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Helles Lager - Rivertown Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Helles LagerHelles Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

75 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 3
Gots: 10 | 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:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-04-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of seanhug
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of rmehughes
2.5/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of kruthy
2/5  rDev -41.2%

Photo of Ryan011235
1.92/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 1/10/12

Timid, watery, faded manner of golden yellow so wimpy it looks artificial. I got to spend some time describing the color while the four inches of eruptive foam calmed down (took its merry time, too). Uneven wave of retention and a couple globs of lace.

The aroma doesn't seem so bad; perhaps even pleasant - prairie grass, damp pollen, clean grains and hints of mild spice. There's a lemon grass element as well, but I'm concerned the lemon smells too... pungent.

Sip. Hmm. Not good. Thin. Over-carbonated. The taste is that of what I can only describe as burned prairie grass and such. Like when the teenagers got bored and stopped by OSUM. Tart lemon, dull grain, metallic hops. There is a skeevy dirtiness on that back end that puts shame to the term "off flavor." It gets worse as it warms. Yuck.

I don't know how, but it feels like my mouth has turned to a smoldering ember after each drink. WTF?

Photo of mcorwin
4/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Schneic8
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Clear golden copper color with lots of carbonation. It has a white head that seems to last.

Smell: Floral hops smell is kind of faint. Also has a slightly sweet grassy aroma.

Taste: Initially it is crisp and clean. I get the floral hops throughout and it finishes with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a smooth crispness with mild carbonation. Goes down easy with a slight bitterness that is refreshing.

Overall: Decent beer. It seems a little watered down but has a nice overall flavor. I had a really hard time pouring this beer, there was a lot of carbonation. I would like to try again.

Photo of tsauce2
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a tulip glass

A: SRM is bright golden hue. Crystal clear, medium heavy carbonation, white head is .5 in thick, dissipates to cling the rim.

S: Slight bread and banana notes, crisp lagered smell.

T: Crisp, clean malted notes followed by a slight banana note coupled with slightly yeasty/bready taste.

M: Light yet full bodied. Carbonation gives a nice tingle, malts give a rounded and full texture. Pilsner lager feel. Aftertaste is crisp and sharp.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Reminiscent of hefe and pilsner characteristics. Easy to drink.

Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy pale yellow in color. The head is white, fluffy and very plentiful. Very nice, with a long lasting head.

S: There is a light fruit fragrance, as well as a sweet bread note. The fruity fragrance reminds me of a sweeter sparkling wine.

T: Crisp with a nice light fruity flavor. There is a cracker, or bread taste to this that I like a lot. The finish has a bitter hoppy flavor that I think balances the sweetness.

M: Medium in body, actually a touch thicker than I would imagine. The carbonation is fairly high and appropriate to the style.

O: Overall quite nice, something that is crisp and easy drinking. I would certainly choose this of the plethora of other lager options which flood our markets these days.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a really light yellow with a big frothy white head. I think it looks quite nice, and light. Almost BMC-ish, but a real head, and a respectable body.

S - THis weird molasses sweetness dominates. I've noticed this in other Rivertown Beers and other small breweries...It's not a good thing. Especially in such a light style, it tends to dominate. Otherwise, you have some light crisp malts, maybe a hint of citrus, but it's hard to tell.

T - Light malts and a touch of vanilla. None of that funny sweetness from the nose, except on the finish. It's light and pleasant and enjoyable.

M - light, thinnish, a touch dry.

O - not perfect, but it's a decent pale lager. Some funny stuff in the nose could be cleared up.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, single bottle bought for $1.59. Served in a pilsener glass, the beer pours a slightly hazy light gold color with about a half inch white head. The head retention is good, but there isn't much lacing left on the glass. The aroma is a little light overall, the brew smells like bready malt, sweet malt and a bit of grassy hops. It mostly tastes like grain/bready malt, along with some light grassy hops and lemon peel. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's nice and crisp with good carbonation. It's also easy to drink. I think it's a solid overall brew, it's nice and enjoyable to drink, and definitely worth trying.

Photo of aasher
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very light and moderately clear faint gold in color with a light white lacing around the glass. When it first poured it even resembled a chardonnay. It eventually gained a light cloudiness. It smells of pilsner malt with a light sweet malty finish. It's moderately grainy. Upon my first whiff I even thought I got some ever so light white grape. Interesting and light. It drinks very clean and light and has moderate carbonation. Overall this one is okay, and I like when American breweries cover this style, but this one doesn't separate itself from the others.

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very pleasant Helles - crisp, bright malt body with a bit of toasted biscuit in the malt. A touch of grassyness with hints of lemon. Easygoing character makes for a good session candidate. I'd like to see this brewery get a bit wider distribution.

Photo of jkrich
3.85/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated, 12 oz. bottle: very pale gold to yellow with a slight haze. The foamy white head dissipated quickly.
The aroma was freshly malty with some lemony hop aroma.
The flavor was crisp, refreshing and zesty with a nice lemon-like aftertaste. Though the flavor is tilted toward the malt, the noble hops give the lager good balance.
Clean and refreshing mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The body was heavier than many helles style lagers I have tried.
What an excellent way to end a rather long work week during an especially hot summer. This is an ideal quaff - I finished this in no time and found myself reaching for another.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Bodega in Columbus, $4.50 per pint. Clear pale golden color, about a cm of foam that sinks to a filmy layer. Bready aroma, neutral and a little grainy, very little impact from hops (appropriately). Nice flavor, nothing offputting at all. Just a solid and unassuming Helles Lager. Good carbonation and body, no real complaints with this beer.

Photo of Natural510
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle; laser dating on the bottom of the bottle puts it at early December 2010.

Pours a pale, hazy straw color with ivory-white head and a sturdy ring of residual lacing.
Scent is virtually nonexistent; however in this style that is not a bad thing as the intent is clean, crisp notes.
Initial sweetness from a light malt, met with the balancing of a crisp, pronounced hop bite. An overall flavor of grain, hay and slight breadedness. Smooth, clean finish.
Mouthfeel is in-line with the style; crisp, astringent, somewhat buttery.
Quality helles lager in true Bavarian fashion (as opposed to a mediocre American imitation). I'll be seeking more offerings from this small, local brewery...

Photo of projectflam86
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear golden color with a thick white foam that leaves decent lacing.

S- The nose is mostly cooked cereal and straw with some malt sweetness. Hard to describe, but it smells "clean".

T- Very plain, but not in a bad way. Clean upfront with a touch of bitterness and a sweet malt finish with hardly any alcohol. Biscuits and lightly toasted grains.

M- Light bodied with nice carbonation.

O- Overall a very easy drinking beer that was a touch boring but still solid.

Photo of Cannoneer
3.36/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was a bit strange.
The beer pours out of a bottle an unimpressive grayish-lemon tinge. The head is almost non-existent. So much for the looks.

The smell is quite intriguing, however. The strongest first note is that of fresh yogurt. Some lemon zest afterward. Eager to take a first sip.

It's sweet. Almost too sweet for my taste. I can't drink more than a couple of bottles of this lager. It seriously needs a hops infusion. It may be OK for some traditional Bavarian foods, such as a pretzel with mustard, but it's just too sweet for my taste. I'll probably not get it again.

Photo of chiefydawg
4.25/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep yellow, brightly clear with nice carbonation activity. Bubbles push up one tall, thick, foamy, tiny-bubbled head. Quite pretty.

Whoa. Just realized this was bottle conditioned when I added the rest of the beer in. Cloudier and chunky now, but that was from my careless pour. I like the conditioning, and will ignore the results from it in the score.

Dry bread, saltine crackery, with some light biscuit to round out the malt nose. The latter gives it almost a sweet smell. Very faint noble hop aroma and pretty devoid of yeast scent as well, besides a wisp of what you might encounter walking into a cold orchard. Immensely clean.

The taste is a clone of the smell, except the hops make a subdued yet immense contribution to the flavor's vibrance. Crisp without bitterness, nicely balanced. Sweetens and fills out a bit as it warms and the carbonation settles. No brewing flavor flaws.

Just enough creamy mouthfeel to let you know it is there, but not enough to keep one from gulping if they want. Easy on the chops, this is decidedly a session beer dream: incredibly easy to drain without thought, but enough to discuss in case any thought is given.

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours a pale yellow lager with a huge four finger width medium bubble head. Leaves lots of islands of residual lacing as the head dissipates to a small film.

S. Lots of woodsy, earthy hops. Some biscuit malt.

T. Bready/biscuity malt with some floral hops and a bit of grape flavor.

M. On the thin side of medium body with a robust level of carbonation.

D. It's damn hot in my house tonight and this is cool and refreshing. Perfect brew when it's hot outside.

Photo of Infamous7100
4.06/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Call me a homer, but I really enjoyed this brew.
A: Poured a golden/straw color into my pilsner glass with a very thin head. Little to no lacing. Beautiful.
S: Not much in the aromatic department, but I can pick up on a little of the hops.
T: Nice balance between the hops and malt. Neither is overpowering and they play well off of each other. For lager, it's has distinct flavor that's hard to place.
M: Medium carbonation but oh so crisp and refreshing, flavor remains for just a bit after sipping.
D: Due to the great taste and easy going body of this beer, this is definitely session worthy.

Photo of BayerischBier
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

girlfriend brought them. 4 hrs in the fridge.

A: beautiful golden and clear color with some white-ish head.

S: smell comes with some floral aroma. almost like your neighbor would cut the lawn.

T: some tart finish is surprising after a low hop profile on the first taste. the grass flavor dominates and almost destroys the Helles-experience.

M: carbonation is ok. thin but medium body. grass-like taste with dry finish

D: clean lager and somehow refreshing. Not really hitting my spot as a Helles. Had one and switched to a wheat. Not very drinkable in 'mass'.

Photo of hooliganlife
3.99/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks bamadog!

pours a very light copper. very clean and pure. light fizzy white head that disappeared quickly. no retention which bummed me out.

up front, strong biscuit and bread with faint crisp floral pilsner hops.

lots of malt flavor but in a light way. light crisp flowery hops to balance this out. very clean and a great malty aftertaste.

a bit thin but the moderate carbonation fills it out.

this is very drinkable. i enjoyed this, very balanced, although could use a bit more dominating flavors. this would be a wonderful summer beer.

Photo of nlmartin
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served in a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a bright clear yellow. The head is quarter inch high good head retention. The head has a white coloration.

Smell: Light grassy aroma leads the aroma. A bit of lightly sweet grain. Clean aroma.

Taste: The beer has a nice crackery malt presence. The hops have a nice grassy floral bitterness. The hops have a medium intensity. The beer doesnt blow me away but I will definately have this around for my macro loving buddies.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is light but not watery. The flavors and aromas are clean. The carbonation works well with the beers overall character. This is a nice throw back beer.

Photo of chaz01
4.05/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at Dilly Deli's in a Guiness pint glass, served with my lunch.

A: Clear golden-yellow color, thin white head.

S: Light grassy, hay, floral aroma.

T: Very nice crisp grassy flavor, a little hop notes and some apple tartness on the finish.

M: Well carbonated, thin to medium bodied with a clean dry finish

D: Very clean and refreshing, would go well on a hot day. Paired great with my Shrimp & Asparagus Salad.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - decent bright golden straw color, a brief fizzy head disappears quick but manages to leave a few swaths of lace on the glass.

Aroma - a touch of grain sweetness, pilsnery hops too. Fresh and as it should smell.

Taste - crackery malts open up, again with an element of sweetness but not overdone. The hops are moderate, not very bitter, but assertive just the same. They do a great job of balancing up to the swallow. They resolve to a little more pils (Saaz?) bitterness on the swallow, even a flint or gunpowder kind of note. Leaves some nice flavor balance on the finish. Very authentic stuff, Zinzinnati OFest bound I believe.

Mouthfeel - crispness is the most notable thing here. The body is lagerishly smooth without being too heavy. 3.5

Drinkability - a nicely done Helles. Ought to hold its own come warmer climes and should taste just as good if the Cincinnati heat gets to it a bit, though mine is steadily disappearing.

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Helles Lager from Rivertown Brewing Co.
78 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.