1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Hell - Surly Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

877 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 877
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.99%
Wants: 119
Gots: 82 | FT: 2
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.
View: Beers (43) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 877 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of callmemickey
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium golden-straw body. Large creamy egg-shell white head that quickly receded after the pour. Spotty lacing.

S: Light bready malts... croissants... light floral and lemon-citrus hop bitterness. Fairly subdued.

T: Many of the same notes from the nose, manifested at a higher intensity. Bright floral hop bitterness, lemon zest, croissant-like bready malts, and slight yeast hints.

M: Smooth, light-medium bodied... low to moderate carbonation... nice crisp and clean finish.

D: Top notch... a little light in the aroma department but all around nice and refreshing... with warm days around the corner, this is a good choice for roof top drinking... the can is a plus.

Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Can purchased at Discount Liquor. Served in a stein.

A - Pours with two-plus fingers of creamy off-white foam that eventually settles to a cap and leaves behind plenty chunky rings of lacing. Body is a transparent golden straw color with tons of visible bubbles adhering to the sides of the glass.

S - Lightly toasted grain, honey, floral and slightly zesty citrus noble hop character.

T - Taste is more malt-forward, with sweet doughy bread, light toffee, and a moderately bitter hop finish. I like it a touch more than the smell, but it's not a 4.5.

M - Fairly zesty and zingy carbonation that left me feeling a touch bloated after a third of a glass. Medium-light body that also has a bit of grain character.

D - Other than the overly bloaty carbonation I can't see anything that would be a big inhibitor. Wish this was available at the ballpark or something. A better session beer than Gossamer in my opinion.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my mouth during another one of the usual disc golf outings with cans. Nice vibrant yellow with a lot of clarity and carbonation running through it, pristine virgin white head on it. Aroma is lightly bready, grassy and floral at alternating moments.

Taste, wow, I'm going to have to give "zwickelz" another chance. This is enjoyable, its much like a good pilsner, thinking back to the old Czech Pilsner I used to drink in the Second Millenium. It is somehow a very good blend of smoothness, high carbonation, floral hops and crispness. Impressive. I wouldn't trade any Furious for it, but its probably one of my favorite lagers out there, in a style I don't completely understand.

In some ways, the mouthfeel is simple and clean, but it really has some delicate and appropriate touches and nuances. There's a little floral non hopped aspect, like some kind of literal flower petal in there, mild pepper notes, etc. . . Its kind of like an episode of the Simpsons, it can work on different levels, be it the simple punch in the crotch laugh or something a little more high brow at the same time (example, Duffman proclaiming in court while being sued by Duff Brewery for intellectual property violations: "Ever heard of 'Fair Use'? (hip thrust, OOOOHH Yeah).

Photo of Ri0
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

poured 16oz can into Duvel tulip. canned on 6/21/2013

A - Darker yellow straw with a 2 finger white head. Very transparent with a light stream of bubbles. Small retention and limited lacing.

S - Grain, grass, Pilsener malt with light floral and herb hops. Some cracker and bread sweetness.

T - Pisener malt and breadiness are the main players. Some grass, grain, and light floral/herb hops pop up.

M - Light, crisp and wet on the palate. Carbonation is right on for the style.

O - Very nice take on Munich Helles Lager. I enjoyed it on a 90 degree day.

Photo of zeff80
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a cloudy, golden yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel and floral notes.

T - Sweet caramel, toffee and grains. Some nice spicy bitterness adds perfect balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied lager.

O - This is a really good lager. Well done by Surly!

Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thank you goes out to cpolking for sending me this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Pours a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet, malty. Taste is good, bready, malts, somewhat sweet, very refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a great summertime beer.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear medium golden yellow in color with just a tinge of orange and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a fizzy finger tall white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of bready malts with some grassy and floral hop aromas. There is also a subtle note of light fruit and lemon.

T: The beer starts out with a bready malt flavor with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by some grassy and floral hops with just a hint of light fruits (pear/apple).

M: Slightly less than medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Very enjoyable and super easy to drink - I would recommend this beer to others. Good flavors and aromas, definitely sessionable.

Photo of JackieTH
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour was straw yellow with a short-lived foamy head.

Subtle nose but primarily detecting bready-malt.

Taste is on par with the nose with the some sweetness, bready malts coming through right away, punctuated by citrus hops that are not at all strong and fade quickly into the overriding malty bready finish that is also somewhat dry.

The overall character combined with lower ABV, a higher carbonation and light body lends to a clean palate and high drinkability.

Photo of Sideswipe
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz can into a pint glass.

The beer pours a rich golden color with a finger of white foam. Head recedes leaving a thick coaster and some nice lacing. The nose is bready malt and mild citrus. Taste is malt forward with a nice citrus quality at play in the background. The body is light but not thin. A high level of carbonation suits this beer well. Overall this is another solid offering from Surly. Glad I got the opportunity.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz can into a pint glass

A: Clear, nice golden yellow color. Small white head. Fades. Nice.

S: Slight toast notes in the malt. Sweetness in the hop profile.

T: Delicious. Rich with a bready toastiness. Crips and golden. A little pretzel or bagel. Hops are balancing and spicy.

M: Right about perfect for the style (or nearly any style). Great richness with necessary crispness.

D: Not my preferred Surly but it really shows their versatility. Nice lighter brew.

Photo of bonsreeb85
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First things first, big thank you to Pochman for sending me this can. I appreciate it Ed!

A - nice head develops (for a lager) about 2 fingers of foam from can to mug. light golden/straw in color.

S - smells sweet. malt aroma is very high. lots of yeast/bread too. floral and musty hops smell rather grainy.

T - light and subtle kiss of hops. sweet and grainy malts are balanced by an earthy and floral hop accent. clean dry finish to this well balanced brew.

MF - very light body w/ a crisp feel thanks to tiny Co2 bubbles.

D - excellent session beer. light, subtle, clean, crisp, refreshing, all w/ just enough 'ummph' in the flavor dept.
Surly has yet to dissapoint.

Photo of BigBry
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Four pack of tall cans, brought back from my last trip to Minnesota, love the Surly and more cans for the collection.
Pours a straw yellow color, slight bit of unfiltered haze. Golden liquid is topped by half an inch of white head. Smell has a slight, grainy sweetness with just enough hop presence. Grassy and a bit herbal. Taste is very similar to the aroma, no suprises, just a crisp refreshing beer. Mouthfeel is light, crisp, dry-ish finish. Very drinkable, would pair well with most meals, and still great on its own.

Photo of Jamienichols7693
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of warnerry
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis into a Surly pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy deep golden, almost amber, color with a nice white foamy head that didn't last long, but left a little lacing behind.

Smell: Malty goodness with some floral hops mixed in. Slight citrus notes. Nice.

Taste: Slight sweet, but dry, floral hops flavors up front. Tasty sweet malts in the middle and a good bitterness on the tounge for the finish. Nothing overpowering, a great balance.

Mouth feel: A fair amount of carbonation but nothing that distracts from the crisp flavors. Light to medium body.

Drinkability: HELL yeah! This is a damn tasty beer with a moderate ABV and a crisp clean taste that makes it very easy to do a session with. I had a few off the tap and they went down very easily.

Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This is a fine lager.

The nose is soft, a bit floral, but doesn't possess any of that reek that all bad—and even some good—lagers exhibit. Instead it's smooth, right through the nose to the first and last moments it expresses itself in the mouth.

It's crisp—but not stridently so (even though extreme crispness is a quality I personally often favor amongst many good lagers). It's sweet—but only a little: just enough floral-fruit and banana-flax to give it a bit of punch. And it's effervescent—but not popping in the mouth with huge bubbles, like some weird bowl of fatty beer roe; instead its just buoyant, though maybe not quite edging enough towards ethereal, considering the weight of its malt.

I like it: perfect for grilling, or a late-night session when one just needs a little refreshment. Is it superb? No—but it is supremely drinkable, as promised, and light without sacrificing substance: truly lagerly without ever falling into heavy fruitiness.

Photo of Jayli
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from SamuelJackson45 via LOKO for locals so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a translucent, light copper color with a 1/4 inch of white head that disappears immediately. Barely existent spots of lacing.

S: Nose is nice bready, light malt, slightly grassy, with a bit of a pear hint.

T: Taste starts slightly malty, light sweet caramel notes before a bready, grassy hop flavoring comes through in the middle with underlaying sweetness. Finish a light pear, apple with a bit of lingering caramel sweetness.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, nice slightly oily at first before a very crisp, dry finish.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, nice representation of style. This is a fantastic, easy drinking beer. Perfect for a nice summer night.

Photo of jjanega08
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= pours a translucent yellow color slightly darker than your average american macro lager with a large billowing white head that falls fast and just sits on the top of the beer in a very thin sheet.
S= lots of grainy malt in it. There's also a hop front on it. Sort of a stinky german smell too. I enjoy the odor just for the odd stink that it has.
T= really sort of plain for a beer from surly. Clean as hell. It says the hops take the back seat on the can which I don't find to be true. I think the hops over throw the sweet grain while the sweet grain is still present. Not bad but not amazing either.
M= low carbonation and smooth finish.
D= very high. This is a surly beer for everyone. Really nothing special about it and sort of rediculous due to the hype that surrounded the release. I would prolly not buy it again if it came out regularly just because its so plain for the price. Still a good beer though.

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks to brewseum for this in trade.

Pours a clear bubbly gold, with several billowous fingers of brite-white foamy head. This eventually simmers down into a thin, yet robust layer of froth, leaving back lace that clings in spotty clumps. The aroma is lightly grassy and spicy in the nose, with citrus and bready Pils malt adding a bit of a tangy kiss to the bouquet.

The taste is sweet toasted grains, with a splash of lemongrass on the tongue. A moderately sharp little punch of spicy hop bitterness helps jazz this up. The finish has a touch of a pithy feel to it, along with a pleasant dryness which gets you ready for the next sip. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium, with a firm sharpness to the carbonation, that rides on top of a much creamier feel, lending this a most crisp and quaffable nature.

A satisfying medium fullness here to the Lager flavors, with a light and crisp feel, Surly sure picked an easy drinking one to put in a 16 oz can. I think I'll go have another!

Photo of gford217
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another Surly brew from buebie. Thanks Brian!

Pours an unbelievably clear golden orange with a huge fluffy white head that recedes very slowly to a small cap and leaves small hints of lacing.

The aroma is very clean with some light lemony hops and lots of light sweet malts and toasted bread in the background. I'm also getting some grain in the nose, definitely some corn. Kinda has a grassy character overall.

The taste has the same clean citrus hop presence up front which gives way to the toasted bread of the underlying malt base. The corn sweetness is more prevalent in the taste and lingers through the finish with a dry bready character as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and smooth and slightly spicy in the finish.

This is a very solid lager from Surly and extremely drinkable. Not sure it's my favorite style, but this is a very good example.

Photo of THORN
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into pint glass

A: Gorgeous honey colored. High amounts of CO2 releasing from bottom of glass. Little to no head retention.

S: Very faint floral and herbal, slightly sweet.

T: Crisp sweet malts, very smooth from start to finish Finishes with very light hops.

M: Very light on tongue

D: Very sessionable, easy to drink, and palette is still fresh.

Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a four-pack of this when it appeared in cans. So many nutty Surly fans out there I made sure to call to make sure it was in stock. But who could resist picking up a four of 'Surly Lite'?

Beautiful beer. The can states it's unfiltered, so I wonder where the muck went, 'cause this is clean & clear. Smell is of sweet malt & bready.

Hell is a helles/zwickel/lager/whatever for the masses. This is one of a handful of unassuming brews I've had that should replace PBR and/or Miller and/or Coors and/or etc. as a beer of the masses - with actual flavor. Taste matches up with the smell, sweet malts, Wonder bread, but with a body behind it that our favorite macros can't match.

The ultimate lawnmower beer - a very good beer. This is something that should be slipped to devoted macro drinkers to begin to shimmy them over to the dark side. And they would like it.

Photo of bound4er
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Whitest of white two finger head sits nicely over a straw to light golden colored liquid.

S. Bready grains with some earthy spiciness. Lagers never seem to shine in the aroma department and this beer is no exception.

T. Straightforward taste profile with mixed grains playing a prominent role. A kiss of hops on the finish provides a nice counterpoint to the malt. Finishes very clean and crisp.

M. Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation.

D. Excellent drinkability - this beer seems to disappear quickly. It's light enough to offer good sessionability with just enough complexity to keep my interest. Well crafted and worth seeking out.

Photo of JimGlonke
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Omnium
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can > Pint Glass

A - Clear yellow straw color with a finger of fizzy white head, no lacing.
S - Lager yeast, grains, some sweet bready malt
T - Best helles lager I've had I think light lemon zest, fresh bread malt, grassy hops, sweet grains, but not overly sweet at all.
M - Clean smooth refreshing.
O - Super drinkable, I could drink this all the time.

Hell from Surly Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.