Victory Helles Lager | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Victory Helles LagerVictory Helles Lager

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

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

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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 883
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.

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Photo of paulozanello
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a Bottle into my SA Perfect Pint Glass.

V Lager has a egg-yolk yellow color, with lots of sendiment being almos totally hazy. The white head is about 1 cm and falls very quickly to a thin membrane on the surface. Not good looking at all! I would expect my Helles to be a crystal clear beer with creamy white head.

Aroma starts with pale malt and bread/biscuit with faint fruity/floral hops towards the finish. Smell is very discrete and it sure could be stronger.

Taste is muuuch better! Lots of bready and malty sweet flavors upfront finishing with delicious and delicate fruity/floral/grassy hop notes. Nice subtle bitterness that goes well with the malt profile. Finish is dry and pleasant. Aftertaste is mildly bitter at first, progressing to mild malt sweetness.

Body is very light and carbonation is high as well as drinkability.

Despite its flaws on appearance and smell I still enjoyed this beer. It still loses to the better German Brands and Stoudt's Gold Lager but I'd definitely session this one.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle pulled from the fridge poured into an imperial pint glass. enjoy by oct 10 2010 on bottle, so a month over freshness, but i dont think itll matter much.

pours out a pale straw yellow with a fizzy white head that faded to nothing almost instantly. just a slight touch of sediment visible if you look hard.

not huge in the aroma. mostly grain husks and lager funk.

much better taste than the aroma would suggest. a nice balance of grains and lemon citrus hops. lager yeast throughout. simple, but well crafted.

very light in body, good carb for the style, most are overdone.

excellent drinkability. id love to session this beer but its hard to find in sixers, picked this up as a single. worth a try if you can find it, but i wouldnt really go out of my way to drink it again.

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Photo of thekanna
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Yellow bordering on gold with white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Yeast and light hops with notes of flowers, citrus fruits, and slightly sweet malts.

T/M: Incredibly crisp, sweeter malts with yeasts and notes of grassy hops and citrus fruits in the aftertaste. Light body with a lot of effervescence and slight creaminess. Delicious.

D: One of the better lagers I've had. Bravo, Victory.

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Photo of number1bum
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale golden color with only a finger or so of off-white head. Does not keep more than a very thin, wispy lace with little stick on the sides either.

Despite the lack of head the smell is very nice. It's bright and floral with a pronounced grassy and spicy hop aroma as well as some lemon. Has a light bready sweetness to it as well. Really, really nice.

Taste also has a fresh and robust hop flavor, grassy and spicy like the nose, with a touch of lemony citrus too. A nice bready, grainy malt base as well. Does not quite meet the vibrancy of the nose, but it is quite flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty crisp, although I find it to be a touch cloying in the finish. There's really not more than a mild sweetness to the beer but it has a sticky feel in the finish.

This is not nearly as good as Prima Pils but it's a very well done lager from Victory. They know how to do nice German lagers, that is for sure. My only complaints are that this is a bit uneven; head is very disappointing and the feel is off a bit, but where it really counts - flavor - this one delivers.

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Photo of 007
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Victory Lager was my introduction to craft beer in the mid-90s. Back in the day, the Victory brewpub was more low-key and the draft selection was limited to five or six flagships and a seasonal, compared to 15+ today. The Lager had such big flavor and aroma compared to the macro-brews I was used to (and didn't particularly like).

I've moved on to other styles, but recently revisited my first. It poured golden and clear with little head and slight effervescence. Clean sweet aroma and crisp, clean malt flavor. On the watery side compared to other styles, but fine for a lager. Overall, very drinkable.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Fort Worth Flying Saucer Fall Beerfest.

Golden pour with a large white head. The aroma is grainy with a little bit of corn and some bready malt. The flavor is more grain with some fruity hop characteristics. I get a little bit of grape in the flavor as well as some grassy and spicy hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A nice, easy drinking Helles Lager.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type - Bottle

A - Pours a bright, clear golden hue, with a single-finger off-white head that soon recedes to moderate lacing. A nice looking lager!

S - Smell is of light, floral hops, citrus notes (lemon, lime), grassy/cereal grains, and a very subtle malt presence.

T - Taste is of light, grainy malts, with some faint honey notes, perfectly balanced with lightly floral/citrus hop notes. The balance here is ace.

M - Light/Medium body. Pretty thin mouthfeel, but that's usually what people are looking for in a basic lager. Moderate carbonation. Very smooth and refreshing.

D - Can you say sessionable? This makes for a great lawnmower/summer beer.

Overall - I think this beer could use a tad bit more flavor and mouthfeel to be a truly great lager, but it's still pretty good. Good interpretation of the Munich Helles style.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured into pint glass. to style, a pale straw color, with bright white head, which fades fairly quickly. the aroma is of light hops. taste is well balanced with light flavor. clean finish.
higher carbonation, light body.
very easy drinking. refreshing.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beverly Hills Tavern in Wyomissing.
Served to me cold, with a full fluffy white head. Gold in color with sharp clarity. Smells pretty good. Bread, hay, and honey. Palate is quite sweet with a good honey and cracker malt flavor. Finishes with just a touch of grassy hop flavor. Overall, a strong option when in search of a refreshing mild flavored lager, without adjuncts.

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Photo of milkbaby9
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (best by 9-20-2010, drank 8-28-2010) into Samuel Adams sensory glass. 3 finger head quickly reduces to almost nothing without lacing. Crystal clear pale yellow color.

Aroma of lemon rind, light pine, and sweet malt. Tastes lemon, honey, light hops, and malt. Just the barest touch of bitterness comes in and fades back to the malt.

Okay carbonation. Very light bodied, watery. Very straightforwardly nice but kinda light on flavor almost to the point of blandness, though that makes it really easy to drink and to drink a lot of it. I think it is okay, but far from the class of say Weihenstephaner Original Premium even though that had to make a trip from overseas.

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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 Bouleboubier
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Referencing my trusty wiki color swatch guide, or whatever it is, the color is maize (in the family of yellow). I feel it has a moon-yellow glow to it. The head can be sizzly, snappy, and up to an inch thick or it might not show up. Nearly still body, as in bubble-free.

Quite the spicy pilsner hop character to the smell. I'd say spicier. It's working out to be similar to Troegs' Sunshine Pils (for those of you in the gno). Faint lemon zest and yeast linger as well.

The flavor is strange but enjoyable. Serious sting or tartness that reminds me of wheat a la Berliner Weisse (the color plays into that notion, I'm sure). Zesty, so zesty. Filtered grainy qualities. The most subtle lemon honey kiss at the back.

Maybe it's the zip on the top of the sip, but I get a heavy-ish feel underneath here. Not HEAVY-heavy - not viscous... The liquid drops down on the tongue like a sleeping slob rolling off a couch. A honey kissed lemon tea feel - sorry, that's what comes to mind.

The beer's a lot better than I anticipated - "lager", at least as far as US beers go, conjures up ill feelings. I seriously need to, in the future, match this up with the cream of the crop in this style (i.e. German). Great summer beer. Chicks will dig it, too.

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Photo of MP72
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- pale gold with a nice white head which sadly diminished quickly. Very clear on par with the best german helles.

S- not a lot going on a bit bready and grainy ,,slight lemon smell. Overall weak in the nose.

T- Very clean and with a bit of hop bite and some euro skunk just enough to give it some pilsner character. Not at all in a bad way.
Finishes nicely and leaves you wanting more.

D- Very good nice moderate ABV and easily quaffable since it is a bit on the thin side even for a helles.

Overall Victory wins again I love these guys from my home state and this is a nice summertime beer for the heat we're having and a fine Helles.

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Photo of HitokiriNate85
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 11/22/2010

A - Very light, straw gold. Light carbonation is visible giving the beer a thin, bright white head. Great clarity. Basically what I'd expect for the style. Unfortunately, in the end it doesn't leave much of a head and doesn't lace in the least.

S - Light grain and bread notes. Flower and lemon notes from the hops. Very clean and seems pretty spot on.

T - Just as good as the smell led me to believe. Victory really hits the mark with its lagers. Follows the nose really well, and it honestly does remind me of Prima Pils a lot. It's more bready, less grainy, and the flavor is a lot more rounded(Prima Pils being sharper in comparison). It has a really nice bitterness and a great flowery, lemony hop profile.

MF - Very nicely carbonated, and there's enough body to make it known but not so much as to make me think I'm drinking say, a bock.

D - It's a very clean, full-flavored helles lager. That alone makes it more drinkable that most other beers. It's very fresh tasting and very good. It's awesome to have such good examples of German styles made a few hours away.

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Photo of Agold
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately when i poured this beer there was virtually no head to speak of. It is straw colored and pretty clear. The nose has some grain in it, and maybe a hint of spicy hops. The grainyness in the nose carries through to the taste with a minimal amount of diacetyl butteryness, a bit of an off flavor for a lager like this, but not unpleasant. There is good medium-light mouthfeel for this one. Good enjoyable, but not exceptional beer.

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Photo of Stigs
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a thin layer of loose white foam which quickly settles to a film and ring. the beer is mostly clear and *very* pale straw colored.

S - grainy but with a nice grassy and slightly lemony hop kick at the end. light a light Prima (which is nice).

T - begins with strong malt grains and biscuits before a flash of grassy hops. quickly again the lightly buttery and bready malt takes over.

M - thin body but the carbonation falls just a tiny bit flat. lingering sweetness and grains.

D - light and drinkable, a bit malt-heavy for my taste but seems to suit the style pretty well. will make good work of the other 5 bottles from my Victory variety pack in this weather.

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Photo of deapokid
3.27/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Replacing the amateurish review I wrote on 06/03/2007:

The other lager included in the Victory sampler pack, this thin and translucent beer takes on a grain color with limited head and no retention.

Aroma bouquet includes malt, butter, grain, alcohol and a hint of skunkiness. It's a bit typical, but never offensive.

Taste is a blend of sweet butter, corn, crackers, milk, biscuit and the slightest bit of hops. Aftertaste is completely free of any metallic qualities.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight dryness in the conclusion and limited bitterness.

This is certainly a drinkable beer and a nice try at a Helles lager, but, when paired alongside the superior Prima Pils, it falls flat.

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

Cold from bottle to pint glass, this lager is a clear golden color with steady carbonation, a fair white cover and modest lacing. The aroma suggsts a slightly sour mash idea with a little leafy hop. The flavor brings a pretty watery apple cider malt with a mild hop bite. The taste isn't bad but it's kind of wimpy with carboard hints and maybe a touch of toffee. The constitution of this lager even reminds me at times of watermelon. The hop finish keeps it interesting, otherwise it's forgettable but fairly drinkable. It works.

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Photo of brianjay
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

FULL DISCLAIMER: I am not typically a lager drinker, but these hot summer days make it a lot easier to grab one off the shelf.

No head on this one. It is a cloudy, bright yellow body. A little bit of movement, but not much. Not much aroma either. The yeast produces a bit of floral, earthy aromas but you have to search for it.

A grain/malty flavor on the back of this one, and the herbal flavors of the hops gives it a bit of character.

Overall, nothing here is overpowering. A well balanced and frighteningly easy beer to drink. Load up the cooler with a six pack of these.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Victory Lager poured a bright golden color with almost no head. Even though it was a fresh bottle, it smelt a little skunked, and veery light. It tasted like a traditional lager but very light. The flavors were barley noticable. Overall I was dissapointed with this. The flavors needed to be much stronger, tasted like a watered down sam adams lager, but cost more money. Deffently not the best lager, or the best beer by victory.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed gold color with moderate poof of head that leaves quickly with little lacing. Scent is very mild, faint notes of grass, hay and flowers. Taste is clean with the touches of grass, hay, faint sweet malt and light bitterness with no off twang. Lighter side of medium bodied, adequate carbonation. A high quality lager that tops all macro offerings.

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Photo of appenzeller
1.85/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Me: pilsner nut. I love and treasure pilsners in the old Czech and Bavarian styles.

I tried Prima Pils given all its good reviews (see my earlier review), found it to be mighty tasty but definitely way off for the true style. In particular, it lacked the smoothness and technical quality of a true pilsner. So, I thought I'd see if Victory found it in their lager.

Nope. This is a skunky, overpale lager. No subtle hops profile, just skank. Malts are nonexistent but what there is . . . skank. I'm willing to write off this review as an old beer, but then . . . why is it that I can still get a really nice Spaten, Urquell, or Czechvar here in the states--granted not totally fresh but not this skank?

I think if we're going to tank imports for lack of freshness (as reviewers here do), then surely we need to do that with the domestics--which have less of an excuse.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a slightly cloudy light gold with a thin bright white head that quickly fades. No lacing. Looks like...a domestic. Oh god no.

S- smells like grassy hops and corn. You know what...I don't really mind it. Sometimes, you need something thats not a total hop bomb or ridiculously malty. Its a good smell.

T- there is a little bitterness there...overall, really light tasting, not a ton of flavor.

M- light. Carbonated. Thin. No real feel to it at all. Feels like...well, generic beer.

D- I'll give Victory this, they've created one hell of a drinkable lager. Its got some decent flavor to it so doesn't seem like you're drinking colored water, but overall...its a basic lager. Nice alternative to a domestic, but its not something I'd drink on a regular basis

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Photo of TommyW
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Crystal clear gold body with a bubble, white head.

S- Grassy sweet malts with a bit of bitter hops.

T- Semi-sweet, grassy and hay flavors from the malt with a touch of bitterness from a European-ish hop profile.

M- Crisp and clean over a medium body.

D- Very refreshing lager that is close to the style.

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Victory Helles Lager from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.61 out of 5 based on 883 ratings.
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