Monday, February 4, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 35, Hofbrau Original

This beer was created by the Germans in the mid 1850's to compete with the Czech pilsners which were all the rage.  It is classified as a Munich Helles Lager.  Helles meaning bright in German.  I've had only one other Helles and that was from Spaten and they are both quite good!  It is brewed according to the German Purity Law of 1516, the Reinheitsgebot which stated that beer can be made with only water, barley and hops.  No one knew of the role of yeast until the 1800's or so.

The beer pours a very clear light golden straw color and is beautifully crisp.  The head is thin white which tapers off to a very thin ring by the end of the drink.  There is a little lacing going on, not much, but pretty nonetheless.

The first aroma that I got was a mild skunk from the beer being in the green bottle (UV can penetrate green glass and change the character of the beer).  Once that you get passed that I almost get a honey-like aroma of malts.  It's quite like honey even though they don't use it in this beer.  After the honey comes a very mild hop aroma.  Quite nice!

The beer smells skunky, but doesn't taste it in the least.  The taste of this beer is fairly simple.  It starts off honey/malty sweet with maybe a little of a bready thang going on and along the way the hops start to come out and the beer finishes very mildly hoppy and semi-sweet.  A great balance!

Mouthfeel and Body, these are somethings that I need to conquer, but I feel that this has a smooth mouthfeel sweetened with honey and a very light, almost watery body that is carbonated well and very refreshing!

It's a great beer although I have to call it out on the skunky smell and the almost watery nature of the beer.  And believe me, things things aren't always bad!

8 out of 10!  I know it's a world class lager and I do feel that it shines brightly above the macro lagers, but why put your beer in a green bottle?  Personally, I think they go for this effect and if it is a light skunk smell, it doesn't put you off.  This one definitely does not put you off and I bet it is way better out of the keg.  I bet it gets a 10 in the keg!

Get out there and try this beer!  I guarantee that you will like it!


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