Summer Helles - New Belgium Brewing

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Summer HellesSummer Helles

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609 Ratings
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Ratings: 609
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 15
Gots: 110 | 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:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 03-26-2014

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 609 | Reviews: 82
Reviews by Miami66:
More User Reviews:
Photo of StoutHunter
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
2.1/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, enjoy by 10/5/14. Pours clear pale yellow with a medium creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is vegetal malts and floral noble hops.

The flavor is sweet vegetal malts with a spicy noble hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, not a great lager.

Photo of MattyG85
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass. Bottle says enjoy by September 21st, 2014.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of white head that recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and zesty malt forward aroma with good hints of grains, biscuit, and grass. Pale malt with hints of grains, cereal, straw, biscuit, and lager yeast. Some hints of honey like sweetness. Earthy and herbal hop presence with hints of grass and slight pine spice. Light fruity hints of lemon. A pretty solid light lager aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a crisp and bready malt driven taste with good notes of grains, biscuit, and grassy hops. Upfront pale malt with notes of grains, wheat, straw, cereal, biscuit, and lager yeast. Subtle notes of lemon fruit and honey like sweetness. Solid backing presence of earthy and herbal hops with light notes of grass and spicy pine. Very crisp and solid lager taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and very smooth with a fairly drying bitter finish.

Overall: A pretty solid light summer pale lager. Good grainy malt notes with a nice bitter backing of hops.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears fizzy and yellow, but it's all grain and it's lighter than most typical German Helles lagers out there. Pale straw golden with a billowing pillow white head, fine speckled lacing left behind poured into a nonic pint glass not the best choice but I was pouring two bottles so it worked. Aroma has biscuit malts bread dough, hint of powdered yeast, slight citric grassy character, that's simple enough. Flavor is great clean refreshing bready malts, citric/grassy hop one, two combo. No fireworks just super pale, malts with flavor this is fancy white bread. Very enjoyable session beer don't expect much complexity just a malt driven lager with many positive attributes...I'm a fan of the light body pale color and tasty malt bill. I could use a tad more hops, but there are some nice herbal grassy characteristics going on. Overall, what a refreshing Summer Helles should definitely deliver...a thirst quenching characteristic lawnmower style beer.

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a bright, very pale gold color, about as light as yellow get. It begins with a chill haze that fades quickly to show complete clarity. The head is perfectly white, a fluffy pillow one finger tall that falls slowly to a layer that's possibly contributed to by carbonation slowly but constantly rising from the bottom of the glass. Lacing remains in broken rings and patches.
This beer has all the trademarks of the style: the grass/hay component (in this one more of a dried grass), mild sulfuric notes, a light mineral quality, and crackery malts with grains lying underneath. it's got a hint of leaf, too, and is appropriately dry, crisp and clean with mild bitterness, as the style dictates.
It's dry in its light but deep body, nice and smooth with as much of a clean feel as taste, lightly but very consistently carbonated and crisp all the way.
Say what you will about the style, this beer gets it right in every aspect.

Photo of secondtooth
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, clear straw golden, with an excellent and thick head of white carbonation. Beautiful and detailed lace.

Nose is crisp malts and grains, pretty well typical and traditional for a lager.

Taste is similar, with sweet malts coming in prior to a touch of dry hops. Simply a solid helles lager, and an enjoyable light brew for warm weather.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The summer Helles from New Belgium is a great offering. The beer poured a pure clear yellow with white head that is lacing down the entire glass. The scent carries mostly graining hops. The taste is close to a pilsner...light and crisp with grass and grain flare. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a nice summer session ale.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger and half of head on a clear light straw colored body. Lots of bubbles.
The aroma is lots of grain and a little lemon and orange.
The taste is fairly mild to start, the middle has a mild to moderate bit of lemon and grapefruit bitterness. The finish is short and sweet.
The body is light with a good fizz to it.
Enjoyable. Nice for a warm day.

Photo of 19SKHJR57
2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours bright clear light gold with a small head, leaving a fair amount of streaky lacing.

S - Light, bread like malt and a faint aroma of dank pears maybe?

T - Not as nice as the aroma, that's for sure...and the aroma is definitely lacking. Somewhat watery for the style, which, IMHO, is supposed to be fuller and bursting with deeper semi-sweet malts and a mildly hoppy bitter aftertaste.

M - About the right amount of carbonation for this style. Light to medium body - more on the light side. Not too dry, which is the way I believe a helles should be.

O - This lager is easy-drinking and refreshing when cold - but that's about it. Not that I was expecting this beer, as new as it, is, to be all that good. After all, which American craft beer brewer has the guts to attempt brewing a decent helles? One of the most difficult styles to get right. Nice try, NB, but I have to say this one is a dud. I suppose I'm still looking for that "holy grail" - a great, domestically brewed American helles that mimics the great helles lagers of SW Germany.

Photo of HalfFull
3.22/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. This Helles pours bright and light in color. Light straw with good clarity and a half inch of white foam. Looks like a Bud Lt. Touch of funky hop notes on the nose, not much variety but a pleasant hop and grain sense.

Taste brings some lemon and a balancing pils malt light bready character. Pleasant finish, slightly sweet. Simple style done fairly well though still just an old school all malt lager with a slightly more complex mouthfeel. Easy and unobtrusive.

Photo of bwood06
3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
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

Photo of Treyliff
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by November 16 2014, poured into a pint

A- pours a crystal clear pale yellow color with a small foamy and creamy white head that retains fairly well

S- faint flowery and grassy hops, crackery malt with some clean earthy aromas

T- floral and grassy hops up front are complimented by toasted cracker, slightly sweet malty finish

M- light-medium body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish

O- easy drinking summer bee, not on the level of the German originals, but very drinkable

Photo of Ohiolager
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

New Belgium Summer Helles Lager 6pk bottles $8.99(OH)

12 oz odd shaped brown bottle poured into a stemless white wine glass. Freshness date marked on lower corner of label.

Pours a pale gold, almost fizzy yellow color. 2 two finger head that doesn't last long, but gives way to decent lacing.

It smells just like a Heineken. Heavy German malts, barely any hops just enough to balance it out.

It tastes just like a Heineken too. Sweet German malts, grassy doughy.

mouth feel is OK. carbonation is good. not flat not too bubbly.

Overall New Belgium is 0/3 in my book. I was expecting this to be like a hofbrau or weinhenstephaner. Why copy a Heineken, as a seasonal to boot. Heine's available year around and for cheaper. The best thing about this is the brown bottle, pretty much guaranteed a non skunked Heineken.

Photo of goochpunch
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a pale gold with a light haze. A good deal of bubbles in the body. Thin, white head. Smell is too grainy for me to be calling it a helles lager. I expect to smell more breadiness and honey. Flavor works out a lot better. Way maltier than the smell would have you believe. There is a grainy character to it, but it isn't too overbearing. I only knock it for the slight NB house taste, which throws me off. Mouthfeel is prickly, spritzy, and light-bodied. Overall, I like this, but it's not the best lager out there.

Photo of Beejay
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Very pale yellow. Like a watered down chardonnay, bud light would wonder how it is so light. Exceptionally clear. Nice full head of bright white foam that quickly turns into a rocky texture.

S: Light grain, A touch of herbal, and that distinct lager yeast smell. Perhaps a touch of a biscuity sell in there as well. The smell is light and crisp.

T: Crisp light and refreshing. Grain flavors with a hint at herbal hops. The finish is light, and slightly fruity.

M: Super light, and high carbonation. Soft feeling beer, but there is a little bit of carbonic bite at the end. A slight linger as you finish the sip.

O: Overall it is quite a tasty beer, although I wish it had just a little more character. My initial thought was that NB finally managed to brew a beer Bud would be proud of. On second thought though I think it is a good summer brew, and might bring in some people who would normally pass on the Micro market.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


12oz picked up at the COOP a couple nights ago... Pours a crystal clear light golden... 1" sudsy white head... great retention and good lacing.

Nose shows expected grainy maltiness... grassy hops... something weird that I associate with graham crackers that doesn't quite jive along style guidelines, but isn't off-putting.

crisp malt with just enough bitterness to balance.. malt/hop balance is fine, but a residual crackery essence that appeared on the aroma is odd to me.

Great body and carbonation... pretty darn drinkable... I will buy it again.

Cool to see a big brewery doing something like a Helles... It could be cleaner without the residual malt impact, but it is still well done.


Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Belgium Summer Helles has a rather thin, white head, a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of pungent, sweet, bready, barley malt, and the flavor is of biscuit, sweet malt, and not particularly bitter hops (I would have never guessed 31 IBU). Mouthfeel is medium, and New Belgium Summer Helles finishes crisp, refreshing, and drinkable. A very nice beer, yet, I can't say that it's any better than, say, Budweiser or Coors, so that has to be taken into consideration with a purchasing decision.


Photo of rlee1390
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

Photo of betobeer
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Good lager.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle pours a stunningly clear straw color with a fair coating of white head. Not a whole lot for retention and lace.

Nose is herbal hops, light grains and a good dose of sulfurous lager yeast. Some lemon aroma is in here too. Not nearly as delightful to sniff upon as the best German versions when fresh...the grains dont have that fresh crushed aroma and the hops are not as grassy as I would prefer.

The taste follows suit with an odd lemon-y aspect that is out of place here and the malt is nearly as light as an adjunct lager. It does have a smooth mouthfeel with a crisp snap at the end. Overall Im pretty disappointed in this one as it tastes closer to an AAL than a good, traditional German Helles. This feels rushed and just not a well thought out beer.

Photo of Chiefy770
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fluid ounce bottle. "Enjoy By" date of September 28th, 2014.

Poured into a Pilsener glass.

Appearance: Very light gold body. A weak foamy head tried to linger around but collapsed quickly. Plenty of bubbles circulating through this translucent body.

Smell: Grainy. Cornbread. Grass from the hops.

Taste: Grains upfront. Very weak hops try to take control of the taste but failed to do so. Bready taste all around with a bitter grassy taste that tries to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Light body. Medium-High carbonation.

Overall: Refreshing? Yes. Complex? Not so much. It would be a nice session beer for the summer but the complexities just are not there. Very little from the hops.

Photo of rickjane
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light color with a head that quickly dissipated in my standard pint glass. Pleasant smell with just a hint of citrus. Light, crisp taste that hit the spot on a hot day. Good amount of carbonation. Overall, not as memorable as I had hoped, but I'm still looking forward to finishing off the six pack. Picked up my pack on sale for $7.99.

Photo of patre_tim
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

A: Straw, clear filtered with some small white particles floating within, 3 fingers of white head. Little carbonation.

S: Corn, snow, white grapes, white wine, light golden malts.

T: Light golden malts, corn, white grapes and white wine, then a fresh dough bomb hits you. Light bitter hops on the end.

M: Light medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

O: Well done lager by New Belgium. Got this one at Krogers in Frankenmuth, MI in May, drank in New Hamburg, ON, Aug 19th, 2014.

Photo of jjamadorphd
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A decent offering from New Begium just in time for the summer. This brew is overall is spectacular, but certainly pretty good and very sessionable. What I wasn't overly wow'ed with were it's appearance (standard golden beer color) and its taste (just slightly better than your run-of-the-mill lager.) I did find its strong, yeasty smell very appealing (reminding me of the good ol'big, fat yeast roll) and it was one of the smoothest beers I've had in a while. So, not the best I've had from New Belgium, but certainly good enough to go out and partake of some more.

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Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.