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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
89
very good
119 Reviews
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
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
184
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
14.36%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
20
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 184
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice, crisp beer, perhaps a little more in line with a North American blonde ale than others in the style. Nice interplay of malt - barely to the sweet side with a touch of clover honey. Just the slightest hint of some orchard fruit - somewhat tart up front.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle, capped.

This Munich Helles lager poured a slightly hazy, golden to pale amber color with tall, creamy, off-white foam that persisted and clung to the glass in clumps. The smell was hops and malt with a touch of biscuit and a light floral hop aroma. The taste was bready malt with a light sweetness. There was a touch of vinous Munich malt present. It had a mild hoppiness throughout with a bit of floral hops layered on. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and modest carbonation. The bready-malty flavor lingered a while in the aftertaste. This was a nice, smooth, easy drinking lager, and it invoked memories of Germany. Thanks to ErikTheRed for this bottle.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.08/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Brass Rail Deli on 4/25/09.

A - Clear, heavily carbonated amber body with half a finger of creamy, off-white head that reduced to a thin film and left sparse but thick lacing around the glass.

S - Sweet malts and buttery diacetyl with some bready/grainy malt in the back. Hop presence is very faint. Pretty subtle aroma overall.

T - Sweet caramel malt up front with an unfortunate buttery diacetyl flavor. Some light leafy, noble hops attempt to conceal the buttery taste, but do so minimally. Maple syrup sweetness appears in the backend, followed by a grainy, bready malt character in the finish.

M - Light to medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation resulting in a slightly bristly mouthfeel overall. Mildly bitter on the palate with some residual sweetness.

D - Not bad, but a little too heavy on the butter flavor, unfortunately. Not overly crisp, either. The diacetyl really detracted from my overall enjoyment of this otherwise tasty style.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am splitting this bottle with fellow BA Stopper. The beer pours a clear bronze color with a soft bleached white head. Looks nice.
Aroma is some lager malts with caramel and toffee representing. I also get some light floral hops. The aroma is not overpowering but is very pleasant.
First sip, beer is average bodied and has average carbonation levels. The bubbles are very fine and prickly on my tongue. Flavor is toffee sweet up front with a bit of grainy corn presence in themiddle and actually has a bit of a soapy astringent finish. The glass was thoroughly rinsed so I dont think it was residue in the glass. The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. QUite refreshing on a warm Sept evening. Another great beer from Thomas Hooker!

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Photo of Todd
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
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 Deuane
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Copper kissed golden amber with a thin off-white head that reduced to a wispy veil and left sparse lace.

S-Touch of buttered biscuit, light hop spice and hint of fruit. All in all fairly subtle.

T-Sweet caramel malt up front with a touch of hop spiciness and a "bouncy" fruity note in the finish.

M-Medium-light bodied semi crisp with a building bisuit chewiness in the semi-sweet finish.

D-Not bad, a decent simple, straight forward lager. Decent flavour overall. I like the fruitiness in the background, whether intended or not.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hyper clear bronze and gold amalgamaton with a pillowy white soap-dish head.
Aroma is somewhat classic for style with pale malt leading the way and an faint whiff of caramel and grains. Sone light floral and perfumey hop notes are given off as it warms a bit.
Flavor is sticky sweet, much sweeter than the aroma would indicate with husky, bready grain bits in the middle. Finishes with a very bland but bitter note.
Mouthfeel is lighter side of middle with heavy carbonation. I generally look for balance in this type of brew and just wasn't there. The sweet and bitter just did not flow well and the hop bittering seemed a bit off.
Drinkability was average. Decent;y made but very boring IMHO. I'll stick with the bigger brews from this phenomenal brewery.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thans to ppoirtas for this one. It pours a peachy orange color with a finger of head that falls to slightly coat the beer. The nose is caramel sweet and grassy. The flavor is not bad. The grassey/grainey tones are prevalent, but balanced with a caramel sweetness. The everpresent lager funk comes through as well. The feel is moderate, with enough carbonation to carry it through. Not bad at all for a lager. I find it refreshing.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
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 bditty187
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
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 clvand0
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kmpitz2 for sharing this one. Pours an orange color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a clean caramel malt with some grassy hops. The flavor is much the same. Caramel malts with some grassy hops. Well balanced and smooth. Very clean finish. Good lager here.

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Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

True to its name, this beer has a light golden hue, and is topped with a frothy white head that settles down quickly. Light aroma of sweet malt and corn. Flavor is also mostly sweet malt and corn, plus a bit of citrus and butterscotch. Very low hop presence, perhaps just a bit in the finish and aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, with a fresh and crisp flavor.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Max Fish in Glastonbury, Conn.

A: Poured a nice clear golden amber with a thin veil of carbonation that lent to a nice lacing for the most part.

S: Smells a little sweet, but mostly clean toasted grains.

T: The taste is pretty delicate, with a definitive maltiness and a slight dry hopping finish. The taste carries a bit of sweet lemon with it, but it's not a dominating flavor.

M: Moutfeel is a tad on the watery side, but it's not supposed to be a big, sticky beer. Very clean and refreshing.

D: This brew was easy drinking and tasty. The ABV is sessionable and there's nothing offensive about the brew. That said, it might not hold the attention of some who demand more complex palates.

Hooker has had some nice offerings outside of their staple of fairly non-impressive variety pack brews. I should seek out an Old Marley Barleywine of there's still some to be had, just to see how they step outside the box.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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 deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a leaky 500ml flip-top bottle that almost got sent in a trade if not for the wet box, even with the leak, it ended up being pretty decent.

Pours a very hazy golden/orange color, decent head, no lacing.

Smell is very yeasty with a citrus aroma, some coriander.

Taste is smooth and citrusy, bready with a zing, good carbonation (especially considering), quite buttery.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a deep yellow lager, with not much head.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, almost a hint toward skunky, with a slight sweetness and touch of vanilla.

The taste was crisp, lightly hoppy, with hints of citrus... definitely a European lager taste.

Overall, the beer was pretty good... not as good as the beers of theirs I tried at the Connecticut River Brewfest, but good in its own right.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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 drtth
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear burnished gold color with a 1/4 " white head that recedes to a small ring of foam around the glass with a small thin patch of foam on the liquid. Throughout the beer sipping leaves some scattered speckles of lacing that slide slowly back down to the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and clean with light breadiness and no alcohol but some nice floral notes from the hops showing.

Taste: The flavors include pale sweet malt that gives a nice busquity flavor. There is also a light but definite touch of herbal hop bitterness to serve as a counter point to the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to light bodied and quite soft with the gentle carbonation. The finish is medium long and basically turns from the sweet bitter balance to a simple dryness with no residual bitterness.

Drinkability: I've quite enjoyed this beer and found it quite drinkable. Each sip has followed quite easily from the last and it was quite easy to have a second one. I'll certainly be happy to have this beer again and am glad to have tried it when I had the chance.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bomber came to me courtesy of BeerAdvocate spritdeus via a trade. After poring, the beer revealed a clear golden colored body, and a two inch tall foamy off white head. The aroma was clean with honey like pilsner malt, and faint florally grassy hops. The taste was malt driven, with a sweet honeysuckle flavor and very mild hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was creamy and soothing with a medium thick body. This style is supposed to be difficult to pull off as there is no way to hide any off flavors. And Troutbook is clearly at the top of their game, as they have brewed a beer that does not possess any off flavors that would need hiding.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
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 falloutsnow
2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the bottle after warming, the beer features a body colored golden, hazy though no apparent sediment. The head is slightly off-white, just over two centimeters in height and comprised of small bubbles. As the head descends, there is little lacing (and this continues during drinking as well), and what remains is a persistent, thin layer of foam atop the beer.
Aroma is mildly bready with some detectable hops, rather weak in strength and presentation. Taste is similar: bland, malty with a small amount of bitter/spicy hops, a bit of lemon zest, and yeastiness.
The beer is a bit overcarbonated for the medium to medium-light body, resulting in too much foaming on the palate. While this does not make the beer terribly unpleasant to drink, it doesn't encourage further sipping, either. Overalll, nothing truly distinguishing about this lager. No aspect is that far from average, but without any particular strengths or aspects of the beer blending well (such as a solid maltiness mixed with a present, but ephemeral hop nuance) there's no reason to return to it.

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Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My Golden Lager came in one of those old fashioned swing top bottles instead of the 22 bomber bottle pictured on BA. It's the same type of bottle that the Liberator use to come in. Simple sky blue label with the name of the beer in big yellow letters and 2 squared lion heads at the ends of the name. To the left and right of the lion heads in yellow squares is the address of Thomas Hooker, US Govt. warning, barcode, and refund values. For some reason, this one didn't have a brewed year yellow strip over the swing top.

Appearance: When poured into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, this Golden Lager is a hazy and bright golden lemon color. On top of this brew was a tall 1 1/2 to 2 inch fluffy head of white foam. This white head of foam had really good retention that left behind a 1/2 inch left over head of foam and quite a few streaks of white lace around the glass. Basically, it's what a Golden Lager should look like to me. Great color and a nice head of white foam!

Smell: The aroma to this beer is very dry with a few drops of lemon, subtle toasted malts (So subtle that it was hard to tell they were even there), a dash of black pepper, and some yeast here and there. In the beginning it was mostly yeasty, but as it warmed up a bit, the yeast receded and the lemon and pepper came out from the background.

Taste: I thought Thomas Hooker would take a basic Golden Lager and work on it to make it more than just your average lager. That wasn't the case with this Lager. It was just plain and simple dry and lightly hoppy taste of toasted biscuit malts, a hint of lemon, a splash of grapefruit, and some bitter citrus hops at the finish. It felt like the hops were increased a bit, but it was still just a basic Golden Lager.

Mouthfeel: It's a light bodied beer like a Golden Lager should be, but it had a nice little dry and yeasty aftertaste of bitter citrus hops and lightly toasted biscuit malts.

Drinkability: It's just a simple Golden Lager, but hell if it isn't highly drinkable. Overall, it was just a nice refreshing light beer that would make a nice choice for a summer Lager session beer. I thought it just came in those expensive swing top bottles, but it's nice to see that it now comes in a 22 oz. bomber bottle.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots o' li'l bubbles that make this beer almost fizzy at first--but it mellows out to a very smooth and just slightly crisp but with hints of an ever-so-slight creamy finish. Poured a light brown-gold and with no head (but that was a result of the over carefule pour). Nose is crisp and clean with some strong grain tonesand herbs. Flavor is toast and bread and just a tad chewy. For some reason this beer makes me think of the mahogany and saw dust from the old work shop. Hops are very toned down, almost oldish, and provides some nice herbal and lemon hints.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thomas Hooker Style Golden Lager
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 16 oz pilsner glass

Pours a golden yellow-light orange color. Random spotted sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

Whiffs of malt, spiced apples and sweet grains.

The drinkability level on this beer is off the charts. Very clean and smooth with a fruity apple sauce quality. German hop snap bite on the finish, but the juicy malt combo takes over.

Clean tasting and easy to drink. This is the beer that could convert the masses from macro produced beers. Enjoy.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass.
Pours a pale yellow golden color with a solid snow-white head and some webby and trailing lacing throughout.
The aroma carries a mild noble hoppiness and a grainy bread smell upfront. A light whiff of wild flowers and herbs peeks through.
The flavors are very balanced. The lightly roasted malt has a touch of sweetness. The hops provide some metallic tang and a mild lime-like citrusy bitterness.
While the body is light in color, it has some depth. As the spritzy carbonation fades, a sweet and rounded caramel sweetness emerges providing a slick and refreshing, gulpable brew. Lots of flavors for a fairly small beer!

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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager from Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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