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Summer Helles - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Summer HellesSummer Helles

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

571 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 571
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 10
Gots: 102 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 03-26-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 571 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutHunter
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a twelve pack of New Belgium's Summer Helles at Meijer a couple days ago. I've never tried this beer before and since the weather is finally starting to become more Helles Lager friendly I decided to take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. Best by September 2nd 2014. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's got a hammock with some type of guitar in it, I think it's a little plain looking so it isn't too eye catching. It poured a pretty clear pale yellow color that took on more of a golden hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of slightly creamy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a nice looking beer that looked true to style.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart a bready, grainy and sweet malt like aroma with the bready malts sticking out the most and there's some doughy yeast aromas in the background along with a creamy malt aroma. Up next comes the hops which are pretty light and impart a light earthy and spicy hop aromas. This beer had a nice aroma, it was pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts still being the first to show up, but this time it's the grainy, bready and sweet malt aspects that stick out the most and the doughy yeast seems to stick out just a little bit more then it did it the aroma. Up next comes the hops which are a little lighter then they were in the aroma and they impart that same light earthy and spicy hops aspects with the spicy hops seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's a light amount of bitterness with a grainy, bready, and sweet malt like aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, it seemed to be pretty true to style.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, on the thicker side of being light bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and true to style.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and a nice example of the style, it had most of the aspects that I look for in the style, but I think a little less sweetness and a little bit more hop flavor would help this beer out and make it stand out a little. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, crisp, clean, not filling. but the taste didn't do the best job at holding my attention, I think two would be my limit, i might get bored with it after that. What I like the most about this beer was the how true to style it was, it had most of the aspects that I expect from the style. What I like the least about this beer was the it was a little bland, I know this style doesn't have the most flavor, but this one seemed a little blander then some of the better Helles Lagers. I wouldn't buy this beer again, there's a few other sessionable lager that I would rather have, I don't know if I recommend it, but if you wanted an easy drinking beer I would say give it a shot. All in all i thought this was decent beer, there wasn't anything off or wrong with it and the it seemed to be pretty true to style so in my eyes this is a fairly solid example of the style. Thanks for another solid easy drinking beer New Belgium.

StoutHunter, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 9/14/14.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, hay, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is fairly refreshing and easy to drink.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of mralphabet
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

mralphabet, Today at 04:31 AM
Photo of betobeer
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Good lager.

betobeer, Today at 03:41 AM
Photo of hophugger
3/5  rDev -13.8%

hophugger, Thursday at 10:37 PM
Photo of melstein
4/5  rDev +14.9%

melstein, Wednesday at 03:48 AM
Photo of t2grogan
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

t2grogan, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of ronniebruner
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Brew pours a very light yellowish color. Taste is plain and unimpressive. Bland label/package. Beer pours with a decent amount of foam and a bit too much head. This beer does not taste fresh and it is
very unoriginal. Leaves a pungent taste on the tongue similar to a Budweiser. Not recommended at all, but on that note, this beer could have been way worse!

ronniebruner, Oct 06, 2014
Photo of mike_dawson
3/5  rDev -13.8%

mike_dawson, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of sebaastionb
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%

sebaastionb, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of RCLOHR267
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

RCLOHR267, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of ColSanders
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

ColSanders, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Danvice
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

Danvice, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of klub24
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%

klub24, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of JKG
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

JKG, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of bmoraymond
4.04/5  rDev +16.1%

bmoraymond, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

thatoneguymike, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of laglocal
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

laglocal, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of rlee1390
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

A-Clear as day light yellow, not carbonation, one finger head.

S-Wheat, some pale malt, not much else. Bland and boring.

T-Bland and some odd malt flavors. Nothing else though.

M-Lighter, no carbonation, semi crisp though.

O-Just not a very good beer.

rlee1390, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of intovert2438
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

intovert2438, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of bwood06
3.26/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Very clear pale straw in color with a thin frothy white head that dissipates quickly. High carbonation. Initial head dissipates but half a finger is retained. 3.75/5

S - Aroma reminds me of a light pilsner. Malty with just a touch of sweetness. A bit of grassy hops. Biscuit. A hair peppery. 3.5/5

T - Very light malty, bready flavor. Slight pepper note. Grassy herbal hop finish. Light lingering bitterness. Sourdough aftertaste. Sourdough and hop bitterness combination is somewhat unpleasant for my taste. 3/5

M - High carbonation. Very light and dry. Finishes very dry. 3.75/5

O - Aftertaste throws me for a loop. A decent helles lager. Fairly true to style. Light. 3.25/5

bwood06, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -13.8%

mojohawk21, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -11.2%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with a branded red pry-off pressure cap. Purchased at Whole Foods HQ in Austin.

Served cold into a snifter at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery and format; I tend to like their seasonals much better than their Lips of Faith series beers. 5% ABV. "Enjoy by: 02NOV."

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half a finger wide. Dull off-white colour. Fairly thin. Not at all creamy. The head recedes to a floater ring within 20 seconds, and the ring itself fades within a minute, leaving no lacing. Suggests a weak beer.

BODY: A clear pale yellow of average vibrance. Has a supple glow to it redolent of fruit skin. It's clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a pretty typical looking helles. Doesn't stand out in any way.

AROMA: Weak helles malts, pilsner malt, grassy hops (maybe Noble or Saaz?), Munich malt, hay, and grains. The grains are mismatched with the other aromatics, and seem like they belong in an adjunct lager, not a helles. There's a kiss of sourdough, which is nice. It doesn't seem too sweet or too bitter.

A generally pleasant aroma of average strength. No overt alcohol or other off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Simple yet pleasant. Munich malts, helles malts, and pilsner malts comprise the basic foundation, with some grassy hop notes lending it a bit of needed complexity. A wisp of sourdough lends it some nice albeit reticent yeast character. Maybe even a bit of green apple? Sure, I like this, but there's no intricacy or subtlety of note. It's a plain beer, but an enjoyable one.

It's decently balanced, but its simplicity makes that much easier. It's a cohesive build for a helles, but it's not a gestalt brew. I'm glad it's not too sweet, but I do find it tends towards graininess a bit too much.

TEXTURE: Standard helles lager. Smooth, wet, a bit overcarbonated, and refreshing. Lends itself naturally to going down easy. The texture does a decent job at complementing the taste, but there's no real nuance to coax out, and the texture could be softer and crisper. There's definite room for improvement.

OVERALL: It's to style in the sense that it's easy to drink, but there's nothing here for the discerning drinker. I'll be sticking to traditional German offerings, but this is by no means a bad brew. Just an unremarkable one. Above average, in any case. I wouldn't buy it again as part of a 6 pack or anything, but I wouldn't be annoyed to see it in a New Belgium variety box. I see why this was popular at a summer music festival, but I can't recommend it to friends.

C+

kojevergas, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Oops
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Oops, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Metaltildeath
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Metaltildeath, Sep 19, 2014
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Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 571 ratings.