I guess that's why they're the best craft brewers. Kudos to Troutbrook/Thomas Hooker.

The malt side of the flavor profile tastes like lightly buttered, lightly sweet, sun-riped cereal grains. Another obvious comparison is a slice of yeasty French bread, straight from the oven (except cooler). The hop side of the flavor profile is German nobles on parade. Grassy, spicy and herbal are all present, as is a hint of bitter lemon. This is a beautifully balanced lager.

The brewery describes the flavor as 'delicate, yet hearty'. I couldn't agree more. Those are also words that I'd use to describe the mouthfeel. It has that telltale lager smoothness, yet is also incredibly... uh... hearty. A subdued amount of carbonation helps to give it a substantial, weighty feel in the mouth. Trust me, drinkability doesn't suffer as a result.

Munich Style Golden Lager is a delicious version of this often overlooked style. It's the best domestic Munich helles that I've had and is easily the equal of the (also exceptional) Ayinger Jahrhundert Bier. Thanks scthaden.

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Photo of
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.85/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of jmc44
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.93/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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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 Stimack
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

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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 gpcollen1
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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