“The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, Munich’s famous “hofbrauhaus” was founded in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, Wilhelm V. It is one of Munich’s oldest beer halls. It was originally founded as the brewery to the old Royal Residence, which at that time was situated just around the corner from where the beer hall stands today. The beer quickly became quite popular thanks to the first brewer, Heimeran Pongratz, and the famous “Bavarian Beer Purity Law” of 1516 that stated that only natural ingredients could be used in the brewing process. In fact, the beer became so famous that it once saved the city from annihilation. When King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden invaded Bavaria during the Thirty Years’ War in 1632, he threatened to sack and burn the entire city of Munich. He agreed to leave the city in peace if the citizens surrendered some hostages, and 600,000 barrels of Hofbräuhaus beer.”
- Dunkel (90 Points)
- Hefe Weizen (91 Points)
- Maibock (94 Points)
- Oktoberfest (87 Points)
- Original (89 Points)
- Winter Spezial (73 Points)
DUNKEL: 90 Points
This German Style Dunkel Lager is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Dark beer existed in Bavaria long before light beer. This was the first type of beer to be brewed at Hofbräuhaus when it was founded. Today, when beer-lovers all over the world talk about dark beer, they usually mean a Munich style beer. Today, Hofbräu Dunkel – the archetypal Bavarian beer – is still as popular as ever. With its alcoholic content of around 5.5% volume and its spicy taste, it’s a refreshing beer that suits all kinds of occasion. A beer in the traditional Munich style!”
My Description: This is a refreshing lager and I would recommend enjoying this beer during dinner because it is refreshing and the flavors match up nicely with supper-type cuisine. It begins with a decent sized, light beige colored head that surprisingly lasts the whole way and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant and on the sweeter side with notes of dark malt, bread, with a little toffee/caramel presence. This lager is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The beer tastes just like it smells with flavor notes of toffee, toasted bread, dark malts, with a touch of dark fruit. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with a note of hops that brings good balance to this otherwise sweet beer. This beer is definitely nice for any occasion and is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled steaks, beef brisket, or chocolate desserts.
ABV: 5.5% Color: Garnet/Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
HEFE WEIZEN: 91 Points
Also under the alias, Hofbräu Münchner Weisse, this German Hefeweizen is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “The origin of München Münchener Kindl Hefe Weizen dates back to 1589 and since then the Weise” has a distinctive place in the history of Hofbräu München, München Münchener Kindl Hefe Weizen is characterized by its sparkling, by its rich foam, and naturally by its unforgettable refreshing taste.”
My Description: Nothing says refreshing and satisfying like a quality German Hefeweizen on a warm summer night; this is definitely one of those Hefe’s. It begins with a large, bright white colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with some light lemon and cloves notes accompanied by wheat malt and a touch of banana. This ale is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. It is smooth and well balanced. Upfront, there are flavor notes of cloves, bananas, wheat, and other yeast phenols that are held by a tasty citrus background. This transitions cleanly into an aftertaste that is crisp and minimally bitter. This Hefe is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with grilled shrimp, blue cheese, or burgers.
ABV: 5.1% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 1/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10
MAIBOCK: 94 Points
This German Maibock is released seasonally in the Spring months in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “By tradition, the first barrel of Maibock is tapped in the Hofbräuhaus in the last week of April, in time for the merry month of May. The success story of Munich’s oldest bock beer goes back as far as 1614. With its powerfully aromatic flavour and its alcoholic content of some 7.2% volume, Hofbräu Maibock marks one of the high points in the beer-lover’s calendar.”
My Description: What a great beer for the season. It tastes delicious and is very enjoyable. It pours a large, off-white colored head with a decent retention level and it leaves behind some spotty lacing. The aroma smells fresh and inviting with notes of pale malts and floral/noble hops. Maibock is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile isn’t too complex and it doesn’t need to be. Light caramel notes and hints of dark bread blend cleanly with herbal and noble hop flavors along with a hint of light fruit like apples. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and very refreshing. The alcohol is beautifully hidden behind a crisp and smooth body. This beauty is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, fresh asparagus, or baked white fish.
ABV: 7.2% Color: Amber/Copper Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 3/10
OKTOBERFEST: 87 Points
This Oktoberfest Marzen is released seasonally in early Autumn in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Hofbräu brews a rich, full-bodied beer which goes down ideally with traditional Bavarian cuisine. With its deliciously bitter taste and alcoholic content of 6.3% volume, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier is as special as the Beer Festival itself.”
My Description: I love this Oktoberfest, it is delicious, smooth, and crisp. It begins with a large, bright white colored head that lasts the whole way and leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma smells great, noble hops shine through with a touch of spice and grains. This lager is medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the flavor profile is blended nicely making this beer very refreshing. Upfront, there are tasty noble hop flavors with a welcoming pale malt background. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and clean with a touch of hop spice. This beer is perfect for the occasion so make sure to be a few bottles. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with German pretzels, grilled sausage, or steaks.
ABV: 6.3% Color: Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
ORIGINAL: 89 Points
This Helles Lager is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: “Hofbräuhaus is a symbol of Munich’s hospitality and the Bavarian gift for creating a snug and cosy atmosphere. Beer-lovers from all over the world come here to enjoy its famous beers. More than any other, Hofbräu Original embodies the special atmosphere of the beer-making capital of Munich, and exports it to the four corners of the globe. Its refreshing, bitter flavour and alcoholic content of around 5.1% volume have made it famous worldwide. A Munich beer with character.”
My Description: This is a great alternative to the American domestic lagers when you’re in the mood for something of higher quality. It begins with a decent, white colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a thin layer of lacing. The aroma is welcoming and clean with notes of pale malts and noble hops with some grassy character. It is medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer has a simple flavor profile, which is great because there is no need for complexity when craving a crisp and refreshing lager. There are clean notes of noble hops accompanied by some pale malts. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and smooth. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with grilled sausage, salads, or sauteed shrimp.
ABV: 5.1% Color: Gold Sweetness: 1.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10
WINTER SPEZIAL: 73 Points
This Dunkel Bock is released seasonally in late Autumn in 11.2 oz. bottles.
Brewer’s Description: N/A
My Description: I feel that the flavor profile is a letdown considering the quality that Hofbräu usually brings. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a film that holds the whole way leaving behind a noticeable amount of lacing. The aroma is fine with notes of toasted malt, some bread notes, and a touch of herbal hops. Winter Spezial is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is on the sweeter side with notes of toasted malt and hints of toffee along with a touch of herbal hops. The finish is just terrible, the aftertaste shows very little bitterness with a lingering malty sweet note that just tastes of low quality. I understand that the finish doesn’t necessarily need to be bitter for the style, but in this case it holds the beer back because it pronounces that unenjoyable sweet note. Hofbräu could have definitely done better with this. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, grilled sausage, or stuffing.
ABV: 8.4% Color: Amber/Dark Copper Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10