Heavenly Helles
Church Street Brewing Company

Heavenly HellesHeavenly Helles
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #175
Ranked #40,203
3.67 | pDev: 13.35%
Church Street Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Heavenly HellesHeavenly Helles
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 124 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz can
Thanks to Ken for giving me a can to try once again after all these years
L: crystal clear golden body with a thin white head
S: doughy grain, spicy & earthy hops
T: doughy pale malt, nutty Munich malt, grassy/spicy/earthy German hops
M: light-to-medium body, soft carbonation, balanced, semi-dry finish
O: better than I remember it being

Jun 28, 2020
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Gordono from Nevada

3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sweet and slightly sour taste with a familiar malty nose. Clear golden color, white but weak head. An easy drink and a good example of the helles style.

Apr 27, 2019
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ordybill from Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear gold color with a small white head. The aroma is yeasty malt, grain and grass. The taste is very similar to the nose.

Aug 13, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. This is a wonderful Helles Lager. Don't understand the hate at all. The pour is a clear and a bit light but still in the appropriate range for the style. Smells bready and caramely. The taste has that wonderful warm bread and wheat with the german hops and very slight citrus on the finish. Feel is full, yet slightly carbonated. Would definitely have again, especially on a summer afternoon out on the porch

May 10, 2018
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a crystal clear, golden color with a small, fizzy white head of foam. It smelled floral with toasted caramel. Sweet caramel taste with a bread-like quality.

Feb 11, 2018
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DrMullet from Florida

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear medium golden yellow with fair head.
Smell is sweet malt, grassy and some light floral notes.
Taste is malty sweet grains and a bit of citrus.

Aug 12, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

4.26/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of strong pale malt, sweet malt, hint of hops, yeast, and earthiness. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong pale malt, sweet malt, hint of hops, hint of floral notes, slight citrus hops, yeast, and earthiness. Overall, weak appearance, good aroma and feel, with a great body and blend.

Jul 10, 2017
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A good Helles. Church Street has done a good job staying close to the style, yet offering their rendition.
Looks true. Smells sweeter than Munichs do. Taste is mostly malty, but has hops for balance. Refreshing.
I had a not-so-good experience with church Street several years ago. I'm glad I tried them again. And I will explore their offerings again, perhaps only waiting a few weeks instead of years.

Jun 15, 2017
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Wybest from Illinois

1.72/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This is obviously infected. I was looking forward to a cold Helles on a hot day. Unfortunately, the beer was very sour. Hopefully the beer is better next time around.

Jul 24, 2016
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FBarber from Illinois

3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, semi opaque straw yellow color. Momentarily there was a white head, but that quickly dissipated. Lots of bubbles from the carbonation continue to stream upward as I drink it.

Smell has aromas of straw, grain, honey and malt. The smell is almost sweet. Undertones of a bit of skunk, clover, and homemade lemonade.

Taste is crisp sweet grains, bready malts, honey. Very sweet flavor throughout. Definitely get some undertones of sweet lemon. Very tasty, but a bit on the sweet side for me. The more I drink it the more I get this sweet homemade lemonade undertone thats a bit odd.

Feel is very nice - crisp, light, supremely drinkable. This would be great on a hot summer day.

Overall a nice offering from Church Street. Decent helles style lager, but for me, I'll stick to the imports.

May 08, 2016
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bwood06 from Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Stange Glass

A - Beer pours a 2 finger fizzy head that dissipates rather quickly but levels out at about a half finger in height. Head is white in color. Beer itself is a bright golden color with massive carbonation rising very quickly towards the surface of the glass. Beer is clear in appearance. 4/5

S - The aroma is rather buttery and grainy with a heavy dose of clover honey. The aroma reminds of a breakfast featuring a buttered biscuit next to a biscuit with honey on it (Very appetizing). It also reminds me of several of the lagers I tried while in Prague this past November. A bit of floral hops and pear round out the aroma. 4/5

T - The taste follows the aroma dead on featuring a not overly sweet clover honey beginning which transitions to a buttered biscuit flavor and also grainy cereal malt. The malt profile is rather sweet as compared to earthy which complements the honey. A bit of pear shines through in the middle adding a light fruitiness to the flavor. Floral hops make up the back end of the beer but impart only limited bitterness, instead leaving the drinker to remember the grainy and honeyed sweetness of this lager. Very little lingering bitterness. 4.25/5

M - Light carbonation tickle rather than a carbonation burn despite the appearance of massive carbonation. Maintains a buttery smoothness throughout that is reminiscent of the buttery flavor. Very light but leaves a velvety coating on the tongue that is retained on the finish which ever so briefly transitions to a drying note (nice touch Church St). 4.25/5

O - I don't often give lagers scores above a 4.0 but this one is exceptional. Very true to the Czech style of lagers and it is a beer that brings back good memories, which not all beers are capable of. Balanced with a lean towards the sweeter end of the spectrum allows the buttery flavor and texture to shine through. 4/5

Feb 17, 2016
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JLaw55 from Missouri

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A really nice helles lager that has a decent amount of flavor and body to it, while still remaining drinkable enough to toss back a few with some friends.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

Oct 25, 2015
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BeerandWhiskeyHQ from Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

slight haze-yet clear. minial white head, amber, light lager color
Typical pilsner/lager scent, fresh light malted beer
Wow! Incredible, crisp and incrediby refreshing and enjoyable, notes of light malt, lager bite and a wonderful fruity/floral note that are just hidden enough to make you keep wanting more
There's a reason this has been voted the best lager in Chicagoland, and now I know why. Get yourself one


Apr 09, 2014
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Qbdoo from Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First, I hate the name. If I'd noticed it, I would never have tried it. But I'm really glad I did. I don't buy lager much, and usually only drink it when I have to, but I'll be buying this again. It's an odd-looking color -murky orange - not really appetizing but the smell has an alluring floral character. Taste is rather complex for a lager. HIghly quaffable.

Apr 05, 2014
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pale straw gold, compact head of bubbly white foam that seems to dissipate to a thin skim after a minute or so. Second pour yielded a much longer lasting head and some irregular spotty lacing around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is clean and slightly scented with honeyed malt. Nothing too wild, and definitely nothing off to speak of.

Taste is clean, mild apple esters from the yeast, a very light malt sweetness, though it tapers off quickly. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, and a somewhat substantial feel. Dry aftertaste of grain husks and crackery malt. As it warms up the taste improves slightly. Pairs well with just about any food except sweets.

Helles lagers are simple by design, no one is trying to reinvent the wheel here.

Thanks to Dan for the recommendation.

Mar 21, 2014
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daveh88 from New York

2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So, I really wanted to like this. This beer is brewed fairly close to where I grew up and I was excited to see this brewery start to bottle and flourish. Unfortunately, when drinking this beer all I think about is how this isn't anything better than a Budweiser. It's a fine lager and does the job, but there are much better craft beers out there.

Feb 15, 2014
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What d'ya know? Another locally-brewed German-style lager! Excited to see this in my neighborhood. Brown longneck with a spot on the label for a bottling date... left blank.

A -- Rather hazy gold with a thick, dense white head.

S -- Mildly spicy - nearly earthy - hops. Light breadiness coming through with a good swirl.

T -- Hmm. Somewhat sour, vegetal character. Mild citrus, some bready malts fighting the good fight, but not winning the battle. Some nice, spicy bitterness in the finish.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light-medium body.

O -- Just a little disappointed That this isn't clean and malty, as a good Helles ought to be. I have the feeling this beer didn't get a good fermentation or lagering; shows how difficult it really is to make a good Lager.

Also wish the dating machine had hit the labels on this sixpack, but the store proprietor assured me this beer hit the store last week.

Feb 07, 2014
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schleprock from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the brewery. The guy who rated this a 1.95 out of 5 doesn't seem to know beer if you look at the other beers he trashed like Delirium, Westmalle and such.

Anyhow, this is far and away the best beer at this brewery. I wasn't impressed with anything else there but this beer is top notch and as good as any German beer I've had like Ayinger.

It pours a really nice gold color with a decent head. Lacing doesn't seem to stay and leaves quickly.

Smells as you'd expect, grainy, hints of corn and bread.

The taste is awesome and this may become a major summer beer for me. I could drink a ton of these, they go down that easy. The only thing that kept me from turning this back into my college pounding days was it was so hard to get a beer at the brewery. They were filling growlers in the same place as a regular glass and those growlers take forever to fill

Has good carbonation and didn't really seem to be overly hopped, which for me was just great.

Overall, this is one hell of a beer that you can get anyone to drink and they'll come back for more. Hats off to the brewery on this one.

Feb 05, 2014
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falloutsnow from Illinois

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Schaumburg, IL
Date: None, assuming from very late end of 2013
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

While not a perfect replication of the Munich Helles Lager style (I'd increase the hops slightly and put more towards aroma to get there, but the malt body is right there), Church Street's Heavenly Helles is a solid take on it. The malt is made complex through the brewery's decoction mashing and the hops are able to shine and counterbalance nearly as well as in a good, fresh German version. This is as good as and more authentic than Surly's Hell, with a more robust body and overall "feel" to it. A good representation and take on the style, one that I will be picking up again or trying on tap (and this is far, far more flavorful than Beck's; anyone doubting this should do a side-by-side).

Pours a 1cm tall head of white foam, made up of small-sized bubbles that yield a frothy appearance. Retention is about average, the foam lasting around one minute in a decline to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is average-good, with a moderate number of dots and thin lines clinging to the walls of the glass. Beer is a bright, golden orange color with light bringing out yet brighter, golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the slightly hazy body (10-20% opacity), fairly low in number, moderate in activity.

Aroma is a fairly rich mix of grainy and biscuit-like sweetness, with slightly floral, grassy, and grape-like hop scents.

Flavor is of mild noble hops that contribute a slightly spicy, dried grass and low lemon citrus, and slightly grape-like flavor joined to a robust grainy and bread-like malt sweetness. Front of palate picks up bread-like sweetness joined to lightly floral and dried-grass like hops. Mid-palate of a sweet pale malt background, slight grain, bread and biscuit flavors, with a good hop showcase of dried grass and lemon citrus. Back of palate tastes grain, bread, light dried grass and lemon citrus, low hop bitterness. Aftertaste of grain, bread-like sweetness from malts, lemon and grass from hops.

Beer is medium in body, with carbonation of low intensity, leading to a full, smooth (4/5) and slightly foamy (1/5) mouthfeel that's good for the beer and the style. Closes dry, with light to medium-light stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

Jan 24, 2014
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bing1985 from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The finest example of the style I've had outside of Munich. Instantly reminded me of Augistiner - which is the yardstick by which I judge all Helles. I believe you could serve this in Munich without shame. I would rate this far ahead of the dreck that hofbrauhaus is peddling around the states as "export" helles.

BRight but rich. Disappears off the tongue with a flash of sweetness. Can be enjoyed by the gallon.

Dec 05, 2013
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mfnmbvp from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Another new local brew from Church Street Brewing, out of Itasca, Illinois, acquired at the local beer store. Expectations are moderate based on my experience with Church Street Brewing Brimstone IPA.

Poured into a Houlihan's pint glass.

A - Pours a nice clear golden straw colored body with just under a finger of white foam that fades quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles lazily floating topside. Leaves no lacing. Clearly, it doesn't look like much, but a classic appearance of the style.

S - Smell is of corn, grain, wheat, grass, and bready pilsner malt.

T - Taste follows the nose: grainy corn, wheat, grass, faint lemon, dried bitter earthy hops, and a metallic mineral presence. A nice drinking beer, but there has always been something about the coarse grainy corn presence about this still that puts me off just a bit. Still, befitting of the style.

M - Feel ends grassy and dry with some lingering dried hop bitterness / stickiness clinging to the palate. Medium-light bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a nice Chicago example of a traditional German styled beer. Lager lovers be on the look out for this one.

Church Street Brewing Heavenly Helles Lager ---3.5/5

Nov 13, 2013
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SteveKay from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Update 6/4/2016
Just had this on draft at the local bar. Was looking for something summery and saw the tap handle. Kind of remembered the review I had given I thought I should give it another try. What a delight? Not what I remembered. Far from the sweetness of a Becks as I had previously characterized, it was very well balance with a slight sweetness that refreshed. Went looking for some at the store but didn't find any. I just might go back to that bar just for the Helles of it. Delish!!

Had this at the brewery. Not sure what they are trying to accomplish with this. I understand that the whole pale ale ipa thing may be getting over done but trying to micro brew German lagers is a tough row to hoe.

The beer had typical German lager bitterness on the front an a sweet funk on the back end. Not full flavored at all. I had a sample and then ordered a pint just to be sure I wasn't missing anything. Drank most of it and left the rest.

Tasted like a Becks.

Oct 25, 2013
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filstan from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In an era of hoppy, high gravity insanity, Church Street has hit the ground running with their flagship lager. Heavenly Helles is a slap back into beer drinker reality where a high ABV is not needed to deliver the full flavor of both malt and hops. This is a classic Bavarian style Helles. Difficult to brew, and hard to find one this good in the USA, Heavenly Helles should be sought after by all lager beer fans. Following a tasting at the brewery 2 weeks ago I bought a half barrel last week for the house tap system. Strong discipline is needed to not overindulge with this brew. With each sip, it calls you back for more.

Poured into a traditional German 1/2 liter glass with 3 fingers of solid foam on top, the spicy noble hops up front balance the delicate malt. The wonderful balance of this golden lager beer is authentic Bayern, and I have not drank a beer domestically brewed with this character for some time. It finishes a little on the dry side with some mild hop bitterness. Most important with Heavenly Helles it is the quaff-ability part of the equation that stands out. I think it's the balance and the mouth feel that does it. This beer does not appear to be filtered, yet the yeast has settled out almost completely. This could be considered the only minor negative of this beer that is not completely a Bavarian Helles, as those beers are usually crystal clear. I'm sure the brewer chose to restrict filtration as it might change the wonderful character of this beer.

I chose to write this review because great domestically brewed lager beer has taken a back seat to the hop/malt bomb, palate scorching, high ABV brews that have been all the rage in recent years. While those beers have their own niche, traditional lager appears to be on the rebound as witnessed by Church Street Heavenly Helles. At 5.4 ABV it can't really be called a session beer, but under 5.5 these days it can almost qualify. Ideally this one would come in at 4.8-5.2 ABV as we could drink more of it at a sitting. One can only hope more brewers follow in these footsteps.

Seek this beer out and drink it with gusto!

Aug 05, 2013
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a willibecher at the tap room.

Finally getting a chance to enjoy a pint from the source. Good people. The beer pours a clear straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises fresh grass, light flowers, and dry, wheaty biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, the hops shining brightly without coming across as something younger folks might deem "hoppy". The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a damn solid helles, one of the better American versions I've had. I look forward to seeing more of this around.

Jun 10, 2013
Heavenly Helles from Church Street Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 124 ratings