Heavenly Helles - Church Street Brewing Company
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
2.51/5 rDev -30.3%
So, I really wanted to like this. This beer is brewed fairly close to where I grew up and I was excited to see this brewery start to bottle and flourish. Unfortunately, when drinking this beer all I think about is how this isn't anything better than a Budweiser. It's a fine lager and does the job, but there are much better craft beers out there.
02-15-2014 20:03:56 | More by daveh88
3/5 rDev -16.7%
What d'ya know? Another locally-brewed German-style lager! Excited to see this in my neighborhood. Brown longneck with a spot on the label for a bottling date... left blank.
A -- Rather hazy god with a thick, dense white head.
S -- Mildly spicy - nearly earthy - hops. Light breadiness coming through with a good swirl.
T -- Hmm. Somewhat sour, vegetal character. Mild citrus, some bready malts fighting the good fight, but not winning the battle. Some nice, spicy bitterness in the finish.
M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light-medium body.
O -- Just a little disappointed That this isn't clean and malty, as a good Helles ought to be. I have the feeling this beer didn't get a good fermentation or lagering; shows how difficult it really is to make a good Lager.
Also wish the dating machine had hit the labels on this sixpack, but the store proprietor assured me this beer hit the store last week.
02-07-2014 22:03:22 | More by steveh
3.9/5 rDev +8.3%
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.
02-05-2014 03:49:34 | More by schleprock
4/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
01-24-2014 16:44:31 | More by falloutsnow
3.16/5 rDev -12.2%
A - golden and hazy with a thin white head that fades to a foam quickly
S - sweet aroma, grain, grass, yeast, fresh air
T - sweet, Munich malt, vegetal, grassy, nutty yeast, spicy Noble hops, slightly sour finish
M - smooth, creamy body, lighter than medium body, crisp finish with a faint pepperiness tingling the palate
O - If I'm going to drink this style I would choose something from Germany. I really wanted to like this more, but it's pretty average in my opinion.
01-20-2014 22:40:36 | More by barnzy78
4.4/5 rDev +22.2%
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.
12-05-2013 03:53:24 | More by bing1985
3.5/5 rDev -2.8%
12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Another new local brew from Church Street Brewing, out of Itasca, Illinois, acquired at the local beer store. Expectations are moderate based on my experience with Church Street Brewing Brimstone IPA.
Poured into a Houlihan's pint glass.
A - Pours a nice clear golden straw colored body with just under a finger of white foam that fades quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles lazily floating topside. Leaves no lacing. Clearly, it doesn't look like much, but a classic appearance of the style.
S - Smell is of corn, grain, wheat, grass, and bready pilsner malt.
T - Taste follows the nose: grainy corn, wheat, grass, faint lemon, dried bitter earthy hops, and a metallic mineral presence. A nice drinking beer, but there has always been something about the coarse grainy corn presence about this still that puts me off just a bit. Still, befitting of the style.
M - Feel ends grassy and dry with some lingering dried hop bitterness / stickiness clinging to the palate. Medium-light bodied with good carbonation.
Overall, a nice Chicago example of a traditional German styled beer. Lager lovers be on the look out for this one.
Church Street Brewing Heavenly Helles Lager ---3.5/5
11-13-2013 18:54:48 | More by mfnmbvp
1.95/5 rDev -45.8%
Had this at the brewery. Not sure what they are trying to accomplish with this. I understand that the whole pale ale ipa thing may be getting over done but trying to micro brew German lagers is a tough row to hoe.
The beer had typical German lager bitterness on the front an a sweet funk on the back end. Not full flavored at all. I had a sample and then ordered a pint just to be sure I wasn't missing anything. Drank most of it and left the rest.
Tasted like a Becks.
10-25-2013 22:39:18 | More by SteveKay
4.25/5 rDev +18.1%
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!
08-05-2013 22:18:01 | More by filstan
Heavenly Helles from Church Street Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.