Hell Lager
Surly Brewing Company

Hell LagerHell Lager
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Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Lager - Helles
Ranked #96
Ranked #19,823
3.82 | pDev: 10.73%
May 09, 2022
Aug 26, 2008
Very Good
Hell LagerHell Lager
Notes: Not unlike a Zwickel Bier from Germany, Hell is not filtered and fermented with lager yeast. American hops takes a back seat to the Pils malt sweetness and fresh bread aroma. The color is well... hell (Deutsch for light). It's fiendishly drinkable, and you don't have to sell your soul to get another.
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3.57 by Myboymi from Kansas on May 09, 2022
4 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire on May 07, 2022
3.65 by adosen01 from Minnesota on Feb 01, 2022
3.86 by Wxd162 on Jan 13, 2022
3.75 by TwilightBeerCareer from Illinois on Dec 31, 2021
Photo of Tokidrinkstoomuch
4.88/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Tokidrinkstoomuch from Canada (MB)

its some good ass beer

Nov 26, 2021
3.5 by Hellpop65 from Kansas on Nov 07, 2021
3.86 by Luscious_Malfoy from Illinois on Oct 16, 2021
Photo of LesDewitt4beer
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Scrappy notes from 2011.
4pack of 16 ounce cans.
Has a bright gold look, a white capped head, good aromas of bread crust and malt with "spicy hops". Tastes malty with a bit more hops than I was expecting and is kind of sweet like a Zwickel beer. Quite Germanic, easy drinking lighter bodied and a little bit dry. It's very good.

Oct 15, 2021
Photo of Jacobier10
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Jacobier10 from New Jersey

12 oz can. Thanks to Chaz for hooking this up!

Been wanting to try this one for years and it did not disappoint. Beautiful, deep gold color with good clarity and a creamy head. Very inviting. Fresh Pils malt up front but there is ample presence from the hops. The flavor brings out more spicy hop bitterness than your typical Helles. Not as much of a malt showcase as others in the style. Very dry in the finish and medium-light bodied.

More hop forward than its German counterparts but tasty enough in its own right.

Sep 02, 2021
Photo of TedHead
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by TedHead from Illinois

Ours a standard translucent golden with a huge white head that dissipates into a fine cap and leaves pretty lacing all over the glass. It smells like slightly spicy grassy hops with a thin and sweet malt presence. It tastes very crisp and light, but is much heavier on the bitter finish than othe helles lagers. The malt has a slightly toasty taste with very subtle hints of caramel and coffee detectable. It goes down very easily. Overall I like it, but this one needs food to stand up to the bitterness in my opinion. Your craft beer friends will like this one but your buddy stuck at the craft beer bar that doesn't will not like this one.

Aug 30, 2021
Photo of mickyge
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by mickyge from Massachusetts

Pours straw colored fairly clear with a thick white fluffy head. Medium lacing full white cap
Aroma of bread/ cracker and yeast, faint roasty malt note
Taste is peppery, a little hoppy and yeasty. I got a slight floral type of taste
Mouthfeel is spicy and carbonated, slightly bitter dry finish
Overall it is a nice crisp, clean tasting shiny lager. Extremely refreshing

Aug 14, 2021
3.67 by jakecattleco from California on Jul 23, 2021
3.85 by gardner254 from Ohio on Jul 18, 2021
3.88 by BrendanStoehr96 from Wisconsin on Jun 29, 2021
Photo of daliandragon
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by daliandragon from Maryland

Definitely pumped about getting some more Surly available out here on the east coast. This perfectly seasonal brew is bright and golden with a big head. Spicy Saaz hops and a tasty biscuit note fit the stereotype of this style pretty well. Sweet and grainy, but delicious for the style and very endearing. Outside in a beer garden in summer heat this would be sublime.

Jun 13, 2021
4 by aasher from Indiana on May 20, 2021
4 by allenson21 from New York on Mar 26, 2021
4 by imperialking from Illinois on Jan 21, 2021
Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Slatetank from Pennsylvania

can poured chilled into willybecker
Golden with slight chill haze an pillowy white ample head with film of lace left clinging
Smell has a fresh grain and yeast in the aroma with subtle mineral odor
The feel and flavor are very good with slight bitterness and gently peppery hop flavor. The yeast imparts a dry aspect to the malt that is bready and lightly toasted. the finish is mostly dry and light lingering hop is noticeable.
I love this lager as it is more of an American take on the style yet still honors the tradition flavors in an expressive and enjoyable way

Dec 31, 2020
Photo of Brutaltruth
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by Brutaltruth from Ohio

From the tall boy can in a snifter. This brew pours a
chill hazed cloudy straw color with a very nice head of
white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin light layer,
and displays some nice soapy lacing. Nose of soft grain
notes, honey sweet malts, and zesty hops. Flavors follow
the nose with soft grain, light honey, moderate breaded
malt notes, and zesty / spicy hop notes. Nice mouth feel;
medium light body, medium light carbonation, and a
zesty hop finish with subtle sweetness and lingering bitterness.

Overall, a new one for me from a new to me brewery, that said
this one did not hit the mark, but as a session brew for a hop forward
kind of crowd it would work!


Dec 29, 2020
Photo of bluejacket74
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by bluejacket74 from Ohio

16 ounce can, canned on 03/30/20, another brew from Brutaltruth! Served in a Rastal Craft Master Grand glass, the beer pours a mostly clear gold color with a couple inch frothy white head. The can started fizzing up as soon as I opened it, luckily I had the glass ready. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like bready/doughy malt, lemon and some sweet malt. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, but there's also a grassy bitterness noticeable that lingers around for a while. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's smooth and has a high amount of soft carbonation. I thought this was OK, but I wasn't a fan of the bitterness in the finish. If I try this one again it will be fresher next time.

Oct 13, 2020
Photo of DefenCorps
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
by DefenCorps from Oregon

Can from Market of Choice. Canned 15 May.

A light yellow with a dense white head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose is soft, lemony and sweet, with dough, honey and a definite roughness, a little grainy. The hops are lemony and a little lemonade like. The palate opens sweet and doughy with a grainy, honey like flavor along with some sweetness, mildly like a simple syrup. Rough on the finish with honey and lemon hops present, this beer is decent.

Aug 18, 2020
3.45 by Sayb from Arizona on Aug 14, 2020
4 by paulish from New York on Aug 09, 2020
Photo of eithne
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by eithne from Minnesota

Can - 12oz

Jul 29, 2020
3.5 by curlybird from Pennsylvania on Jul 26, 2020
3.75 by Patches826 from Massachusetts on Jul 18, 2020
Photo of maxpower
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by maxpower from Missouri

Clear light golden in color with a small white sticky head. Flowery sweet bread aroma. Grain, cracker flavors, light bodied. Finishes smooth and crisp, Really nice

Jul 04, 2020
Photo of Jwale73
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25
by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

Canned 03/30/2020. 16oz. can served in a tulip nonic. Pours a translucent straw gold with a fizzy, two finger, bright white head that slowly sizzles and pops as it collapses into a broken cap that coalesces around the edges. Nose expresses hints of bread dough, grass and a kiss of lemon. Taste expresses a heavy herbal bitterness up front that lingers from start to finish and between quaffs. The delicate aromas suggested by the nose do not translate to the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light in body with a carbonation shy of assertive. Overall, too overly hopped for a traditional Helles lager. Not really my thing.

Jul 04, 2020
3.75 by Burgy from Minnesota on Jun 27, 2020
4.25 by mrcraft from California on Jun 25, 2020
Photo of jlindros
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3
by jlindros from Massachusetts

Canned 3/30/20
Pours a large frothy rocky almost 2 finger head with moderate retention, a bit of soapy lacing, crystal clear golden pilsner watery-straw color

Nose is hop forward, floral grassy and a bit fruity, a bit of lemongrass even, some crackery grainy-sweet malt, lemon almost eukalyptus like hop aroma, fragrant

Taste brings more hops out front, fruity with more lemony notes, lemon grass and lemon fragrant potpourri like, malts are very light, a little cracker and grain, mild sweet malt character, soft lager, dry finish, lower hop bitterness up front to a med almost spicy hop bitterness on teh finish

Mouth is med to lighter bod, higher foamy carb, a bit of soft lager

Overall this seems very Surly thing to do, almost no malt and plenty hop forward, just a light hoppy lager, not really a Helles, pretty far from a true Helles.

Jun 18, 2020
Photo of CraigDeMoss
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by CraigDeMoss from Kansas

Lotsa head, ol rocky top atop golden straw.

Biscuit, bread, yada yada, tada!

Same as smell.

An AAL in craft form, hoppeOrr than its old world counterparts, which gives it points and deductions in who cares book. Best when listening to carcass.

Jun 12, 2020
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by CDBeerDisappear from Ohio

Look: Beautifully clear with slow rising carbonation. Two finger foamy head with moderate retention. Plenty of lacing
Smell: That great pilsner aroma of fresh mown hay … aaaaah. Some bready malt.
Taste: Bitter from beginning to end. BUT, it's the bitter that first drew most of us to beer. (Or was it alcohol)
Feel: Feels bright and sparkly. Clean dry finish.
Overall: Lagers are making a comeback if you are addicted to hops and are new to the pilsner party, try this, you will not be disappointed. It’s funny, pilsner was the flavor that made us all run to IPA’s 20-30 years ago and now after 20 – 30 years of hop madness (still addicted) a great pilsner is somehow much cleaner, purer and more satisfying than ever before. This is a very good beer. I will drink it again .. and maybe again after that!

Jun 12, 2020
3.88 by shelby415 from Oregon on Jun 11, 2020
4.02 by dt_gbpackersfan from Missouri on Jun 09, 2020
4.12 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon on Jun 07, 2020
Photo of jrc1093
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

Canned on 3/30/20

Pours a clear, deep golden straw body topped with a finger and a half of soapy, off-white foam; good head retention yields a large, chunky cap/collar climbing the walls of the glass as thin veils of soapy lacing are left sporadically in its wake.

Aroma opens a touch on the sweeter side with crisp popcorn and bready malt before edging into burnt bread crusts and trending slightly floral; a consumptive, rounded bready tone marks the middle, bringing a tinge of rye with it; the close revisits sweeter tones of lightly-baked bread dough with a grassy accent.

Taste offers crisp, bready Pils malts guiding fresh-cut grass, grapefruit pith, and straw into a taut hop tone fading through the mid-palate into a faint finish of honeysuckle and brown bread; a light, awesomely executed bittersweet balancing act.

Mouthfeel presents a light body bolstered by a full, prickly carbonation spread evenly across the palate; a subtly stiff bitterness takes hold into the mid-palate before easing steadily into a flaky-crisp, almost weightless finish.

This one does well to maintain the delicate balance of clean, bready malts against the potent addition of increasingly bittering hops; maintaining authenticity to the style with touch and a coherent yet complex makeup, the result one of the finer, nuanced 'Americanized' takes on the Helles I've come across to-date, and drinks like a beer for all occasions.

May 28, 2020
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

16 ounce can - $3.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear, gold body with a couple inches of airy, white froth. Puffy lacing on the descent.

Smell: Agreeable pils nose with a bready backing, a minute amount of floral undertones and a nice, clean lager yeast character.

Taste: Softly malty with some touches of bread, grain and cracker dough with a veneer of gently sweet honey. Faintly spicy, floral hops, showing a teensy bit of citrus and herb. Relatively low bitterness. Crispish, smooth, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Tasty and altogether pleasant to imbibe. Certainly no trouble finishing this can.

May 26, 2020
Hell Lager from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1271 ratings