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

Summer Helles - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Summer HellesSummer Helles

Educational use only; do not reuse.

601 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 601
Reviews: 81
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.12%
Wants: 13
Gots: 107 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 601 | Reviews: 81 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -11%

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.


Photo of Oops
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of Metaltildeath
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of kruky
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of JayHesch
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of DUG2487
5/5  rDev +44.1%

Photo of maddog1495
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of shoretaxi
2.36/5  rDev -32%

Photo of markallmon
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of myteam24
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of Basoos1
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of everythingiszen
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Hay colored and crystal clear. A bit light on flavor, and ABV for the style, but not a bad overall experience. Mildly refreshing. Not all that different from living the High Life. Wish it had a bit more head.

Photo of Zamboni332
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of ZEB89
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%

Let's see what New Belgium has to offer in the Lager category.

Serving style : As always, 12 oz glass bottle poured for appearance.

Appearance (3.5) : Crisp apple juice body, alive with bubbles. Transparent but thick enough to show character. 1 finger soapy head that diminishes rather quickly. Some residual flecks of lacing are left on the glass as the beer disappears.

Smell (3.75) : Fresh peach, corn, some orange spice (like a wit), not-quite-musty grains, all alive with freshness and crispness. The bottle presents some floral character, too.

Taste (3.25) : Pretty decent but not groundbreaking. It's got this twisted corn kernel flavor intertwined with sour wheat and hops; which then morphs into a bitter lightly syrupy feel and ends with a pleasant fresh cornbread flavor.

Mouthfeel (3) : Smooth, carbonated, and lightly creamy. Light bodied and the creaminess ever so slightly bumps it closer to a light-medium body.

Overall (3.3) : This beer started off promising and kind of did a landslide from there. I would say that this is like an advanced, slightly craftier Miller High Life. Except for the fact that High Life is perfectly good on its own, so why bother? Summer Helles is probably better than some beers in the Lager category, but you may as well pick up a macro because you aren't gaining much here.

Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

I had this on-tap in a New Belgium pint glass at Special Brews in Lynnwood, WA.

Appearance: clear golden hue with a light effervescence. Head is a thin layer of frothy white foam. Looks refreshing!

Smell: rather sweet malt aroma with a light, orchardy fruitiness and a lightly floral hop character. Pretty enticing!

Taste: sweet and fruity malt flavor right off the bat. Hops are floral, fruity and perhaps a little bit noble in character. It's fresh and sweet, although maybe a little more so than the traditional formula. Still, it is among the better non-sour New Belgium offerings I've had.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a moderate carbonation but a pretty nice creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a highly drinkable lager. Maybe a little sweet, but I could probably knock back quite a few of these. I'd definitely have this again.

Photo of TheyCallMeYukon
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of HooRy9er
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ZorroZ
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of BRYeleJR
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of kevinmaher
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of WKrieger
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.