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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style LagerThomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
184 Ratings
Thomas Hooker Munich-Style LagerThomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States
hookerbeer.com

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A true Helles style, our lager is golden in color with a pleasant, malty aroma balanced by a rich, smooth flavor. Using only the finest Bavarian malts and finished with Saaz hops, one sip will make you feel like you're in one of Germany's finest beer gardens.

Added by UnionMade on 09-27-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,714
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
184
pDev:
11.73%
Bros Score:
4.28
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
20
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 184 |  Reviews: 119
Photo of Beerislife652854
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this one advertised on Connecticut Public Television, believe it or not.

A - Crystal clear amber gold with fine carbonation and a thin head that fades to nothing.

S - A crisp day in October.

T - Nice balance of bitter hops at the beginning, finishes with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Essentially, what a beer should taste like.

M - Carbonation is near perfect. Crisp and refreshing.

D - Very drinkable. Great for outdoors.

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Photo of jfcaa193
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of udubdawg
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of alexwag
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Clear and bright copper color (befitting the style), light foamy head, lots of bubbles. I'm almost refreshed just looking at it.

S: Smell is similarly crisp, hints of spice and fruit, faint malts.

T: Very nice! Light malts and spices swirl on the middle of the tongue, then the bubbles make their appearance known and it all fades pleasantly and with fruity notes. A dynamic and pleasing symphony.

M: In keeping with character, light and refreshing; never boring.

D: One of the best beers I've had -- probably the best for summer.

I might have given more 5s where I put 4.5s, but it's sort of against my principles. But it merits at least one. Hooker does damn fine work. Big ups to CT.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Initial pour into a pilsner glass resulted in foam for two-thirds of the glass. After that subsided, a second pour left an attractive three fingers of white froth atop a radiant clear golden body. Good lacing.

Inviting hay/grass nose, with a distant whiff of bakery.

A smooth lightly sweet malty body glides across the tongue, and a very subtle hop presence arises to balance and provide a clean finish which is not quite a snap, but is nicely refreshing.

Nice mouthfeel, not some mealy lager here, this has substance without being overly thick. Flows down the throat without being watery.

Drinkability is so good that the bomber seems more like a single. A bomber bottle that should be bought in quantity.

A highly enjoyable example of what an "everyday" lager should be.

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Photo of mschofield
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear, medium to dark gold, topped with a two finger puffy tan head, leaves puffy webs of lacing.
Nice toasty malt and floral aroma, spice and grain notes.
Flowers, lightly toasted malt, grass, nice spicy bitterness for the style, light toffee.
Medium bodied, very smooth and easily drinkable, really drinkable, drinkable enough that I wish I bought more.

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Photo of AChamberlain
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Bierkraft. A great Helles. Almost perfection. Golden yellow with a foamy white head. Biscuity malt aromas. Drink more lagers. More maltiness and bread in the flavor, delicious. Crisp and smooth at the same time. Soft and luscious. Again, great lager. I feel this style is underappreciated, it's one of my favorites, great session beer.

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Photo of Todd
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz brown bomber bottle. No freshness date. Hazed stricken golden colored brew, topped with thick and tight white foam head with some gentle stick to the glass. Great head retention with this beer. Color seems to become more rich as the beer warms and the haze drops.

Sulfury nose with metallic notes, soft bready grain with herbal hops tucked in the background.

Light on the palate, and very smooth, with a carbonation that creams up on the palate. Thin-ish toasty / bready malts and a malty, not overly, sweet backbone. Light, refreshing citric hop snap and interesting hop herbal and slightly spicy edge that carries into the end, followed by hints of lemon grass with a thin oily coating. Nice grape fruitiness from the German malts. Finish is dry, with hints of powdery grain / husks and cracker. Sweetness really emerges as the beer warms and thickens up the mouthfeel - lovely stuff.

A damn tasty lager, with incredible drinkability, and an excellent crossover beer for your swill drinkin' pals. Probably my favorite out of all of the "lighter" Thomas Hooker offerings.

Let the American Craft Lager Revolution begin!

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Photo of tastybeer
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden tangerine color with a chill haze and good retention. A pretty lager here. Nose is crisp, refreshing and bright. Floral hops, sweet toasty malt, citric lime and a finishing spicey touch. This is a great lager. Taste is hoppy, malty, spicey, and delightful. Same lime and spicey floral hop with an awesome malt balance. Mild bitter dryness in the finish keeps the lager clarity exciting. Drinkability is none other than....really drinkable.

Great hot day drinking.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't know that this was at the top of the style when I purchased or first tasted it but it makes sense to me.
This is one that pale lager lovers should seek. The flavor profile is right between that of a good pilsner and a helles lager. The hop character is lightly bitter with an edge of crispness. There's a juicyness to the flavor that comes from the balance of malts and hops. Scents are fresh and herbal.
A refreshing balance of flavor and lightness of body makes this a really nice choice for a multi-purpose beer. There's nothing in there that should put off one who loves Pabst and plenty to enjoy for those that dig more challenging brews. The price of a 500mL bottle makes this a once in awhile occasion... but if in six pack form under $10? Yes, yes, yes.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sun driven gold with a small loosened white cap that crumbles at a steamy pace. Slow rising bubbles within tend to keep a light skim always present. Light stringy lace.

Soft aroma of sweet white bread grains and fresh doughy crusts. Slight grassy-like hopping.

Nice taster! Lovely sweet bready malts with a buttered corn crispness and tender grassy induced spice and mild bitterness. Pale malt finish with drying breadyness and lighter transference of dull caramel.

Gentle and firm well-rounded full-bodied, malt saturated feel. Tender carbonation; soft and chewyish. Solidly sweet with the white breads, but milded in tone enough for super extreme slopping down of this liquid. Nice addition of grass/spiced hops add an outstandingly fine balance. An excellent quaffer in which one bomber exceeds in its bounty and more then one is definately required and/or suitably easy to handle. Damn fine stuff!

Thanks to danadeny for the acquistions!

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Photo of meathookjones
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out an almost crystal clear golden yellow with a good sized white frothy head. Aroma is rich with grain and a nice light grassy hops. Some doughy malts were present as well. Flavor was similar with a big grain and biscuit malt. Light lemon with a faint crisp hoppiness. Light toastiness as well. Finishes on a lightly bitter grassy note. Crisp clean and solid body. Just about as drinkable as water. Very smooth going down and refreshing. Good stuff.

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Photo of bditty187
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes…

Largely clear with a beautiful golden hue that lays a foundation that allows tawny-coppery influences to shine. There is plenty of animation noticed in the liquid. The head was white in color; at the apex the foam was slightly over two fingers in height. Head retention was fair; it faded quickly to a thin, soapy cap. This small cap did last for a while. There was no subsequent lacing. The appearance is average, on the whole. Sure the color is lovely but I want more to look at, if the head retention was better and there was some lace the appearance would be much improved. Oh well. It gets better from here! The nose is soft but ample in maltiness. There are kisses of toffee. I can easily notice whispers of herbal flowers. Caramel biscuits. Toasty. There are very weak, nondescript, fruity notes. The potency is moderate in potency but I really like what it says. Ghost suggestion of spiciness. Clean. This must be from Munich, CT. The nose is dead-on for the style. It is perfectly articulate. I do wish the bouquet had more liveliness though. It is extremely inviting! The palate is fantastic. Addicting. Liquid cocaine. This beer needs to come in liter(s) bottle because 22-ounces is not enough. I am drinking this faster than I can take write things down. I really don’t even want to review this beer anymore; it is so dam tasty. I mean screw it. Really. Shit. I’ll keep righting. The malt profile is perfect in this beer, it is sweet but wide and it encompasses soft caramel flavors and some toffee. There are hints of toasty biscuit with a whisper of honey. Sugar cookie. Toasted bread. Clean at the finish yet the aftertaste has some spicy hoppy notes. Damn this is good. It is simple but it is also everything I want with the style. Lovely. The mouthfeel is relaxing, a touch fuller then medium in body. The carbonation is on the low side but it is very fitting. Drinkability is perfect. I wish I had many more bottles. Wow, this beer is great. I’d love to “session” with this beer. The complexity is low but the end result can’t be ignored. Thanks UnionMade this beer was awesome.

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Photo of fatstakkz
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is simply DELICIOUS. Reviewing straight from the bottle, as I prefer lagers in bottles.

A - Served in a brown bottle, so perception of appearance was minimal. Noticed a slight cloudiness, but not sure if it was the bottle or the beer. Rated a 4 for being "interesting".

S - Nice clean lager smell. Just a slight hint of earthiness. Smells a tad heavier than your typical macro lager.

T - Where the beer really shines. What I loved about this beer is that it didn't really taste different or unique, it simply tasted better. Nice clean smooth watery lager taste with hardly enough earthiness for you to notice, but it's definitely there.

M - Excellent smooth clean mouthfeel. I am using the word "clean" a lot because that is what comes to my mind, after drinking many complex and exotic craft brews lately. This beer wont do anything funny to your tongue, it just goes down easy and tastes great.

O - This was a pleasant surprise for me. I normally prefer craft ales for their complexity, but I found this beer to be simple and reassuring. It doesn't taste funky, it just tastes good. Super easy to drink, would certainly bring a twelve-er to a party (to share of course). To some up my opinion, cheap lagers typically leave something to be desired. This beer, as simple as it is, is wholly satisfying on its own.

Would love to drink this one again ice cold at a hot summer barbecue. Or tomorrow night.

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Photo of counselor
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good helles lager. Pours golden honey color with 4 finger head in my Lowenbrau 0.5L stange. The aromas are like crisp dry fall day in the woods. The taste is clean, bright malt with a slight nutty grain undertoe. Dry finishing beer that strikes a super balance between the sweet malt flavors and the noble hops. This is a beer that goes down well one after the other.

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Photo of sraimondi
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is a pretty regular offering at The Cambridge House in Granby, CT, which is where I have had it. I very much like Helles beers in general, and this one is quite good in the bottle. However, it excels on draft. The mouthfeel is much softer, which makes the drinkability excellent. The appearance, smell and taste are on style. If you like this in the bottle, seek it out on draft; it is worth it.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 pt .9 fl oz brown, swing-top bottle.
Served in a pilsener glass.

Pours a whitish-golden in color with remarkable clarity; lots of energetic carbonation. Bright white, sculpted rocky head with amazing retention. Very sticky condensed lacing that hardly budges around the entire glass.

Semi-sweet toasted malt aroma with a fine layer of diacetyl. Spicy hop character: pepper, with an underlying touch of must. A nice balance in aroma between spice and buttered malt.

Almost moderately sweetened in terms of this Helle's malt character up front, with a strong flavor of rounded, malted wheat. The peppered-spice fromt he hops keeps the semi-sweet malt alive throughout the sip, making for a dry finish. Notes of lemon, pepper, and toasted oats linger in the aftertaste.

Light bodied; dry and crisp on the palate. Well balanced spice and butteriness.

A tremendous Helles with balanced flavor and texture. Troutbrook did a nice job bringing some exciting flavor aspects to a pretty mundane style. A nice session lager for springtime when the weather turns a bit warmer.

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Photo of BostonTheseus
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UnionMade
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, I'm down to my last bottle out of a case, so it's time to write a review.
The beer pours into a 23oz hefe-style glass a rich, burnished gold. An energized plume of ivory froth billows up on a gentle pour, creating a gorgeous crown reaching about an inch above the glass. Great clarity, a reverse rainstorm of carbonation rising to feed the head. Head retention is fantastic, with a solid sheet of lace clinging in it's wake. If this isn't the most perfect presentation on a beer, I don't know what is.
The aroma is pretty spot on for the style. Toasty, cake dough sweetness flecked with a soft, floral noble hopping. Perhaps a pinch of saaz spiciness. Very, very clean, with the distinct signature of munich malt. A slight grainy touch abrades the malt like a 220 grit sandpaper.
The flavor starts out squeaky clean, the malt allowed an open road to travel. Cake or sugar cookie sweetness, toasted at one on the dial....maybe two. A ghost of peach esters, perhaps some grassy notes mingling with the incoming hops, moving directly into a mildly hopped finish. Just a slight bitterness, enough to balance, contributing to the flavor with a bright floral tone. The aftertaste snaps off pretty clean, just a slight residual munich malt graininess. Medium to light bodied with that signature Paul Davis microscopically fine-yet-spritzy carbonation. An excellent mouthfeel with a snappy crispness in the finish. My only complaint is that it gets so dry in the finish after about half the beer that my tongue starts to feel rough.
This is really a soft, subtle session bier masterpiece. It's certainly no monster, and won't flood your palate with flavor, but for a normal strength beer, I'm having a hard time thinking of stuff I'd rather drink. It blows my mind that this is brewed in my home state. This is the kind of stuff better suited for sale in the tapered 500ml bottle with lots of german text. Very, very authentic, probably what it's like to go to Munich and drink helles bier from the source. I count myself lucky to have Paul Davis and the folks at Thomas Hooker making beer only 20 minutes away. One hell of a summer beer, and a different style for a change. If you're in Connecticut for the summer, do yourself a favor and buy a few bottles for you and your friends. Very Highly recommended.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Munich Style Golden Lager pours from the bomber a very nice cloudy golden orange color with a bubbly arid two finger head atop the brew. Aromas of crisp pale grain maltiness that seems to have a touch of lemon zest along with a forward green, spicy, herbal hoppiness. Sweet cereal grains predominate with a touch of dough. Nice stuff.

First sip brings a crisp, chewy pale, munich maltiness that has a nice sweetness with fruity undertones. Hints of dough come out in the flavor, its a touch nutty as well. The spicy, herbal hops meld into the background and assimilate harmoniously into the rest of the brew. Crisp and well balanced throughout with a slight lingering noble hop presence. Quite an enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy with a rush of carbonation that comes with each sip. Easy to drink and really quite refreshing. A tasty representation of the style and an easy candidate for a session brew. I'd sample this more often if it was readily available. Thanks to UnionMade for this one!

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Photo of cameraman
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber, with wonderful golden color and nice head at the top. Light citrus aromas with a touch of flowers, with a little bit of malt coming through at the end. The taste comes in with the roasted malt at the start and then some lite hops comes in at the end. The feel is medium bodied with a nice crisp, clean finish. This is a really drinkable beer, particularly in sessions, with great malt flavor, but with enough hops to balance it out. This is a great starter beer for thos who drink prodominantly macro brews.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle, brewed and bottled by Troutbrook Brewing Company, Hartford, CT. No date, but 6642 202 was ink jetted on the bottom of the bottle.

Vibrant pour, generating a tall eggshell colored head of loosely packed small and medium bubbles. The head is slow to settle, and leaves no lacing. Brassy gold with tons of jetting carbonation streams. The smell is clean and slightly husky with some grassy hops. The taste is sweet and husky also a bit grainy with a gentle spicy hop finish. Nice and well meshed, not dominant in any one area. Medium bodied and light on the tongue, with moderate carbonation. Refreshing and enjoyable, this was a nice beer, if just a touch sweet. Quite drinkable and an easy suggestion for new craft drinkers.

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Photo of Matthew
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped open the bottle I had in my stash to start the thanksgiving day off with. This beer pours a golden yellow color and has a nice big fluffy white head.
Smells slighly yeasty, citrusy, and theres a slight hop aroma lingering in there too.
This is a nice crisp, smooth tasting beer. The citrus aroma in the nose is matched but this pleasent citrus taste hiding within the hops and a nice malt body.
This beer is very drinkable and very refreshing. Thomas Hooker continues to prove they are worthy of lots of respect from the beer world.

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Photo of chefelf
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this as part of a limited edition last summer so I was really excited to see it return this summer. I had it a couple of nights ago and recalled what I'd liked about it so much. This is undoubtedly the highest-rated lager I've ever had.

It has a light straw color and pleasing scent. The taste is somewhat bready with a faint sour taste that if it were any more pronounced may be a too much.

I'm hoping they keep this beer up. I don't know enough about Munich style lagers to know if this is representative of that style but if so there is finally a lager that I've had that has some flavor to it!

Very easy drinking, and low ABV. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of OldSock
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance and Presentation – 22oz bomber poured into my .5L mug. The beer is a clear golden yellow with a creamy white head. There is large amount of streaming carbonation shooting through the beer that keeps the head up nicely for most of the drink.

Smell – Even sitting back from the beer I can detect the strong herbal hops. Taking a closer inhale I get more hops, herbal and spicy, with just a hint of grain sweetness. This beer has a very high quality, powerful aroma.

Taste – Stellar, loads of fresh noble hops, mostly herbal with hints of spiciness. The slightly toasted sweet malt come in at the front, but gives way to the hops in the back. There is not a lot of malt complexity, but that’s fine for the style.

Mouthfeel – Good mouthfeel, medium bodied with perfect carbonation that is strong but not overwhelming.

Drinkability and Notes – This is flavorful and easy to drink, particularly on a hot summer afternoon. This is one of the better Munich style lagers that I have had and yet another reason to drink local. Most imported light lagers, in my experience, have an oxidized/skunked component that this does not have because it did not have to be shipped across the ocean.

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 184 ratings
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