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 nataku00
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a finger of soapy white head. Head dissipates quickly to almost nothing, maybe a string of white along the edge of the glass and one small patch of bubbles in the center, leaving no lacing. Active carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass initially after pour, but calms down a bit after a few minutes.

Nose is mainly biscuit malts, with a little caramel malt mixed in as well. Some light dank grassy aroma, but it is barely there compared to the malts.

A little more hop flavor on the tongue, grassy and floral on the tip of the tongue, but this is mainly biscuit and grain flavors from the malt. Finishes crisply and dry on the tongue, with some light lingering floral flavor. Very clean flavors though.

Light body with some good carbonation that is nice for this style. Very clean and easy to drink beer, with some decent flavor though I would have like a little more floral hopping on the nose and taste.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for sharing this one.

A: The beer pours a fairly clear golden straw color with a couple fingers of white head.

S: A nice sweet malt aroma to this on the front end with a large pale malt presence. There's a bit of yeast and some grassy and floral hops. A very mild skunk followed by some fruity esters.

T: Like the aroma, sweet malt up front with a definite corn note. The flavor is primarily of pale malt with some sweet apple esters. Some light floral hop notes and a touch of yeast and bitterness.

M: Light in body with medium carbonation.

O: Thought this was a pretty solid lager. And you don't often find a well made Helles from a US brewery.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a flute
A: Straw color, thin head that lingers
S: Peach and malt.
T: Soft malts with little in the hop department. Light overall.
M: Light-bodied but clean and well balanced. All malt/grain.
O: Nice overall; I feel it could use a bit more in the hops department.

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Photo of morimech
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Large amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Pale malt dominates the aroma. Sort of a granary floor smell. A little grass/lemon from the hops.

Clean malty flavor. Cereal grains with a slightly musty edge. Seems perfectly balanced with the hops. The hops again adds the grass/lemon touch.

Good body and perfect carbonation. I do not know how a light lager could be done better.

I did not know Three Floyds could brew such a subtle, clean beer. They really showed their craftmenship with this beer.

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Photo of mattboyer182
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A light golden color with a one finger white head.

S - It's a sweet malty smell. Grainy and biscuty. Very light hop smell.

T - A spicy start with pilsner malts. Light hop taste and sweet malty finish.

M - Light bodied and heavy carbonated.

O - Light style of beer and just not what i like. Its good for its style but i just prefer things that are more complex.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review this is the #19 Munich Helles Lager on the best of beeradvocate style lists. Served in a Three Floyds glass because I can.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a thin lazy head of small broken bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is quite yeasty with hints of grain, mildly sweet. Smells good!

Beer is medium in body, leads off with a little pilsner sweetness, bigger body than expected but still has a dry finish, nice little session lager here. Sweet, mildly bitter, probably about 25 IBU on the backend there. Nice, I'd have this beer again.

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

Let me preface this review by stating that, as of now, this beer has my favorite label. It shows a robed, winged, skeleton with four arms; the upper two clenching some stalks of grain. German vessels braving the North Sea are displayed on either side of the skeleton.. there's also some splashing whales and an eagle perched above. This beer's namesake comes from a training vessel belonging to the German Navy.

Appearance: slightly hazy and straw yellow. Bubbly white head.

Smell: slightly grassy with some aspirin like scents.

Taste: lightly sweetened malts, some graininess, and slightly bready. Finishes clean. Not abundantly hopped like many of Three Floyds other offerings.

Mouthfeel: there's some sharpness on the front of the tongue due to the carbonation.. medium/light body.

Overall: Three Floyds claims that this beer is as traditional as they'll ever get. Not a bad choice for those seeking a crisp and refreshing lager with low alcohol, while still maintaining a taste and complexity that can't be matched by the macros.

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

Slightly dullish lemony gold hue with a quick to slip whitish foamy top. Some small bits and globs of lace stick to the glass.

Fresh, crisp, cracker, biscuity, hay-like malty aroma. Developes a heavier, deeper nose as it sits along with a bit of dry hoppyness. Quite nice and well established, as it doesn't take much to wiff its freshness.

Taste is much like many other German style Munich Helles. Nicely rounded with a whole grain breadyness laced with touches of bicsuityness, cracker-like dryness, dried hops, and a mild pale malt sweetness underneath. Making for a well balanced and rounded, crisp, wholesome, fresh taste. Quite yummy.

Crisp, tender, medium bodied, with a wholesome, smooth, easy going texture and carbontation that's lightly bready sweet and just dry and crisp enough to add some welcome depth. Leaves the mouth with a light biscuity fluffy dryness and crisp grainy texture. And definately leaves you wanting more. Very drinkable stuff. As most Helles lagers are; and this 3F creation is no different and fitting within the scope of most 3F brews that hit the mark for style.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright cloudy gold with a small white head that fades away to nothingness shortly after the pour.

Grassy earthy and a little bready smell. Not bad, but not exactly pleasant either.

Light crisp malt hits the palate with a just a little bit of grassiness and a hint of lemon to back it up. A every so slight bitterness leaves the tongue coated.

Mouthfeel is very light and carbonated and I was expecting.

Another solid offering from 3F showing they can hold back and make a great light style as well though it's nothing special. It's been a couple years since I first had this and I was pleasantly surprised.

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

Tap at 3F.
Bright gold pour, finger of white head. Sticks just a bit.

Grassy hay and caramel, miniscule herbal hops.

Taste is malty caramel, toffee. Light spice, herbal hops finish it out nicely.

Lighter bodied, ample carbonation. Easy drinking, pretty much spot on.

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Photo of FanofHefe
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip; no dating on the bottle of label. Wow, this is highly carbonated. No choice but to deal with huge 4+ finger white fluffly head that leaves plenty of scattered lacing along the glass. The body is a light golden color and slightly hazy. Looks good.

Light fruit dominates the aroma, apple and pear. Jus a hint of spicy noble hops and some sweet malt.

Sharp, tasty flavor blend that follows the aroma closely. A bit more spiciness in the flavor than in the aroma, which is a good thing. Well blended fruit, light hops, and sweet malt mix.

Crisp, light finish that drinks very easily. A superb beer that is a nice change of pace for 3Floyds.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at FFF.
served in a dimpled mug.

Waiting for my pizza I decided to order another light ABV beer... This one fit the bill!

Very pale golden color with a shimmering white head. The bubbles settle and leave a collar with a soapy film across the top. Some tight lace rings left behind on the way through a couple sips.

Smells of spicy noble hops with a touch of pale or pilsner malt.

Taste has a bit of sweetness up front and a spicy noble hop character on te back end with a surprising amount of bitterness. Very pleased with the bitterness-- it gives a little punch and a twist to a beer of a style that I would usually not enjoy this much.

The body feels a bit overcarbed. It is VERY seltzery feeling, by which I mean the bubbles are bubbling off my tongue. Light, thin feel is otherwise pleasant.

Overall-- a shockingly traditional tale on a beer from the FFF gang... It works thanks to the extra bitterness. All in all, this is fairly drinkable. It's a style I don't go for much, and this beer hasn't persuaded me to start buying or drinking more of them-- but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

I've constantly missed out on the bottled version of this (or, rather, I've always gone with a different bottle until it disappeared from shelves), so it was nice to see it on tap when I made my long-awaited return to the Firkin. It pours a clear straw topped by a finger of sturdy white foam. The nose comprises green apple skin, honey, and light pineapple. I honestly didn't see that much fruit coming... The taste holds notes of sourdough, orange rind, lemon zest, honey, and bitter greens. The body straddles the border between heavy light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a creamy feel. Overall, a nice brew, but one that doesn't really excite me too much. Still a pleasant drink, though...

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Photo of teamizm
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wadsey for this one.

A - light golden color with a bit of haze. Nice medium sized white head.

S - Nose has honey, toasted malts, biscuits. You get a light hop notes as well (noble hops), as expected in this style.

T - Pilsner malts, toast, honey. Nice sweetness that isn't overpowering

M - chewy, biscuity. Light carbonation.

O - Good example of a helles lager.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at Floyds, 18 Aug 2011. Served in a dimpled mug.

Small beige head. Lightly carbonated. Clear golden color. Aroma is malty, slightly spicy. Starts sweet and malty. Some graininess throughout. Touch of spicy hops through the middle. Medium body. Moderate ethanol. Finish and aftertaste are spicy sweet.

Seems a bit higher than 4.5%.

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

Very excited to try this, big thanks to stxSS07 for the excellent hookup.

a - opened and poured into a duvel taster tulip. pouring stream was a clear straw yellow, but the beer settled in the glass as a deep golden transparent liquic with visible carbonation and a head of a million tiny bubbles. they popped quickly leaving patches of head on the surface and along the sides. very beery look...very german beery.

s - nice creamy malt smell...bit of pilsner, nice biscuity caramel smell.

t - very earthy, but not overly so (like fat tire for example). strong malt, tad smidge of bitterness at the end. rich and filling.

m - pretty filling and heavy. slight tingle...malt fiesta. this big 22 oz bottle in front of me seems like a big commitment.

o - overall, this is a style that is new to me, so i can't give great commentary on how this beer stacks up for the style, but what i can say is that i enjoyed it. very german lagery with a touch of pilsner.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out bright gold with a nice head. I didn't detect much of a nose on it. A slight aroma of fresh linen, and that was all.

Taste was pretty spot on for this style. Nice, crisp, refreshing flavor with a noticeable maltiness and considerably less body than a Dortmund Export. In other words, a proper representation of a Helles Lager. I even detected a slight taste of coriander on the finish. This beer goes great with NFL preseason football.

When reviewing beers, I always try to judge them by the style and not by how much I like that particular style. I don't buy a lot of Helles Lager (I prefer American-style IPAs, porters, and stouts), but a Helles Lager is what this is and it would be unfair to bash it simply because I'm not a huge fan of Helles Lagers. That said, I will simply say that this was a really good Helles Lager and I probably won't buy it again for a long, long time.

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Photo of dancingnancie
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into my half liter augustiner glass from munchen.

A: Straw pale yellow. A lot of carbonation rising to the top. Hardly any head after a vigorous pour. Looks much better than any other lager I have had.

S: Slight skunk smell, a lot less than that of a Heineken or Stella. Has an odor of grain. No alcohol on the nose (didn't expect it for the ABV).

T: Nice clean tasting lager. Very very smooth. You get the grain on the tongue. Very crisp. Has that sweet grain taste to it.

M: Very crisp and clean. Didn't expect a big mouthfeel, and didn't get one. This is a very drinkable beer, too bad it costs so much.

O: Very nice, especially on a nice summer night like tonight. I would recommend this, and purchase it again, but the price was a little too much for the style. A very good introductory craft brew for beginners.

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Photo of mentaltraveller
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light straw color with a loose head. It smells grassy and clean. The taste is pleasant and refreshing and the mouthfeel accentuates these qualities. The finish is fast and clean. This beer is an easy drinker. Not one of my top lagers, but it is not bad.

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Photo of Scrumtralecent
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a Pilsner glass.

A - Pours a straw yellow with foamy white head that fizzles quickly with no lacing.

S - Smells of grain, little wheat and a little spice. Perhaps a little lemon zest, nice crisp smell.

T - Earthy light grain with a light hop in the back that compliments the lightness of the front and stays low on the bitterness. Not really a whole lot of other flavors going on here. The style is def the one word I would use to describe this: helles.

M - Light mouthfeel but the hop on the backend makes the mouthfeel keep from watery. Plenty of carbonation.

O - A summer release for sure as it probably wouldn't be as enjoyable on days other than 100 degree ones. But it was crisp and refreshing, but nothing overpowering. For a lager, it was more well rounded than most, but some more subtle flavors needed to be present to make this more addicting.

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Photo of JLeege
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured into a pint, very slightly hazy golden color with 2 fingers of clumpy white head. A little lace.

Smell- A hint grainy, earthy hops, subtle grape and banana. Simple, admittedly even the flavors noted may be a bit of a stretch.

Taste- Slightly grainy again. With earthy sided hops, slightly zesty, but again extremely simple. A touch of grape again. Slight diacetyl.

Mouthfeel- Medium light body, medium carbonation. Mildly refreshing.

Overall- This is Three Floyds!?!? I have had a recent lager renaissance, and this one just seems dull in comparison to most. A relatively “simple”, traditional style, but I feel they missed the mark on this one. I don’t think there should be any diacetyl in this style. Their patented citrus hop twist would have been welcomed by me. Well, they all can’t be winners.

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

Imbibed at Kuma's Corner, Chicago, 07/24/2011.

Appearance -- Pours a gently hazed golden straw and a slim sudsy white head.

Smell -- Pale bready malt, red grape and plum, mild earthy hops. Smells okay - no more, no less.

Taste -- Pilsner malt, vinous grape, plum skin, and mild earthy hop bitterness. I wish there was more to comment on.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with crisp prickly carbonation. Feels good, at least.

Overall -- Slightly better than average for the style, but I'm just not thrilled. Where's the interesting FFF slant on the classic style? Easily my least favorite FFF seasonal, not because it is a lager, but because it is so uninspired.

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Photo of Wadsey
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorch Fock, 2011 bomber purchased for $6.49.

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours clear straw with large, creamy, white head that is quite persistent. Wonderful clarity and effervescence. 

S: Strong malt aromas, ranging from toast to grains to light corn. A touch of lemony/citrusy hops reminds you that Three Floyds brewed this beer. Otherwise, clean. 

T: Malty sweetness catches tongue unawares, but transitions seamlessly to toasty/grainy/corny malts. The hops seem to be adding some spiciness now. Medium-light bitterness helps crisp finish. 

M: Relatively big bodied considering low abv. The carbonation has enough vigor to hold up body. The mouthfeel, then, is heavier than one would expect for style, but it works fir this beer and does not take away from experience. 

O: I find Gorch Fock to be a pleasant, sessionable beer that, while not typical of style, falls well within its parameters. A really well-made lager that I highly recommend. 

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Month two of the Three Floyd’s “Challenge;” I don’t really emphasize the “Challenge” part because trying each one of FFF’s monthly releases as they come out is more of a privilege than anything. This month’s is Gorch Fock, and am I very excited. I just had a Weihenstephaner Original a couple weeks ago, and I remember saying “man, I wish more craft brewers made a Helles Lager; I’d love to explore this style.” Lo and behold, one of my favorite breweries bottles one no less than a week later. Lucky finds and odd coincidences are not uncommon in the beer world, and that’s another reason I enjoy being a part of the community.

So here’s to Three Floyd’s, for granting my wish – even sooner than I expected!

A: Thick and German – that’s how I would describe the body. It’s a deep gold hue, showing off a slight haze and medium carbonation from the glass’ bottom. The head is white and sudsy, but it goes away very quickly. A film is all that is left now, with some pretty good lacing. The look is spot-on for the style.

S: The nose is just as German as the appearance – bright, acidic yeast punctuated by inherent fruit tones (mostly cherry and lemon/lime). Very spirited. In fact, the only grains I can detect are some energetic wheat tones on the back end. Finally, some hops come out, as is the case with most of Three Floyd’s offerings. They are just barely there, but their piney resin is unmistakable. Killer execution so far.

T: Pretty spot-on here, too. My first few swigs give testament to the bright yeasts that were apparent earlier; mellow pear and cherry tones with a slight bit of that German-style funk. The malts are sweet, yet grainy, giving this one a lot of balance against the acids in the yeast, as well. The tiniest splash of hoppy bitterness comes in for the back end, giving the aftertaste a dry feel to its German chewiness. Not bad at all. I can detect some slight metallic tones, but nothing that sticks out in an overtly offensive way.

M: Not as much carbonation as I would have expected for the style, but still refreshingly bubbly. It’s not supposed to be an incredibly thick drink, and it isn’t; in fact, if it stays cold, it’s nothing but refreshing. The brewmasters hit it on the head there.

O: A spirited attempt at a non-traditional style; the results of which I thoroughly enjoyed. While it might not take the prize from Weihenstephaner (which I wasn’t expecting in the least), it definitely gives the Midwest an excellent example of this often overlooked European style. And if you can produce a good Helles, it says loads about your brewery, in my opinion. Just another reason why the boys in Munster should be proud.

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Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. Two inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, slight grain, slight wheat, sweet malt, and slight pale malt. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of slight citrus hops, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of grain, hint of earthy malt, and slight alcohol. Overall, good appearance, body, and blend.

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