Where The Helles Summer?
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Where The Helles Summer?Where The Helles Summer?
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #92
Ranked #29,726
3.8 | pDev: 9.74%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
Where The Helles Summer?Where The Helles Summer?
Notes: Where the Helles Summer? is a classic German style lager. These beers originated in the 19th century as a response to Pilsener beers from Czech brewers. Helles is German for “bright.” In the brewing world we translate it as “light” – light in color and light in alcohol. Where the Helles Summer? is a clean & bready “beer drinker’s beer” balanced with austere noble hop varieties. It’s malt-forward and forward thinking to the warmer days just ahead.
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear, gold, with 1/3 inch head. Taste is white bread, cracker, and grass. Light bodied, very clean, slightly sweet with moderate carbonation. Makes for an excellent and tasty lager. Could do several of these. I will get this again.

Jun 19, 2017
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utopiajane from New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Why the Helles Not
Pours clear and golden with a fast falling head of white creamy foam. Nose is light and golden with malt. By light I mean that the malt is not complex. It is golden and breaddy but does not offer any toasted flavor. Hops are just present on the nose but shy. Soft floral shows a bit of grass from hops. As the beer sits it will also show you some pepper and spice. No diacetyl, no fruity esters from yeast, faint dms perfect for the style. Drinks smoothly and imo better than last year. No rough edges on this one it goes down with plenty of satisfaction. Hops remain shy on the palate but they impart their cool breath to the beer. Finishes perfectly. Malty with a crisp bubble and just a little bitterness to linger. Exemplary! In fact I would say put this up against any German import.

May 27, 2017
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of grains, malts. Taste is mild, malts, grains, light hops, hints of lemons. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer, but there are more flavorful examples of this style.

Oct 10, 2016
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Rock_Glenn from New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A style of beer I'm often not fond of, this is a very good beer. Deep golden color, smells slightly sour like all lagers, but clean with a nice mix of noble hops. Tastes distinctively German, with notes of biscuit and bread. The hops smooth out the after taste nicely. Perhaps a bit heavily carbonated, but overall the mouth-feel is exceptional for a lighter style of beer.

Aug 21, 2016
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AnalogReigns from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

WHAT a delicious Helles! Very nice. Spicey and interesting in aroma, and taste. Nice high head, clear, golden color. Good mouth feel. If you think you don't like German beer, try this--this is what you'll get in Bavaria--minus the stale taste you get with German beer imported. Easy going, won't knock you on your face with hops (or butt with alcohol) like a good social beer should. Just relax, enjoy the beer!

Aug 15, 2016
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TSuthard from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A head that settles quickly on golden body. A nose that harkens back to the pre-craft beer explosian when Heineken was king, but not as funky.This lager offers a worthy break from the usual lineup of summer ales.

May 30, 2016
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SerialTicker from Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served at Frankenmuth's World Expo of Beer 2016.

I really need to track this down and have it again for a re-review... I was several beers deep before getting to this one, and all the beers I had previously had heavy flavors and high ABV. Too light and delicate to accurately review this one. I will say, light, refreshing, surprising amount of hops for the style, and an unusual but pleasant fruitiness to it. Need again to get the nuances though.

May 24, 2016
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metter98 from New York

3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar consisting of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of bready malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has light flavors of bready malts and muted amounts of noble hops. Only a slight amount of bitterness is perceptible. Some hints of grassy hops start to peek through in the finish as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops, but both seem to be muted.

Serving type: bottle

May 07, 2016
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a stange.

A: Brassy golden color with great clarity. Head retention is decent.

S: Sweet, breads, toasty, grain. Very clean. Some oily, herbal, and grassy hops for balance.

T: Grainy and toasty malts at the outset. Bread crust. Hint of alcohol. Herbal bitterness is sharp and pronounced, lingering through to the finish.

M: Medium-light body with some good malt texture. Full and creamy with a slight sense of weight. Amply carbonated.

O: Kinda rough around the edges, it could use a little polish. It's a bit brash for the style, and it hinders drinkability just a bit.

Apr 10, 2016
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fx20736 from New York

3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 6 pack in Feb/ Mar 2016. Served in a Duvel tulip at fridge temp

Look: clear old gold, thin white film

Smell: Mild noble hops

Taste: very balanced, nice herbal hop finish

Feel: Medium carbonation

Overall: easy drinking

Apr 03, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Murky dark gold, off white head. Grainy bread, grassy hops, and toast in the nose. Taste starts with the bread and cereal malt, then works in the toast, then finishes with the hops. You get to ride this each sip. Feel is a bit grainy and mild for my preference but solid

Mar 27, 2016
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a very straightforward, no fuss no muss representation of the style. Clean, clear pale malt profile, a little bit of pepper spice, crisp finish. It isn't going to blow your socks off with some crazy flavor combo, but it is a classic, simple beer done well.

Mar 22, 2016
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey from New York

3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.50] Pours out a pale amber color. It looks like there are some red hues in there too. The head is about 1/2 a finger of mixed white bubbles. The head settles down to a thin white layer over the beer. The bottle lists the ABV (4.6%) and a clear date of birth (01/26/16).

S: [3.25] Biscuity bread, corn cereal, light toffee.

T: [3.50] Toast, toffee, mild caramel, something a little spicy (maybe hoppy?). A little buttery.

M: [3.50] It is crisp and refreshing. Would be a nice dock/lawnmower beer.

O: [3.50] This has a bunch of flavor for a 4.6% lager. It doesn't have the standard lager cardboard/corn taste that I always seem to detect. The caramel/toffee flavor is nice. The body isn't too hefty - but that is not what you want/expect in a nice summer beer. There is nothing too exciting here. I'd order this on tap in the summer but wouldn't seek it out.

Mar 20, 2016
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster from Michigan

4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours out to a lightly hazy pale golden, forming a modest white head with poor retention and average lacing. Carbonation is moderate, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is crisp and clean with a beautiful showcase of pils malt, crisp lager yeast with a hint of DMS and apple juice and soft noble hop character. Beautiful nose. The mouthfeel is very crisp and clean with a light-medium body. The taste is quite nice here...solid pils/pale malt body, delicate cracker, freshly mown hay, a touch of DMS, beautifully balanced bitterness, and a subtle touch of apple and a pleasant noble hop lingering in the aftertaste.

A beautiful Helles. I could drink this all day long. Highly recommended.

Mar 19, 2016
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microbrewlover from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a golden straw color, somewhat transparent with a white fluffy head which dissipates fairly quickly however some of it sticks around as a collar and on top. There is surprisingly good lacing.

The smell is full of earthy, bready and cracker malts; lemon and lots of spicy hops.

The taste follows the nose with the earthy and bready malts dominating from start to finish. The cracker taste is near the end. The finish is clean and crisp with lots of spicy hops and a very slightly gritty finish at the end which reminds me of my favorite Pilsner. An altogether drinkable beer, I think I will have another.

Mar 17, 2016
Photo of CNoj012
CNoj012 from New York

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear bright golden color with a one finger fluffy white head. Retention is good and there are some hanging chunks of lacing. Smell is bready malts, earthy hop spiciness, fresh cut grass and a touch of lemon. Subtle yet complex. Taste is the similar, but it is more pronounced. There is some yeast detectable. Feel is light, crisp and refreshing. Overall a great lager. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Mar 17, 2016
Photo of drtth
drtth from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear bright golden color with a 1/2" fluffy white head that gradually recedes to a layer of foam on the surface and leaving a ring of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. Sipping creates some nice patterns, legs, and arches of lacing that cling to the sides of the glass.

The aromas include some bready malt, with some hints of lemon in the background along with the earthy, herbal character of the hops.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the bready malt, brightened by a touch of lemon, and with the earthy, herbal flavors of the hops showing more strongly. There's also a solid bitterness prominent in the mix.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and the moderate carbonation adds a touch of prickly crispness. The finish begins fairly early as the bready character disappears, leaving the field to the earthy, herbal bitterness from the hops. The touch of lemon zest seems to persist quite a while as the bitterness gradually fades into dryness that invites another sip.

On the whole this seems a well made example of the style, but with perhaps just a touch too much bitterness. I'd be happy to have another, That said I think I'd give the nod to the Victory Helles Lager over this one as this one seems just a touch more heavy handed.

Mar 17, 2016
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I tried this bottle chilled from a willybecker

The color is clear golden, bright a the name implies with thick white head with fine bead good retention and lace sticks well. The smell is mostly spicy with slight yeast aroma and perhaps a light toasted earthy malt note. The feel is mostly dry with a malt with light toasted texture with moderate carbonation and subtle bitterness level with mild yeast in the feel with crisp dry finish.

The flavor is very good with some malt up front with almost no sweetness with spice in the hop flavor and mild mineral aspect from the yeast with a slight peppery finish with very dry quality yet a mild toasted malt flavor emerges as it warms gradually. This is a very good lager, a little more malt flavor or sweetness might have improved it but it has that Czech pils spice quality which is enjoyable and it is very drinkable. It is good to see a company that is able to pull off ales well as lagers reminds me of another company from PA that they merged with hmmm?

Mar 01, 2016
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color with white head. Cereal grains, light hop grass, and light fruits on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with grain and grass.

Aug 21, 2015
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62 from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear slightly amber gold. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Light nose of biscuit with a hint of caramel over an equally light herbal hop note.

Almost light medium body with a somewhat smooth texture. Slightly below normal carbonation with only a hint of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding, for a lager this one packs a lot of flavor. It is fairly complex and very well balanced. It begins with a general herbal flavor that hints at being tart over a classic lager yeast background. As the middle approaches, a light biscuit sweetness emerges. The middle is subtly bitter with noble hop flavor underneath. The finish is a bit crisp, semi-dry and a mild noble hop flavor lingers.

May 05, 2015
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a light straw gold, slight haze, with sugar white lacing for a head.

Smells of fresh sugary grain malts, barely and citrus. Light grassy hop elements.

Tastes light and fresh with crisp bready malts over a subtle sugary sweetness and a bit of woody hop bite.

Medium body with tingling carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A light, refreshing beer that would pair great with food and still tastes good on its own. Very sessionable and goes down very easily. Not any kind of top shelf product but it isn't supposed to be. It's just a really good lager.

Apr 27, 2015
Photo of NiceTaps
NiceTaps from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap, pint glass.

A- Clean clear golden color. 1F white head, heavy fat lacing. Bubbly carb.

S- Bready malt with some caramel. Mild spice hop aroma. Hearty lager smell and taste.

T- Bready malt, floral and spice hops. A touch of caramel to bring out some hearty lager malt taste.

M- Medium-light body. Lots of bite.

O- A good springtime beer.

Apr 22, 2015
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, grain, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast, grain and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mild malt sweetness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Apr 09, 2015
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I bypassed this one last year because it seemed ST only bottled "novelty" type beers, but a few German-style beer lovers in the Germany Forum told me to give it a try, so I found some in a local that didn't have it a couple weeks ago -- I mention that because there was no visible bottling or best-by date on the label, and no annual vintage anywhere in the packaging. Hope it's good.

Reviewed to the Munich Helles style.

A -- Somewhat hazy, pale golden with a dense, firm white head.

S -- Pretty nice bready, yeastiness in the nose with some mild citrusy hops back and a touch of DMS.

T -- A rather odd, somewhat tart citrus character in the first swallow. There's a light breadiness that follows, but becomes grainy then somewhat harshly -- even astringently bitter. That astringency lingers into the aftertaste with the tart -- even sour -- citrus flavor finishing out the tasting.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to spritzy with a light to medium body.

O -- Well -- I wish I could find *some* sort of dating code on this beer, but there's not even an ink-jet number on the bottle. I'm rather afraid that the local distro is passing off last year's batch, because this tastes nothing like a Helles ought to.

Apr 08, 2015
Photo of delta490
delta490 from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light clear gold with a nice light stream of carbonation. The head is thinner, white, and leaves some nicer small sticky lacing. The aroma is almost non-existent, with very faint notes of bread and hops. The taste is more assertive, but still pretty mild. It's not bland but it doesn't have the depth of flavor other Helles Lagers have. It's not at all heavy, nor should it be and is light and crisp.

Apr 07, 2015
Where The Helles Summer? from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 206 ratings