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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 485 | Ratings: 1,530
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 rodbeermunch
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Geared up, yellow and gold pour, nice 1.2" pristine white head. skunky aroma, more helles and lagers should embrace

Taste, noble hops. Heavy carbonation, decent hopping, mild lager effects on the mouthfeel. Mild sweetness. Relative dry finish, lemony in the smallest way. Overall, a decent representative of the style. Certainly fits summertime more than it does winter round these parts.

A little pricey but it does come from the other side of the world, so transportation costs money for sure.

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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.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: November 21, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Paulaner pokal... OCCASION: a double review Sunday... APPEARANCE: lively, bubbly body that light gold; head is snow white, fluffy and a bit soapy, with swirling arches of lacing... AROMA: doughy and flowery, with a light fragrance of perfume; delicate and almost apologetic in its approach... PALATE: clean, crisp and light in body; texture is smooth...highly drinkable...TASTE: nicely balanced hops and malts produce a mellow, subtly sweet experience; the bubblegum in the yeast is appreciable; malts are grainy and cereal, almost toasted oats...the hops are soft, evoking fields of flowers... OVERALL: what one expects from a German Helles--a sharp-as-cheddar slicing through the palate, with a dry finish and some spiciness to boot...a beer whose great experience trumps its good individual aspects...

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Photo of anon
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear straw gold, a one finger head and not much lacing; the appearance of a typical lager. Smell is pretty much grains up front and not much else. Taste is where this lager surpasses most on the market. Very earthy and bready, doughy, slightly caramely and malty. A bit chewy but overall very crisp and zingy, a clear cut lager that feels good on the tongue with decent carbonation but still goes down smooth. An excellent definition of a lager done right and one that can be enjoyed on both warm summer days and cool autumn evenings.

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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.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is almost nothing more than that of an adjunct lager. However, it does have a golden glow that sets it apart. Aromas are grainy, grassy and slightly skunky. Taste and feel are spot on for style. Overall a highly enjoyable Hellen lager . . . One of the best I've had.

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma - Moderately spicy hop aroma with pleasant grain. Minuscule amount of diacetyl.

Appearance - Clear golden straw. Fair head retention. Decent amount of bubbling due to carbonation.

Flavor - Moderate spice, straw, & homestyle biscuit. Finish is crisp and and the spicy hops and malt linger on the palate.

 310 characters

Photo of haharight
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Light golden colour. Smells grainy. Taste of malts, earthy feel like grains. Leaves a bread like aftertaste. Very refreshing and well carbonated. Great beer, distinctive taste.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 liter at Hofbrau in Munich. About as forgettable a hells lager as you will find. Nothing really off, but nothing really good to say either. A bit bready, a touch of malt sweetness, crisp, light mouthfeel. Nothing I would seek out again.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A very tasty, well-balanced lager. Refreshing, crisp; the colour is a beautiful crystal-clear gold capped by some surprisingly persistent head and visible effervescence. Lots of crisp, biscuity malt character and a solid amount of hop aroma and flavour without a tremendous amount of hop bitterness. There's no star of the show here: it's all about how each of the elements comes together.

This is the lager that a lot of the adjunct-heavy major American brands should aspire to be.

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Photo of Premo88
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: crystal clear yellow ... pushes up solid 3/4- to 1-inch head of very white foam that dissipates quickly, not much sticking, a little lacing that's pretty cool and it keeps a tight little collar of white foam; the clarity is stunning, allowing you to see a slow but steady stream of bubbles rising right up the center of the column ... not a ton of bubbles but the tight little stream they form is fun to watch

S: some definite green-bottle skunk to begin with, but there's a lot of nice grassy hop aroma as well as bready malt ... very pilsener-like and pleasant, even with the skunk

T: donuts ... super sweet bready malt with no butter, creamed corn nor almost anything else in the way, perhaps just a hint of skunk ... the first sip really is almost like a donut, it's SO sweet; a quarter in, some grassiness shows up, not enough to make it bitter but still a good little green nip of hops

F: light, dry, perfect amount of carbonation ... it's crisp but not overdone

O: very taste lager, almost a tamed-down pilsener with loads of sweet malt balanced by about a 1/3 of the typical pils hop bite ... definitely not bitter; the green-bottle skunk is distracting -- it's mixing with the malt flavor to give it a bit of green onion/onion flavor, but it's not the typical American pale ale onion-hop flavor ... it's a skunked-up flavor.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I went to the store with one mission: to try such a variety of different beers in order to become well rounded in the world of beers. I am, after all, the hop head so I made sure to toss some Hofbrau into my cart. It boasts a mild 5.1% ABV and German Purity Laws since 1589 which definitely gives the beer a major historical element that elevates it to an experience instead of just a beer.

Look-It pours a startlingly crystal clear and light colored liquid. The carbonation trails are medium and the head is thin and readily dissipates allowing one to see clear down to the bottom of one’s glass. The color is light golden yellow and monotonic.

Smell-I smell German yeast and buttery bread.

Taste-The flavor is nice, but a bit one-sided for my taste. It is pleasant with flavors of malts, yeast, and spices with a crisp finish. There is no problem here with dry mouth as this leaves an oily coating and is pleasant.
Mouthfeel-The mouthfeel is oily and smooth, crisp and refreshing.

Overall-Overall I’d say that I’m glad that I added this one to my repertoire, but it is not as dynamic as the powerful Double and Imperial IPAs that I am used to. It’s all about variety and experience so I am glad to have a good old sixer of these historical German brews that come in a nice green bottle to preserve freshness.

 1,325 characters

Photo of silverevo9
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice bread, dough type smells. Delicious pils! Get a very nice head that gets discolored on the first pour. Been searching for a German pils that's top notch. This and Konig are really worth trying. Although this is much better. Much more character and flavors going on. Taste is smooth and flavorful with no bite. Love the malty sweetness. Hop flavors linger on the tongue. No problem enjoying a six pack of these. Carbonation is strong but doesn't detract from the beer at all. Smell and taste are all there. Nice hopped up pils. Reminds of being in Europe sitting at an outside cafe. Definitely has a European feel and flare to it. Just great!

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Photo of Myotus
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours with a fingers worth of white foam that dissipated into a quarter of a fingers worth within 15 seconds. Very bubbly at first then bubbles become mild once head settles. Pale yellow in color. Typical lager malt aromas minus the strange chemical odor that all adjuncts have. Hop aromas mild. Initial taste is very strong--yet pleasant--with malts. Malt flavors persist as mild hop and spice flavors enter the palate. Fullbodied from plenty of malts and has a crisp finish. Dry mouth not a problem with this one. Carbonation is mild and tickles the tongue. I have to say that this is a brilliant lager. Definitely need to buy a six pack of these.

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Photo of BayernMunchen3113
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Carmel undertones really shine through in this great German lager. Carbonation quite high and creamy finish with earthy and a little citrus at the end. At first, smell does not make it stand out, as it smells just like a lager typically would. However, the finish is quite smooth and is extremely drinkable. Had this one at the Hofbräuhaus in Chicago. Would have ordered more if I didn't want to have the Hefe Weizen as well. Overall, this is a solid German lager and I was extremely impressed. Extremely fun to drink in that type of environment as well.

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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 drmeto
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

-pours clear golden with a big, foamy white head
-high carbonation visible
-earthy,honey,slight grassy notes
-Follows the nose plus spices and a slight metallic note
-medium-high carbonation,light-medium body
Quite hoppy for a Helles.Solid overall

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Photo of beergoot
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unique label info: L 60 N 8:30

Light gold colored body; thick, dense, frothy white head; streams of roiling carbonation rising to the top; thick rings of foam. Aroma exudes wet grass with a touch of biscuit and cereal grain. Low-key malt sweetness; bread crust; slow-building but ultimately dominating hop bitterness at the finish. Creamy, velvety mouthfeel; mostly dry finish.

A most satisfying lager. It starts with an incredible appearance and follows-up nicely with a well-balanced blend of light malt grains and a bold hop bitterness. It delivers a nice warm and toasty palate pleasing beer experience that warrants many return visits.

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Photo of Kelby777
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured delicately into a pilsner glass. Temperature is about 35-37 degrees.

Appearance - Beautiful light golden color; one of the most handsome beers I've seen. Has a good one finger head, excellent lacing on the glass. Appears highly carbonated.

Smell - Skunky...

Taste - Crisp taste, bready, slightest of hops. Tastes even better with food.

Mouth feel - Plenty of carbonation, great texture, not too watery and not too thick. Just right.

Overall - This is a good beer, as it should be for the price. This beer has been around since the 1500's; WOW I'm impressed! I am a bit disappointed that the beer was slightly skunky, considering that this is one of the most famous beers in the entire world. I can't imagine what this beer would taste like on tap, but is still good from the bottle. My only advice to the Hofbrauhaus is to import your beer in dark bottles - you should know better. Otherwise, I'm glad I tried it and I would drink it everyday if I didn't have to pay over $11 for an 11.2 ounce six pack.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Time for a German beer.

It looks : creamy white cap, about 1 finger tall; leaving lacing around the glass in licks. The body is golden straw colored, very transparent.

It smells : Dew grass, pale Pilsner malts, hay, straw, a hint of lightly toasted and baked grain. Volume is somewhat weak.

It tastes : full flavored for a Czech Pilsner/Munich helles lager. Some grassiness and hay, a bit of spicy hop, some toasted grain heads, and a crisp finish. Mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel : very clean, very pure, very crisp. Lightly creamy. Ends semi-dry.

Overall : while not the best per se, this isn't a bad lager. Worth a try but maybe not worth it's price tag. Try it if you can.

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Photo of Mikus
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is THE legit lawnmower beer for me. Poured 12oz into my Spiegelau, clewr, golden, and carbonated throughout... fluffy finger of white head. Bready, clean, and slightly vegetal/grassy nose. Ridiculously light, balanced, and crisp taste. Bit of nice bitterness in there. Refreshing as hell, and really well done. This has to be the blueprint for the American Adjunct Lagers... they have a long way to catch up.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; golden - SRM approx. 4-5; less than a 1 finger white head that receded to a very thin collar; very little lacing;

S: grainy, bread, no hop characteristics;

T: a little malt sweetness up front; grainy; a touch of spice and bitterness at the finish;

M: light bodied; low carbonation;

O: a little flat, but nice flavor;

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Photo of DiUr
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden with a lovely textured head that recedes fast. Smell is full of grain, sweet malts and hops, with a hint of lemon peel. Quite a malt bomb for a lager, with hops balancing the sweetness and adding bitterness for a dry finish. Medium body and carbonation, which make for a good drinkability. Smooth, crisp, refreshing and tasty.

Not the finest of the Helles, but still a lager with lots of character and very well balanced. The one the likes of Heineken should look to.

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Photo of mmmbirra
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

0.5 liter brown bottle.
The archetypal helles lager. Golden and clear.
Crackery, sweet aroma and a smooth, crackery, pale malt flavor with just enough noble hops in the back. Not too thin as some in the style can be, not certainly not as full and rich as others. A nice middle ground for when you're just craving a good classic Munich Hell.

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