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 Beerwithoutallthehops
1.75/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I was looking forward to trying this German beer. Afterward? Over rated. The green bottle gives this beer a poor taste that smacks of sour. The aftertaste was unappealing. The smell was not so appetizing and got worse as the beer warmed. I looked all over for the brown bottle that I see on the website, but it is nowhere to be found. Pass this one by in the store and go get a German beer that you have a history of liking.

 431 characters

Photo of lisiate
2.09/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Something was dreadfully wrong with the bottle I had. The beer looked okay, bright and gold with a fine head, but the smell was off putting and there was a dreadful, metallic overtone to the taste which was unpleasant. Maybe it hadn't traveled well and had been poorly stored? The best before was only two weeks away. Very hesitant to try again.

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Photo of chefelf
2.34/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After reading the rest of the reviews here I'm convinced that I must've gotten a bad bottle somehow. What I had tasted exactly like a skunky Heineken. They only flavor really was skunk flavor. Overall very displeasing.

This was directly from a case of beer which had just come in at the store so theoretically it shouldn't have been exposed to too much light and should have been relatively fresh. I look forward to hopefully getting this again in the future to review it again. I can't imagine this is the flavor that has gotten such consistent high reviews here.

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Photo of andyinsdca
2.4/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From a bottle that had (what appears to be) a date of 0804, don't know if this is an expiration or a "born on" date.

Appearance was the same as an American light beer, weak yellow, thin head.
Smell: Vaguely beer-like. Maybe skunked?
Taste: Absolutely awful. Tasted like stale corn tortillas. No beer taste at all.

Overall: I poured this out after 2 sips. Not sure if it was expired/skunked or what. I will NOT drink this beer again.

Update, 10Nov08:
My ratings were 2/1/1/1/1 when I initially reviewed this beer. I bought some more this weekend after I saw it at Bevmo and it had a "date" of 12xx. I took the plunge and here's how the non-skunked stuff came out.
Appearance: No change; the head was a 1-finger, fizzy head that vanished quickly after being poured into a pint glass.
Smell: A little bit of malt, a little bit of flowers, a touch of corn, but nothing revolting.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Not a bad yellow-fizzy beer. Not much mouthfeel to it at all.
Drinkability and overall: It's actually an OK beer. Nothing spectacular, but very drinkable....this almost seems like damning with faint praise (cf: the current light beer ads in the US that plug drinkability), but it's not. Not very memorable.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours out an absolutely crystal clear gold, with one inch of white head

Smells of sweet skunk and baby grass alcohol and malts

The taste is of wet grains and really just super expected lager but less

Mouth feel is watery with a cheap carbonation like soda. I feel like this is their version of the US' fizzy yellow stuff

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Photo of K270
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured the beer into a clear glass and it poured a light golden color. At first sniff I got a slight skunky smell. This turned me off at first. The smell kind of went away after it sat in the glass for a minute or two. But it didn't go away completely. Every time I took a sip I got a slight sniff of skunkyness. Don't get me wrong, the taste of the beer isn't to bad. I've had this beer before and don't remember it having a skunky smell. I'll try this beer again at a later date. Maybe the beer I had has been on the shelf for a while.

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Photo of JDV
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light gold, with a yeasty lager like, and slight hop aroma. Taste is lightly yeasty, malty, with a nice noticeable hop twang to it as well. Touch of tartness to it. Crisp carbonation and decent mouthfeel. Nothing too special, but for what it is, it seems well enough made. Decent, drinkable beer.

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Photo of bobhits
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours crystal clear into the glass, with an explosion of bubbles filling the body. This one then forms a nice white head, nothing dense or creamy, but just a tall white bit of bubbles. This doesn’t last long to leaves little lacing. Lively to start but rather simple.

A light nose gives off some spices and subtle earthy hop and malt profiles. The glass sadly still smells a bit like the same I washed it with and the nose really dies once the initial pour is over (there isn’t soap in the glass!).

Very bready or maybe more like a rice based bread flavor and texture to the malt here. A lot of flavor imparted here by the wheat. The beer takes on some light crystal malt like sweetness, but nothing really stands out.

Refreshing, light, well carbonated are all good ways to describe this one. I can see this being almost magical on a 90 degree day. It isn’t 90 today, far from it sadly.

This is an interesting lager. It packs some interesting flavor profiles while remaining very drinkable. Not a beer I see myself going back to short of going to The Hofbrau house in Northern Kentucky but I enjoyed this and it had potential to be pretty darn bland.

 1,163 characters

Photo of Amalak
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

App: Extremely light, with a head that dissipates quickly

Smell: No real smell. Lagerish, but nothing worth noting.

Taste: Nothing bad, but there is not so much flavor. Pretty weak.

Mouthfeel: No bad, goes down easy

Drinkability: It's light and easy to drink, but doesn't have the flavor I look for.

Low quality beer in my opinion.

 336 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Golden, clear body; effervescent, strong head, long lasting

Aroma: grassy, hoppy, citrus notes

Taste: Tangy, a little bitter; not particularly impressive

Remarks: Not a big fan of Pale Lagers overall; this was no exception

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of Minkybut
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this beer while holding my nose into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was blond nearly and poured the best head of the night. It was big and white. However the skunk smell made me think something was going to crawl out of it. The beer had a sweet taste that was too much,tasted green. I will not buy again.

 317 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pint bottle into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of fair thickness but no cream. Average retention. Clear yellow colour.

Sm: Light tones of cream and barley. Pleasant. I'm excited to try this beer.

T: The notes from the nose but unfortunately culminating in a sort of dirty barley finish that isn't balanced against the first two acts. Moderately complex, but not quite refreshing. It's built well for the style; I believe it's a flagship of the style actually.

Mf: Too smooth. Too wet. Almost watery on the finish.

Dr: It's probably fairly priced in Germany, but it's not in Ireland. I'd have it again as a run of the mill drinking beer, but it's nothing special.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I was actually not as impressed with this beer as I expected and hoped to be. The smell was a bit stale and sour. The taste was moderately better but had a bad aftertaste - slightly sour. The feel was smooth, but as the taste wasn't my personal favorite, it was harder to drink. I respect and enjoy other brews from this brewery, but this one wasn't my favorite.

 366 characters

Photo of BierReise
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is probably one of the worst examples of German beer I've had recently and the fact that it was a freebee from the store owner where I bought a case of good beers from didn't help any. It was probably old to begin with and so this may not be a fair review but then few have given it a decent rating here. Looks promising in trhe glass but the flavor is not of a good lager. Kind of flat tasting with little character. Almost reminds me of some basic American lagers in that respect. Slightly bitter and with an unpleasant aftertaste.

 538 characters

Photo of Shrews629
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very clear, pale yellow, straw color with a super white, soapy head. Several bubbles coming up from the bottom. Looks similar to a macro lager or pilsner, but with a better head and retention. Decent lacing.

Smell - Getting a very clean smelling grass or grain aroma. Only slightly hoppy in the nose. Nothing offensive, but nothing outstanding. Picking up the faintest hint of butter or dough.

Taste - Not detecting a whole lot with the taste. Maybe a bit of grain with a hint of the alcohol bite at the very end. Minute bitterness and only a tad sour.

Mouthfeel - Thin mouthfeel. Slight bit watery. Does have a crisp finish and is somewhat refreshing.

Drinkability - I really thought this brew would have more "kick" or "bite". It's not a bad beer by any means. It's very drinkable and is still better than any macro, but I was just expecting more considering its very high rating. Would pair nicely with a real hot spring or summer day however.

 964 characters

Photo of flyingpig
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden amber that has a fine lacing around the brim for a head with visible carbonation.

A skunky grain aroma that I got upfront followed by some corn. There was some nice grassy hops in the background here too but not much else really.

A lot like a standard pale lager for my liking with some skunky and metallic flavours being too strong. There is some nice grassy hops and a little sweetness as well with a light, slightly bitter finish.

A light body and very smooth, making it easy to drink.

This one is pretty decent for a pale lager but somewhat lacking for a Munich helles lager and definitely not one I would recommend over other helles.

1001 Beers to Try:

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Photo of ATPete
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz green bottle (no i will not rant about the bottle in this review, however if you'd like to know how i feel about green bottles from Germany check out my review of the Hofbrau dunkel.)

A- pours a really unappetizing yellow with a decent fluff of a white head, some rising carbonation.

S- Macro lager nose.

T/M- Macro lager taste, cheap weak malts, skunky hops and a grainy feel, not my idea of a refreshing brew. Nor a German lager.

D- This one isn't even worth trying from a bottle.

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Photo of cedricwarner
2.92/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A small release of sulfur upon opening the bottle, despite this being in the brown half liter bottle (it's not always due to green glass). Once poured it forms a lovely frothy head giving off honey sweet malt aromas. Probably the best aspect of this beer.

As far as taste goes, it's got the proper small amount of hop bitterness for the style but not enough malt sweetness to balance out. There's also some mild metallic twang happening that I find only slightly unpleasant, and it's not just this particular bottle, I've had loads of these.

It's still quite drinkable, but out of the big Munich six, this is my least favorite Helles.

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Photo of dogfishandi
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz green bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint.

Pours out a very clear golden color, very small amount of sediment if you look hard enough. About one fingers worth of white head that fades to a thin yet retentive layer. Some nice sticky, sporadic lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles rushing to the top.

A bit skunky and bland. Mineral lager yeast and some grains.

Similar to the aroma. Mineral, almost sulfer lager yeast, sweet cereal grains, hints of butter, finishes with a bit of crisp hop bitterness.

Crisp, refreshing, light bodied. A bit watery.

Pretty standard lager. Only slightly better than most American macros, not something I would strive to drink again.

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

A - Pours a clear yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny head, basically no lacing.

S - Scents of hops, yeast, and some slight spices.

T - The taste is kinda sweet, slighty hoppy.

M - Light-Medium body.

D - Drinkable. Not a bad brew, but will not buy again.

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

Poured from a fresh bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pale, clear straw color with ample carbonation evident. One finger white head vanishes immediately. Thin lacing doesn't hang around.

S: Pilsener malts with banana and a mild skunkiness. Bready malts.

T: Starts with pilsener malts and some noble hops. Sweet; banana flavor quite evident. Bits of tobacco. Boozy finish. Tastes slightly skunked, despite being fresh. I've essentially given up on green bottles - perfectly good beer gets ruined too easily.

M: Watery yet crisp. Slightly undercarbonated; boozy finish. Not a good combination of MF traits.

O: I had this on tap at the Munich Hofbräuhaus a few years ago - it was excellent. This, however, was a complete letdown. I've been fighting the general disdain of green bottles, but this normally good beer has taught me that beers in green bottles just aren't worth buying. This review may be an injustice seeing how good this can be on tap. Just don't buy it in bottles.

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Photo of brendan13
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Light golden colour poured into a pint glass with a couple of centimetres of white head that falls away pretty quickly.
S - Smell is grainy/cereal like with some cooked vegie notes.
T - Taste is pretty similar to the smell. A bit more sweet malt comes through.
M - Light bodied, medium to high carbonation.
D - Not horrible but really did nothing for me. May as well drink something like locally brewed stella.

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Photo of DavidST
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a very light yellow or straw like color with a decent white head, which leaves a little lacing. The smell is initially of some type of rubber or latex (maybe from the green bottle?), under that there are some grainy smells and bread malts. Feel is light and watery. The taste is okay there is also a latex taste followed by some grains, but I wonder if this is going bad. I don't think its very old so perhaps the green bottle might be to blame. This might be a drain pour.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours golden in color, almost without a head, lots of carbonation. Aroma is of grass and hops, some malt as well. Medium, clean body. Flavors are a good amount of noble hops and sweet malt. This beer much exceeded my expectation. Typical German lager.

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Photo of koolk
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Gold in colour with a decent head and some firm carbonation.

Aromas are faint, but nice. Some spice, hoppy traces and a layering of rich, yet refined, malt aromas.

As with the nose, the palate is a tad light for my tastes. Crisp and dry with only a hint of hops and some nice roast/toast malt flavours.

Uncomplicated decent brew. For those in OZ you can pick up bottles of these at the same price as VB (about $2 ea.). I know what I'll be drinking.

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