Heavenly Helles | Church Street Brewing Company

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Heavenly HellesHeavenly Helles
115 Ratings
Heavenly HellesHeavenly Helles

Brewed by:
Church Street Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TMoney2591 on 06-09-2013

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 115 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of Chris48083
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'd drink this again

20 characters

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.58/5  rDev +25.8%
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


 470 characters

Photo of Riosj68
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cd34
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

over all

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Photo of REVZEB
4.41/5  rDev +21.2%
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

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Photo of bing1985
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

 414 characters

Photo of Tone
4.26/5  rDev +17%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of mjc3151
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of filstan
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

 2,115 characters

Photo of AuntBea
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bwood06
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
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

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Photo of AZ7788
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Dinobambam
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Mike412
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 586 characters

Photo of KingBiscuit
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of thewimperoo
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of onlymurderers
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alostplot
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of KingMe
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of sbonnell
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of BRD14
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Heavenly Helles from Church Street Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 115 ratings