Summer Helles | New Belgium Brewing

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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.

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 621
Photo of kcurran23
3.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

It's enjoyable. But so are so many beers which are much cheaper and more available. Nothing special here besides smoothness in my opinion, and the lacing around the beer glass makes it seem like it's more of a $10 6 pack than it tastes. Much deeper flavor than something like a Bud but not that far off.

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Photo of Phocion
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with an enjoy by date of November 23rd, 2014. Poured into a footed Stella pilsner glass a pale, clear, gold color with a moderate amount of visible carbonation shooting upwards. Finger of creamy head which dissipates quickly, but leaves very sticky white lacing.

Grainy Pilsner malts are definitely evident. Semi-sweet with a bit of DMS/creamed corn. Spicy noble hops and a clean, neutral yeast.

Malts dominate, but it is definitely not too sweet. Grainy with a spicy/floral hoppiness for balance. Very clean finish.

Light-medium bodied and medium-high carbonation. Light, crisp, clean, refreshing, and very bright.

Overall, this is an outstanding version of a Munich Helles lager. Moderately malt-forward but very well-balanced. DMS is a normal byproduct of brewing with Pilsner malts and acceptable in the style, but a little overboard on the nose here. Otherwise, a great beer when rated to style and a very drinkable summer beer.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 13 July 2014.

Pours a clear pale sunshine yellow. One finger of white head, okay retention and lacing, not much visible carbonation despite the crystal clarity.

Smell is delightful. Not potent, but it's gently warm, like morning sunshine, and crisp and clean with just a hint of saazy spice. Reminds me of a cleaner, spiced-down pilsener. Inviting, and perfect for a warm summer evening.

Taste is okay. It's got all the medium stuff from the smell, but none of the highlights. Sorta grassy, but without any spice or herbal notes, and too full and warm to be really refreshing. Not bad, but a definite let-down after the smell.

Feel is pretty good. Medium-light, a little heavier than I'd like. Less carbonation than I'd like, too. Now that I think about it, I think this is part of what's bringing the taste down.

Started brightly, but faded quicker than a summer sunset. If they could get those interesting characteristics from the smell to come through in the taste, I'd be sold.

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Photo of argock
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Enjoy by 02Nov14 on corner of label. Rec'd graciously from friend Walker.

A: Crystal clear light gold with 1-finger of white, medium-size bubbled head with average retention but a nice collar of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Grainy with soft noble hoppy grass and spicy notes

T: The flavor is good but is missing a little depth -- I had a DB Gold Leaf Lager last night and it brings more maltiness to the table. This one has soft pilsner malt, no DMS or off flavors, but without a whole lot more than just graininess and a mild touch of sweetness, not really bready or other lager flavors. I know this isn't supposed to be a complex beer, but I think there should be a bit more malty depth to this. The noble hopping is light but right on with the bitterness, light but effectively countering the grainy notes. No yeast or off flavors like sulfur.

M: Light bodied for sure and finishes pretty dry. Carbonation is medium and right where it should be. This beer is very drinkable.

O: NB Summer Helles is a pretty good summer beer -- it misses a little on the crispness of the hopping and is one-dimensional in the malt department. Still, all in all, this is a pretty solid helles and nothing wrong with it at all -- I just wish it brought a bit more malt flavor and crispness.

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Photo of Foyle
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap in pint glass.

Appearance: Thin white head recedes with some mild lacing. Color is light golden, plenty of streaming carbonation.

Aroma: bread dough, yeast, some lemon.

Mouthfeel: light to medium, refreshingly dry.

Flavor: lightly roasted malt sweetness, corn, quite bready, with some lemon and grassy hop notes.

Overall: a pleasant and easy drinking summer beer.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very pale straw yellow with a bright, fizzy white head that leaves some slight lacing

S-grassy, noble hops, cardboard

T-grassy, some bitterness from the noble hops and some biscuitty flavor from the malt. It is very balanced between hops and malts. The flavor is not very strong, its just an easy drinking, somewhat light yet refreshing beer.

M-rather thin and watery

Overall, this is a refreshing beer, but I wouldn't purchase it again. I'm not a huge fan of the style but prefer German versions to this.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Belgium Summer Helles has a rather thin, white head, a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of pungent, sweet, bready, barley malt, and the flavor is of biscuit, sweet malt, and not particularly bitter hops (I would have never guessed 31 IBU). Mouthfeel is medium, and New Belgium Summer Helles finishes crisp, refreshing, and drinkable. A very nice beer, yet, I can't say that it's any better than, say, Budweiser or Coors, so that has to be taken into consideration with a purchasing decision.


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Photo of donmonkey1
2.77/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Color is pale yellow, almost clear like water. Very little carbonation, practically no head, no lacing.

Smell: Canned corn/yeast/pizza dough

Taste: yeasty, sweet

mouthfeel: light body, feels nicely carbonated.

This beer has very little taste and is practically carbonated water, although it's perfect on a hot Summer day because it's so refreshing and easy to drink. The problem is that it's barely beer. The macros have more flavor.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed several of these on the 4th.
Nice easy drinking lager. Soft grainy aroma. Pale cloudy appearance with white head that settles out. Nice and pleasing flavors. Crunchy grain that blends very well with the crackling (yet soft) hops making a flavor mix that is hard to separate buts sits so nicely. Lower than average carbonation for a lager works fine in this case, making it an easy drinker. Also warms up nicely (not as nice as an ale, but certainly created another experience of the flavors).
Thanks LInda.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Trader Joe's. Crisp and clean, moderate carbonation, and a little grassy/floral aroma from the hops. The finish reminded me a little bit of a pilsner, but the hops don't linger as long. Would buy it again. I think this is the first Helles I tried so I don't have much to compare with.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.34/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with Pale malt and Schill Pils malt. Hopped with Target, Tettnang, and Hallertau. Lager yeast.
5.0 ABV, 31 IBU's, 155kcal/12oz

Pours out to a very very pale straw golden, forming a bone white head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is great....delicate cereal grain, a touch of DMS (as a helles should be), floral noble German hops, great German lager yeast character, beautifully clean. The mouthfeel is eminently crisp and super clean with a light body. The taste is much a recap of the aroma...slight corn flavor from the DMS with delicate malts over a well balanced bitterness which makes you want to drink more. The finish is dry, but not bracing or tart, leaving a delicate floral hop flavor lingering on the tongue.

This is just an awesome beer, and a fantastic example of the style. It takes some exceptional skill to brew a beer so delicate without any obvious flaws. I've been buying 6 packs of this throughout the summer and just keep going back to it. HIGHLY recommended.

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Photo of rickjane
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light color with a head that quickly dissipated in my standard pint glass. Pleasant smell with just a hint of citrus. Light, crisp taste that hit the spot on a hot day. Good amount of carbonation. Overall, not as memorable as I had hoped, but I'm still looking forward to finishing off the six pack. Picked up my pack on sale for $7.99.

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Photo of SidDuffman
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very pale color. Dense white head dissipates quickly. Light malt and fruit on the nose. Tastes of nice malt and pear. Little, if any, hops/bitterness. Light mouth feel. Not the most flavorful brew, but very refreshing and really hit the spot on a hot day.

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Photo of McStagger
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pale straw. Small amount of large bubbles. Finger of bleached head that dissipates rapidly. Moderate lacing.

S: Crackery, herbal, slightly spicy. Very subdued smell.

T: Some bit of grassy herbal quality up front. Mid palate becomes crackery malt, taking on a definitive saltine like characteristic. Finish is clean, with more of the crackery graininess carried trhough.

M: Light. Carbonation of large bubbles, but it fizzles out quickly.

O: Pretty mediocre example of the style. Hop presence is diminished, even considering the lack of hoppiness in helles. Grainy, even for the style. Simply not enough flavor to justify purchasing again.

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Photo of BrandonLBC
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A--Very, very light gold with a small head that disappears quickly. Light lacing.

S--German malts huge on the front of the nose, a bit of a grass hint as well.

T--Again with malts up front, which isn't a bad thing. Followed by just a hint of hops and lemony taste at the end. Was probably a bit disappointed, because I expected a bit more of a hop hit, even from a lager.

M--Very light as expected, and just about the right amount of carbonation. Easy drinking. Great for summer.

O--Slightly disappointed. To me it tasted very similar to their Spring Blonde, though I did like this better because of the German malts. For me, Fat Tire is still my favorite New Belgium, though a lot of their more interesting beers still aren't available in this area. I'll probably have this again, but it's certainly not my favorite lager.

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best by date of 10/19/14. 5% ABV

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pale yellow with a small head of foam and decent lacing. Spots of bubbles from the carbonation here and there.

Smell: Grain, grass, malt.

Taste: Grain, buscuity malts, hint of lemon.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a hint of lemon zest in the finish.

The Verdict: It’s OK. Slightly above average maybe, thanks to the lemon zest, but not much more than that. Rather bland and lightweight. Those who prefer something on the light side may actually prefer it.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best by date on it.

This is exactly what I was looking for. The look is unimportant, is corny new Belgium yeast. This is a light, crisp, watery lager with just the right amount of corn and sweet malt. Hops are a bit flat and medicinal, otherwise this is great.

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Photo of vkv822
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz : pilsner glass

Clear, pale yellow with a thick, foamy white head.

Clean, grassy, lightly spicy hops with a grainy, crisp malt backbone.

Medium/light bodied, fizzy carbonation and a crisp finish.

A very well done Helles Lager. Crisp, easy drinking tasty beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Very impressive clarity to this beer. Light gold and clean and clear.

S-I know this does not have wheat in it but I get a big "cream of wheat" cereal impression.

T-More of a true Pils type malt flavor upfront and a nice noble hop dimension as well.

M-Light side of medium bodied...relatively crisp.

O-Excellent summer beer. Lacks the depth and complexity of some in this style but a great drinker for the summer.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.81/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear, Pale straw yellow with a generous pure white head. This beers white head has superior retention and clinging glass side lace.
Smell: lots of grass, and grains, along with a little scent of lemon but I do not get much else.
Taste; Clean, light, refreshing. Good for a summer, thirst quencher, beer, lager, so true to its origin, which positively effected these rateing.

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Photo of rangerred
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass out of my kegerator.

Pours a clear straw yellow with a fluffy 1.5 finger white head. Head retention is great along with the lacing. Better than I expected.

Aroma is has some cracker and light caramel along with a touch of roast. A little bit of grassy hop aroma comes through as well.

The flavor closely follows the aroma with light roast quickly followed by cracker and some lemon tartness. Grassy hops along with a light bitterness help balance things out. The finish is fairly crisp with just some light residual sweetness.

Overall, this is a really nice beer for summer. Not the best example of the style out there but it is readily accessible, nicely priced, and quaffable.

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Photo of AmyfaceNYC
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer right after finishing a triathlon, and it was ~perfect~. Simple, light, refreshing, with delicate and subtle flavors (bready, grassy, a touch of citrus sweetness). As others have noted, this is a straightforward malt driven lager--nothing too fancy--but, IMHO, very well-executed. Drinks smooth. Perfect for relaxing on a hot summer day.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears fizzy and yellow, but it's all grain and it's lighter than most typical German Helles lagers out there. Pale straw golden with a billowing pillow white head, fine speckled lacing left behind poured into a nonic pint glass not the best choice but I was pouring two bottles so it worked. Aroma has biscuit malts bread dough, hint of powdered yeast, slight citric grassy character, that's simple enough. Flavor is great clean refreshing bready malts, citric/grassy hop one, two combo. No fireworks just super pale, malts with flavor this is fancy white bread. Very enjoyable session beer don't expect much complexity just a malt driven lager with many positive attributes...I'm a fan of the light body pale color and tasty malt bill. I could use a tad more hops, but there are some nice herbal grassy characteristics going on. Overall, what a refreshing Summer Helles should definitely deliver...a thirst quenching characteristic lawnmower style beer.

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Photo of scratch69
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I pored a bottle into a flute glass.

Appearance- Clear pale gold color with a half a fingers worth of head. Light amount of lacing.

Smell- Grain and grass aroma with some floral hop aroma.

Taste- Grass and biscuit flavors with a hint of lemon and some honey like sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with an average amount of carbonation. Crisp and smooth with a dry finish.

Overall- A decent refreshing beer for a hot summer day, but nothing to go out of your way for.

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Summer Helles from New Belgium Brewing
3.49 out of 5 based on 621 ratings.
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