Löwenbräu Original | Löwenbräu AG

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Löwenbräu OriginalLöwenbräu Original

Brewed by:
Löwenbräu AG

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-28-2001

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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 841
Photo of Sammy
2.11/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A bit of malt in aroma.Light yellow, with fizzy head that dissipitates, a big brewery beer. Fairly low in taste. Crisp and clean, so fortunately no aftertaste and boring. Grassy herbal leading to metallic and airline fuel,and low in malt. Thin mouthfeel.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a minor upgrade over the other lousy euro beers. pours golden and clear with a decent white foam head an inch or so high. smells like there might be a little hops in this one, behind the light pale malt aroma is a crisp bitterness that really stands out after drinking hopless stuff all summer. the flavor indicates that its no ipa or anything, but there is a slight hop presence in the finish that is a very welcomed feature. its crisp and clean in the finish, quite enjoyable. mouthfeel is consistent with the style, a little more body and a little less carbonation. overall a trusty go to brew in a market saturated with awful beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my great uncles favorite beer that he found in Germany while he was fightin in WWII. He managed to bring some home with him when he was done with his service. He passed away after a freak accident not much longer after he got home. My grandmother (his sister) still has one of the bottles that he brought back with him of this beer. After she had showed it to me I made it a point to go get some for her and I to drink together.

The beer poured out as a golden copper color, it had a thin fizzy white head. Not much lacing. The smell was a little on the lager skunk side. There was also some slight aromas of grass in there too. The taste was crisp and clean the grass was there but had some hops to balance it out. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad it had a good texture to it. Overall, I wasn't in love with the beer and it's one of my least favorite styles. I didn't mind this beer too much and would drink it again for sure.

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Photo of metter98
3.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that took a long time to fade into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and also left lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has lots of aromas of bready malts along with some hints of grassy and spicy hops.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is rather malty but there are just enough hops to cut through and add a very slight amount of bitterness. While this came in a green bottle, no skunkiness is detectable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style while also being very drinkable. I could see this as a good choice for someone who is first getting into beer and wanted to try a Munich Helles Lager for the first time.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml can. I can't help but be reminded of the "Skittlebrau" beer that Homer asks for in that classic Simpsons episode when I come across this particular offering.

This beer pours a clear, bright, yet pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat creamy white head, which leaves a pock-marked wall of cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates.

It smells of bready and grainy pale malt, a bit of somehow separate crackery and biscuity character, more than a hint of that gassy Euro Pils essence, and grassy, somewhat stanky (even in this serving vessel), and leafy hops. The taste is grainy and very cereal-forward pale malt, some minor apple and pear fruitiness, a further bit of wet Continental breakfast biscuit, and more somewhat acrid herbal, grassy, and stanky hoppiness.

The carbonation is moderate in its typically workaday frothiness, the body a pleasant enough medium weight, and a bit oily, from which it recovers well enough, I suppose. It finishes off-dry, the slightly boozy (but not really) graininess rearing up a tad, and little more.

Overall, this is a decent enough Helles Lager, and while the Euro-feel is strong in this one, I'm not grokking a lot of so-called 'originality' here. Drinkable in quantity, I'm sure, but not as a singular pleasure, as it is marketed here in Alberta's vast beer-scape.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a golden colored beer with a standard head. Aroma is quite weak with only some malt coming out of my glass. The same applies for the taste, which is quite weak. I don’t have a lot of experience with helles and this leaves me with the feeling of macro crap lager.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can into Guinness pint glass in Belfort, France. Reviewed live.

A: 2.5 finger head of no cream, bad thickness (i.e. it's thin), and average retention. Clear dark yellow colour.

Sm: Cream and fresh faux-crystal Munichy festy hops.

T: Cream, barley, and the aforementioned hops in an underwhelming way. Simple but quite refreshing. Built and balanced well for the style. Would make a fantastic fest beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with adequate coarseness on the climax to bring out the flavour, but not too much as to stay through the finish and fail to be refreshing. Complements the flavours but isn't a perfect match by any standards.

Dr: Average ABV, decent quality, and very drinkable. It shouldn't win any awards, but it's worth a try for any beer fanatic.

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Photo of zeff80
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a fizzy, clear, straw-yellow color with a small, short-lived, whtie head. No lacing.

S - It smelled fairly sweet. Grains and corn notes plus a slightly floral aroma.

T - It tasted sweet with a subtle bitter kick. Again, grain/corn tastes.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay import. Nice on a warm spring day.

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Photo of oberon
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It had been quite awhile since I had one of these when I was in a local tavern I decidrd to get it.Poured a yellow/straw color with light head,somewhat of a sweet smell to it lightly metallic.Some mild bitterness and slight fruitiness but real light in flavor.Pretty easy to drink,better than alot of domestic lagers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a clear, bright yellow body with a tall, airy, white head. If nothing else, at least it looks inviting.

Smell: Light notes of malts matched with equally light, mild notes of spicy, faintly grassy hops.

Taste: Mellow, simple flavor of malted barley. Lightly sweet throughout. Just a touch of spicy, grassy hops and bitterness to provide balance. Finishes dry and clean.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Pleasantly surprising, this one. Quite refreshing and nothing but ease to drink down.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber with a smattering of the finest floaties. An occasional slow moving bubble is formed on the bottom of the glass and makes its way up to a head that is rich cream in color and several fingers in height. Multiple splotches of sea foam lace are strewn about and are the capper on an above-average appearance.

I'm not impressed by the aroma. The beer smells like less than fresh grain with a musky, and musty, noble hop overlay. There are no lemony or even grassy aromas that would bring it up a notch and make me want to take a drink. The nose's biggest sin is that it isn't even helles (bright). I know that 'helles' applies to the appearance, but there's no reason that it couldn't apply to the aroma and the flavor as well.

Lowenbrau Original isn't much better on the palate. The flavor is anything but bright and expressive, despite the adequate quantity of both malt and hops. Hoppy bitterness wins out over malty sweetness, just as the style demands. Still though, the nobles aren't presented in the best light possible and, just as in the nose, come across as drab.

I keep drinking and drinking, hoping for some interesting flavor to emerge from the muddle and give me something to describe. If it hasn't happened yet (mid-bottle), it ain't gonna. Bitterness, never that great to begin with, gives way to malty sweetness on the medium length finish; just the opposite of the usual order of things. It's a pretty easy beer to drink, I'll give it that. The only question is, would I want another bottle. Nope.

The mouthfeel is appropriate, even as it fails to make an impression. It's closer to light than to medium and isn't overly bubbled. No better than middle of the road.

I remember the U.S. version of Lowenbrau, but I don't remember which one of the Big Three brewed it (note: it was contract brewed by Miller). Therefore, it was with some interest that I popped the cap on Lowenbrau Original. That interest was short-lived once I ran it through its paces. There's really nothing here to get excited about, nostalgia or no nostalgia.

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Photo of Jason
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz green twist ... "Original Munich Formula" is stated on the label. No freshness date seen.

Appearance: Straw yellow in colour with a thin white lace which comes from a light champagne like carbonation.

Smell: Quite clean with faint grassy herbal hop and a hint of grain.

Taste: Crisp and light bodied with a handful of malt texture on the palate. Light yet prickly spicy hop bitterness holds its own to flavour the brew. A touch of sweetness hovers on top after the hops fade ... the finish runs clean with a pinch of residual sweetness. Doesn't taste like it was over filtered nor are there any off flavours.

Notes: Not bad ... not bad at all. Surprise surprise, this brew has taken a turn for the better now being brewed in Canada under contract by Labatt. Decent use of hops to balance the malt ... enough to suffice any beer geek and not too much to turn the macro drinker away. Give it a try ...

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Photo of stakem
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with less than a finger of white foam for a head. Head receeds fairly quickly leaving a thin film of lace along the glassware. Aroma has a slight distinct green bottle beer smell which is minorly skunky but also has a bit of sweetness minorly reminescent of corn rather than grain. Once a little warmer than ideal, it has a very minor hop presence in the backend of the nose. Taste is light and refreshing and includes flavors of grain, biscuit, slightly skunky and minorly buttery notes. There is a lingering sweetness of grain left in the mouth. Modest amount of carbonated leaves the beer feeling quite light and quite drinkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Lowenbrau original lager is a classic beer out of Munich, that has found it's way into my faceted mug this fine evening. It pours with a golden with a nice foaming head that leaves trickled lace around my mug. With the aroma of the typical European lager which is a bitter hop background wrapped with some fine malts. Nothing extradordinary but it's too simple not to love, I would definitely partake in a few of these if I found my way to an Oktoberfest. The taste is crisp and full that leaves a pleasant slightly spicy aftertaste on the palate. Classic lager that comes roaring with a crisp sharpness only to mellow out as the high carbonation tickles the back of the throat. Very drinkable and for 20 bucks a case a great beer to throw down for a session of suds.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I brought a 500ml can of Lowenbrau Original home from a recent trip to Europe. The beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with one finger of foamy white head, which slightly laced on the glass. It smells of grain and saaz like hops. The taste is grain and malt with slight hops. The mouthfeeel was medium body with good carbonation. Overall this is a decent beer to session.

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Photo of jwc215
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I have had this several times, and almost didn't rate it because it has a skunked character to it. I was waiting to taste one like I had in Germany, which was much better. I suppose that is not happening. My suggestion to this company is to use best drank by dates and a brown bottle.
It pours a light, bright yellow. Even though the color is very average for Euro lagers it has a nice, foamy head that is fairly well retained. The carbonation is moderate and steady.
The smell has small hints of a sweet, somewhat floral malty aroma, but the hops are obviously fairly skunked, producing a background of a skunky smell.
Unfortunately, it has a skunked flavor. I don't know why they use green bottles when it says "imported" on it and they know that it has to travel far. Beyond the skunkiness, which is present but not overwhelming, there is not much to say about this beer. It has some attempts at a floral sweetness, but is rather bland.
If it weren't for the skunk, it probably would not be so bad. There is still a nice malty sweetness and an overall refreshing feel to it. Unfortunately, it is not that drinkable because of the ever-lasting skunk background.

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Photo of WesWes
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head. The aroma is average. It is of pale malts and lager yeast along with a slight green glass skunkiness. The taste is not that impressive. It is light with a slight maltiness. It goes down slow with a bit of a breadlike finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is not a favorite of mine. The bread taste lingers and doesn't go well with this style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml green bottle with the term "malt liquor" and "drink cold" (no shit Sherlock) on the label. On to the beer:

Pale straw on the pour and in the glass, filtered clean, with a spongy head at first, as the beer rests in my stange. The nose gets saltine crackers, hay, and a little bit of imported skunk. So far things are looking alright. The taste, particularly the mouthfeel, is where things start to become mediocre. The body is light and watery. Not a whole lot to taste here; bite of pale malt upfront, then tamed hops sprinkle onto the palate. Malt sweetness is thin tasting.

I believe this used to be one of the better selling imports in the US not very long ago. With a number of better German lagers on the market today, Löwenbräu's hay-day in the US is long gone. It's a good plain Munich lager, if that isn't an oxymoron.

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Photo of tone77
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a green 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Has a mild, somewhat skunky aroma. Taste is rather bland, slightly bitter. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a very ordinary beer, nothing special here.

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Photo of Wasatch
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a yellow in color, light carbonation, basically no head, a little bit of lacing afterwards. Scents of slight malt and sweet. The taste is watery and a little malty, not much of an aftertaste to talk about. Light body. Drinkable, but not by much. I remember I use to like this brew alot years ago.

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Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light straw infused with a splash of lemon juice. The beer's golden complexion and faultless clarity are justly displayed when held into the light, where its edges become bright and resplendent and its transparency magnified. Despite the consistent disbursement of bubbles no head ever forms. Some froth would of bumped the score even higher.

I don't even want to guess how many chemicals are in this beer. Humans developed a sense of smell to help us avoid potentially poisonous foods; my sense of smell is telling me to avoid taking a sip. (Turns out that off-putting smell can't entirely be attributed to the green bottles after all.) This reeks of ethanol-spiked corn syrup.

If my German is correct, Lowenbrau is claiming this to be a traditional Munich-style beer brewed in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot purity law. If that were really case then what I should be tasting is a clean, slightly sweet malty profile with a grainy, bready flavour and an assertive noble hop presence that adds a crisp, spicy bitterness. Am I tasting this? Well, not exactly. Although in truth I'm not really tasting any chemicals or adjuncts either.

There's isn't much corn - where any - and the flavour is considerably cleaner than most North American examples. Perhaps I was wrong in assuming this would be laden with cheap synthetic fermentables? Perhaps this really is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot? Maybe, but that still doesn't explain why I'm not sensing much malt (nor would it make sense of this beer's 12 month shelf life!)

Lowenbrau Original drinks quite well relative to other mass-produced lagers (whether exported or domestically made) but fares poorly as a true Munich Helles. Some of this may be the distance traveled; I'm sure this would taste better at the Lowenbrau beer hall in Munich, where, if the reviews on this site are any indication, Lowenbrau continues to make some considerably good beers in many of the traditional German styles.

Why would a talented brewery with a clear sense of place and tradition compromise their reputation (and their flagship beer) by exporting such a diminished, inferior imitation? Unlike most canned, mass-produced lagers, Lowenbrau is drinkable but it would take the right conditions for it to be honestly enjoyable. Anyone craving an authentic tasting Munich Helles might as well invest in a homebrewing kit or a plane ticket.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop picked up yesterday for about $1.15... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

No real lacing.. crystal clear straw colored beer... short lasting 1" head.

Clean pale malts are the aroma.. and little if nothing else.. very clean.. a little grainy with low pale malts and the hops are there, only if I concentrate.

Suprising body given my preconceptions.. very smooth pale malt flavor and just enough bitterness... drinkable for days.

Not alot of negatives to say about this brew.. I honestly like it a bunch.

I honestly think this is my first Löwenbrä ... A good friend of mine who grew up in the Midwest says this was her "high school" beer... and honestly.. it's better than my memories of brews in 9-12.

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Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light gold brew.

Smell is Munich malt and a mild perfume of hops, also is biscuits and hay.

Taste is mildly sweet and light flavored slightly tart with a noticeable biscuit flavor. Hops are well matched to the malt content, resulting in a balanced refreshing brew.

Mouthfeel is light.

A pleasant light brew, not a favorite but there are far worse brews.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.62/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. green bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a soapy white head, fair head retention.

S: Nice moderately grassy hoppy smell.

T: Very light bready malt. Hops add bitter lemon and a noticable amount of skunk, Heineken-esque.

M: Soft carbonation, light-bodied, not really crisp or clean.

D: Fair enough, but I don't think I'll be buying it again, I'd be wary of the green bottle.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 66cl bottle, imported, brewed in Munich, bottled in the UK, best before Dec 2007, drank March 2007.

Poured into my Veltins glass (three times), it looked every inch a lager, sorry pilsner, light golden blonde with a small white head that soon turned to nothing.

Odourless almost, a bit of hops and barley malt if you try hard enough to sniff for a long long time.

Good balanced beer, ideal for a hot summers day, not the best pilsner/helles/lager on earth, but certainly not the worst either. All in all a pleasant drink.

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Löwenbräu Original from Löwenbräu AG
3.33 out of 5 based on 841 ratings.
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