Helios Pale Ale | Upland Brewing Company

94 Reviews
Helios Pale AleHelios Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 05-01-2009

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 241
Photo of bwood06
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Following a recent marathon that I raced, my and my wife's families all got together and went to Upland Brewing Company for dinner. Dad and I got there first so we decided to go ahead and grab a beer while we waited. Naturally, we went for an Oktoberfest first. Then we all ordered different beers to pair with our meals. I can't remember which one of us ordered this one, but I got a few sips regardless.

This beer features a white head that is quite thin and dissipates quickly to a thin lacing. The beer itself is clear and a bright golden color with light carbonation visible. 3.75/5 the aroma is quite hop forward, mainly on the citrusy side (Citra hops perhaps?). Notes of tangerine, orange, and grapefruit juice really pervade. There is not much in the way of citrus rind, mainly just flesh and juice. There is a bit of light white bread that comes through, showcasing the light malt used. 3.75/5 The flavor is surprisingly sweet, although it is not a strong sweetness by any stretch of the imagination. White bread comes through initially before quickly transitioning to tangerine, orange, grapefruit juice, and finally a bit of citrus rind. The rind note really brings out the bitterness of the hops with a bitterness that is moderate and lingers for quite some time after swallowing. 4/5 This beer is light to medium bodied with a light carbonation burn up front that leads into moderate drying, with the drying lingering just slightly on the palate after swallowing. 4/5 This pale ale is really a well executed APA that does not go overboard on the bitterness. The sweetness and bitterness are well balanced and utilize various hop flavors very nicely. I would say that this one is quite sessionable, with or without food. 3.75/5

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Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Good amount of suds on top, nearly clear pale copper hue. Hints of orange zest, toasted grain, yeast, and a mild herbal hop in the nose. Light to medium body with a slightly fluffy crispness. Mild toasted malt character, bready as well. Ample hop bitterness to balance, touch of citrus rind and green tea flavor. Love the balance, drinkable. Sometimes simple is better.

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Photo of Tilly
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Maybe unfair to do this beer. Bottled January 2013!
Hazy golden amber with a thick white head that leaves a lacey rim on the glass.
Subtle grapefruit, fruit, malt aromas. A hint of pine.
Malty, grapefruit, fresh bread and sweet taste.
Mouth feel is dry, crisp with a touch of bitterness.
Good beer. I wonder if the late date was wrong?

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Photo of BWED
3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Slight haze, bronze copper. Off-white head leaves thin, wispy lacing. Retention is only okay.

S- Grapefruit, stone fruit, toasty malt, very slight pine. Really wonderful.

T- Mild toast and subtle fruit sweetness. Subtle pine as well.

M- A little bitterness, but body is light and carbonation is very low.

O- Great nose, but taste and feel are underwhelming.

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Photo of explorer101
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Musty hop flavors and spent grain malt flavors with a decent mouthfeel make for a decent beer. I don't think I'd ever seek this out, but its not bad.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is my first review of an Upland brew. Not the best pale ale I've ever had, but you could do much worse. Hazy yellow color with very little head, thin lacing. Definite bread and malt aromas. Bread came through the strongest in the taste and aroma. Soft mouthfeel, not a ton of carbonation here. Fresh tasting, pretty standard pale.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

Have I really never had a Helios before? Wow. Well, this stuff pours a clear amber-gold topped by a short finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild cedar, flowers, very light pine resin, and an undercurrent of soft, nutty caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, that cedar sensation coming back in full force. Despite assurances of freshness, things just taste faded to some degree. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent pale ale at best, one that just kinda bored me and seemed somewhat lazy.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Orange, almost transparently clear, with a small white head, very light.

S - Hops, with a pine note, and cracker malts.

T - Follow the nose, but a fairly flat experience. A bitter pine, fruit pith flavor, with a cracker flavor from the malt, fading quickly to its close. No lingering flavor.

M - Brisk, light and clean.

O - An easy drinker, but one that leaves quickly without leaving a trace.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a deep, clear gold with a white film for a head.

Smells of dry woody hops and bready malts with a hint of grassy freshness.

The taste is pretty much the same: dry hops, slightly bitter with a woody undertone, mixed with a bready maltiness.

Medium to thin body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

An above average sessionable ale with decent flavor and acceptable drinkability. Nothing special but not offensive and good for what it is.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with the label notched at bottled on November 2013. My first beer from Upland Brewing Co., acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a lightly hazed yellow-orange colored body with about a finger of soapy white head. Some sediment and carbonation visible in the glass. Some thin scattered lacing. Looks good for the style.

S - Smell is light and faint. Mostly just a pale & caramel malt bomb. Very bready, with some honeyed sweetness, and faint herbal / grassy hop presence. Some yeast must.

T - Taste is much more enjoyable than I would have expected, based on the nose. Still a malt bomb, but very pleasant. Lots of bready, honeyed malt sweetness, and some lightly herbal / earthy / grassy hop presence. Mild lemongrass / citrus character. Quite enjoyable.

M - Feel is crisp, bready, and mildly sticky / bitter / resinous / dry on the finish. Light bodied with nice carbonation.

Overall, fairly tame and uninspired, but I found it to be enjoyable. A crisp, easy-drinking, light session beer. This would be a perfect go-to summertime beer for pairing with some BBQ. I would have it again, and I look forward to more from Upland Brewing Co.

Upland Brewing Helios Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.71/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From: Gifted by KR, thanks
Date: Bottled 2013-10-??
Glass: Standard US pint glass

Upland's Helios Pale Ale is a fairly below average offering, the whole beer coming across as rather bland and uninspired aside from a somewhat harsh bitterness. Disappointing, I've homebrewed far more interesting and arguably better beer than this: would not drink again.

Pours a 1.2cm tall head of slightly off-white colored foam. Retention is somewhat above average, the foam lasting about 1.5 minutes in descent to a thin film atop the body of the beer, thicker around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is good, with some thick and large dots, lines, and patterns clinging to all sides of the glass. Body is a dark golden orange to light copper color, with light bringing out pale and brighter golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, few in number and low in activity.

Aroma is a bit vague, rather muted, and generally uninteresting: slight sweetness from a pale and caramel malt combination, some honey, and a hint of floral hop usage. The result is similar to a sweet tea with hints of generic flowers.

Flavor is fairly dull and uninteresting, with some "muddy" and watery pale malt meets caramel malt sweetness tempered by a bit of grapefruit, pine, flowers, and bitterness, the citrus and pine a bit dull, the bitterness a bit harsh. Front of palate picks up some slight citrus and tropical fruit flavor from hop usage and perhaps ale yeast esters, this mixed with a bit of pale malt sweetness. Mid-palate of pale malt sweetness with a touch of caramel-like sweetness, which is heavily moderated by a somewhat harsh hop bitterness and phenolic character that eventually triumphs over the malt flavors. Back of palate experiences medium-strong hop bitterness with a bit of sharp phenolic character, very light grapefruit citrus and pine, and the slightly caramel-like malt sweetness becoming occasionally noticeable. Aftertaste of lingering hop bitterness with a bit of astringency and some mild phenolic character, a hint of caramel-like sweetness lingering in the background.

Beer is medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a foamy (3/5) and smooth (2/5) mouthfeel that at first borders fizzy when the beer touches the tongue, also a bit watery around the edges. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A- Pours a deep golden color with a small to medium, 1.5 finger head. Head retains pretty well and also laces a good amount. Body of the beer is completely clear.

S- Mild hops presence is the dominant scent here. Not too intense, the hops flavor here is mostly piney, with just a sprinkle citrus. Rather one dimensional and not a very strong smell overall.

T- Where have the hops from the scent gone? Starts with a mild bit of hops, but really not much at all. Dominant flavor is of light, not very flavorful malts. Slight dull bitterness that is either from the hops or just a malt byproduct. Keeps this flavor throughout and no highlights as it ends very forgettably.

M- Light and somewhat crisp, this beer drinks pretty much like a lager. The lack of hops, light malts, and low alcohol make it one to drink fast and not taste much.

Overall, very disappointed with the transition from scent to taste. Ok hops in the scent are nowhere to be found in the taste. Glad it was a Christmas gift.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden in color, this ale offers a faint nose of bread/biscuit with some flowery notes. The head of foam on this beer is nice, with tightly packed bubbles that hold their form and leave lacing as you consume.

This beer has an agreeable pale ale flavor of toasted malt, some honey, pale malt, bread, and spice. There is some lemon- like citrus, a little bit of orange, and a finish that is slightly bitter.

This pale ale has a more potent taste than its nose indicates and I found its overall flavor profile pleasant and nice, even if not one of the greatest pale ale out there. I really like its thick, lumpy foam, too- it lasts and lasts and you can’t help but take notice.

Helios is the first Upland beer I have ever tried and I find it a nice representation of the style. I can’t wait to open the fridge and sample the other upland products.

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Photo of becktone
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye: Hazy gold in color, with a nice head formation and pretty good retention. Head is about one finger in retention and leaves some lace but the head falls to just a blanket and is not much more than just a covering of the beer. It would be nice to see something clearer but that isn't all that important, nicer lacing and clarity would be nice.

Nose: Floral and fruity. Good malt backbone to support it all. Slight grapefruit aroma, but overall more floral. Some spicy tones and some fruity tones from fermentation. Nice hop aroma overall. Smells of a classic APA.

Mouth: A nice pale ale, one that I'll definitely be coming back to. Nice and floral on the palate. Easy drinking. This is a quality pale ale. One that definitely hits the mark. This is one that I'd much rather buy again as opposed to Sierra Nevada. Only because it is just as good and I love supporting smaller and more local places. Great beer. Classic in flavor and feel for the style. Body is medium-light with a dry finish and adequate carbonation. Nothing to complain about here.

Overall: One that I'd definitely drink again. This isn't one that I'd really seek out, however, it is coinciding with the benchmarks of the style. It hits the nail on the head. There is nothing special about it in the area that it really stands out, but it is a beer that can and easily does define the style. This is one to get and try to get a good idea of what an APA should be. I'll be buying it again for sure!

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Photo of dmgeng
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Part of the Upland sampler pack and a staple for the Upland Brewery.

A - Clear with a gold color and coarse white head.

S - Great hoppy fragrance with a floral/citrus character that grabs your nose.

T - Has hops at the front with a floral character that has some citrus and herbal notes. Minimal sweetness bus still a complimenting malt flavor there. Some bitterness on both the tip and the finish but still refreshing. The last flavors on the palate are hop flavor with bitterness and some nice light malt.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel. Has light bitterness with some sweetness. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, a deliciously hopped APA. Very refreshing and clean pale ale. And is a good representation of the style. Great choice if you want a refreshing hopped beer without a 7.5% ABV tag. Being from Indiana I'm a little biased but seems like it could be a show winner for APA's across the country. I'd recommend it based just on my review on a nice summer day without wrecking the palate.

Glass: Shaker Pint
Serving type: bottle

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Photo of buschbeer
3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This is an amber colored beer with golden highlights. Thousands of tiny bubbles feed the three inches of fluffy, beige head.

S - I smell some bread and floral hops.

T - The taste has that bread quality that I smelled. The floral hops make a minimal addition to the taste.

M - Medium

O - It is not a bad beer, but it is nothing special.

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Photo of barczar
3.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a fairly clear light copper with a frothy inge inch cream head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

Floral hop notes and buttery tones mix with a honey sweetness and a hint of toasted breadcrust. Light resin and pine emerge.

Flavor reveals a bigger malt backbone that hits mid palate with toasted bread, wiping away the initial orange and lemon citrus character. The finish is resinous and fairly bitter. Grassy notes surface in the aftertaste.

Body is a touch light, with moderate carbonation and significant astringency.

More bitter than anticipated for the style. Fairly offputting mouthfeel, but there's substantial hop flavor.

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Photo of rangerred
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap in a pint glass.

Pours a clear light amber with a half finger white head.

The aroma is practically non-existent. I don't think I have ever had a beer with this little aroma. Maybe a faint touch of earth and caramel but that's it. Weird.

Unfortunately, the flavor was also lacking nearly as much as the aroma. A moderate bitterness comes across but a complete lack of either malt or hop flavor. Once the beer warmed to nearly room temperature, there was a little caramel and earthy hops but I really had to dig for it.

Overall, if someone is looking for a beer that tastes like water this is it. I really can't believe that lack of any aroma or flavor whatsoever. Not one I can recommend.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Semi-cloudy orange, good deal of carbonation and one finger head.

S-Malt, forward, citrus hops. Possibly turned but the bottle date says otherwise...

T-Once again overly malty, some caramel and dirt. Citrus hops balance it out with slight bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation.

O-Overly malty, I'll try it fresh at the brewpub but so far it was overly malty.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into SA sensory glass. Appearance is clear gold with some flaky floaties present. Two fingers of dense white head with some lacing. Decent retention. Nose is a bit odd, some herbal hops present along with grainy bread notes, and some character that just doesn't sit well. I can't put my finger on it... maybe a touch of skunk. The taste is robust in regards to the grainy malt profile. Fresh lemon and grass come in. Minimal bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and the body is medium, quite refreshing. OVerall, nice little pale ale, the aroma could use some work.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
bottled Feb '12
A- This beer pours a hazy light copper body with a snow white head that is thick and creamy lasting for all of the beer. There are strands of microbubbles supporting the head which starts to stick to the glass in sheets.

S- The green dry fruity hops are supported by some honey malt notes in the finish.

T- The slightly dry green hops have a herbal quality and some juicy fruit gum notes to them. There is a nice malt flavor that grows as the beer opens with some biscuit malt notes. The dried orange and spicy character to the hops comes through in the finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The great hop flavor has some nice depth and good freshness to it with a nice supportive dry malt flavor. This beer is very sessionable.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a good beer at all. Beer is yellow to amber and clear with a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention, low to moderate carbonation.

Aroma is mildly hoppy, a little malt and a little buttery.

Beer is very buttery in the mouth, strong off flavors, not a repeat, never again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This PA came out with a nice amber, slightly orange appearance. It had a good scent, slightly hoppy, but not overpowering, but nothing great, either. It had a nice, mildly hoppy flavor, but actaully ended up with a slightly sweet aftertaste, which I found unique in a PA. It goes down nice and is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled November 2011, poured into a nonic pint glass. Thanks to dlello2 for the bottle!

A- Pours a golden honey color, topped with a big fluffy white head about an inch high, leaves great lacing.

S- Some hops, lemony citrus, lightly toasted grain.

T- Decent hop bite, some citrus and grassy, floral bitterness. Some toasty malt, zesty citric and bitter finish.

M- Light-bodied, smooth, soft feel, but it's slightly watery.

O- A pretty nice beer, super drinkable, I wish I was eating right now because this is a perfect beer for dinner.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Indy Tasting Room.

A - Pours a golden/orange color, spotty lace, thin collar.

S - Light hoppy notes, toasted malts, all very subtle but that's expected for a beer just barley approaching 5%.

T - More hoppy then the nose, light grass and citrus, with a light malt notes mixed in there too. Finish is light hoppy citrus.

M - Light, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - A nice little pale that satisfied my craving for some light hops, while not blowing my palate out of the water. Decent stuff, but there are other pale's out there that I would rather have.

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Helios Pale Ale from Upland Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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