All notes on beers in the style

Munich Helles Lager

Weihenstephaner
Helles

Canned version, sold with the stein (pictured) in a gift pack in 2022. $10.99 for the combo. Right now I am somewhat unconvinced that this is a different beer to this one, but the ABVs are different (this at 4.8%, the Original at 5.1%) and they must be different since the German version of the website lists both beers! (Thanks @robsterowski for the heads up on that). However, when I look at my notes on the Original, all of the same attributes apply, especially in the appearance and the nose....

Hofbräu Original

Pure, golden, clear pour with a resplendent white head. Quintessential Helles in the glass. Deep bread in the nose with a touch of hop character being barely perceptible. Easy drinking, mouthfeel is lightly prickly, simple and perfect. Sweet breads mingle amongst the noble hop bitterness. Beautifully balanced, as the elements meld perfectly together. Lots of sweet grains, a medium body and that leads to an incredibly easy to consume beer - in many ways, that's its purpose. Crisp, light and...

Andechser Vollbier Hell

Jungle Jim's, Cincinnati, June 2021. A classic. Light golden, sparkling body with utter clarity. Great, wispy, massive head, but because of the wispy nature it collapses quite quickly. I wonder if the head is different on draft? Nose and tastes give the requisite bread and maltiness. There's a sweetness about the beer (and indeed the style), that I have to be in the mood for, and occasionally touches on an adjunct, euro lager cloying nature. It never really gets there, but there's a fine line....

Saranac Helles

12 oz single courtesy of Kevin. A good clean, bright (appropriate) pour with a head head that is not especially well retained or leads to much lace. Carbonation is good amidst the golden, clear body. Some light, peppery spice on the aroma and tastes that also lend a degree of bitterness. Sharp and clean, the beer gives away its sharp roots with a combination of dry, stinging bitterness. This is by no means the harshest of the style I have had, not does it deliver the real sting of solid Saaz...

Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold

Delighted to find this at Hop City as a 12 oz single. Not sure if I have seen this in the US before now, a welcome addition. Classic golden clarity on the pour, with nice carbonation that produces a bone-white head. Some lace and a little retention. Nose and tastes give plenty of malt based sweetness that manifests itself in a honey, grain and raisin manner. A little organic grass in there too and plenty of freshly mowed hay on the back end. Crisp and thirst quenching, the beer delivers a...

Shiner Smokehaus

OK, mixed reviews on this one I see, let's have a go. 12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Pour is a decent, somewhat frothy, typical for the Helles style yellow. Head was average with some retention and lace. Nose gives away very little except a touch of smoke and some malty sweetness. The tastes reflect this fairly faithfully but with the smoke playing a larger part. An interesting combination of tastes that frankly struggles a bit to settle on the palate but it's not unpleasant....

Barons Lager

To be honest, I was really surprised by this and I really enjoyed it. 12 oz single from Tower on Buford. Clouded yellow appearance with a nice, bubbly soapy head and some lace to go along with it. Carbonation is low. Soft mouthfeel with a mild citrus grapefruit taste being the overwhelming sensation. The grapefruit sensation is really strong for me, and it's not a hop bitterness that I often use the grapefruit explanation for. Finishes with a little dry character. Very tasty, very nice, even...

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

500 mL bottle, $3.99 from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Been meaning to try this for a long time, finally got around to it this weekend. Amazing yellow clarity in the body with a short lived head and no lace. Macro lager appearance. I thought I was losing my mind when I tasted this up front. There was smoke! Mild but noticeable nonetheless. Apparently, the beer becomes "smoked" just by virtue of the fact that it passes through the brewery where all of the other smoked beers are...

Victory Lager

Purchased as a sixer of 12 oz bottles in Hilton Head, SC, USA. Although Victory has recently made it to GA, this beer is not one of those that is coming our way just yet. Definitely a macro like appearance. Low carbonation, perfect clarity but a head that is gone within one minute and no lace. Nose is very unimpressive - frankly it's also VERY macro-like. Lots of grassy, corny, adjunct-like smells with plenty of boiled vegetables! Taste is much better than the aroma would suggest. Simple,...

Stoudt’s Gold Lager

Pretty new addition to the Stoudt's line that makes it to GA. $4.25, 12oz bottle, Taco Mac, Marietta, GA, USA. Label is black, gold and white rather than the one in the db currently. This is the kind of beer I refer to as a craft standard. Absolutely nothing spectacular, but a solid example of the style and in some ways an excellent crossover beer for the BI's. Nice balance of malts and a little bittering hops. Looks like a macro (except for the deeper gold color and the better head and lace)...

Moosbacher Lager

$2.99 Smyrna World of Beverage, Atlatna, GA, USA. 500 mL flip-top bottle broken out from the original four pack. Best Before 10/06 (this stuff did not shift well at SWoB). Pour is standard a golden color that looks a little paler than normal toward the bottom of the Sweetwater 420 Pilsner glass. Plenty of active carbonation, but a small and short lived head that ultimately leads to a very thin misty foam sitting atop the body. Sweet, malty aroma. Sweet taste with a very mild hop presence. A...

Weihenstephaner Original

$2.49, Green's Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. 1 pint 0.9 floz bottle The Helles moniker is more evident in this beer than almost any other I have seen. The lightness and the clarity of the body are extraordinary. Extremely pale golden color like Bud Light!! Aroma is that familiar mild skunk lager smell. Pours into the Southampton Weizen glass with an enormous rocky head. The head fades slowly to leave some spotty presence and some (not a lot) lacing. Very crisp clean malts, and a tiny hop presence....

Lagerhead Lager

Contract brewed by Fredrick Brewing in MD according to 1516 purity law. Dark yellow pour with some lacing and a little head. Quite assertive in both the malt and hop department. Nose shows a good balance with the emphasis on malt, but some bitter promise too. Dry hops nicely supported by the stong malts. Dry finish but rounded, satisfying and refreshing. When I am in the Charleston and Hilton Head areas this is one of the brews I drink.

Hacker-Pschorr Edelhell

Butterscotch hazed pour with a small, but fluffy head. Not much lacing. Sweet malts and a little alcohol in the nose - not much but detectable. Tasty hops, against a strong malt backbone with a dry and biting acidic finish. Smooth. The finish is particularly Pils like, with a clean bite. Tasty and a little different. Enjoyable.

Löwenbräu Original

Largely forgettable lager and if it weren't for the extra alcohol taste that this one gives I would have forgotten it instantly. Why is it that so many lagers that are presented on tap often turn out to be completely lifeless in the glass after about twenty seconds? Non-descript usual, macro lager look, with some fierce initial carbonation. Taste largely reminiscent of a standard, adjunct lager, but slightly improved as the alcohol taste/experience kicks in. On-tap this lager always hits above...

Spaten Münchner Hell (Premium Lager)

Frankly this was not good. An amazingly skunky experience that reminded me of a Heineken was the overall impression I was left with. Weak and lifeless pour with no head and a nasty aroma. Very little else to be said. I got a real corny type whiff with my skunkiness and the whole taste was permeated by the smelliness of the beer. Very disappointed by a beer I was expecting more of.