Hofbräuhaus’ Hofbrau Hefeweizen

Hofbräuhaus Hofbrau Hefeweizen Beer Review

Hofbrau HeffeweizenHofbräu Hefeweizen gets it’s name from the state government in Munich, Germany, which has owned the brewery since the late 16th century.  Hof (court) and bräu (brew) comes from the brewery’s history as a royal brewery in the Kingdom of Bavaria.  For as long as Hofbräuhaus has been operating, it has been brewing in accordance with Reinheitsgebot (i.e. German Beer Purity Law).  The law states that the only ingredients that can be used in the production of beer are water, barley, and hops.  It is worth mentioning that yeast, which is a common ingredient in most beers, was not included as an ingredient in the original Purity Law because the impact of yeast on the brewing process had not yet been discovered when the law was first written.  While the law has been repealed since it’s conception in the late 15th century, many German breweries today claim to abide by the German Beer Purity Law for marketing purposes. On to the beer review!

Hofbräu Hefeweizen does not go out of it’s way to attract you with trendy packaging or unique ingredients.  From a marketing standpoint, nothing about this beer is appealing.  Unlike American “standard” beers – available for purchase at any bar in the United States – this German beer does not try to reinvigorate itself through market research (or, perhaps it does but fails miserably).  Instead, Hofbräuhaus relies on their reputation as being a premier brewery in Germany for the past 500 years.

Visually, Hofbräu’s hefeweizen looks like most hefeweizens – hazy and golden.  The haziness is a result of being Hofbrau Heffeweizen Headunfiltered.  Virginia’s indie-pop outfit, Wild Nothing, are clearly inspired by this brew judging by the EP they released last year – Golden Haze.  It poured nicely; leaving about four fingers of fluffy white foam on top.  The head deflated fairly quickly, but left a nice lacing around the walls of the glass.  Typically, hefeweizens are served with a wedge of lemon, but I opted to try this without lemon; and I’m glad I did.

This beer is quite drinkable.  While it is not amongst the best hefeweizens I’ve tasted, it certainly is the most approachable (i.e. I think a typical beer drinker would find this beer a pleasant alternative to the “standard” domestics).  Again, this beer doesn’t go out of it’s way by trying to lure you in with unique flavors and ingredients; instead, it tastes like what I would expect in a hefeweizen – floral with very little bitterness from the hops.  Additionally, you can taste hints of banana and citrus, which is common for a hefeweizen.  I drank this without any food accompaniments; but, if I were so inclined to eat, I would drink it with mild-flavored foods such as artisan breads, creamy cheeses (e.g. brie), fruits and smoked meats such as salmon or haddock.

Alright, so perhaps this is not the best hefeweizen; but, for the price, it’s an acceptable alternative to similar beers.  For those of you who have not tasted a wheat beer before, Hofbräu is a good starting point.  If I intended on spending an afternoon drinking a fair amount of beer, this is a brew I would be happy to have in my hand.

Rating: 3.5/5
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1 Comment so far »


    Peter said

    March 13 2011 @ 10:07 pm

    Many American craft breweries will often serve an American Wheat Ale that is incorrectly labeled as a “hefeweizen”. It is these beers that are typically served with a lemon (you can “thank” Pyramid Brewing for that). The acidity in a lemon will actually kill head retention, which is why I personally do not like adding lemons to my beer.

    Even though hefeweizens are deceptively simple to make, it can be difficult getting the right balance of flavors in a true, Bavarian-style hefeweizen. Some are too estery(fruity, banana-like) while other are too phenolic (clove-like). I tend to like mine equally balanced between the two.

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