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Helles Lager - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Helles LagerHelles Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

72 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 16.37%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rivertown Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-04-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fitrock2112
3.58/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured Helles into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a half of finger head.

S - The aroma is very light, some bread, pinch of hops. Nothing over powering or knocking my socks here.

T - Whew, the taste is much improved over the smell. More biscuit qualities, touch of hops. Nice and refreshing on a hot summer day.

M - The mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation.

O - This style isn't gonna wow anyone, but hits the spot and is worth a try. Cheers!

fitrock2112, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of mrfrancis
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

mrfrancis, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of davemathews68
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

davemathews68, May 16, 2013
Photo of Bill235
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Bill235, May 09, 2013
Photo of Groomsy
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

*Edit, 04/26/12* - I realize now that I was a little too harsh on this, as I was unfairly expecting a hoppy German-style pils. After doing some more research on the Helles style and having another bottle of the same brew, I've decided to re-review.

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Deep straw golden body with a short-lived head of foam that leaves no lacing behind. Carbonation dies down. Maybe if the brewery put a BOTTLING DATE on their merch, I would be able to tell how fresh this is, riiight?! Anyway, looks mediocre in the glass. Meh.

While the appearance and label alone would lead one to think of a fairly hopped pilsner, the Helles is more malt-forward. There's plenty of bready malt backed by a touch of roasty caramel and grain aroma. There is a subtle spicy/floral hop presence to support the malt presence here. I do, for some reason, pick up quite a bit of buttery/diacetyl aroma, but my nose may not be totally accurate. Fairly nice overall, and a nice mild smell to this lager.

A big dash of grainy, bready sweetness washes over the tongue with some caramel on the middle of the tongue. I'm still picking up the buttery flavor, which is a little offputting in this otherwise solid brew. There is a nice presence of spicy/floral hops on the finish that linger without overstaying their welcome. Pretty nice balance, and a rather tasty and refreshing brew.

Refreshing mouthfeel with crisp carbonation and a dry finish with subtle hop presence. Pretty refreshing brew.

While not as hoppy and dry as I'm used to for German-style lagers (e.g., pilsners), this was a nice break. Rivertown makes very solid attempts at traditional European styles, and the Helles is no exception... I'd rather have a pilsner, though. But a refreshing, malt-forward brew overall.

Groomsy, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of norinco
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

norinco, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of santa216
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clean and clear. Light straw yellow color. Big, frothy white head.

Smell: Grainy and lightly sweet aroma. Low noble hop scents and no detectable DMS.

Appearance: Clean and clear. Light straw yellow color. Big, frothy white head.

Taste: Strong pils-malt grain character. Spiciness of noble hops is present but no overwhelming bitterness is evident. Clean and crisp with slightly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation.

Overall: Really delicious Helles Lager. Slightly sweet with a underlying noble hop bitterness/spiciness. Very clean, crisp and refreshing beer, however with a bit too high carbonation for my taste. True German-Pils malts are prominently displayed.

santa216, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of crytion
3/5  rDev -12.3%

crytion, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of Kahmal
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Kahmal, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Lukass
4/5  rDev +17%

Lukass, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of RickS95
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Since I got smart and stopped drinking American macros, I've stopped enjoying this style of beer for the looks alone. Pours a dull gold. Not quite as clear as I'd have guessed, but something you can still see through. The head is bright white, a finger thick, and has only moderate retention. Attractive lace forms when swirled.

The smell was slightly complex, which was welcomed. Biscuity nose with some savory character, as well as the faintest touch of lemon.

Strong taste in that it's not watered down, malty backbone with an Earthy flavor before the hops add some savory citrus to the swallow.

Would be great in the summer, but it's cold out and it's still got a nice feel on the palate. Aggressive, crisp, flowery notes from beginning to end, with a bit of malty sweetness for balance. Crisp, acidic finish.

Overall, it's much better than I expected. More ABV would be a nice addition, but I didn't hate this and that's praise coming from me.

RickS95, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty good helles. Unfortunately, the carbonation is so high that it really does interfere with the flavor delivery. What I do get is a nice grainy lager with a consistent flavor profile though. A bit metallic and tangy. But it's passable.

RblWthACoz, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of Gabbyaboutipa
1.5/5  rDev -56.1%

Gabbyaboutipa, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of Dapperticus
4/5  rDev +17%

Dapperticus, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

With the waining popularity of industrial domestic lagers, it seems that the trend it to offer all-malt varieties that resemble the original recipes that has been bastardized by American macrobreweries. Still, many microbreweries and brewpubs both hit and miss when it comes to these time honored European styles- how does Rivertown's light lager fare?...

Its pour delivers a slighly hazed deep straw color with particulates of yeast dropping to the bottom of the glass. A partly-froth, partly-fizz head forms on the beer with fair retention and mild lace. The beer does little to seduce the eye but even an underwhelming appearance suits par.

Rich malt components provide a dense aroma of baking bread, yeast, dough, and a buttery scent that hinges on caramel. The scent of corn and apples also make headway with a richer and vegital nose. Light herbal, perhaps floral, hops struggle to rise from the dense aromas from malt and yeast contingencies.

Butterscotch, pilsner grain, and light bready malt provides the caramelly and grainy-sweet taste that's normally relegated to Bohemian pilsners of the Czech Republic. Corn and butter swirl around the malts and provide a fuller taste than "helles" lagers perscribe while also impeding the zesty hops from delivering the near-fruity middle palate or the peppery bitterness to finish.

The fuller taste manifests in fuller textures as well as the buttery profile coats the mouth and won't allow for the clean, crisp, or refreshing properties that reside in beers such as Spaten Helles.

Call it a kellerbier or a bohemian lager and I'm going to buy that much better than a helles, but even then the heightened taste and texture of corn and bitter prove too much for any lager beer.

BEERchitect, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

LJWalker, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of raznug
2.7/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It pours a clear straw golden color and is topped if a solid 3” of snow white head that really lingers.
Smell: There is a typical bready aroma that most German lagers smell like and this one doesn’t disappoint. It smell of mostly malt and light hops that hang in the background.
Taste: I taste the bready malt flavor to go along side of aroma but this beer is a little over carbonated and the bubbles blast the palate and make it kind of hard to drink.
Mouthfeel: The body of the beer is well balanced and middle of the road but I can’t get past the carbonation it is just too much.

raznug, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of M_Burkey
3/5  rDev -12.3%

M_Burkey, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of fastrodney
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

fastrodney, May 13, 2012
Photo of Lee45102
2.5/5  rDev -26.9%

Lee45102, May 08, 2012
Photo of seanote
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

seanote, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of SPriestle
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

SPriestle, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of seanhug
3/5  rDev -12.3%

seanhug, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of rmehughes
2.5/5  rDev -26.9%

rmehughes, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of kruthy
2/5  rDev -41.5%

kruthy, Jan 14, 2012
Helles Lager from Rivertown Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.