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Heavenly Helles - Church Street Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Heavenly HellesHeavenly Helles

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church Street Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 06-09-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.59/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
slight haze-yet clear. minial white head, amber, light lager color
Nose:
Typical pilsner/lager scent, fresh light malted beer
Palate:
Wow! Incredible, crisp and incrediby refreshing and enjoyable, notes of light malt, lager bite and a wonderful fruity/floral note that are just hidden enough to make you keep wanting more
Overall:
There's a reason this has been voted the best lager in Chicagoland, and now I know why. Get yourself one

-BeerandWhiskeyHQ.com

Photo of bing1985
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The finest example of the style I've had outside of Munich. Instantly reminded me of Augistiner - which is the yardstick by which I judge all Helles. I believe you could serve this in Munich without shame. I would rate this far ahead of the dreck that hofbrauhaus is peddling around the states as "export" helles.

BRight but rich. Disappears off the tongue with a flash of sweetness. Can be enjoyed by the gallon.

Photo of mjc3151
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of filstan
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In an era of hoppy, high gravity insanity, Church Street has hit the ground running with their flagship lager. Heavenly Helles is a slap back into beer drinker reality where a high ABV is not needed to deliver the full flavor of both malt and hops. This is a classic Bavarian style Helles. Difficult to brew, and hard to find one this good in the USA, Heavenly Helles should be sought after by all lager beer fans. Following a tasting at the brewery 2 weeks ago I bought a half barrel last week for the house tap system. Strong discipline is needed to not overindulge with this brew. With each sip, it calls you back for more.

Poured into a traditional German 1/2 liter glass with 3 fingers of solid foam on top, the spicy noble hops up front balance the delicate malt. The wonderful balance of this golden lager beer is authentic Bayern, and I have not drank a beer domestically brewed with this character for some time. It finishes a little on the dry side with some mild hop bitterness. Most important with Heavenly Helles it is the quaff-ability part of the equation that stands out. I think it's the balance and the mouth feel that does it. This beer does not appear to be filtered, yet the yeast has settled out almost completely. This could be considered the only minor negative of this beer that is not completely a Bavarian Helles, as those beers are usually crystal clear. I'm sure the brewer chose to restrict filtration as it might change the wonderful character of this beer.

I chose to write this review because great domestically brewed lager beer has taken a back seat to the hop/malt bomb, palate scorching, high ABV brews that have been all the rage in recent years. While those beers have their own niche, traditional lager appears to be on the rebound as witnessed by Church Street Heavenly Helles. At 5.4 ABV it can't really be called a session beer, but under 5.5 these days it can almost qualify. Ideally this one would come in at 4.8-5.2 ABV as we could drink more of it at a sitting. One can only hope more brewers follow in these footsteps.

Seek this beer out and drink it with gusto!

Photo of AZ7788
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Dinobambam
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Mike412
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a willibecher at the tap room.

Finally getting a chance to enjoy a pint from the source. Good people. The beer pours a clear straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises fresh grass, light flowers, and dry, wheaty biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, the hops shining brightly without coming across as something younger folks might deem "hoppy". The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a damn solid helles, one of the better American versions I've had. I look forward to seeing more of this around.

Photo of KingBiscuit
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of alostplot
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of KingMe
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of sbonnell
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of BRD14
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Schaumburg, IL
Date: None, assuming from very late end of 2013
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

While not a perfect replication of the Munich Helles Lager style (I'd increase the hops slightly and put more towards aroma to get there, but the malt body is right there), Church Street's Heavenly Helles is a solid take on it. The malt is made complex through the brewery's decoction mashing and the hops are able to shine and counterbalance nearly as well as in a good, fresh German version. This is as good as and more authentic than Surly's Hell, with a more robust body and overall "feel" to it. A good representation and take on the style, one that I will be picking up again or trying on tap (and this is far, far more flavorful than Beck's; anyone doubting this should do a side-by-side).

Pours a 1cm tall head of white foam, made up of small-sized bubbles that yield a frothy appearance. Retention is about average, the foam lasting around one minute in a decline to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is average-good, with a moderate number of dots and thin lines clinging to the walls of the glass. Beer is a bright, golden orange color with light bringing out yet brighter, golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the slightly hazy body (10-20% opacity), fairly low in number, moderate in activity.

Aroma is a fairly rich mix of grainy and biscuit-like sweetness, with slightly floral, grassy, and grape-like hop scents.

Flavor is of mild noble hops that contribute a slightly spicy, dried grass and low lemon citrus, and slightly grape-like flavor joined to a robust grainy and bread-like malt sweetness. Front of palate picks up bread-like sweetness joined to lightly floral and dried-grass like hops. Mid-palate of a sweet pale malt background, slight grain, bread and biscuit flavors, with a good hop showcase of dried grass and lemon citrus. Back of palate tastes grain, bread, light dried grass and lemon citrus, low hop bitterness. Aftertaste of grain, bread-like sweetness from malts, lemon and grass from hops.

Beer is medium in body, with carbonation of low intensity, leading to a full, smooth (4/5) and slightly foamy (1/5) mouthfeel that's good for the beer and the style. Closes dry, with light to medium-light stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pale straw gold, compact head of bubbly white foam that seems to dissipate to a thin skim after a minute or so. Second pour yielded a much longer lasting head and some irregular spotty lacing around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is clean and slightly scented with honeyed malt. Nothing too wild, and definitely nothing off to speak of.

Taste is clean, mild apple esters from the yeast, a very light malt sweetness, though it tapers off quickly. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, and a somewhat substantial feel. Dry aftertaste of grain husks and crackery malt. As it warms up the taste improves slightly. Pairs well with just about any food except sweets.

Helles lagers are simple by design, no one is trying to reinvent the wheel here. Ignorance of the style is one thing, but to convey that ignorance into a "review" does a disservice to everyone.

Thanks to Dan for the recommendation.

Photo of schleprock
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewery. The guy who rated this a 1.95 out of 5 doesn't seem to know beer if you look at the other beers he trashed like Delirium, Westmalle and such.

Anyhow, this is far and away the best beer at this brewery. I wasn't impressed with anything else there but this beer is top notch and as good as any German beer I've had like Ayinger.

It pours a really nice gold color with a decent head. Lacing doesn't seem to stay and leaves quickly.

Smells as you'd expect, grainy, hints of corn and bread.

The taste is awesome and this may become a major summer beer for me. I could drink a ton of these, they go down that easy. The only thing that kept me from turning this back into my college pounding days was it was so hard to get a beer at the brewery. They were filling growlers in the same place as a regular glass and those growlers take forever to fill

Has good carbonation and didn't really seem to be overly hopped, which for me was just great.

Overall, this is one hell of a beer that you can get anyone to drink and they'll come back for more. Hats off to the brewery on this one.

Photo of Brams17
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of Qbdoo
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First, I hate the name. If I'd noticed it, I would never have tried it. But I'm really glad I did. I don't buy lager much, and usually only drink it when I have to, but I'll be buying this again. It's an odd-looking color -murky orange - not really appetizing but the smell has an alluring floral character. Taste is rather complex for a lager. HIghly quaffable.

Photo of kristenrae8
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of MaxOhle
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of mic718
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of CSO
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of jmbot4371
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

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Heavenly Helles from Church Street Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.