#helles – PorchDrinking.com
It’s a sunny day in Denver, and it’s hot—like, record-breaking hot. The raging misters on the patio of Prost Brewing are creating a fog that veils the normal view of the Mile High City’s skyline, obscuring one of the main perks of this taproom location but providing a necessary reprieve in this unprecedented September heat.
It’s this heatwave draping much of the American West this summer that has created a conundrum of sorts for craft beer drinkers in this part of the country. This month on the calendar denotes not just the early days of autumn, but a perhaps more important, even more special, time of year for craft connoisseurs: Oktoberfest season.
The best beer to pair with a Labor Day BBQ is light and smoky. Beers like Schlenkerla’s Helles, or the historic Polish beer known as Grodziskie (“Grätzer” in Germany), can’t be beaten. They have the perfect combination of being refreshing and low-alcohol, with a smoky character to complement whatever’s cooking on the grill.
Let me be clear: There is nothing fancy about this beer. No foraged fruit from the wooded land out back; no rare yeast secretly used; no pungent ingredients to overpower the palate. Plain and simple, the clean and crisp Low Bridge Lager is a delicious combination of the four essential elements of beer that Root Down Brewing Company let shine in this brew.
Almost one year after releasing its first bottled beer, Dovetail Brewery brings its signature Helles to cans. Beginning this week, locals can pick up a four-pack of the 16-ounce cans at the brewery’s North Center taproom.
In a market so saturated with DDH beers, super-fruited and adjunct overloads (which I should note, I love trying as much as the next beer enthusiast), I find it refreshing when a brewery isn’t steadfast to these trends and unafraid to put out more traditional styles of beer. Fox Farm Brewery in Salem, Connecticut is a brewery that’s doing just that. Their Smoked Helles Lager, The Cabin, is a great beer that deserves the spotlight for this reason.
After a sip of Jack’s Abby’s House Lager, it is understandable to think that you just tasted the Massachusetts brewery’s version of an Oktoberfest. Everything about the taste harkens back to the 1516 German Reinheitsgebot law that states only water, malt, yeast, and hops can be used to make beer. But there is something else about it that separates it from the other beers on the market. It has a maltier taste that splits the difference between nutty Oktoberfests and the standard golden lagers that belong at a summer barbecue.
Somehow I’ve managed to go years without reviewing a single thing from Burial Beer Company, one of the better-known, Asheville-based brewers in North Carolina. Today we make an end to that with One For Me, Burial’s collaboration Helles Lager brewed with Other Half Brewing out of New York.
The term “little hellion” can only be used endearingly for this brew, from the Harrisonburg-based Virginia brewery. It’s relaxing to drink, harbors a thoughtful approach to the style and is a flagship selection from Brothers Craft Brewing.
ABV: 5.4% | IBU: 18
Do you have a propensity to get a little fresh with blondes? If you do, go to Helles… Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles Lager, that is.
Ahh, the Munich classic provides familiar tastes that comforts one like a blanket on a cold winter’s night, and when the beer is constructed by a modern craft brewer there is the added bonus of exquisite quality and innovation. Sam Adams Fresh as Helles is that combination of classic comfort with a modern craft-beer spin.
Pull up a chair, turn on the Weather Channel and relax, because Sam Adams has two beers ready to match anything Mother Nature can throw at ya! Samuel Adams, no stranger to seasonal releases, is introducing drinkers to two new seasonal beers: Samuel Adams Hopscape and Fresh as Helles. Ashley Leduc, Sr. Communications Specialist at Sam’s, explained the reason for two seasonal releases in a press release, “The brewers felt that these two brews capture the essence of the ever-changing season across the country from January through April.”
I have to admit, I am not really one for Lagers but for some reason a Helles always seems to appeal to me, especially 4 Noses Brewing Company’s Hiker’s Helles. If you aren’t yet familiar with this style …
ABV: 4.5 | IBU: ~18
In addition to their flagship Amber Lager, Red Oak Brewery produces another beer deserving of extra attention, the Hummin’ Bird Helles, a golden Munich lager.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Hell style (or Helles, German for “bright”), …