Hofbräu Original | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
484 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: 484 | Ratings: 1,517
Photo of smorbrod
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

I like to have a nice strong IPA or other Pale Ale, or two, then have a Hofbrau Original. The smoothness of this lager is a great palate cleanser after the hoppy beers. If I just have one of these right away I would give it a 3 but for some reason after a couple of pale ales it seems almost creamy.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours a pale yellow with a fizzy head. The smell is a little sour with mostly the malt coming through and then some citrus from the hops finishing the beer. The taste is mellow in the beginning with an almost tart finish from the hops. I thought it was a nice german style but it didn't floor me in any category though.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330mL green bottle
L - golden with super clarity, foamy white head dissipates fairly quickly
S - light grain, delicate noble hop, grass, yeast
T - light toasted grain, biscuit, spicy & grassy noble hop, yeast
F - lighter body, very clean and crisp finish
O - I had given this a simple rating a long time ago, so it needed an upgrade. Very good Munich Helles Lager and much better than I remember.

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Photo of Zach136
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear straw, paper thin white cap. OK lacing.

S - Light hints of grain, virtually no hop aroma, and luckily no skunk.

T - Pils malt, light to medium-light grassy hop character.

M - Light bodied, light carbonation, dissipating and refreshing finish.

O - Great example of the style. Beer flavored beer hits the spot some times.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The liquid is a clear, nearly transparent straw color, with a couple strings of bubbles rising through it. The pour produces a somewhat meager nearly-white head that fades quickly and leaves little in the way of lacing.

Aroma is dank, somewhat peppery, and a bit citrusy. Nice sweet malt and grassy hops.

Taste follows the nose - sweet malt up front, followed by some crisp citrus and grass. Less dank on the palate than on the nose. Finish is clean, with a lingering toasted malt flavor.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, almost watery, with tons of prickly carbonation.

Overall, nice flavors, and easy drinking, but not much to rave about. Solid beer.

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Photo of Mojo
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a Wicked Weed snifter

A - crystal clear medium gold with a nice two inch head with spectacular retention and lacing

S - The nose is not particularly notable. Bit of a fresh smell.

T - This is just a great tasting lager. Very crisp and full bodied with a clean finish.

M - medium thick, great carbonation.

O - what's not to love. It is not overly complex, but it is just a great beer.

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

I picked up a sixer of these from the Class Six. Hadn't had this in a while and had yet to enter a review.

The beer appears a clear golden hue with an inch of thick, white head. Distinctly German lager scents rise up to the olfactory senses before the glass is even lifted. Refreshing flavor, with a bready, yeasty quality that can make a lager beer so quaffable. A standard of the style and one I shall certainly return to. Tasty.

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Photo of AugustusRex
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh for an imported lager. Bottled October 20th, 2015. Under 3 months old.

Fantastic dry malt character. The hops blend seamlessly into the overall profile and become pronounced in the aftertaste. Very mild beer. Perfect everyday Helles.

It's funny its called Original when the Dunkel is the older style.

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

500 ml bottle into lager glass, bottled on 3/26/2013. Pours crystal clear golden straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of light lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of light lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, straw, and yeast earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light lemon, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, straw, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; with a very clean flavor profile and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Helles style. All around good balance and robustness of clean pale malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of barczar
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lightly bready malt in aroma, floral hops are subtle. Flavor is slightly stale cardboard, but bready and malty. Might be a little oxidized. Not what I remember or expected, and I hope it's the bottle. Will have to review on draft to hopefully get a better experience.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Jan. 29 2015. With this being one of my favourite lager styles, and the Germans in general being my favourite pale lager brewers, I've got pretty high hopes for this one. Served well chilled.

Pours a bright, clear golden-yellow colour, topped with one finger of dense, bone-white head. It soon dissipates into a filmy cap and collar, leaving a curtain of lacing left behind to stick to the glass. The aroma is classic German pale lager - grainy pale malts, a bit crackery, with some grassy hay and floral notes. There's a weak hint of that sulphurous skunk smell, but it works well enough in this context to not be an issue.

Simple, but great. Nice, clean grainy barley malt flavour kicks this one off, somewhat doughy with a light honeyed sweetness. The noble hops round things out toward the end, with their green grassy notes and light earthiness drying the finish off. Crisp and clean in the aftertaste; an absolute pleasure to drink in hot weather. Light in body, with relatively firm carbonation that gives this one an enjoyable bite. Highly refreshing.

Final Grade: 4.01 even, an impressive A-. The Germans are the masters of lagerdom, and Hofbräu Original is yet another testament to this fact. This is an outstanding Munich lager that could easily become a staple - if it became readily available locally, at least. Until then, I'll probably just stick with other imports, but as far as this style goes, I do believe I've finally found a new favourite to displace the venerable (and ubiquitous) Spaten. A wonderful continental lager that should appeal to not only BAs, but beer drinkers in general - grab one while it's available.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München pours a bright clear amber from a light green 11.2 oz glass bottle with a pry off cap.

Head went to about two fingers before settling down to a broken carpet of fine foam, with a fair amount of lacing along the walls of my 22oz classic pilsner glass.

Nose is of light damp toasted barley and the slightest of hops.

Taste is a well bittered barley malt, with the slightest of the 5.1% alcohol by volume present.

Clean, crisp, and well balanced German offering of how beer should be.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a finger of head on a clear light straw colored body.
The aroma has a big grain smell with a little lemon in the background, Really nice.
The taste goes from mild bitter to mild sweet, then a sharp moderate bitter note and rounds out sweet again. Great profile.
The texture is crisp, but the body has some weight; and with moderate carbonation.
This is always a winner, and better if on tap.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

NIce soft malt with some soft spicing from hops. Balanced. A little sulfur and maybe a little skunking from green glass.
Very lightly colored and very clear. White head settles out but not gone.
Very full mouthfeel from abundant soft carbonation. Again nice soft malting, but also clear hopping esp. towards the middle and finish in which the hop flavors are particularly strong and lingering. Not necessarily drying, but evident.
I like the creamy feel and balance flavors. Maybe a tad excess on the carbonation, but the flavors are good.

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Photo of Mises85
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this in a pint glass around 44 degrees.

Appearance: light gold color with a lot of bubbles floating to the top. not too much head although I wonder whether it was because the glass wasn't clean enough or whether the beer is like that.

Smell: Barnyard funk, hay, grassy, fruity (pineapple), touch hoppy

Taste: bright but nice spicy noble hop on the finish

Mouthfeel: quite effervescent, medium body

Overall: I normally don't like lager but this one was quite good. Another home run for the germans.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Extremely clean light yellow color. Medium active carbonation for the style. Light head on the pour and not present while drinking.

Smell: Straw and cloves on the front. Bite of skunkiness on the nose as well. Balanced hop body is present yet plays along well with everything else going on here. Slight nuttiness on the back end with a touch of pepper.

Taste: Breadiness on the front. Solid buttery body that compliments some mild fruit hop tones. Oats and barley make their presence toward the back end of the body. Lingering dry malt flavors, with accents of nuts, biscuit, and oats.

Mouthfeel: Clean malt really shines on the palate. Light hop bitterness hangs around with a substantial malt, grainy body. Carbonation is mild but fitting for the style.

Overall: Just a classic munich helles lager. The hop tones play along seamlessly with a airy biscuit malt body. A beer I would share with anyone with conviction that this would be enjoyed by all.

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3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Lager glass. Gold color, crystal clear appearance. White froth, lasting head. Slight sulphury odor, pale malt, grain, floral & Noble hop aromas, hints of hay & vanilla to the nose. Crispy upfront, sweet pale malt flavor ar first sip. Light body. Moderate carbonation. Dense to watery texture. Subtle spicy & grainy flavors in the middle. Funny & sparkling palate. Low hoppiness resolves in a long bitter/sweet finish. No flat, no fat, but clean bitter beer. Easy drinkability.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a flute. A lighten golden yellow brew with a massive white head, immediately making its presence known via a pleasant noble hop spice and sweet doughy malts on the nose, a touch of vinous fruit as well. Good head retention. Palate is dominated by clean pale malts (with a hint of pancake), only faintly sweet, with hints of lemon rind, licorice, hay, cinnamon, and strawberry candy. Clean and crisp, with an uber-smooth mouthfeel and soft carbonation. Damn near perfect helles lager except for a little skunk and metal in the dry spicy finish. Less sweet and more malty than other commercial examples with a complex array of German hop flavors that of course do not overwhelm what is essentially a malt showcase. Not hard to find and well worth it if you wish to experience a classic helles flavor.

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Photo of Ohiolager
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

i first had this brew about a year ago on my birthday. i instantly found a favorite. it has to be my favorite german imported lager.

the beer pours very nicely. a two finger head that stays around longer than i thought it would. gives way to minimal to no lacing. the appearance is not quite straw yellow but not quite gold either.

it smells like a fresh beautiful spring day. crisp, clear and refreshing. a little hint of skunk was found but most german lagers are a little skunky. maybe the green bottles?

it tastes great. at first a crisp grassy taste followed by a hoppy taste with a touch of honey. the after taste is hoppy with a touch of skunk. pardon my language but even the burps taste good. very crisp, very clean and nicely carbonated

mouthfeel is a little watery but at 5.1 abv its not an IPA. so i did not expect a thick feel. however this brew is all about the taste.

at $8.99 a six pack 11.2 oz bottles. there are craft beers at this price point with higher abv. but like i said this is about having an authentic munich specialty lager. worth every penny, if you ask me.

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Photo of Act25
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hofbrau Original
(Tasted again in Munich Airport on 5-18-15, and again a home run. Reliable lemony refreshing tingle)

I was ready to dismiss, ready to make a black and tan out of it.
But HB just totally pleased me, here in the middle of winter. A beautiful clear lager.

A: Bright pale golden color, the big frothy white head comes up, and leaves dots of lacing, but there's very little visible carbonation to support it.

Smell: Clean, fresh grassy aroma, faint but balancing noble hops.

Taste: Super fresh and crisp. Pears, grass, hay, nobel hops, fresh golden apple, on top of an unsalted soft pretzel malt base. Refreshing, and surprisingly big, with a great finish and a long pleasant clean aftertaste. Will be GREAT with food.

Feel: One of the best mouth feels for a light beer ever. Must try.

I wish I could get a permanent supply of this in cans. As others wrote, it's not much to analyze, just drink, enjoy and not wonder why it's so simple yet so good.

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Photo of DionysusAwakened
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good beer that purposefully has a skunky smell to it. It was enjoyable and refreshing, with a good mouthfeel and clear but flavorful taste.

Glue was stuck to the underside of the lip of the nozzle on one of the beers which detracted from the taste and was poor packaging. Other than that oversight it was a delicious beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Bert's
Pours a crystal clear deep golden color with a smallish white head that dissipates rather quickly. Huge skunky aromas as soon as I pop the cap and pour into the glass. Luckily those dissipate rather quickly revealing a pleasant bready decocted pilsner malt aroma with a hint of floral earthy hop. The flavor is rich melanoid and pilsner malt with just enough earthy hop flavor to provide some balance. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick almost sweet mouthfeel. Decent Helles, I've have had better, but I could drink this.

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

Pours golden with a brilliance and perfect clarity. Fat head of off white foam that fell well to a ring and some clusters of foam on top. This beer is shining. Nose is pristine. Light sweet grain, doughy malt., a touch of floral and some fresh cut grass and wet hay. Crisp and light on the palate with just enough bubbles to tickle the tongue. Wet grassy flavor in the middle and drinks so easily and refreshing. The noble hops are so light they engage the palate effortlessly as the lightly sweet grain kisses the drink as a faint little bitter leaves you wanting more. Truly motivating. Simply outstanding. You could drink a few of these.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This reminds Raul of that one time he found himself driving through the flatlands of Iowa/Nebraska; this thang is just clean, crisp, grassy, and smooth. A bit bready like your granmama's baked goods, and dry like socal's rainy season.

I like it. I'm not trippin' on a splinter, but it's a bit more than aite.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled last night on 11/26/13 (and one 9/26/15 from a 330ml (11.2 ounce) bottle. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a handled-glass "HB" .5L stein.

Brew pours a clear golden-yellow in color with a 2+-finger foamy white foamy head that doesn't last long. Some streaky lacing was seen when sipped. The aroma is of some grassy malts for the most part. Most brews that come in a green bottle have a 'skunky' smell for some reason, this one had just a very light hint of that BUT not like many others. The taste was clean and crisp with a very slight drier finish with the malts and floral hops in the mix also. No harsh or bitter aftertaste. Overall a very good brew despite the higher carbonation. Lighter-side of medium-bodied with good carbonation.

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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,517 ratings.
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