Summer Helles | New Belgium Brewing

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Summer HellesSummer Helles
621 Ratings
Summer HellesSummer Helles

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 03-26-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 621 |  Reviews: 81
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 9/14/14.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, hay, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is fairly refreshing and easy to drink.

 525 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

just not a very interesting beer here, and nothing like the helles beers of europe. this is impossibly light in both color and flavor, definitely taking on a watered down vibe, but being refreshing enough and certainly sessionable enough if you can keep from getting bored by it. pale pale yellow in color, but holds a decent inch of white fluff on top as the bubbles run to the surface. the nose is a little sweet, and then full of pilsener and pale malts, but ithe malty nose doesnt carry to the flavor, where the front end of this is almost entirely tasteless. more excitement in the finish, as the grains are pretty fresh tasting and some simple but well timed hops enter the equation. its very drinkable stuff, but rather devoid of flavor, and falls into that low medium level so many of these new belgium seasonals have fallen to. zero body and a lot of bubbles is nice for warm weather, but i need my beer to taste like beer, and this barely gets there for me.

 967 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of nmann08
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -11%

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz brown glass with a branded red pry-off pressure cap. Purchased at Whole Foods HQ in Austin.

Served cold into a snifter at low altitude in Austin, TX. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery and format; I tend to like their seasonals much better than their Lips of Faith series beers. 5% ABV. "Enjoy by: 02NOV."

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half a finger wide. Dull off-white colour. Fairly thin. Not at all creamy. The head recedes to a floater ring within 20 seconds, and the ring itself fades within a minute, leaving no lacing. Suggests a weak beer.

BODY: A clear pale yellow of average vibrance. Has a supple glow to it redolent of fruit skin. It's clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a pretty typical looking helles. Doesn't stand out in any way.

AROMA: Weak helles malts, pilsner malt, grassy hops (maybe Noble or Saaz?), Munich malt, hay, and grains. The grains are mismatched with the other aromatics, and seem like they belong in an adjunct lager, not a helles. There's a kiss of sourdough, which is nice. It doesn't seem too sweet or too bitter.

A generally pleasant aroma of average strength. No overt alcohol or other off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Simple yet pleasant. Munich malts, helles malts, and pilsner malts comprise the basic foundation, with some grassy hop notes lending it a bit of needed complexity. A wisp of sourdough lends it some nice albeit reticent yeast character. Maybe even a bit of green apple? Sure, I like this, but there's no intricacy or subtlety of note. It's a plain beer, but an enjoyable one.

It's decently balanced, but its simplicity makes that much easier. It's a cohesive build for a helles, but it's not a gestalt brew. I'm glad it's not too sweet, but I do find it tends towards graininess a bit too much.

TEXTURE: Standard helles lager. Smooth, wet, a bit overcarbonated, and refreshing. Lends itself naturally to going down easy. The texture does a decent job at complementing the taste, but there's no real nuance to coax out, and the texture could be softer and crisper. There's definite room for improvement.

OVERALL: It's to style in the sense that it's easy to drink, but there's nothing here for the discerning drinker. I'll be sticking to traditional German offerings, but this is by no means a bad brew. Just an unremarkable one. Above average, in any case. I wouldn't buy it again as part of a 6 pack or anything, but I wouldn't be annoyed to see it in a New Belgium variety box. I see why this was popular at a summer music festival, but I can't recommend it to friends.


 2,638 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 9/21/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear pale straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, light fruitiness, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hop, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, light fruitiness, and yeast earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate yeast ester flavors; with solid robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a very solid Munich helles style. Well balanced pale malt, earthy hops, and light-moderate yeast ester flavors with solid robustness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

 1,298 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with significant amounts of fine active visible carbonation quickly rising from the bottom of the glass and some hints of lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy bright white head that slowly reduces to a large patch of very thick film surrounded by a very thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of pale and grainy malts with a lighter aroma of hay and grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of wheat and grainy malts with very little sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of hay and a light to moderate amount of grassy hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Light bodied with a moderate to heavy amount of carbonation. Slightly crisp and slightly thin/watery.

O: Refreshing and easy to drink with a light flavor and body which makes it great for the hot summer weather. Matches well with the turkey hot dogs and baked beans I'm having for dinner tonight.

 1,077 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of mactrail
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I rinsed out the New Belgium snifter for a dose of this. It's a pale golden in color with a white foam and streaming bubbles. The aroma is a warm grain and straw with a flowery hint. Very light mouthfeel but the carbonation gives it that refreshing tang.

There is an interesting crackery taste with a hint of lemon. It's like a Kolsch that turned grainy and corn-fed along the way, but the aromatics are really perfumey in an unusual way. This is rather sweet, kind of like a malt liquor, but there's a tang that makes it quite drinkable. Aftertaste has a bitter edge and a touch of resins.

I'm always hoping for more lighter brews that provide some flavor. This one is more subtle and adds a different twist to the summer beer lineup. While this isn't one of my favorites, it's yet another utterly clean and well-engineered beer from New Belgium. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Trader Joes.

 898 characters

Photo of REVZEB
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of atrocity
2/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The summer Helles from New Belgium is a great offering. The beer poured a pure clear yellow with white head that is lacing down the entire glass. The scent carries mostly graining hops. The taste is close to a pilsner...light and crisp with grass and grain flare. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a nice summer session ale.

 362 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.5/5  rDev -28%

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Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 621 ratings