Hofbräu Original | Hofbräuhaus München

very good
490 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: 490 | Ratings: 1,541
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.

 681 characters

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.

 340 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

03/18/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Full bodied & less bitter than the famous weiss these guys do. Very good & goes down too easy. Thank goodness it's a mere 5.1 ABV.

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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.

 396 characters

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.

 675 characters

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.

 308 characters

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.

 1,334 characters

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.

 1,684 characters

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.

 539 characters

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.

 971 characters

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.

 490 characters

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.

 826 characters

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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Hofbräu Original from Hofbräuhaus München
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,541 ratings.
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