Hofbräu Original | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
485 Reviews
Hofbräu OriginalHofbräu Original

Brewed by:
Hofbräuhaus München

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002

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Reviews: 485 | Ratings: 1,530
Photo of AdrianRP
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't think I need to go into specific details here other then I believe this is probably the best Euro style lager ever made. Everything about it is perfect! Incredibly pure beer that is insanely well balanced... All the caveats you'd expect from this type of beer is met with 100% accuracy. It just doesn't get any better the this. At $40.00 per case, it is a bit on the pricey side, BUT it is worth EVERY penny!

One thing to remember though. Unfortunately the brewer, for some stupid reason like many others, decided to package this incredible 'brew' in a green bottle! BOOOOOO!! (man I could write a book about how STUPID this is..) I have noted in some reviews the reviewer noted some 'skunk' in the aroma, worst yet, actually expected such thing as a common reality with many imported beers. This is completely WRONG!!!! Beer should NEVER, ever exude any skunk aroma (thus taste) if it is the beer is bad..PERIOD. Even the slightest bit of skunk in the smell, no matter how slight, is evidence that it is been light struck and is ruined. Don't drink it. If it's skunk, it's junk... and will not taste the way it is suppose to.

SO...if you do buy this beer ensure the six pack came out of a fresh, completely enclosed case in where light has no chance of spoiling this beer. I just buy this stuff a case at a time and leave it in the box completely closed, and only open the box briefly to remove it a bottle at a time.

I honestly wish Hofbrau, like many other fine brewers, would offer this beer in half liter cans, or at the very least, start packaging them in brown bottles. I will just NEVER understand the stupidity of going through all the effort and expense to make such a fine brew, and then package it in a container that will spoil it before a customer can enjoy it!!! Talking about shooting oneself in the foot before a foot race!!!! WTH??

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Photo of Prostman81
4.95/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. I get it on tap at a really good local German restaurant, usually by the 1L. stein. When I can, I also by a couple 500ml bottles at my local major liquor store. In glass, has a great golden color and a huge head, which eventually settles down. Aroma has a nice smooth malt note. Taste is clean, while having an excellent malt and hop balance, and goes great with whatever German dish I'm having at the time (or is good just on it's own). I can't comment on the 12 oz. green glass bottles (the 500 mls are brown). I've read bad reviews for that serving, but can't comment on them as I just prefer having it on tap thru the restaurant. I bet this one is even better in Germany.

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Photo of shbobdb
4.92/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh man, why don't brewers in America believe in decoction mashing? This beer is a beauty . . . light and smooth with a pleasant hop boquet. This beer makes me fall in love with beer all over again. Honestly, I ask you, what more could you want in a beer? Simply wonderful.

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Photo of thommo_nk
4.87/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On draft, 1 Litre Mass at Hofbrauhaus, Munich, outstanding helles, probably the best on offer anywhere in Munich, as an beer experience this has to be tried and the surroundings of the Hofbrauhaus are just magnificent. Unfortunately it is not always possible to get a seat in the Hofbrauhaus (tourist trap).

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Photo of steveh
4.85/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay, I nearly topped out on this one, but having sampled it so fresh at Uberstein in Chicago, I was thrilled -- as fresh as when I enjoyed the HB beers in Munich.

A -- Clear, golden in color with a resilient white head -- settled quickly to a thin cap.

S -- DMS with bready, yeasty, malt melanoidin character prominent and spicy hops in the finish. Only complaint is that it was probably too thin on aroma.

T -- Sweet and bready, malt melanoidin finishing dry with mild spicy noble hops. Not cloying in any way.

M -- Medium-light body with a very soft mouth-feel.

D -- Top of the charts. I wanted to stay all night drinking nothing but this. Well, maybe a Dunkel too!

This is classic Munich Helles for anyone wondering what the style really ought to taste like!

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Photo of Offa
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful, tasty, full-bodied lager.

A wonderful, tasty, full-bodied lager, this is among my favourites.

It is gold - bright and a bit on the paler side, with a huge, dense, creamy white ehad that only slowly shrinks, leaving a small permanent head and beautiful even lacing in rings down the glass.

The aroma is honey, lots of grain, with hints of pine, lemon, sulphur, and toffee.

The taste is creamy malty grain, bread, lemon, pine. It's zesty, smooth, full-bodied, yet rather crisp ans very refreshing. It's on the sweeter side but with a nice light, aromatic bitterness especially in the finish. It goes incredibly well with food and is exceedingly drinkable.

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Photo of billybob
4.82/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a very pale straw yellow with a nice white foamy head and a small amount of light lace. love the smell, fresh cut grass/hay smells of farm country and herbal notes also. fresh clean malt with a nice hop bitter taste smooth light crisp carbonation adds to the great taste. drinkability anytime all the time. if you like the style you like this beer.

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Photo of Hellvira355
4.81/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is a nectar of the Gods, crafted by Jesus himself in a laboratory fueled by the happiness and laughter of children, pieced together like a fine tapestry or a mosaic. Van Goh gave Jesus a high five for this wonderful creation of reinheitsgebot deliciousness. If you don't like this beer I'm willing to bet you like boys. And you have an outie instead of an innie.

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Photo of mecanini
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been a a beer lover since the age of five when my dad gave me my first sips. His staple beer was Reingold!( of all things!) I have a lot of favorites, but this is definitely way up there. It's simple and uncomplicated...to me it's delicious beer!!!!

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Photo of klintok21
4.78/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I took a special trip to Milwaukee, WI to visit The Old German Beer Hall and had the privilege to first enjoy Hofbrau on tap there in a large 1 litre glass. Absolutely delicious! When I got back home to Grand Rapids, MI I had to do some searching but was able to track down some bottled Hofbrau to give it a second go around and I think I'm even more in love with it! This fine Deutsche Bier is now my favorite! Prost!

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.7/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good German-style pils/lager style brew. A great light golden color with a wonderful German-beer aroma at the start. The head is light, lacey, and fast-fleeting. The aroma and flavor are everything a good German brew should be. Well worth seeking out if available in your area. Prost!

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic beer.

Just a slight notch below Weihanstephaner Original. A bit more raw.. more grassy and unrefined is how I would compare it. In fact sometimes I would prefer this to it. Not available in my area so I only get it when my parents bring it in so it may be a superior value pricewise.

A must have for any fans of the style.

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Photo of pharmer
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A:Pours a golden straw color and forms a 2-finger frothy white head when poured into a pilsner glass. The head lasts for about 3 minutes and leaves behind some nice lacing. A thin head remains throughout the drink.

S: Beautiful. Don't mistake this for skunked, it is intended to smell like this. Grassy, with some hops in the background.

T: A smooth light feel in the mouth. A big dose of grains, followed by a medium bitterness of noble hops. This beer finishes perfectly and leaves you wanting more.

Notes: Having just recently found this beer, I have to say I really like it. Would be highly sessionable, if only it wasn't so expensive.

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Photo of Mardukk
4.58/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a medium yellow with a good head that dissipated slowly leaving some lacing.

S: Smells grassy with some grain and a hint of skunk.

T: Grassy herbal hops mixed with a somewhat sweet malt flavor. The hops give this beer a nice bite at the back of your mouth, added a dimension I haven't seen in many German lagers.

M: Just the right amount of body for this style, not light and not too heavy. Middle of the road carbonation.

D: Very crisp and refreshing with good body (you won't confuse this with a light beer). Fantastic session beer.

Summary: My favorite of the German lager crowd...actually one of my favorite beers period. More substantial in body and taste than most in this genre.

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Photo of bosox941827
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in 1L mug at the Chinese Tower biergarten in Munich.

A - Served foaming and darkish yellow in an absolutely massive 1L mug; a good 3-4 inches of head on top hangs around for a while.
S - A slight hint of hoppiness, with malt character thrown in as well. Sounds dumb, but it smells like a prototypical "beer" to me.
T - When you provide a beer that is typical served in 1L containers, it better be drinkable and this beer has that in spades. A bit sweeter and malty than the other Munich brews, it still has enough hop character to make it perfectly balanced. If you really want to, this beer has enough character to stand up to a detailed tasting, but really it's made to be drinkable and thirst-quenching, and it achieves that perfectly. Much more character to it than any large American beer, and remember, this is made to the German beer-quality law, so there are no adjuncts in here. A tasty, well-made quaffer.
M - Decent amount of carbonation despite the casking, with just a bit more heaviness than other typical lagers.
A must when in Munich, either at the Hofbrauhaus itself, or at one of the many other gardens or kellers in Munich or elsewhere.

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Photo of baos
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16.9 fluid ounces into Atlas Mason jar.

A: Quintessential beer look. 2 finger head dissipates down to a nice sheen and collar with some lacing here and there.

S: Standing in a field of clover or in the loft with fresh baled hay with a dripping honey-comb in your hand.

T: Yum! Clover blossom plucked and nectar suckled out. There beer tastes super fresh this beer was brewed for ubermensch.

M: Very nice.

D: A one.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straw colored with a nice full off-white head and good active carbonation. Nice balanced grainy and grassy hop aroma and flavor. Balance leans a bit bitter but has a nice grainy malt balance. Light-medium bodied with a crisp and clean dry finish.

The German beer I now think of when I think of a Helles.

Per Label: "Since 1589" & "Munich Specialty"

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Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 330ml bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Poured a clear pale gold with almost no head and no lacing. Aroma is sweet with notes of bread and maybe green apple (there's a certain tart feeling to it). The taste is very malt forward, with the same flavors as the aroma and a nice hit of hop bitterness on the finish. There is slightest bit of carbonation and the mouthfeel is a little bit thin and both a really quite nice. A great German lager, simple and well made.

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Photo of DannyP3
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off let me say I had 2 16.9 glass bottles of Hofbräu Original.
L- poured from bottle to glass with golden yellow color & 1/2-1 finger head of foam.
S- a slight smell of corn & wheats upon first whiff.
T- heaven..no literally this is one of, if not my favorite beer of choice ! The flavor in the hops of this brew really mask the alcohol, almost cant even taste it. Goes down smooth with little to no beer burn.
F- you'll notice right off the bat theres little carbonation in this brew, pretty comparible to a dry stout, makes for an easy dinner drink.
Overall I'd definite recommend anyone and everyone to go try this one for yourselves, you will not be dissapointed. Def worth the price !

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Photo of generallee
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a green 11.2oz bottle into a Pilsener glass. The bottle has no freshness date or any info other than the style.

Appearance: It has a bright yellow body with very good clarity and some visible carbonation. The head is tall and full of soft white bubbles. Its retention is good as it slowly fades to a thin covering, that with a little swirl of the glass, lasts all the way to the last sip. On the glass it leaves behind some nice spotty lacing.

Smell: There are note of light pale malt notes with a solid floral/spicy/grassy hop presence.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor has a delicate sweet bready or sugar cookie like maltiness up front with a lemon meringue pie like undertone. Nice spicy/floral hop notes soon move in and add their bitterness and character. The hop character is in my opinion is in perfect balance to the malt. The finish has a good snappy, crisp and dry character that makes it extremely drinkable.

Notes: Again to sum up this beer it is well balanced, tasty and easy to drink. It makes for a good summer drinking beer and works well with a light snack of soft sour dough pretzels.

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Photo of Frothboss
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden yellow with nice thick head that resides at the top of the glass and slowly goes down to a thin layer after a minute fueled by the steady flow of carbonation.
Smell carries a sweet toasty malt with grassy piney undertones.
Tastes very nice, well rounded. Want to take another sip as soon as i put the glass down.
Light smooth body helps this one go down very easy.
Overall very impressed. Nice well balanced brew. I really enjoy Hofbrau Original, it is a regular and welcom visitor to my fridge and my palate. This beer truly does hold alot of character and my wife will even drink it.

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Photo of giblet
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a damn fine german lager. pours golden with one inch of head. good lace down the glass. smells of fresh grass with hint of hop. the taste for me is the bomb! i could drink this with any food or without. if it were cheap and abundent it would be my daily brew for certain.

absolute good for the style.

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of hustlesworth
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Decided to fill up my great lakes growler with this classic. Call it growler or on-tap, either way I'm thirsty.

A- growler went boom when I popped the ceramic cap. Poured into giant 36oz dimpled hofbrau mug. Standard golden amber with a big billowy white head. Foam stays at a nice disk with many spots of lace.

S- sweetly malty aroma with some light toasted and raw cereals. Light but very floral hop aroma.

T- it's hard to say bath water in a way that sounds appealing. Mineral water doesn't quite describe it here. It's not soapy but the hops have such floral character that it conjures up images of splashin around havin a good old time. Pale toasty lip smackin boiled barley with a pinch of salt flavor and French fries. Can't call it bitter until the malt sweetness fades In the finish allowing some herbal and spicy hop juice to shine it's love light down on me. Clean almost fresh feeling aftertaste.

MF- light but with some structure and creamy almost wheat protein like feel. I'll call it a hair under medium bodied. Soft extremely tight carbonation graces the tongue and gently scrubs away all residue except for the lingering hop feel and flavor.

D- late June, rack of ribs in the wet smoker, and havin 2 litres of this is helpin me deal with the skeeters. Glad it's in my mug. Back before I knew anything about beer I thought helles tasted like shit. Except for the a/b endeavour burnin helles back in say, 2004-05, but that doesn't really count I guess and, ah look at me, I'm ramblin again. Point is, enjoying a style for what it is and what it's worth is truly a righteous time. By far and completely the best helles I've had and totaly on par with jarhundert century bier from my salaciously coveted braueri von aying. Which I'm still tryin to find a case of. I haven't showered today.

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Photo of danadeny
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at the Hofbrauhause in Munich. Presentation in a liter stein is enough to warrant an exceptional appearance score alone, add to that a classic pilsner color and frothy head and you have a winner. The smell was a bit mroe than subtle, the pilsner hops were there, but a general smell of freshness is most prevalent. Taste is classic. Exactly what I would expect from this beer. The flavor is not over the top at any point, exceptional balance between malt and not too outragous amount of hops, but the hops are the dominant flavor. This beer is not trying to grab your attention; it's a classic case of less is more. This is one beer everyone should have on tap to understand the style and intention of the beer. In the US there is a mentality that every beer has to try to "out do" the competition and grab our attention. That’s not the case here; you will actually be wowed at the fact of how a simple beer can be so great. Mouthfeel is smooth and watery, refreshing and light. And drinkability is insane, to be served in a liter stein this thing has to be drinkable and that it is.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer, I was able to enjoy a liter of it at the Hofbrau House in Munich (did you know that in the 40s one of hitler's pieces of artwork hung on the wall there?) Also, I was serenaded by a drunken yodeling swiss man as i enjoyed this beer, which made it even better.

The beer is a clear golden color with a nice thick white head (got a little on my nose, good sign) Smells hoppy and malty. Tastes very fresh, in the front is a sweet malty flavor and it finishes hoppy with a little bitterness. The bitterness is perfect, enough to make you want another sip, but not enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth. It has a medium/light body and is pretty easy to drink, very sessionable (the way this style is meant to be)

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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,530 ratings.
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