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Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager | Thomas Hooker Brewing Company

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very good
119 Reviews
Thomas Hooker Munich-Style LagerThomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager

Brewed by:
Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 184
Photo of meathookjones
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
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 carln26
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at RedBones Wednesday night. Deep gold to amber color, mildly hazy with a thin tan head. Rich malty aroma of dates caramel much toffee. Taste has a lot of caramel, slight peanut brittle, almost chocolate. Nice rich mouth feel. This beer is the closest thing to a year-round Octoberfest that I’ve seen. Nice every day beer. Great drinkability.

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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 FirstMan
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at the Linwood in Boston. In fact, it was MY first time at the Linwood - and what a great first time it was. This was actually the first thing I tried that night - mainly because I wanted to start light and knew that the evening would eventually move on to more daunting beer (like an aged V-12 and a Panil Barique). But that's another story.

I love a good American style lager. Mainly the reason I love them is because when you have a good one - like this one or Skagit River's "Dutch Girl" - you realize just how low Macrobrewing in America has gone.

This is a beautiful clear deep orange-golden beer. It has enough dark coloring to it that you know you aren't dealing with a weak beer here. Nice little bubbles in the head that settle into splotchy patches of rising bubbles. Very nice looking.

Great nose. Malty sweet with the low-tone grain/grassy character letting you know it's a lager.

Taste is clean, yeasty, and delicious. Notes of toasted grain and grass with a sweet backend. Makes me want to slap it. Hop brightness balances out the mellow lager yeast nicely.

Great mouthfeel on this one. Not overly corn-syrup sweet and parching the way so many low-end American lagers are. This one is smooth with enough carbination to keep it interesting.

Overall a very good lager. I like it.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice offering, picked up thanks to a generous fellow BA...

Dispensed into my Victory MassKrug... Nice and heady with subtle aroma notes of doughy goodness and faint hops. Clean and golden in color.

Smooth and clean, this lager offered flavour notes of some light biscuity twang with that great Helles-style balance...

A nice offering. Not the creme de la creme, but damn fine. I would not hesitate to make this a staple in my arsenal...


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Photo of alexwag
4.48/5  rDev +12.8%
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 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 OldSock
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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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Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mini cobalt blue flip top bottle from the brewery.

A- As bright and as clear compared to all beers I have had, such a glowing golden color. Thin lacing leaves a few rings of lace down the glass and a semi-active carbonation rushes bubbles to the top.

S- Doughy biscuity malt, suggestions of red grape skin and a faint herbal hop.

T- Big dry malt character of Munich malt, lightly toasted with a ghost like grape skin flavor. Hint of dusty husk and a lemony herbal hop flavor, modest bitterness to keep the malt out front.

M- Bold crispness wrap its self around the malt in a perfect way.

D- We need more lagers like this in the NE, packed with flavor and so easy to drink.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
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 sacfly
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appeared first in a flight glass, and then was selected for a full pint. It was actually an alternate choice in the flight of five samples- but lucky me they were sold out of the first choice. Was a nice golden/copper color with a medium bubbled head. Smell was like sticking my head in a bag of Munich malt grain. Sweet. My wife described it as “sweet mulch smell” which was right on the money. The taste was sweet and tasted exactly as I would expect a “Munich Lager” to taste. The after taste was amazing. I homebrew and like to taste the grains that I am using. This tasted-especially the aftertaste-like chewing on Munich grain. Wonderful Munich grain aftertaste. Did I mention the Munich grain aftertaste? Wow.

This is by far the best lager I have ever had. If you think lagers lack diversity and character, try this one. It will tear down ever preconceived notion of what a lager is and can be.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring at room temperature into a tulip glass, it pours a golden copper color with very nice cascading, leaving a spongy white head about 1/2" tall. During dissipation it leaves nice edge lacing on the glass and a nice surface layer throughout the tasting.

Aroma is of some sweet apricots and vanilla malts with some earthy hops and grains- nothing spectacular though.

Taste is much better than aroma. Sweet apricot beginning with a grainy body that remains rather sweet. Some honey and nutmeg take this taste a long way!

A very smooth brew with relatively light carbonation. A well-balanced brew with not much bite and a slight wheaty finish.

Overall...very very drinkable...easy to consume and enjoy! Another nice brew from Troutbrook!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

appearance: stright up orange with just enough carbonation shining through and a quickly dissolving head. this looks like something i'd refer to as 'beer juice'.

aroma: very buttery with malt backup and just enough roasted hop to accent the nose. nothing to strong, besides.. the beer is rather fresh and rather cold.

taste: hardcore roasty flavors.. smoky with malt and a great hops support. a great flavor is built here which peaks in a mouth-coating intensity. light body and a bit watery, but the munich possesses a david-like flavor that surprises those who order it expecting something more saccharine. watery isn't necessarily bad here, makes this beer more drinkable. hints of black pepper and licorice round this fine brew out.

thanks paul for enhancing my cinco de biere-o

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Photo of mschofield
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
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 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 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 SheepNutz
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kev (kmpitz2) for sharing this one. 22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with one finger of head. There is a decent amount of lacing. The smell is light and malty, with some classic light lager grassiness. The taste is slightly sweet, and has some honey characteristics to it. A bit of hop bitterness on the finish. The body is smooth and thick. The drinkability is great. This is a nice pleasant lager.

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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 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 Billolick
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, pours light amber orange, mostly clear, some chill haze. White head, nice lacing going on. Nose is spicey and malt. Not real familiar with the style. Quite dry on the tongue, medium bodied. Notes of orange peel, pepper and some bready malt. Crisp, dry and refreshing. This brew is crying out for a nice salad and some cheese to mingle with. Another tasty concoction from Hooker.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.2/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden-orange with a smooth white head with decent stay and lace. Musty metallic aroma hints of herbal hallertau. Peppery, dusty, dry. Plums, a little orange, maple sugar. Flavor is less complex, involving mandarin oranges, honey (as seems to be a TH signature), and a pinch of pepper. Feel is too big and too sweet (which is rare for me to say). The carbonation is good, but I want this dryer, thinner, and crisper.

I guess I do not understand who would want a beer with heavy feel and light flavor. I would rather have the opposite. I am a malt man, but this needs more hops and less body to pull it off. This was a fine beer, but 22 oz. is enough for me.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty copper-amber with a small and active off white head. Little ring of lace is all that's left. Smells mildly citrusy and honey sweet. Tastes a lot more malty than I would've thought. Solid bit of caramel with a distinguished backbone of lemon and grass. Moderately thin like a lager should be. Easily drinkable and downright tasty.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

clear, bright golden hue, massive slab of snow-white foam, swiftly dwindling down...aroma is slightly sweet, but balanced and dry, ultimately, lightly hoppy, floral, herbal, nice.
Taste: smooth, effortless, slick and wet, small texture, but altogether satisfactory. Small hoppy edge, adequate malt, ample taste, but perfectly drinkable. Light bodied, but not skinny in the flavor department, nor is it in any way outward or lush, no, it's just right...and I'm liking it more, as I finish it off!...slightly buttery-sweet, though, but I'm not knocking that...
I can easily see this as the good beer you can serve to your friends who normally choose a macro lager or some such, they'll either be impressed by the total package and wowed by the taste, or won't know the difference.
Haven't had a bad Hooker yet, and this continues that trend!

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Photo of ABV
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, lively and superbly balanced. An unexpectedly delicious session brew, since this isn't one of my favorite styles. I'm a huge hophead and tend to prefer bigger beers like barleywines, so why am I drooling over a light summer lager? I guess the moral here is that even an unexciting style, if brewed properly, can be outstanding.

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Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice thick head, light straw colored. Head lasted for quite awhile. Fairly thin lacing, bb sized bubbles cling to side. The color was a golden amber with just a touch of haziness.

Aroma was a caramel malty sweetness, with a little hay grain in the background. Didn't notice much if any floral hop aroma.

Full bodied flavor with very little hop character, just a slight lingering of dry, hop bitterness in the finish. Yeasty, like homemade sourdough bread.

Mouthfeel was full bodied, good carbonation. Just a faint metallic, penny taste in the finish.

Overall, this was a good representation of the style, very enjoyable.

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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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