Victory Helles Lager | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Victory Helles LagerVictory Helles Lager
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
896 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#38,849
Reviews:
369
Ratings:
896
pDev:
13.41%
Bros Score:
3.6
 
 
Wants:
46
Gots:
147
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 896 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of rcjennings
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came a clear straw yellow with a hint of brown and a thick frothy head. Smelled of dry dirty corn and a musky citrus. Tasted very citrusy for a lager with a sweet corn and oats base. Very slight and simple. Mouth feel was light bodied with a medium to high carbonation. I’d have to say that this would be an ideal transition beer for some one addicted to macros who is curious about Victory.

 402 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear pale yellow with a nice white head that produced a small white, foamy head. The beer gave off a nice grain aroma with a hint of citrus hops, I think. The taste of the beer was good, mostly grainy, but overall the beer was well balanced. The beer had a light, clean and crisp feel and it was extremely easy to drink. I had a couple without even noticing. Overall, a fine example of the style from one of the best breweries.

 446 characters

Photo of ChrisKayler
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BeerThursdays
2/5  rDev -44.1%

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
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 hockeyfighter19
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Jacobob10
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
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!

-----

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.

 1,770 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by 8/7/05 - served chilled in a pilsner glass. Pours with a 1 finger white head with medium bubbles that don't leave much lacing. The body looks unfiltered - kinda like a witbier with a touch of yellow/gold tinges. Metal, spicy hops, malts and maybe diacetyl on the nose. Palate is the same, with a crisp, light body, but I'm also getting a hint of wet paper and even corn, even though there was none in the mash. Wish I hadn't forgotten about this bottle - I'm sure it's better when fresher.

 512 characters

Photo of BeerCon5
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellow color with about 1/2 inch of white fluffy head.

The scent is of grains, and also a light grape scent.

The taste is of light grains, bitter hops, grapes, and some light yeast.

Light bodied, crisp and refreshing, good carbonation.

Very easy to drink a few of these, this is one of the better lagers I've had.

 330 characters

Photo of HRamz3
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Greasy
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chicagoish
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of kmos27
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of Phillyz
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of breadwinner
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
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!

 231 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

victory really continues to disappoint me. with exception of the wonderfully tasty hopdevil, the other brews of theirs that i've sampled thusfar really seem to be below the standards that i had hoped for them. the all malt lager is easily the worst of the lot that i have had. it pours a macro looking crisp straw golden colour with no head. i was very disappointed here. the smell and taste: average to slightly below average. both are watery and malty with a touch of grass, sweetness and hops. any flavour is way in the back behind the watery characteristics that dominate here. there's nothing here, really. bland. boring. blah. the one thing i will give this brew is that it is crisp and refreshing on a hot summer day, a bit moreso than your standard macro would be/is. this one is better than those macros, but not by much. i expected more from you victory and you keep disappointing. convince me otherwise...please.

 923 characters

Photo of Shandycan
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Beerasaurus
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of indiapaleale
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To be honest, I am not entirely sure what to expect from a Munich Helles Lager, should it be super light colore with little head and a grainy nose? Hopefully, cuz thats what is going on here.

Pours a very pale golden, very very clean and clear. Head is less than a quarter inch and goes away quickly.

Smell is very grainy, corny, wheaty and slightly sour/sweet. Nothing too amazing.

Taste is honestly a bit like Welch's grapefruit juice watered down with some corn juice. That is exactly what this tastes like to me. If you gave a VERY, VERY cold bottle of this to me on a HOT, HOT day I think it would be close to perfect but not right now, it lacks a lot of character IMO.

Taste macro-ey and doesn't do much for me...

 723 characters

Photo of swgwilt
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Domingo
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BankerJoe for this one. I wish Victory would send this out here to Colorado, but for some reason we don't get it.
Pours a medium to light yellow color. Moderate head, but nothing too rocky. The head falls quickly although carbonation bubble continue. It falls into the middle of the pack for the style.
The smell is mainly of grain. Not a lot of hops in the nose.
Tastes maltier (think biscuity) than some of the German examples, but it's still clearly a normal helles rather than a pils or export. Hops finish the flavor component nicely. Not overbearing, but just right.
I could easily drink a mass or two of this. One of the best American examples of the style for sure. Because it's fresh, that makes it even better.
This is a solid helles.

 755 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a bright and briskly clear golden yellow. A creamy two fingers of white head expands rapidly, then dwindles soon to a fine bubbly sheen. Thin lacing slides down the glass from whence it came.

In the aroma, the mellow sweetness of light malt provides the backbone, and the gentle bite of noble hops branches from there. A rounded doughy yeast essence lands and earthy air to the mix.

Upon sipping, a slightly grainy malt sweetness asserts itself first, bearing with it a very slight grassy note. A dusky yeast sourness blinks on and off in the middle, allowing a soothing mild hops bitterness to carry through and linger at the finish. It's very simple, crisp, and clean, just not especially exceptional.

Light bodied, it doesn't coat so much as flow across the palate, depositing its tastiness, then washing away to leave a softly lingering bitter glow.

It is what it is, and that's fresh and refreshing. The veritable malt character is nicely balanced by a crisp, reasonably well-defined hops presence. You don't have to concentrate on this flavor, because there's nothing complex about it, and maybe I see that as more of a strength than might others. Pleasant and quenching, it goes down damned smooth, and that plus the nice flavor adds up to a real good quaffability quotient. Yes, it is indeed a lawn mower beer, but one of the better ones, by far. This one will accompany often on my deck this summer.

 1,432 characters

Photo of IronLover
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow in color with a slight chill haze. Poured with a short fizzy white foam that quickly dissipated leaving no cap or lacings. Toasted malt, biscuit, and light lemon hop aromas. Medium bodied with assertive, but not fizzy, refreshing carbonation. Toasted malt with biscuit flavors up front with a tangy, citrus lemon hop bite through the middle. Finishes crisp and dry with a biscuit malt aftertaste.

 408 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. best before date of may 22, 2009 (tasted in mid-march)

clear, pale golden straw. vigorous pour gives a fizzy head with big bubbly foam, fading to a thin layer with nice retention. webby lacing, especially when pouring a second bottle into the same glass.

gentle sulfurous whiff fades to light bready malt aroma, melding with grassy noble hops.

light, almost watery flavor. bready malts can be detected under a grassy, moderately bitter and snappy, noble hop bite. trace of sulfur. something bordering on fusel however.

thin, but smooth enough. still pretty drinkable. fairly prickly carbonation, with flash of faint astringency in the finish.

prior to trying the sixer, i had tried samples before. in smaller amounts, it seemed like it might be a decent helles. but upon trying full sevings, the fusel character comes out and the feel is thinner than expected. better than average, but had higher hopes for this one.

 934 characters

Victory Helles Lager from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 896 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.