1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

1516 Bavarian Lager - Okanagan Spring Brewery

Not Rated.
1516 Bavarian Lager1516 Bavarian Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

84 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Okanagan Spring Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The decree states that only four ingredients can be used when making beer: barley, hops, yeast and water. The result is a lager with a crisp finish and a rich golden colour.

(Beer added by: canadianbarman on 04-13-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

02-17-2012 22:32:20 | More by LampertLand
Photo of fizzyted
fizzyted

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -9.6%

12-21-2011 17:06:23 | More by fizzyted
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +6.3%

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Big, billowy white head. Dark, but transparent yellow color. Good head retention, foamy white lacing.

S - Barley malt, light hops, marijuana, and a bit of strawberries. Pretty clean and inviting for the most part.

T - It just tastes great. Not really complex in any way, but very nice. Toasty barley malt, honey biscuit, slight fruitiness, and some weedy hops linger in the finish. Nothing special, bust tasty, clean and refreshing.

M - Crisp carbonation, light-to-medium body.

D - Excellent beer for a hot day. This a lager done the right way, with an actual hop presence to it. As a side note, not so great after it warms up. Really good overall though.

12-10-2011 07:17:56 | More by Converge
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +13.9%

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 3/11/11

A clear straw yellow with just a few bubbles but produces a two finger bone white head that leaves a few partial rings of lace

S biscuit, with a little lemon with some grassy hops and hay

T a little grainy but still pretty nice, not as much noble hop flavor as the nose but still pretty decent

M crisp and clean, light and refreshing could use just a little more carbonation

O perhaps better suited for a hot summer day but I found this pretty east to drink and I'm sure I'll drink it again seeing how I can smell the brewery from moms house

I guess I liked this one more then the average BA, for style I thought it was pretty good, I consider this a macro at this point but its miles ahead of the other mass produced brews

12-03-2011 19:59:13 | More by wordemupg
Photo of papawu76
papawu76

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +20.5%

12-02-2011 21:46:19 | More by papawu76
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -8.7%

A- This is a clean, clear looking golden color that appears to have plenty of carbonation, as it aggressively rises to the top. The head isn't spectacular at first, but I have to say that what is there retains very well, settling to a creamy looking foam layer overseeing the liquid underneath. Modest lacing clings to the side of the glass, and does slowly slip back into the beer itself. Overall, an above average looking brew.

S- I think the aromas are subdued in this one, as it is mainly comprised of weak malts and dry grain. There is a faint hop bitterness at the end. Although these are familiar characteristics of a macro, there is no adjunct present and it is definitely sweeter due to the malt....it just doesn't stand out aroma wise.

T- The flavors follow the aromas closely, however, the bitterness is more astringent, and the grain profile is more prominent, providing a dryness that reminds me of the windblown, dusty prairie farms that our barley comes from...down to Earth flavor but alright I guess, with little to no aftertaste.

M- This beer is actually quite palate drying....it's too clean for the style in my opinion. The carbonation is brisk and helps scrub the palate very clean in preparation for the next swig.
Crisp and refreshing, this isn't bad at all....just not what I expected here.

O- I find this to be a nice drinkable beer....is there better out there....yes there is. With that said, this is another good brew that is suitable more for warm weather, although I think I'd quite enjoy this throughout an evening, due to the lite body this has. This isn't the best offering by Okanagan Spring, but I still think this is worthy of trying out, and is definitely better than an everyday macro.

11-29-2011 03:41:19 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of EskimoDave
EskimoDave

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +20.5%

11-21-2011 03:25:01 | More by EskimoDave
Photo of evlu1441
evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev +2.4%

The lady at the store was trying to explain where 1516 comes from. She ended up saying it was a Canadian law #1516 that established the ingredients of beer. Not quite true, but I got it anyways.

It pours a medium golden colour, and has a nice foamy head that settles down to a nice film over the beer.

The aroma is predominately grainy, with some faint caramel sweetness in the background.

It has some some crisp maltiness that is sharply accented by the hops, which come through and lend a light aromatic and slightly bitter quality to the finish.

Overall, this is a better-than-average lager. It's Bavarian inspiration is apparent and pleasing.

09-27-2011 03:05:54 | More by evlu1441
Photo of Tford
Tford

Rhode Island

2.9/5  rDev -12.7%

A: It’s another typical golden lager with a quick-to-dissipate white head, nothing special.

S: Smell? What smell? Oh, that, maybe a little grain? It’s hard to tell

T: Tastes like a slightly watered down hoppy beer. it Kind of reminds me of Carlsberg, but 1516 has a little more spice and is a little more watered down.

M: It has a medium body and could use more carbonation. It has a nice creamy mouthfeel, none the less.

O: Sub-par lager, probably a bit worse than Canadian macros. This really pissed me off (not the beers fault): the menu stated “This beer adheres to the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516, which states that no beer is to be made with preservatives or chemicals.” The lack of Preservatives is fine, but being a chemist I was a little angered at the notion that there were no chemicals in this beer, since, by definition, water and every other molecule in this beer are chemicals.... I know I’m just being prissy, but still.

06-13-2011 08:12:56 | More by Tford
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.44/5  rDev +3.6%

A Canadian Munich Helles? Yes please! Haven't had any of these in a long time, and that was just Lowenbrau.

1516 pours a light golden-straw colour with a thin head that doesn't last particularly long. An island of patchy foam in the center is fed by a stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Smell is a little muted but pleasant; barley and grass. This is what a lager is supposed to look and smell like.

Very refreshing taste. Some sweet barley malt flavour and a slight banana note is followed up by gentle Saaz hoppiness. Leafy and floral with a bitter, yeasty finish that lingers for a few seconds after swallowing. There's a lot going on, but none of it is especially unique - I hate to say that though because it's very well-made, all things said. Carbonation prickles the tongue and gives the beer an appropriately crisp, clean taste; rather light bodied.

Above average almost across the board, with no real weaknesses but no particular strengths either. If you are a fan of Munich Helles, or if you just want to try a pale lager that tastes the way pale lagers are supposed to taste, this is worth a try.

[Updated Nov. 8 2013]

I had another two bottles of this last night, courtesy of a brewery sampler. It's a decent homage to classic German lagers and is every bit as easy to session as a Munich lager is supposed to be, but coming back to it years later I find myself slightly less enamoured. A respectable selection, but both Spaten and Lowenbrau are available everywhere, dirt cheap, and significantly to slightly better.

Final Grade: 3.44, a decent B-.

05-23-2011 22:24:03 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of marty21
marty21

Manitoba (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +4.8%

On tap at 4Play sports bar in downtown Winnipeg

A: A golden colour with a small white head. Settles to a nice cap and left quite a bit of lacing.

S: Malt and grain make up the aroma.

T: Just like the aroma it's a little sweet malt and grains.

M: Light carbonation with a light body.

D: Not much to say about this one. Better then a macro but nothing special. It gets the job done. Wouldn't say no if I was offered it.

02-26-2011 07:36:12 | More by marty21
Photo of CrazyMike
CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +6.3%

Light golden appearance with thick head. The Smell is light, but picked up malt with a small amount of hops.

The taste is sweet and malty, has a medicinal touch to it. Light bodied with nice carbonation, easy to drink but not to watery. Aftertaste is dry and a bit bitter.

Overall, this is a refreshing beer, would be good for in the summer. Would recommend this.

11-07-2010 03:19:15 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of kjyost
kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

2.65/5  rDev -20.2%

Purchased as part of a 'Craft' mixed pack by the brewery

Pours very pale straw yellow, almost pilsner-like in its lightness. White head, not lasting nor lacing. Aromas are grassy without any major hop. Body of the beer is light and fairly crisp with light flavours of cooked vegetables and malt. At times I felt like I could have been drinking a Bud. That is not a compliment.

08-24-2010 02:34:58 | More by kjyost
Photo of Noxious26
Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -8.7%

341ml brown twist-off bottle poured in a pint glass. Came in a 12-pack sampler.

Pale gold and clear. Bright white head is 1/4 inch on the pour but quickly recedes to a thin cap. Hardly any lacing to speak of.

Biscuity malt on the nose. Somewhat sweet with a hint of bananas. Noble hop undertones.

Light, sweet malt off the start and joined by a bit of a banana flavour. Blends smoothly into a noble hop finish. A little noble hop aftertaste, but not too strong and doesn't hang around.

Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. Perhaps a little thin.

An interesting take on the style. The banana notes remind me of a hefeweizen, but this definitely isn't a hefe. Almost like they tried to make a bavarian lager with hefe yeast, but didn't bottle condition it.

All-in-all not a bad beer. Nothing to write home about, but considering Okanagan Springs was purchased by Sleeman's and isn't really a true craft brewery anymore, this is pretty decent.

07-04-2010 03:32:18 | More by Noxious26
Photo of Dawkfan
Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

A - Pours an extremly clear light golden yellow with 1 finger of white head that settles rather quickly. Good lacing and a noticeable amount of carbonation.

S- Not a lot in the nose except for some grassy/floral hops and light malt.

T- A little more malt in the taste than in the nose, mild hops in the end.

M- Light bodied, above average carbonation. A crisp, clean finish.

D- Although this isn't the most flavorful beer, I'd reach for this before any macro beer any day. It's a refreshing lager and it has it's place. Let's be honest, sometimes you just feel like pounding a couple of beers back and this one does the trick nicely.

02-06-2010 23:47:03 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +9.9%

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - straw-yellow beer with fast disappearing head. Surface bubbles only.

Smell - pretty fresh, creamy barley malt with a very thin amount of hops present.

Taste - pretty crisp barley flavour with a good hop punch. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - pretty smooth with a slightly peppery feel toward the end. Dry. Interesting.

Drinkability - goes down fairly well. Not a bad beer for a variety of occasions.

01-26-2010 05:13:48 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of pelicula
pelicula

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +21.4%

Smooth stands out. Bright. Distinct hop flavour to it. Medium carbonation. Nice, easy drinking lager beer. Crisp and clean. Aroma smells a little bit like wet rain smell on your clothes. Golden in colour. Very little aroma. It is held to the Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516, which states that no beer is to be made with preservatives or chemicals.

01-21-2010 09:20:43 | More by pelicula
Photo of mrmanning
mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

2.05/5  rDev -38.3%

On tap at Player's Athletic Lager Co. in London, ON- A deep golden pour topped with a frothy white cap. Nice lace and retention. Nose of creamed corn, butter, burnt sugar, yuck. Tastes of sweet churned butter, corn, vegetal hops. Buttery finish. Whet the hell is this?

07-29-2009 21:43:07 | More by mrmanning
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.7/5  rDev -18.7%

On tap at C'est's What Spring Festival. Light yellow body with noticeble white foam, and lace. Lagerish mouthfeel. Skunkish, and in the taste. Sourness in finsish and sugary.Grassy hops, fairly weak helles.Surprisingly drinkable at all for what it is.

05-24-2009 05:07:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +7.8%

In my fairly limited experience this tastes like a fairly traditional munich helles, with a soft malty profile and floral hopping.

Pours a clear yellow with a nice white head and great lace. Rounded malty aroma with a dose of herbal hops thrown in, along with some grassiness. Soft malty flavour and mouthfeel with a nice hop balance, again in the form of herbal, floral tones.

I'm not a huge helles fan, but I can appreciate a decent thirst quencher, and I think this is one. I liked okanagan's baltic porter too, so it looks like they do some good things out there.

05-23-2009 19:35:38 | More by bobsy
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

A: Clear, golden-yellow, white head, good retention, excellent lacing.

S: Floral hops with a light breadyness.

T: Nice hopping: herbal, lemon grass, light spiciness; slightly bready with a modest bitterness. It's got the flavours of the true Munich Helles, but they're fairly subtle.

M: Light to moderate body and carbonation; smooth.

D: A decent drinker.

05-23-2009 17:43:57 | More by Derek
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev +11.4%

Bumble bee yellow with steady streams of carbonation in place of black stripes. Not to say there aren't stripes, there are many all plastered down the glass in pursuit of the white head that is sinking according to the alarmingly fast pace in which the beer is being consumed. 'Helles' translates to 'light' and indeed this clear bodied beer personifies its classification.

Quintessential to a true Bavarian lager is a good dosing of prototypical German hops - I'm happy to read Okanagan went with two traditional noble varieties: Hallertau and Saaz (even though the latter are grown in Bohemia, part of the modern day Czech Republic). Unfortunately, I don't actually smell all that much of them. This bottle is scarcely three months old so I doubt they could have faded that much.

Then again, this is a Munich Helles and not a pilsner so it's not meant to be hoppy, it's meant to be malty. In that regard I'm not disappointed in the least. These slightly sweet, almost grainy malts are just as quenching as they are tasty, if not more. Assertive bitterness, clean water and sufficient carbonation combine for a very enjoyably drinkable pale lager.

The number 1516 in the name of the beer corresponds to the year in which Germany enacted the Reinheitsgebot (known in English as the "Beer Purity Law"). This legislation dictated that a beer could only be made from the basic ingredients of water, barley, and hops. (Note that yeast wasn't discovered responsible for fermentation until the 19th century).

It's only appropriate then that I read on the label that this is unpasteurized and contains no preservatives (the "all natural" statement I find a little dubious). More importantly, however, I don't actually taste any of the extracts or adjuncts that are so prominent in mainstream beers (including German ones) that have bastardized pale lagers.

German Munich Helles don't really travel all that well. Part of this is specific to the style itself, but much of it has to do with the fact that most commercial examples that make it over here are so ridden with preservatives that they really taste like a ghost of their unpasteurized self. It's good to know now that some Canadian brewers have started to fill the gap.

03-08-2009 00:51:49 | More by biegaman
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +6.3%

341ml bottle. I used to drink a lot of this back in the 90s, so it's always interesting to revisit an old standby on this site now.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden yellow hue, with two fingers of puffy, thinly foamy off-white head, which settles at a lazy, even pace, leaving some decent bonsai tree profile lace around the glass.

It smells of grainy, lightly biscuity pale malt, a certain soup cracker character hard to shake, with a bit of hard water minerality, and very subtle earthy, leafy noble hops. The flavour starts with a decent bit of floral hop bite, before soon becoming awash in a bready, crackery, and yeasty pale malt graininess; a few more earthy, weedy hops play pile-on nearly after the fact.

The carbonation is moderate for the most part, if a tad fizzy here and there, the body an adequate medium weight for the style, and generally quite smooth. It finishes off-dry, the varied bready malt carrying through, with a surprisingly peppy, edgy dry floral hoppiness along for the ride.

A fairly pleasant, if a little tame, example of the style. I do now recall tiring of its one-dimensionality when sessioning it all those years ago, post-university, but overall it's a decent enough go-to, when you just want a well-made lager of Canadian provenance.

11-28-2008 23:47:35 | More by biboergosum
Photo of aquatonex
aquatonex

New York

3.43/5  rDev +3.3%

A Helles in Calgary? Alright...

Pours a good golden color with a foamy head. Some lacing as well. A bit light in the nose, snappy hops and a little maltiness. Taste follows with light flavors (light bready malt and a little bit o hops), would have appreciated a bit more pronounced flavors but that's OK. The balance is pretty decent, keeps it pretty drinkable. Another easy drinker.

06-13-2007 21:14:07 | More by aquatonex
Photo of vanrassel
vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +6.3%

I had a few of these on April 23, in recognition of the day in 1516 the Reinheitsgebot took effect.

With that little bit of geekery taken care of, on to the beer: clear gold with a towering, three-finger white head. The head had good retention and left plenty of lace.

The aroma was an understated mix of bready malt, sweet honey and clover and spicy hops. A bit sulphurous, too, which isn't unusual and not enough to be unpleasant. The taste was well balanced between bready malt and bitter hops. Light-bodied, but a bit sticky with a malty aftertaste left on the palate.

Overall, this is an easy-drinking lager that's a step above macros.

04-25-2007 21:56:20 | More by vanrassel
1516 Bavarian Lager from Okanagan Spring Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.