Hoegaarden Original White Ale | Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

very good
5,260 Ratings
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Hoegaarden Original White AleHoegaarden Original White Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 07-08-2001

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Ratings: 5,260 |  Reviews: 1,790
Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hoegaarden bottle into Hoegaarden pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland.

A: A three finger head of fair cream, thickness, and retention. Clear hazy yellow colour.

Sm: Lemony esters abound, backed by other fringe citrus notes.

T: Lemony body; maybe too much zest. The citrusy notes do come through on the climax, though not like they do in the draught version. Built simply but well. Kind of defines the style.

Mf: Fizzy but smooth, and wet and refreshing. I don't like the finish texture, which is sort of dryly irritating and almost choking. You'll taste what I mean.

Dr: Priced fairly by Irish standards, but not a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Tuscan Tavern, Blackwood, NJ

A nice wit, that I guess is the standard for witbiers. If you're a Blue Moon drinker, try this instead, because it's better. Pour a hazy, pale yellow with a nice white head that retains rather well. Light wheat aroma with citrus notes. Light orange and lemon zest taste, with smooth bready malts that are somewhat overcome by the general wheat beer harshness; acidic, with a bitter aftertaste. Light body and easily drinkable.

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

A: Straw yellow, hazy, generous fluffy head.

S: Sweet bananas, clove, mild pleasant yeasty scent, some lemon zest.

T: Wonderful initial taste of zesty lemon and banana, followed by spicy clove and peppery spice. Ends with lingering bananas and a slightly mild watery finish, as goes with the style.

M: Nice slightly chalky mouthfeel. The beer has a nice presence to it in the mouth, even at a very light 4.9%.

O: Overall, this is a can't miss classic when I'm in the mood for a witbier. Although Allagash white is maybe a bit more refined, I find this much zestier, and more flavorful in general. This beer is extremely refreshing and is a summer classic. As much as I find myself skeptical of it sometimes on the shelves, it never fails to satisfy. And at 8.39 a 6 pack here (compared to 9.99 for an Allagash 4 pack) I can't fight purchasing.

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Photo of ILessThan3Brett
2.66/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First off, RIP Pierre Celis: resurrected Hoegaarden in 1966, a time of Belgian white dearth, left around 1988 after forced takeover by what is now ABInBev, died a month ago today.

I'm really writing this review because the last few Hoegaardens I've had (all from bottle, all poured into hexagonal Hoegaarden glass) have really hammered home that this is an ABInbev product. This makes me sad because Hoegaarden was one of the first beers I ever really liked. I feel that its quality has dropped off since I first had it in 2006. In particular, it now has that special distinction common to mass-produced beer: it when slightly warmed, it has a chalky, artificial taste that makes it drinkable only when very cold. Overall, I still very much appreciate the seasonings added to this beer, but something has gone wrong here with the wheat, yeast, hops, or fermentation, and I see myself heavily, heavily favoring beers like Allagash White over Hoegaarden going forward.

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Photo of postalroger
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, pale yellow color with a frothy white head that leaves spotty lacing. Refreshing smell, very refreshing taste with excellent flavor, more complex than it appears by the pale color. My wife's personal favorite (which has to count for something!)
A terrific summer beer!

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a Hoegaarden pint glass by freshness date.

Hazy pale yellow color with massive velvety white head, it stands with good retention and leaves some lacings once receded.

The smell contains wheat twang, malt, orange peel, citrus, banana and clove.

Leading by citrus, wheat, malt and clove spice, hop bitterness kicks in the finish.

The body is medium, very smooth with well suit carbonation and dry finish.

Refreshing and very easy to drink, it’s a common beer that should be in the fridge of every household.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served at the Cloverleaf Tavern with a six sided Hoegaarden pint glass.

Hoegaarden pours a hazy straw color. My first thought was that it looked like a very cloudy glass of lemonade. A solid three fingers of frothy white foam top the beer and come up to the rim of the glass, before slowly creeping back down towards the body of the beer. Lacing is a bit spotty. The nose is surprisingly coriander forward, but has a solid orange-citrus presence as well. Finally there's a touch of sweetness from the wheat to complete the picture. Everything that should be here is, but for my money the proportions and ratios are just a little bit off. If the nose is just a little bit out of whack, the flavor takes that imbalance a little bit further. It's not quite like what I'd imagine downing a bag of crushed coriander would be like, but it's approaching that territory. It takes me a few sips to make it past that and enjoy the small citrus flourish that's present as well. There's no real support from wheat or any other malt to rein things in either. The unquestioned bright spot here is the picturesque light body and active carbonation full of small, precise bubbles. I don't recall the draft pours of Hoegaarden I've had seeming so aggressively coriander dominant, but I don't think I'll be reaching for a bottle of this any time soon.

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Photo of Reznick
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoegaarden has been my go-to for quality, commercial available whites.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, cloudy orange that is common for whites, but seemed to have a richer appearance than other whites I have encountered.

Smell: Definitely sweet, and the combination of coriander and orange peel come out, and the banana that is so prominent in the taste of the beer also seems to be present in the smell.

Taste: I find this beer to be delicious. The wheat flavor is present but not overpowering, and it is accompanied by a rich combination of coriander and orange that is the first part of the taste. This is followed by definite but not excessive banana notes, and follows with a pleasant and more subtle clove flavor. Finishes and lingers sweet.

Mouthfeel: Quite pleasant, somewhat creamy in a distinctly Witbier way (but obviously nowhere close to that found in quality stouts) yet balanced. Very smooth as well.

Overall: I have a soft spot for this beer. This is my favorite of the widely commercially available whites, and is an incredibly pleasant yet subtly flavorful drink. Well recommended.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a small frothy white head while the body of the beer is kind of an ugly yellow beige color. The head did not last too long and the lacing was sub-par.

S: A sweet wheat base with hints of lemon, orange, and clove spices.

T: Great wheaty and spicy character. The beer has a full flavour but remains a bit spicy and light as well. I like the coriander/lemony flavours in the beer the best. It is very refreshing on a hot day

M: Medium body with a good carbonation which complements the spicy characters of the beer. It makes them pop.

O: You could have many of these and be satisfied. It has big flavour but does not fill you up like other wheat-beers can.

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Photo of Mozz74
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I don't really have beers i won't rate exceptional. I need to be more picky on my reviews.
Love Hoegaarden ( Found it in Sweden). It is a great for an afternoon beer. A beer that is light, smooth. Almost as if you can take huge swigs.
Citrus, a great value to this beer.
It can be heav if you drink enough of them. They will creep on you.
A beer for everyone!

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Photo of chriskq
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was fantastic poured into a frosty glass as well.
A- This beer had a fantastic, bright, lemony flourescence through the glass. Very inviting.
S- Sweet, with smells of lemon, orange and others I couldn't quite put my finger on.
T- I was pleasently suprised. This beer is extremely light, though it packs tremendous flavor.
M- Light, with compliments of bitterness. The combination of sweet and bitter makes this beer an easy one to throw back.
I loved this beer. This beer belongs next to your steak grilled outdoors on a cool summer day.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Milky-white banana yellow. Maybe a hint of lime juice. Creamy white head hangs low, but leaves a solid coating across the top of the brew.

S – Bright wheat and lemon. Orange zest. Banana.

T – Soft banana with a spritz of lemon. Touch of agave-like sweetness. Rolling wheat plays a supporting role throughout the profile. Not as much spice as I typically like in a wit, but the flavors that are there are strong, well rounded, and delicious.

M – Soft medium/light body. Light sweet finish with just a hint of cilantro bitterness.

O – I haven’t had a Hoegaarden in years, and this glass was much better than I remembered the beer being. Maybe my taste evolved, maybe the recipe changed, or it maybe it's just an extra-fresh tap. Either way, I definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger head, large bubbles, which subsides reasonably quickly. Beer is cloudy in appearance, and a light golden/beige..

Aromas of citrus, clove, banana.

Taste is well balanced, with the appropriate amount of bitterness to complement the sweeter flavours of wheat, resulting in an overall refreshing and light drinking experience. Mouthfeel is quite thin.

Very sessionable

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice one finger head, looks very frothy, maybe even creamy. The head is completely white and the body is a hazy, clearish-yellow color. It's a very very VERY weird body, it looks like carbonated lemonade, I mean its cloudy, but at the same time it's see through, it's like see through for only so long, and then the cloudiness kicks in. It has hues of orange, but when you hold it up to the light it looks way more yellow. The head is also interesting, it reminds me of what the top of a mocha or latte would look like, so that's good, because it looks creamy! Overall it looks super weird, but pretty good, and the head is still hanging around a little bit. This bee also has a very unique smell, I don't think I've ever smelled something as unique as this, it's just bursting with citrus. There is clearly citrus, oranges, probably lemons, and definitely coriander. All the citruses are there, and they are pretty recognizable, but they smell a lot different than say a blue moon or something else that uses the same ingredients, maybe they use more of them, or just better quality, not sure which, but it smells really good and really unique. It also smell really clean, super clean and probably really refreshing, overall a very nice aroma. Very tasty, I don't know if it deserves a 4 for taste, but either way it is super tasty and super unique. On some sips there isn't much flavor, but on others it's just bursting with flavor, you get all the flavors that were indicated on the smell, orange, lemon, coriander. Not much in the way of hops, a tiny bit of malts, but who really cares when this beer is so tasty! The only reason I don't want to give this a 4 is because it is a little light and watery at times. It's super tasty, but I just don't think it deserves a 4. Mouthfeel is decent, nothing too outstanding there. Drinkability is pretty good, I mean it's a belgian white, so it's not going to be hard to put away. Overall the two things that impressed me about this beer is how unique it is and how well the smell represented the taste. Pretty damn good beer overall, not perfect, and not an outstanding beer, but a good beer that I have very little to complain about.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with "best before" date of December 2011, poured into a tall pilsner/wheat beer glass. Picked this up as a single in a mix-six pack. Review taken from brief notes.

Appearance: One of the palest beers I've seen - nearly yellow/bright straw body - hints of bright orange - with some haze and sediment in suspension. Topped by a large frothy head of bone-white foam which recedes fairly quickly to a small cap of foam. No lacing at all. The glass was clean as a whistle when I finished.

Smell: This may be an old bottle, so this review is by no means objective. (I may get a fresh batch and re-review.) All of the standard witbier smells are there: Spices, citrus, and fresh wheat; but this beer also has some hefeweizen-esque notes of banana and herbs. Pretty refreshing overall, but there's a slight note of skunk lingering in the background. (Old bottle?)

Taste: Not as much as I expected; maybe Sierra Nevada's Hefeweizen spoiled me, or maybe I need to find a fresher six-pack. It follows the nose in the most linear way possible. Fresh wheat sweetness hits the tongue at first, melting into a note of spices and citrus in the middle, followed by a snappy finish of banana and some fruity tartness. Very little hop bitterness to be found here. Not bad, but not great. The flavors overall are rather dull and somewhat watery. Fairly average witbier.

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than I expected, but still refreshing. Snappy carbonation makes it go down smooth and there's not a lot of flavor in the finish, so if you don't want to really think about what you're drinking, you might enjoy this.

Overall: Good place to start for wits, but maybe not the be-all end-all. Again, maybe I need to find a fresher batch and re-review, but I wasn't terribly impressed by this. Or maybe wheat beers just aren't my thing, as I'm discovering. It's worth a try, but it's not fantastic.

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Photo of loobear
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was always my go-to wheat beer before I started getting into beer tasting. Haven't had it in a while so I thought I'd give it a go.

A - Lots of head when I poured it into a pint glass. White and frothy head. Hazy, pale honey-colored body.

S - Banana and honey scent. If they made a perfume of this beer I'd wear it.

T - A nice banana and coriander mix. I don't taste orange. The taste improves with each sip. Coriander really shines on the dry finish. No off flavors, no harsh bitterness.

M - Easily the best part of this beer. Wonderful creaminess and crispness. Full bodied yet light and easy to enjoy.

O - I still love the hell out of this beer. Its a solid choice in its category. I could drink this every day, all day.

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Photo of JMad
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured an 11.2 oz bottle into a glass tulip...

The beer was a light hazy yellow with a bubbly white head that receded quickly. The smell has banana/ bubblegum aroma, with lemon and wheat. The taste is similar with the banana and bubblegum, I also tasted orange peel, wheat and grassy hops. The feel is light with soft carbonation and a dry finish. I really enjoyed this beer, I could drink this on any occasion.

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Photo of clayphilly
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in Brussels, Belgium with Steve Fatim Pepijn and Arnot. A light, not-overly flavored summer wheat. Simple complexity lets it be a great beer with a meal (preferable barbeque) and conversation. Add a slice of orange or orange peel in your glass for an added bonus.

-24 bottle case
-Beer distributor 15th and Federal, Philly PA

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into a pint glass

A: Two finger foamy head. Cloudy and nearly white in color. Seriously, only a little yellow tinge.

S: Chalk, wheat, citrus.

T: Big wheat with clove, citrus, and a vague bitterness.

M: Full, nice.

D: Very drinkable. The standard of the style.

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Photo of harrymel
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a light hazy bronze ale with as many fingers of head as you will allow, just take the time to pour and it won't overcome the ledge. A white head forms and falls back to a sheet of the same. Loose lacing.

S: Coriander, cloves, orange peel, sweet wheat. Really can't see past the beer as it is the standard. Not gold standard, but standard.

T: See above. add plastics.

M: Medium body, medium carb for the genre. Leaves the palate watering.

O: The most average witbier available. the most widely available witbier (okay, maybe blue moon wins).

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Photo of AmericanGothic
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a cloudy, medium straw color. One finger of barely off-white head with excellent retention and nice lace. Fierce carbonation.

S: Yeast, bread and fruity esters. Citrus/spice are faint.

T: Nice wheat flavor, little bit of banana and clove. Finish is somewhat short. Some sweetness emerges as the beer warms, and the finish lengthens a bit along with it.

M: Light and smooth, with a hint of oil and cream.

O: A nice beer. Nothing earth-shaking, but quite pleasant, refreshing and reasonably priced. Will buy it again.

RIP Pierre, thank you for keeping this beer and the style alive.

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Photo of rundocrun
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice golden straw yellow with the typical cloudy hue of a witbier. Nice white head that sticks around for quite a while.

S - Spicy, bready notes come up to meet the nose, immediately followed by a zesty citrus peel aroma.

T - Tangy, fruitiness from somewhere. Not entirely sure if that's a character inherent in wheat beers or the spices they use. Also has a warming quality. Nice spiciness on the side of the tongue.

M - Extremely drinkable and perfectly carbonated. Just a little thin for my tastes.

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Photo of flyingspatula
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

OK, I've tried Hoegaarden a few times and this bottle is not the best. I don't know if it's old or what, but I'm going to skew this review slightly because usually it's great. It has a really different color than most beers, kind of like a cream soda life saver, white with some yellow for those who haven't had that particular lifesaver. Anyway, it is hazy which is befitting of it's style. The smell is very original too, kind of fruity, but I couldn't tell you the fruit. Maybe grapefruit, or some kind of grapes. I think the taste is great! It's got alot of body from the wheat, with a tart finish on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation too.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks nice as a golden cloudy haze of a beer with a nice head. Smell is nothing spectacular but ok, smelling of wheat and not much else.

Taste is clean and on the crisper, more refreshing side for a wheat beer. Definitely not very hoppy or malty, just clean and full of wheat taste. Fizzy in the finish. It's not a great beer but definitely better than your average beer found at your average bar, and it's definitely refreshing. Availability also lifts this beer up in my mind since not a whole lot of beers like this are extremely popular. The fact that it can be found in a lot of bars and nearly always on liquor beer shelves is good for those looking to broaden their beer horizons.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was one of the first Wit beers I ever had. Purchased a bottle of it at the Laystone Pub in Bethlehem PA back in 2007. This beer was a hazy yellow with a bright white head. The beer smells very refreshing and citrusy. The beer was served with a lemon which I tried it without it first. It wasn't much better with or without. The mouthfeel is light and the beer is great for sometime.

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Hoegaarden Original White Ale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
3.83 out of 5 based on 5,260 ratings.
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