Where The Helles Summer?
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Where The Helles Summer?Where The Helles Summer?
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German Helles
Ranked #45
Ranked #24,721
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.
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 206
Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy golden straw yellow with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted malts, biscuity, bready, grainy, lager yeast, spicy, and grassy hops.

Taste: Same as above. Just the right amount of malts and hops that make this a traditional helles beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, refreshing, medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: Love how light and sessionable this beer is with the right amount of malt and hop flavor. Makes me think of warm weather to come.

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Photo of Chaz
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant straw in color, topped with a small offwhite head and a touch of lace.

Nose is very mildly malty, which I hope will make for a lighter sweetness. Some bread-like character, but not much in the way of hops and that's just fine for the style.

Pretty nice pale malt profile upfront, with a touch of herbal hop character and a very light bitterness. Dry finish and a touch of astringency from the hops.

Mildly-sweet as I was expecting, and with a rather full mouthfeel for the style. This might not rank with the best of the Helles beers served in situ in Bavaria, but it's a great, seasonal change of pace from a brewery known for brewing big bruiser beers.

I could easily have a few of these in a row.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good solid beer. The pour was a golden color. The aroma was of hops. The taste was very crisp, light, and clean. The hops came through but not overly powering. This is definitely a good go to beer. This would be great with Warner weather or backyard BBQ.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 1/16/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, cracker, biscuit, herbal, straw, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and slight yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon, cracker, biscuit, herbal, straw, grass, light pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Fair amount herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, biscuit, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Damn nice balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and slight yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly sticky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.6%. Overall this is an excellent Munich helles style. All around great robustness and balance of pale malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. Maybe just slightly hoppier than I expected, but really well done all around. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. About one finger of white head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and sweet malt forward aroma with hints of biscuit, cracker, and spicy hops. Upfront scent of bready malt with hints of biscuit, straw, grains, wheat, cracker, and lager yeast. Citrus fruit hints of lemon and orange. Earthy and herbal Noble hops with hints of grass and spice. A very solid malty smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a crisp, bready, and sweet malt forward taste with notes of biscuit, cracker, and spicy Euro hops. Upfront taste of bready malt with notes of biscuit, grains, wheat, straw, cracker, and lager yeast. Citrus fruit tones of lemon zest and orange. Herbal and earthy Noble hop presence with notes of spice and grass. A very solid balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and pretty smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good take on a German style lager. Good crisp bready malt notes with a solid Noble hop balance.

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Photo of rkat32
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. Bottled January 16, 2015.

L: Straw to pale gold in color. Slight chill haze present.

S: Fresh-cut grass, herbal notes, grainy cracked malt, faint whiff of honey.

T: Bready pilsner malts, grassy, herbal, honey, biscuit, nice noble hop presence.

F: Lively carbonation, smooth, dry finish. Highly attenuated malt profile enhances the drinkability.

O: Perhaps slightly hoppier and less maltier than its German brethren. Regardless, it’s a solid Munich Helles and a welcome winter sight on retail shelves in Michigan. Nice job, Southern Tier!

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up recently over in Totowa, having never had this before and wanting something different for the winter months. I was hoping that this would be worth the anachronistic timing of it's release but it turned out to be a light beer that went down easily while not coming across as terribly "bright". It was pretty true to form but not as filling as I would have liked given the number of malts that were in this and the taste of the other beers that I've had from Southern Tier.

The pour was typical for a beer of this type - gold, clear, crisp, and with a head that was present but not thick enough to top off my pint glass. Grass, grain, and noble hops in the nose with the former taking precedence over the hops once I gave this a taste. Some lemongrass in here as well, along with a hint of crackers and bread but the body really wasn't here as much as I would have liked. A slight floral tone cam out in the end but the carbonation was a bit too high here as everything was scrubbed away before it could fully settle. This reminded me of champagne when it came to that and how sour this felt overall.

Thankfully, the booze was weak in this as I couldn't taste it and could barely feel it by the time I finished this off. I like my beers "bright" when it comes to the flavor and this felt a bit "flat" for me, even if the mouthfeel was certainly crisp enough. Sure, this would be a decent choice once the weather warms up but by itself, this reminded me too much of the Eurotrash Pilz. Not one of Southern Tier's better offerings.

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Photo of Jacobier10
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #400!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. DOB 1/6/2015 @ 2:36pm.

Gold in color with amazing clarity. Tall, creamy white head. Great retention. Sweet, grainy Pils malt aroma. Sweet and malty flavor to match with a touch of noble hops to round it out. Incredibly clean and smooth. An excellent version of a style that I am really growing to love. Southern Tier absolutely nailed this one. Gimmicky name, awesome beer.

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Photo of jwc215
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear golden with a lasting frothy white head. Plenty of lacing sticks.

The smell is of nut-like grain with a touch of floral notes. Clean.

The taste of sweet grain is balanced by subtle floral notes. It has a clean, crisp, refreshingly dry finish.

Light-bodied and very smooth. This is a great "thirst-quencher".

A very refreshing well-balanced Helles. An excellent example of the style! A great choice for an easy-drinking lager!

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Photo of classixIII
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying to chase the polar weather away by auditioning beers for a leading role on my deck this summer, and this one is a real contender. Crystal clear, light golden pour with 1" foamy head that hung around for a minute or two and hung some lace on the glass the whole way down. Light hops smell maybe some bread. Perfect carbonation, and a crisp refreshing taste that you could handle all day long. Hope I can get lots more of this as summer approaches.

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Photo of bnes09
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Crisp, fruity, citric, leafy hop flavor. In perfect balance with delicate bread grains. Perfect body and lively carbonation. Very refreshing. A treat to drink.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.69/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Southern Tier Where the Helles Summer? has a thin, white head, a clear, bubbly, and golden appearance, and pretty much no lacing left behind. The aroma is of faint malts and a touch of lemon. Taste is of sweet malt, a touch of bread, and a hint of lemon. Bitterness is low. Southern Tier Where the Helles Summer? is light in the mouth and finishes crisp and decently refreshing.


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Photo of atr2605
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-pours a crystal clear straw color with a nice foamy white head that clings to the rim of the glass and leaves excellent lacing
S-bready/grainy aroma with a slight floral hop aroma
T-very malty and bready with the hops providing a nice balance, lends little flavor. finishes crisp and clean
M-medium bodied
O-very clean, crisp, and malty beer. epic session beer

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looking forward to warmer weather and active outdoors, Southern Tier's seemingly early seasonal brings a taste of spring to the late winter season. Its crisp, clean and refreshing taste is worthy of contemplation, but is also an easy drinker for the quaffing types.

Bright and light in straw the beer shows a champagne type of bubbly as its foamy head reveals floral, grain and bread aromas. Then the taste of freshly kilned grain offers a light bread and faint honeysuckle sweetness, all before the hops set in.

What starts sweet, grainy and floral develops quickly into a grassy, spicy and bitter balance to the fading malt sweetness, body and earth. What transpires afterwards is a pleasant lemongrass, pepper, and damp straw character to close the taste with a quiet confidence.

What starts light, arid and creamy will quickly finish with a bone-dry, crisp and clean taste and texture that highlights a firm hop balance with the vastly exit of any malt influence.

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Photo of udubdawg
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

other the initial sulfur, there's little to quibble with here, and it's hardly off-putting.
refreshing, slightly malt-forward but with noticeable noble hop flavor throughout, and clean bitterness at moderate levels almost manages to balance. fresh bread-doughy pils character. No alcohol, no fruitiness other than a very slight lemon from hops, and sufficiently dry finish. Glad they didn't go over the top on specialty malts trying to hammer home the malt - great beer. Probably a little more hop than I'm used to with the style, but this *IS* 'Merica.... carbonation is close to moderate; more would thin this out too much IMO. no astringency or much of anything to detract from drinkability. Yes please.
Now, timing? Mine was bottled a few weeks ago. It's fricking cold. I'd welcome it two months later when I'm actually starting to think about spring, let along summer...

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Photo of schoolboy
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Seeing as we have the same climate here (Lake Erie lakeshore snow belt), I think I know what this beer would have been called but for the fact that outsiders would not understand - What the Helles Spring? We don't get much of one here and it never arrives until well after its arrival 50 miles south. Lake Erie keeps us cold in the Spring.

This is a really good beer, and a departure from the usual ales from Southern Tier. This one works, though there is a lot of character imparted from the water.

It looks great. Loads of head and a clear light yellow. The aroma is a mild - a hay like, grassy smell. Nice.

The taste is a subdued hoppy malty balance, great for the style. The aftertaste is a bit dark and bitter, but just a bit.

Hopefully these will be around for a while because I'd like to have some when it is warm outside, and right now it is skiing season in Western New York.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I liked this beer, it was really good and refreshing.
A nice bold golden color with a bright white head on top. A fair amount of lacing was left behind.
Aroma was malty with pilsner and pale malts with a slight hint of spice and grassy hops.
The taste was bold, clean and almost sharp. but yet sweet and soft too.
A biscuit finish with a twang of bittery hops.
I like this one, it's very good.

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Photo of nodder
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

A- Clear golden with a thin white head. Decent lacing. Looks like a Helles.

S- Lemon, light malts, grass. Typical Helles scent except maybe a tad grassier than most that I've tried.

T- Malty/lemony taste with a slightly bitter finish. Nice.

M- Light and crisp like this style should be. Could pound these with ease.

O- A decent lager. I'd buy again when in the Helles mood.

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Photo of Bighead6365
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This feels like something Southern Tier hasn't done too much of. Brewing a 4.6% beer that is light. Lets see where we go.

Look: Pure golden straw color. Looks like a good lager with just something more to it.

Smell: Bread, Grass, with a small bite of hops on the back.

Taste: Starts off a bready malty taste up front, then follows up with the smell with a grassy and bitter back of hops. Really quite nice, and something that reminds me of the summer that I want to come here in Buffalo NY.

Feel: Very light, and just a straightforward drinker. You could session these like no tomorrow.

This would be an amazing beer to get someone into the craft movement, or just sip on a better beer then your typical old swig. While it's not over the top, it does a great job at being light and bright like a Helles Lager should be, and stays true to itself.

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