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Hell - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.
HellHell

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

304 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 304
Hads: 987
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 129
Gots: 119 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 08-26-2008

Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It's fiendishly drinkable, and you don't have to sell your soul to get another.
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Reviews: 304 | Hads: 987
Reviews by Atev:
Photo of Atev
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Yellow with a tinge of gold. Lively 1 finger head that fades quickly. A very slight haze, with bubbles creeping along the side of the glass.

S: Light, breezy pils smell (less any hint of skunk). Smells like fresh beer, pretty much.

T: Sweet and refreshing, with a bit of bitter following. Does not dry out like a pils, it's more like it fades from the palate, with just some mineral and salt left in the aftertaste.

M: Fresh, watery, carbonation is light and cleansing.

O: I've had tons of lagers, and only lagers before I got to the US many years ago, and this is a top-notch one. Not as aggressive as a Czech, not quite like most Germans. Very refined and clean. (671 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of KeithS
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good solid summer beer without all the gimmicks that come with summer beers. Nice and light but with enough flavor to make it interesting.

Good beer for me when my taste buds want something easier and less hoppy. (213 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -1%

Poured into a pokal a clear somewhat dull lighter golden with a nice thick white crown atop.All malts in the nose with a tinge of iron,just a faint leafy hop aroma is detected.Smooth and drinkable with toasted malts standing out,went well with some pork shanks and kraut last night. (283 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to maximum12 for all the Surly love. The man is single-handedly accountable for sending me over 75% of the Surly beers I've had to date, and it is much appreciated. Surly Hell pours out with a straw-colored body; helles... that's Deutsch for "light" (thanks to the back of the can for that little lesson). Very pale, hazy, and squandering with a white head - cloudy, puffy, and crackling loudly like a box of Pop Rocks.

Surly Hell is far from hell on the nostrils. Zesty sweet grains, mound upon mound of bready malt, and the slightest hint of lemon peels and leafy hops. The hops are toned down and provide only a little aid, which really gives the bright Pilsner malts a chance to shine. It gets a bit sweeter and a little more amped up with warmth; a bit more citrus zest and some more sweet grains. The lager yeast is crisp, chunky, fresh, and certainly inviting.

Pilsner malt-y is the first sip, as well as lager yeast-y. A very nice amount of malt sweetness and doughy bread flavors envelope the tongue and show a nice sign of both balance and control, all at once. Earthy hops hang in the background, providing more of a musty, dry bitterness than actual flavor, which is fine by me... That said, the bitterness is still quite low, retaining superior drinkability in a very appropriate style.

The back-end contains some nice notes of orange and citrus zest; pretty light, just a nice spruce to keep things interesting. A faint musty hop note and bread-laden yeast flavors reign in the finish and clean your mouth of all other flavors (and moisture), begging you to take another sip. Thin bodied, as expected, with lots and lots of carbonation. The lager yeast definitely helps out with the clean mouth feel in the finish.

Superb drinkability, no doubt. I love a good helles lager, and one in a can, no less. This beer exhibits cosmos-level balance in the fact that it would be acceptable to BMC drinkers looking to turn to craft, while also being an excellent rendition of the style it represents, pleasing even people who have been in the game for while now. Far better than many of the other craft helles beers available in my area - why can't Surly extend their reach just a few states east? (2,212 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of blackearth
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden body with a puffy white head that leaves decent lacing and is slow to fall. Aroma is of light grassy hops and clean malts. Light bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. A mild bitterness up front leads to a light sweet malt flavor at mid tongue and a slightly bitter finish. Not a bad beer, but I don't find myself wanting a second pint when I'm through with the first. (392 characters)

Photo of beaversfan12
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of NWer
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour into Pilsner glass gives explosive head that settles fairly quickly.
Clear, light golden appearance.
Nice aroma for the style.
Taste, same. Light, smooth, easy drinker. A good thirst quencher that goes down very easily.
Not much left for the aftertaste. It's as if I hadn't had anything to drink at all. 16 oz can disappears very quickly.
Beats the hell out of BMC for that nice easy drinking beer. (406 characters)

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of warnerry
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy pale straw color with one finger of white head. Head fades pretty quickly, leaving some light lacing behind.

S - A light sweetness and bread malts up front. Pretty simple but quite nice.

T - Similar to smell. Nice bread and Pils malt. A faint bitterness not detected in the smell. Crisp, clean and very good.

M - light mouthfeel that finishes pretty clean.

O - I'm not that familiar with the style, but I really enjoyed this. Nice flavor, not overpowering in any way. (488 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chewy08rx for hooking me up with a lot of great beers from Surly.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some lighter bready and pilsner-type malts. The flavor is grassy and biscuity, with a low amount of bitterness.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very nice. (330 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of ryancl
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of bsp77
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving glass: Poured from can into Frankfurter glass.

Appearance: Bright, clear gold with billowing foamy head. Certainly doesn't look unfiltered.

Smell: Somehow smells both sweet and dry at the same time. Light semi-sweet fruits (apple, pear) and doughy bread. Despite these notes, it leaves my nose feeling dried out.

Taste: Certainly tastes unfiltered. Packs more of a malt punch than expected for such a low abv pale lager. Nice rounded flavors consisting of apple, pear, hay and bread dough. Slight noble hops detected at the end.

Feel: Pretty high carbonation, smooth clean body that is light but heavier and softer than a Pils. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Endless.

This August, Surly and Summit both released an unassuming German beer style and hit home runs with their Helles/Zwickel and Kolsch, respectively. I want to face them off against each other to see which is better. I really don't know who would win. While Surly did a fantastic job here, I have to commend Summit for standing up to Surly's challenge to the Minnesota craft beer scene. (1,059 characters)

Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MNMike
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from a can into a Pilsener glass. L: Brilliant straw under a quickly receding 1” creamy white foam cap. S: Light grains with a faint hint of apple and sulfur. T: Light grainy sweetness, some spice, malty aftertaste, mild bitterness. F: Very crisp, light, above average carbonation. O: Refreshing, easy to drink. (320 characters)

Photo of bpfrush
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of warmbier804
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MattyG85
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16 oz. can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Canned on 6-15-11.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow with lots of rising bubbles. Decent two finger bubbly white head with good retention and a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Sweet, bready aroma of Pils malts dominate. Has some light hints of earthy hops. Also a light hint of fruit. Definitely smells like a Germain Pils lager.

Taste: Fuller than the smell leads on. Sweet malts up front are followed by a solid kick of orange and other fruits. Hops are also stronger than expected with some earthy hop bitterness towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp and smooth.

Overall: A very tasty lager that is well balanced and fairly light. Surly knocks it out of the park again. (794 characters)

Photo of tyleeis
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Helles is one of my fav euro styles and this is by far one of the best examples I've tried. A little more hoppy than I expected...similar to 3 Floyd's Gorch Fock, also an excellent twist on a Helles lager. (205 characters)

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Hell from Surly Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 304 ratings.