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Victory Helles Lager | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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BA SCORE
82
good
365 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Victory Helles LagerVictory Helles Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Victory Lager

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
365
Ratings:
877
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
20.78%
 
 
Wants:
41
Gots:
131
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 877
Photo of gory4d
4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden with a high white head. The smell robust yet crisp grain, with some herbal and floral notes. The taste is clean malt, crisp hops, sweet grainy notes, some mineral tang. It's sharply carbonated, slightly viscous. All in all an excellent Helles, easy to drink and very satisfying.

 299 characters

Photo of CptAubrey
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Pale, pale yellow. No trace of chill haze. Fluffy white head billows above the rim of the glass and clings lace-like to the inside of the glass after receding. A beautiful, sparkling beer.

S: Spicy hops, hint of grain, and touch of sulfur. Smell is light and enticing.

T: So smooth and clean! Soft sweetness of malt and herbal, spicy hops predominate with low hop bitterness in finish. Very well balanced. Malt, hoppiness, and bitterness are all soft and clean. No harshness.

M: Fine carbonation and light body. Not watery, but I've had other helles lagers with a little more presence.

D: Supremely drinkable. Refreshing, balanced, and clean. Overall a great beer.

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Photo of BigMike
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of Nov. 22, 2010

pours an extremely pale yellow with good carbonation and not much of any head.
Light malts and hoppiness. Grassy and spicey with some lemon.
Very flavorful lager here. Lots of sweet grassiness. Some spice and lemon zest. Very nice and balanced.
Light bodied and extremely sessionable. Crisp clean and super easy to drink.
Some times I tend to forget about lagers and more sessionable "simple" beers. This is probably the best lager I've ever had. Might be a new summer go to beer. If only BMC could make a lager with this much flavor.

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Photo of aaronh
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was a big change from all my previous Victory experiences-Mild hopping! This is an excellent lager. It pours a nice deep golden color with a thin white head which dissipates fairly quickly and leaves no lace. The aroma is clean and fruity, with bread-like overtones. The taste is malty and smooth, with enough hops to clean the palate. The finish is very clean, with just a hint of a fruity aftertaste. I do believe I could drink these frequently (read "pound"). While different than many of the Victory beers I have tried, it is truly excellent. A great Dortmunder.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.39/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got this down here in TX! 12 oz bottle with a best by date of Nov 28 2011. Pours a fairly clear, light gold color with a decent cap of white head. Retention and lacing are both average.

Nose is saltine crackers and a light, citric-flesh fruit. I thought I would find more graininess and grassy hops, but Victory has beat a different drum once again.

Taste is light and crisp with some biscuit grain and a fair amount of bright hops...both flavoring and bittering. I like this beer quite a bit, not necessarily a classic helles, but damn is it refreshing and tasty. I would have no problem finishing off a sixer of this in a day. Tasty, clean and interesting...just what I want in a nice lager. Excellent beer, I see a repeat purchase in my very near future.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wonderfully drinkable, this brew is clean and satisfying -- noble hops perfectly balancing a bready, if momentarily grainy, malt base -- and a reminder of how fantastic a well-crafted lager can be. IPA drinkers, you're missing out!

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Photo of JAXSON
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear light gold with a white head. Nose is fairly mild ,with a pleasant fresh grain and a light hop note. Mouth is snappy, bright, super fresh grain and a kiss of sweet malt. A touch grassy in its hop element. This was one I overlooked for awhile but it's just fantastic. Understated, extraordinarily well balanced. Of course criminally underrated. One of the best lagers I've ever had, up there with Victory's best pilsners. They are masters with this style.

 491 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, enjoy by Jan 3 2012.

Slight hazy, gold-straw color. Lots of bubble rising up. Thin head.

Aroma is sweet grain, hay, touch of spicy hops.

The flavor starts off sweet grains, slight spicy hops towards the end. Some biscuity, honey, lemony. Body is light, very crisp. Medium carbonation. Dry finish and aftertaste.

 324 characters

Photo of saradad
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Going over some notes from the other night I got this:
A: Golden, visible carbonation, white head quick disappears.

S: Malty goodness with a citrusy hops balance

T: Sweet nutty with light citrus behind that, good balance.

M: Creamy, drying finish with a light hops aftertaste.

D: Oh yeah, this is a good one.

 312 characters

Photo of deadliest
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale golden yellow. Lots of bubbles. 2 fingers of white head that sticks around for a short while and leaves dots of lacing behind.
S: Light malts and some citrus/grassy hops.
T: Light malt and citrus hops again. lemon zest, and biscuit.
F: Light mouthfeel. Crisp. Good carbonation.
O: Really good lager. Too bad craft breweries don't put out more examples of these beers.

 378 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
4.28/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Updated rating 4.28/5;
Updated review on 1/18/2016:

64 oz growler from BottleCo in North Bergen, NJ.

I last had this beer about 9 & 1/2 years ago and clearly something was different. Did I get a bad batch in 2006? Has Victory changed their recipe? Or was I too early into my journey to appreciate the subtle intricacies of a skillfully crafted lager? My bet is on the latter. Sweet, malty aroma of freshly cracked grain with a touch of spice from the hops. Clean, malty, smooth flavor with controlled bitterness and sweetness. It's clear this was a fresh sample with the rich malts singing all the way through the beer. I finished my growler over two sittings, but could have easily polished it off in a day. I don't think I was capable of recognizing what I had my hands on almost a decade ago. This is great drinking!

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Previous rating 2.37/5;
Previous review from 8/29/2006:

This beer was completely not what I expected. I had been hoping for a nice malty lager with some serious flavor. What I got was a macro lager on steroids.

Pours a straw yellow color with a very small head and not much retention at all. I would have had a hard time distinguishing it side-by-side from a Bud. The aroma was not very pleasing at all. It didn't make me shy away from the beer, there just wasn't anything to talk about.

Very bland taste. Where are the malts? Where are the hops? Something is missing here for sure.

As critical as I'm being about this beer, it wasn't undrinkable. There just wasn't anything unique or exciting about it. You could have put it side by side with any other macro lager and I would have been hard pressed to tell the two apart. I actually put down a sixer of HopDevil and bought this instead. I won't be making that mistake again.

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Photo of NODAK
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Smells pretty malty...biscuity....pretty tame.

The thing that defines this beer is how NOT in your face it is. The body is a somewhat sweet, grainy, but restrained malt. This holds for a decent while before the very tame hop bitterness makes itself known in the finish. There's also some biscuity notes on the finish as well. It's definitely a beer I'd recommend for people who are looking for a easy drinking beer year-round....while not incredibly complex, it's definitely drinkable.

 486 characters

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

02/20/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. So this is what an all malt taste like. Nice dry finish. Leaves a mild aftertaste that is not cloying. Prob'ly a good summer session beer with a push @ 5.9 ABV.

04/13/12 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. All I ask from a beer. Nothing more, nothing less. Bring it!

 298 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a radiant clear yellow, with a small head and streamers of carbonation. The aroma is powerful - you can smell this beer coming. It is bready and sweet with a nice sting of hop bitterness. The flavor is a little less powerful, but still delicious - bready, lemony with that distinctive Victory Brewing hop bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is thin and pleasant. This is an eminently drinkable beer

 408 characters

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Rated within style, this is easily one of the best lagers I have ever had!

Poured from a really fresh keg at a friend's party, I found this to be sweet, creamy, and refreshing. Much better than the bottled version, that I had prior to my days on BA.

Worth checking out if you can get this fresh.

 298 characters

Photo of SliceofKimbo
4.24/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The ratings for this beer, both from the BA community, and the Brothers, have long puzzled me. I'm admittedly biased for German style offerings, with particular fondness for Bavarian profiles, so Victory's focus on hewing closely to traditional German examples undoubtedly appeals to my palate. Victory Lager nails the popular Helles lager that is most popular in Bavaria as the everyday beer. Pouring an unfiltered, slightly hazy pint is a nice twist, departing slightly from tradition, but that only adds to the appeal, in my opinion.

Hopheads (and I drift into and out of that spectrum regularly) likely will find this too mellow, but rather than judging Victory Lager against the biting IPAs or Belgian ales, I use the original German Helles as my reference point. And this beer hits the mark. This is an outstanding American interpretation of the original style.

Prost!

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light straw color with a one-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of absurdly crisp light malts with sharp light citrus aromas. Also present are hints of leafy and spicy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though note quite as robust. Smooth light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by bright citrus flavors - more lemon rind than anything else. Midway through the sip the citrus influence fades a bit and the flavor profile becomes more bitter with the addition of earthy hops. Very slight hints of breadiness come into play before fading out to allow the hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall this is another very good lager from Victory. Very smooth and I wish I had access to this more regularly. Very well worth a shot.

 1,045 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by date of November 2004, Sampled December 2004
A spicy hop aroma emanates from my glass as I pour this beer. The beer is a brilliant straw gold color, and is topped by a frothy, just barely off-white head. The aroma is nicely full with continental spicy hop notes, I get notes of herbs, grass, and a hint of lemon. The beer is quite light on the palate, and has a pleasing malt sweetness. There is a nice bitterness in the finish, which is a nice balance. There is a decent amount of hop flavor here as well. This beer is actually defined by the hoppiness, though certainly not in the way that an IPA is defined by hoppiness.

This is just an incredibly tasty example of a Helles. Despite it being past its bottle date this beer tasted incredibly fresh and vibrant to me, I can't even imagine a fresh one being better.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold with a foamy fading white head and some trickles of lace. Floral hop and sweet malt aroma. Medium malt with caramel notes. Fruity, and citrusy lime-like hop bitterness. A slight alcohol fuminess weaves in and out. Very fluid and drinkable. Nice summer treat!

 278 characters

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.21/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color, with a white head that dies off and leaves a nice ring of lace around the glass. On the nose is light toasted bread, and touch of hops. On the palate there is a slight tart / sourness that tastes like green apples...whatever it was it tasted good, and I liked it. This is a super refreshing brew. I really enjoyed this brew...good stuff!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Poitras/VA 2004 vacation.

Enjoyed on tap at Capital Ale House - Innsbrook, Glen Allen, VA

14oz pils glass presentation. White 1/2" head over a plae straw brew, and no lacing present. Light pale malt aroma, and the flavor expanded on this with the crisp malt character leading up to a hoppy finish. Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle of this in a mug after working in the yard.

Poured a pretty, lemony-straw color. Not much head and very little lacing.

Not a lot of aromas, mild malt and hops but nothing to jump out, however for the style this is what I expected.

This beer had an excellent, subtle flavor that was not overly hoppy or malty, but did have a nice, mild taste. A good example of a helles lager, IMO.

Kind of a fizzy mouthfeel, but also light, smooth and crisp.

It really excels in the drinkability category, I wish I would have bought more than one to sample, as I could easily drink several of these in a row, especially out on a hot summer day grilling. This will be my beer of choice to bring to a summer party, especially if there are lots of non-BAers around who might squawk at something other than a typical lager.

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Photo of Schmidts
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light yellow from the bottle with a small lasting head. Smells of sweet malt and grain with a light touch of hops. Taste is rather wonderful light refreshing reminds me of the old days and beer I drank when I was young. It feels great in your mouth smooth and light and a light sweetness! It is Very Refreshing. This is the kind of Beer you can sit down and just drink one after another and just plain enjoy! This is a beer I will drink as long as it is made and I do not mind paying more for as it is truely flavorfull!
Beer Its Not Just A Beverage It s Food!

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Photo of cracgor
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is probably one of the easiest drinking beers I've had in my life. 12 oz bottle. Pours out a pale yellow with a fizzy white head. Looks sort of like champagne. Has a very sweet fruity smell to it. Drinking it is like liquid gold. Not really light in flavor. There is tons of it, just all very pleasant and very little bitter flavor in it. Has a sweet floral hop. It is amazingly clean and crisp. A light tasting beer to enjoy in the summer. This is hands down the best example of a "lawnmower beer" I have ever tasted.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taking a step back to the lighter side of beer I picked this one up in a mixed sixer.

This lager pours into my glass a brilliantly clear yellow gold with a thick foamy white head.

The smell is a mellow fresh beer aroma.

The taste of this beer is very smooth and medium bodied with a light but well rounded malt flavor. This is a very well made lighter lager without the watered down character of typical American offerings.

Whenever you are in the mood simple but high quality beer this is it.

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Victory Helles Lager from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.61 out of 5 based on 877 ratings.
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