Gorch Fock | 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Gorch FockGorch Fock

Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co.
Indiana, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A light golden colored Franconian style Helles Lager. With a slightly sweet malt body, a noble hop profile and a crisp finish this beer is as traditional as we’ll ever get.

Added by cretemixer on 04-04-2005

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 632
Photo of JamesS
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice golden yellow (straw-like) color, although with very little head, almost no lacing, and a lot of lasting carbonation. Nice scent, a very clean and malty aroma, although it is a very weak scent. Excellent taste, very clean and refreshing, very malty with just a little hint of peppery spiciness. Nice feel, quite smooth, with just a little roughness from the overcarbonation. A good beer, a nice Helles, but not 3F's best.

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Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a light doughy malt and a moderate noble hop.

The taste consisted of a soft graininess with a touch of honey sweetness. The subtle noble hop dried out the flavor.

The mouthfeel was average for the style.

Overall a tasty and easy drinking lager. The sweetness was a bit annoying, but not too overpowering.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought a 22oz bottle at Kahn's in Indianapolis, $10. The beer's appearance was a little bit of a letdown, there was almost no head at all even with an aggressive pour. Below the beltline everything was all right, the beer was pale yellow and hazy, almost looked like a wit. The smell was good, light aromas of malts and a little grassy funk. The taste is very well balanced, light but tasty, semi-sweet malts and just a hint of hops bitterness, this could be right out of Bavaria. Light mouthfeel, correct for the style, keeps the drinkability about as high as possible.

I've had the pleasure of drinking many helles lagers in Munich so I was hoping that 3F would keep to the style with this. In my opinion they did an excellent job of not getting all hoppy on it, this was a very good helles lager.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to younger35 for this bottle in a recent trade.

22 oz. bomber poured into a pilsener glass.

Pours a somewhat foggy light golden hue with a one finger white head that quickly dies down to a whispy layer of foam. Lots of bubbles racing to the top of the glass with virtually no lacing left on the sides. Smell begins with faint grains, lemon, and honey. You really have to dig your nose deep just to get these aromas, so unfortunately this is about it. Taste starts off with a buttery biscuit like malt with a hint of lemon. Toasted grains some noble hops midway on the tongue. Aftertaste is moist with honey, fresh cut grass, a pinch of pepper. Light, smooth, and creamy in the mouth with a steady but subtle carbonation. Not a bad beer, but nothing I'd seek out again.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I missed the initial bottling and distribution of this late last year, but I had the opportunity to share this 22 oz bomber last night with pimpp, thanks again for sharing! No freshness date on this one.

I googled the name of this beer and learned via wikipedia that the "Gorch Fock" is a three masted barque (or old barge) commissioned to the German Navy in 1933. Currently, she serves as a museum ship. I guess the skeleton on the label of this beer is sorta nautical (?) - I love the label on this one, quite unique, (but I like all 3 Floyd's labels!).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorch_Fock_%281933%29

A: Poured a bright, clear golden color with a small white, almost fizzy head that dissipated quickly, leaving a small white ring around the edges of my pint glass. Little to no lacing seen on my pour.

S: Very light breads mixed with light & tangy citrus. Not a whole lot on the nose.

T/M: Very light bodied, smooth and crisp. This one had a lightly toasted malt backbone with the slightest bit of citrus hops. Being a Three Floyd's beer and their slogan of "We're not normal", I was surprised it wasn't a thick, chewy and uber-hopped version of a "Light Helles Lager"! At any rate, the taste was true for it's style and quite well done.

D: Not my favorite style and it's nothing I would run out of my way to get, but for what it's worth, it's extremely easy to drink and enjoy. This is definitely a light and sessionable beer for most. On a side note, my wife's a Miller Lite fan and this is the first Three Floyd's beer she was actually able to "tolerate" ;) .

Thanks again, 3F's, for another fine interpretation of a beer style.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle while i was in Chicago for Dark Lord Day. Poured into my mini-stein

A: Pours a straw yellow with a thin white head that recedes quickly. Plenty of carbonation

S: Buttery, light malt sweetness, mild earthy hop character. Definitely more butteriness that i like

T: Buttery, light, crisp, mild noble hop flavor. Not really much going on that i can discern

M: This is one category where this beer does well with a nice light feel and pleasant carbonation

D: Why would i want another? I doubt that this style is as poor as this beer is - I'm going to have to look for another

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Photo of Rzzzzz
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a .5 liter Maisel's Weizen glass. Hazy yellow with a smallish head that all but vanishes within a few minutes. Nice malty nose with flavor to match. This is a very flavorful beer, medium to light bodied; a great thirst quencher. I would welcome an occasion when I (a) have an excuse to drink a lot of this, and (b) have a lot of it to drink.

By the way, if I'm the marketing director I start selling "Gorch Fock Yourself" T-shirts.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a smallish white head that leaves quickly. Aroma is mild malts some spicy and floral hops and a little diacetyl in there too. Taste is sweet and bready malts. Body is medium with a sharp carbonation tickle on the tongue. Not a bad brew, not my favorite as I think its a bit sweet.

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Photo of dfillius
4.44/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass.
A: Aggressive pour yields a dismal 1/4 finger of head. A thin ring of head sticks around. Hazy appearance - definitely not ideal in a lager. Very pale yellow, almost like a wit. I'd like darker.
S: A nice mellow malt with floral and grassy hop pop. Mmmmm.
T: Wow, not crazy hoppy as I was expecting from Three Floyds. This is a fair and balanced beer. I thoroughly enjoy the flavor. Nice bready malt with a spot on lager hop bite. I agree with katan about the honey and yeast finish. Delicious. It doesn't wow me, but a great session beer.
M: Very prickly and tingly. I'd like the carbonation to be more subdued.
D: Oh yeah! At 4.5%, this tasty bad boy will be enjoyable for quite a time.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of iconoklaztor: Poured a clear golden yellow color lager with a medium foamy head with limited retention and no lacing. Aroma of sweet lightly floral malt with limited hops presence which I the biggest surprise coming from a brewery renowned for hopping every beer to the maximum level. Taste is also dominated by some sweet and lightly floral notes with a minimal amount of crisp hops at the end. Full body with average carbonation. Good take on the style form a brewery not usually known for sticking to style.

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Photo of katan
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle, undated

A - Pours a light golden color - with a little bit of haze in it. Very little carbonation on the head, but some still in the bottle. Some interesting floaties in there that might represent an issue with me aging it so long.

S - Kind of a boring nose - nothing much there. If anything, I can detect something like a sweet malt - are almost a wheaty flavor. Although I'm not sure Helles are normally made w/ anything besides barley.

T - Initial flavor is underwhelming. no bitterness. Finishes with an interesting sweet taste - yeasty - almost of honey. Very light - doesn't beat your senses too bad. I guess there isn't much balance here - but perhaps thats not too far off on the style.

M - Very smooth - carbonation is light enough that it sits easily on your palette.

D - I could drink alot of these - although I think that I'd seek out more flavorful beers later in the session.

Glad I picked one of these up. If they were more readily available here, I could easily see drinking more.

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Photo of EPseja
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 22oz. bomber in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Golden pale yellow in color with only a hint of haze. Head is fleeting at best to start, and for the most part remains absent, and lacing is nowhere to be found. Might be an older bottle?

S - A very nice mixture of crisp European hops and mildly toasted malts. Some very faint notes of cooked veggies... Very unassuming, but refreshingly simple, coming from FFF. Nicely in-line for the style, but still average overall.

T - Medium sweetness on the front of the tongue, with a smooth transition towards the snappy hops at the back. Only mildly drying in the finish, with a very slight tartness in the aftertaste.

M - Carbonation seems to be on the lower side in the glass, but surprisingly, it puffs up to a creamy, satisfying mouthful. Tingly on the tongue with an ocean-foam swallow and finish. Excellent.

D - I must say, I'm surprised that FFF pulled in the reins so hard on one of their beers to keep in in-style at under 5% ABV instead of pushing the envelope like they normally do. This is highly drinkable and very well balanced.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ahh. It's so refreshing to have a well constructed American lager. They are few and far between, outside of Germany. This is one of the best lagers I've had, period. Not a huge surprise with the quality of FFF, even though it's only the second lager I've had from them.

The beer pours to a very light and clear golden with a huge sparkling carbonation. A billowy white head caps the beer off, but it doesn't last more than a minute. I had hoped to see a little more head retention here, especially given the abundant carbonation to feed it. Subsequently no lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is fairly nondescript as well. Has the typical soft smells of a traditional German lager. Some dry pilsner malt with a light berry ester and a very slight vegetal aroma. Just enough hops to let you know they're there... and god knows it wouldn't be FFF without them.

The taste is simply delicious. Very crisp dryness up front with a bit of a doughy, biscuity pilsner malt flavor in the finish. Some flowers and berries in the finish, along with a sharp herbal hop. Not too bitter. The epitome of crisp, clean, and refreshing.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and light in body. The flavors meld wonderfully over the palate. Subtlety is a beautiful thing. I could drink this beer all day. This 22oz. bottle will go down within the next 5 minutes, I reckon.

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Photo of cameraman
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A light golden to straw color, with a small white head forming, but it quickly dissolve away. There is strong visibility of carbonation. A slight grassy scent at first, followed by a strong bready, cracked grain aroma. That bready fragrance, is strong at the first taste. It quickly blends itself with mild bitterness of citrus and grassy flavors. A watery feel at first, carbonation does become prevalent halfway across the palate. It has the classic feel of a very good lager crisp, with a dry finish. A surprise from FFF, this beer sticks to the style very well, though a little thinner of a feel than expected. It is still a very good beer, would be good some steamed seafood.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Simple wheat copper color with some haze. Lots of slow moving bubbles drift to the surface to meet the faint off white film that remains atop.

S: Sweet peas, grass clippings, faint apple, yellow corn and breakfast flakes.

T: Starts with an interesting twang which I wasn’t expecting; somewhere between corn pops, yellow apples, waffles and cooked squash I suppose. The corn pops sweetness lingers with hints of pear, starfruit and discrete apple. Subcurrent of graininess is present but not alarming. Finishes with some basic sourdough bready malts and lingering minor hops.

M: Medium body with a soft water mouthfeel. Some prickly carbo sting too.

D: Nice flavor overall with good balance. This beer is anything but thrilling but makes for a decent beverage.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy straw yellow with a nice, white head that eventually fades to nothing.

Really nice aroma filled with German noble hops - spicy and sweet. A touch of light malt as well.

Taste is light and smooth starting with clean, sweet malt and then followed strongly by floral, sweet noble hops. Clean, dry finish with a hint of earthy, hoppy flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty light and not too much carbonation. Just seemed a touch too thin, for me.

Very drinkable - pretty light with good flavor, smooth, nice dry and clean finish. I want another!

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber (present from Stopbarking, thanks!!) into a weizen glass.

A. Cloudy yellow body with a 2 finger white head.

S. Strong malt smell with a wisp of grassy german hops.

T. Much as it smells. Sweet malt with a clean hop finish. I really like this example of the style.

M. Moderate carbonation with a clean finish.

D. Very drinkable. I could finish quite a few of these.

Definitely the best example of this style. Very impressive and from an American brewer!!

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Photo of kirok1999
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aljordan for driving this across the border to Ohio. Pours a mildly clear amber/yellow. Nice modest head and a little lacing. Smell is pretty grassy and piney.
Taste is strong of pine, grass, pilsner funk. No noticable alcohol, no surprise at 4.5%. Feels a little thin but leaves a nice hoppy aftertaste that sticks around a while. Lagers aren't my choice of beer but this one seems pretty well done.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- About a 1/2" pure white head on a light cloudy yellow body.
S-Pale malt and light grass hops in the nose along with some wheat and the lager yeast.
T- Pale malts and light grains cover the mouth while wheat and grass hops slowly come into play to help play a part in the aftertaste. Light bitterness left on tongue along with some wheat flavors and just a hint of pale malts. The lager yeast does come through as well to leave a little aftertaste as well.
M- Thin body with high/medium carbonation.
D- Keeping the style in mind this is a really good beer. I wouldn't usually buy this beer but for a time where it calls for a nice lager this would be the one I would seek out. Probably the best lighter lager I have had so IMO Three Floyds are staying strong with another good offering for a great session beer.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Three Floyd's must be good right? Well...

Poured this brew into my Das Boot mug. The color was okay. Resembled a weak wheat beer. Not much of a head to this beer at all. So what does it smell like? Well, honestly I couldn't find much of a smell. I tried agitating this brew...nothing. The taste was okay as well. It just doesn't due Three Floyds justice. I would say its very refreshing and crisp. That being the reason for my 4 on drinkability.

Overall: Three Floyd's is in my opinion the best brewery in the US and possibly the world. This beer, sadly, let me down. Thank god I have a Dark Lord to get my hopes back up! I would say try it for the experience but don't get your hopes up!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mildly milky maize beneath a bright white, cumulus cloud crown. The cap is a mere two fingers in thickness (small given my typical pour) and doesn't have a world-class look about it. It's a little mealy and doesn't generate much lace. Only the color and the bottle-conditioned blurriness of the beer keep things respectable.

Yep, this is a Munich helles lager all right. The nose is reminiscent of most beer of this style. The fresh grain-like quality of the pale malt is balanced by a grassy German hoppiness that isn't nearly as powerful now as when the cap was first breached. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it's obvious that this isn't typical Three Floyds beer.

I'm somewhat surprised that the boys from Munster have been so faithful to what is anything but a gonzo style. To their credit (I guess), they've decided against pushing the envelope by breaking out their signature, gotta love it, 'balls to the wall' hoppiness. Forget what Gorch Fock isn't. What it is... is solid, well-constructed, enjoyable beer.

The key to the whole shootin' match is a generous amount of ingredients that are superbly balanced on a razor's edge. Any more pale malt and the beer would be too sweet and too flavor-deficient. Any more hops... well, I could stand a little more of the lemony, grassy, lightly spicy noble hoppiness that is teasing my taste buds with each mouthful. The finish lingers pleasantly rather than being clean.

The mouthfeel, while not immediately impressive, holds up well to intense scrutiny. Given the style and the ABV, it's medium at least and medium-full at most. In addition, the brewers have dialed in the precise amount of carbonation for maximum enjoyment and maximum quaffability.

Gorch Fock is one of the best Munich helles lagers that I've ever had. It proves the point (that didn't need proving) that Three Floyds is anything but a 'dump in a massive amount of hops and see what happens' kind of brewery. These guys are craftsmen, dammit. Forgetting the German origins of this beer for a moment, they're also one of the best brewers of 'American style' beer on the planet. Maybe *the* best.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours a chill hazed pale yellow body with a small and fleeting white head. Only a few flecks of lace are left on the glass. By far, the palest looking TF brew I've ever laid eyes on.

Simple aroma of grainy pale malts and floral and lemony hops.

Mouthfeel is light to light medium in body with a crisp carbonation.

Taste features grainy and crackery pale malts with a floral and spicy hop bitterness that softly kisses the palate with a finishing hint of lemon. Tastes more like a freshly brewed German kolsch than a helles.

What a change of pace for Three Floyds here. I really like this one, but as other reviewers point out it's a bit pricy. Very accessible and highly sessionable if the price wasn't so steep.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i was very surprised at how mediocre this was considering i worship 3Fs. it's probably the first of their offerings that didn't blow me away or was at least an interesting and tasty interpretion of a beer style. i could sum this up quickly by saying that it's a standard helles lager, but i'll go on...this poured a pale gold with a chill haze and a minimal white head that diminished very quickly. some nice bready malt aromas and maybe a hint of grassy hops in the nose. some sweet malts balanced out by the underlying hops and carbonation. mouthfeel is fine. drinkable at this abv. i'm wondering why they bottled such a run of the mill beer when i've had much better offerings at the pub...admiral lord nelson, for example. also, this is way overpriced at $7 a bomber. you could get a sixer of spaten for that, which is not much different and a bit better.

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Photo of peabody
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my toast to Michael Jackson.
It is 8 oclock on Sunday the 30th and here it go.
Pours out very clear light straw yellow with one finger of white suds.
Not seeing a lot of carbonation here but it looks nice otherwise.
Smell is very subtle but I can detect a grainy malt with some nice yeast hiding in there.
Taste is kinda watery but this is cold. Still a very clean tasting brew. I am getting a slight orange flavor and not much else.
Kinda weak for a toast to the master but oh well.
Mouthfeel is very clean and plain. Not much going on.
This is a very drinkable beer and I would like to try it on tap at the brewery.
Here's to you MJ.{toast/touch glass}

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear bright straw yellow body with a dense carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick film of snow-white head that last for a good bit and sticks to the glass for a few sips.

S- The smell of pale malt and lemon dish soap is interesting and not offensive. There is a nice green bitter hops smell in the finish but it is pretty soft.

T- This beer has a soft pale malt flavor with a light lemon tartness and a hint of biscuit malt comes in as it warms. There is a nice green hop note in the finish that increases as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a slight creamy texture in the finish.

D- This beer has a nice smooth flavor and with a slightly stronger taste of hops than malt. The flavor and aroma are both very light and there isn’t much depth to either of them and I don’t get that fresh malt and hops flavor that I like to see in lagers.

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Gorch Fock from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
3.74 out of 5 based on 632 ratings.
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