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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 03:30:24 PM

Title: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 03:30:24 PM
Had Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold yesterday and it was not as good as I was expecting. Any recommendations for widely available examples of Helles? I have yet to try Paulaner's offereing...
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: pete b on March 28, 2016, 03:55:04 PM
I am only learning the basics of German Lagers and am not a BJCP so I don't know how it is as an example but I reall love Von Trappe Munich Helles. I'm not sure how widely available it is and I'm sure that being near Vermont I am getting nice fresh examples but I had this a few times last summer and found it very hard to make a six pack last for more than one session. Definitely suffig.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: dls5492 on March 28, 2016, 04:38:23 PM
I like Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. You may want to try that.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 04:41:16 PM
Thanks guys. Pretty sure I can't get either of those here.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: jweiss206 on March 28, 2016, 05:23:56 PM
Had Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold yesterday and it was not as good as I was expecting. Any recommendations for widely available examples of Helles? I have yet to try Paulaner's offereing...

From the website it looks like Maui Brewing is available in parts of Colorado. My absolute favorite Helles Lager is Maui's Bikini Blonde. Delicious stuff.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 05:25:09 PM
Had Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold yesterday and it was not as good as I was expecting. Any recommendations for widely available examples of Helles? I have yet to try Paulaner's offereing...

From the website it looks like Maui Brewing is available in parts of Colorado. My absolute favorite Helles Lager is Maui's Bikini Blonde. Delicious stuff.

I have seen that around from time to time. I never buy their beer because it is usually insanely expensive. I will look around for this one.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: euge on March 28, 2016, 05:28:05 PM
Spaten Premium.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 28, 2016, 05:31:42 PM
Weihenstephaner Original is my favorite. Very tasty.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 05:32:30 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 05:32:51 PM
Weihenstephaner Original is my favorite. Very tasty.

Is that available in 6 packs?
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 05:33:34 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.

In your opinion how does the Hacker Pschorr stack up?
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 28, 2016, 05:34:30 PM
Weihenstephaner Original is my favorite. Very tasty.

Is that available in 6 packs?


Yep
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 05:44:50 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.

In your opinion how does the Hacker Pschorr stack up?
My persona preferences in Munich are:
Augustiner
Spaten
Paulaner
Löwenbräu
Hacker Pschorr
Hofbräuhaus

It has been awhile, but that is how I remember my list.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 06:20:08 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.

In your opinion how does the Hacker Pschorr stack up?
My persona preferences in Munich are:
Augustiner
Spaten
Paulaner
Löwenbräu
Hacker Pschorr
Hofbräuhaus

It has been awhile, but that is how I remember my list.

Thanks. The Hacker came off with a strange bitterness to me that didn't seem to be the hops. Could be a distribution/freshness issue. It wasn't bad by any means just not what I was hoping for.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: blatz on March 28, 2016, 06:27:11 PM
Thanks. The Hacker came off with a strange bitterness to me that didn't seem to be the hops. Could be a distribution/freshness issue. It wasn't bad by any means just not what I was hoping for.

maybe it was "IT" - just kidding.

I often find a strange off bitter note that I think you are describing with most of Hacker beers - I have always assumed it was an oxidation/staleness note, as I have not picked up the same when having fresh-er examples on tap at Oktoberfest parties and German restaurants.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: jweiss206 on March 28, 2016, 07:03:51 PM
Had Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold yesterday and it was not as good as I was expecting. Any recommendations for widely available examples of Helles? I have yet to try Paulaner's offereing...

From the website it looks like Maui Brewing is available in parts of Colorado. My absolute favorite Helles Lager is Maui's Bikini Blonde. Delicious stuff.

I have seen that around from time to time. I never buy their beer because it is usually insanely expensive. I will look around for this one.

Agreed, I find Maui Brewing to be one of the most overpriced breweries. I make an exception for this beer however. Otherwise I only by singles of their other beers once in awhile.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 28, 2016, 07:26:45 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.

In your opinion how does the Hacker Pschorr stack up?
My persona preferences in Munich are:
Augustiner
Spaten
Paulaner
Löwenbräu
Hacker Pschorr
Hofbräuhaus

It has been awhile, but that is how I remember my list.

Thanks. The Hacker came off with a strange bitterness to me that didn't seem to be the hops. Could be a distribution/freshness issue. It wasn't bad by any means just not what I was hoping for.
I get a roughness from Hacker Pschorr beers that is kind of grainy. Might be the malt and hops?

The Hofbräu beers are just grainy to me.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Iliff Ave Brewhouse on March 28, 2016, 07:37:52 PM
Weihenstephaner Original, Augustiner Hell, Paulaner Premium, Spaten Premium, Ayinger Brau Hell are all Munich Ahelles.

Mahrs Hell or Bischshof Helles are examples of Franconian Helles, a little hoppier.

In your opinion how does the Hacker Pschorr stack up?
My persona preferences in Munich are:
Augustiner
Spaten
Paulaner
Löwenbräu
Hacker Pschorr
Hofbräuhaus

It has been awhile, but that is how I remember my list.

Thanks. The Hacker came off with a strange bitterness to me that didn't seem to be the hops. Could be a distribution/freshness issue. It wasn't bad by any means just not what I was hoping for.
I get a roughness from Hacker Pschorr beers that is kind of grainy. Might be the malt and hops?

The Hofbräu beers are just grainy to me.

Ok that seems reassuring that it's not just me. I have had some domestic versions of Helles that I quite enjoyed but this was my first purchase of a German brewed product. I thought maybe the interpretation was different. I will work on that list to explore the style further.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 28, 2016, 07:49:39 PM
With imports, freshness is always a factor too. I remember a time thinking I didn't like helles because the imports I drank were usually oxidized, with the unpleasant strong caramelly character. Until I found some Paulaner Premium in cans (never found it in cans since), stamped fairly fresh considering the distance, and with obviously no light struck issues. It was absolutely fantastic and totally changed my mind on helles. Been a while but I think the next beer I brewed was a helles.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Phil_M on March 28, 2016, 08:14:25 PM
For getting fresh helles, I've had really good luck with the 5-liter party kegs they seem to all come in. One of the local shops sells the Hofbrau helles for $20/5L.

Another shop sells Schlenkerla party kegs, though those are $45/5L. Still haven't coughed up the dough to try that one yet, although I love Schlenkerla.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 30, 2016, 08:39:55 PM
For getting fresh helles, I've had really good luck with the 5-liter party kegs they seem to all come in. One of the local shops sells the Hofbrau helles for $20/5L.

Another shop sells Schlenkerla party kegs, though those are $45/5L. Still haven't coughed up the dough to try that one yet, although I love Schlenkerla.
This is something I've been meaning to get, is one of those 5L mini kegs.

Weihenstephaner Original is also my favorite. It's the perfect beer.

Sadly, we don't get Augustiner helles here in Iowa. Not sure why that is...
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: tommymorris on March 30, 2016, 11:01:23 PM
I found Schafly Helles Style Summer Lager to be delicious.

Is it a good example of the style? I couldn't tell ya. But, I liked it. Very silky smooth delicious malt flavor.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 31, 2016, 12:53:53 AM
I found Schafly Helles Style Summer Lager to be delicious.

Is it a good example of the style? I couldn't tell ya. But, I liked it. Very silky smooth delicious malt flavor.
Not likely, but if you like it, drink it.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 31, 2016, 02:44:14 PM
That helles is Hacker Pschorr's worst product IMO.

I am deeply in love with their weisse and doppelbock.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: udubdawg on March 31, 2016, 03:15:37 PM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: denny on March 31, 2016, 03:58:21 PM
Heater Allen makes an incredible Helles, but it isn't widely distributed.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 31, 2016, 05:33:12 PM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
How do you decipher that 1146 means it was bottled today?
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: RPIScotty on March 31, 2016, 05:47:03 PM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
How do you decipher that 1146 means it was bottled today?

1xxx - either 1 or 11 depending on week.
x14x - 14th week of the year
xxx6 - 2016

So 14th week would be mid April so the 1 would be an 11.

April 11, 2016. I think.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 31, 2016, 07:11:42 PM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
How do you decipher that 1146 means it was bottled today?

1xxx - either 1 or 11 depending on week.
x14x - 14th week of the year
xxx6 - 2016

So 14th week would be mid April so the 1 would be an 11.

April 11, 2016. I think.
Sort of confusing... I have a bottle of Weihenstephaner hefe in my DBF at home, maybe I'll see what the code is on there tonight, if I remember to look.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: redzim on March 31, 2016, 07:54:14 PM
I just had Southern Tier's Helles offering a few weeks ago. Tasted it alongside mine and a Paulaner. I found it to be a little more hop-forward than the typical German Helles but it had no major flaws. (I have no idea how widely distributed ST is, but it's all over New York State.)   Otherwise I prefer Weihenstephan and Paulaner over Hacker, for sure.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 31, 2016, 09:54:30 PM
1xxx - either 1 or 11 depending on week.
x14x - 14th week of the year
xxx6 - 2016

So 14th week would be mid April so the 1 would be an 11.

April 11, 2016. I think.



I may have to write that down and keep it in my wallet because I damn sure won't remember it. It's like an irritating story problem in math class. Guess I've been lucky buying it because I haven't had any old/oxidized yet. Other breweries' helles, different story.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 31, 2016, 10:14:50 PM
Okay, so the code on my Weihenstephaner hefe is 0335. That puts it at, what, August of 2015?
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: boulderbrewer on March 31, 2016, 10:23:13 PM
August 20 2015. yep

Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on March 31, 2016, 10:23:31 PM
Okay, so the code on my Weihenstephaner hefe is 0335. That puts it at, what, August of 2015?


Yeah, sounds right. How is it, still tasty?
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Phil_M on March 31, 2016, 10:37:00 PM
I'm confused on the first digit...
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on March 31, 2016, 11:17:49 PM
Okay, so the code on my Weihenstephaner hefe is 0335. That puts it at, what, August of 2015?


Yeah, sounds right. How is it, still tasty?
Not drinking it yet, but given how old that is, damn, I should drink it sooner than later. But that might not matter.
I'm also still confused by that first digit.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: RPIScotty on April 01, 2016, 12:03:22 AM
Okay, so the code on my Weihenstephaner hefe is 0335. That puts it at, what, August of 2015?


Yeah, sounds right. How is it, still tasty?
Not drinking it yet, but given how old that is, damn, I should drink it sooner than later. But that might not matter.
I'm also still confused by that first digit.

As I understand it:

Let's use the first digit 1 and the month of January.

The first digit in the date code corresponds to the day of bottling, the next two digits to the week of the year it was bottled and the third, assuming a drink by date maximum period of one year, to the year of bottling.

The first digit of 1 for the month of January has four instances: 01, 11, 21, 31.

Here are four examples:

1016 = January 1, 2016
1026 = January 11, 2016
1036 = January 21, 2016
1056 = January 31, 2016

Now try a first digit of 5, with instances of 5, 15 and 25:

5016 = January 5, 2016
5036 = January 15, 2016
5046 = January 25, 2016.

Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: Phil_M on April 01, 2016, 12:15:57 AM
Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: beersk on April 01, 2016, 01:32:59 AM
Okay, so the code on my Weihenstephaner hefe is 0335. That puts it at, what, August of 2015?


Yeah, sounds right. How is it, still tasty?
Not drinking it yet, but given how old that is, damn, I should drink it sooner than later. But that might not matter.
I'm also still confused by that first digit.

As I understand it:

Let's use the first digit 1 and the month of January.

The first digit in the date code corresponds to the day of bottling, the next two digits to the week of the year it was bottled and the third, assuming a drink by date maximum period of one year, to the year of bottling.

The first digit of 1 for the month of January has four instances: 01, 11, 21, 31.

Here are four examples:

1016 = January 1, 2016
1026 = January 11, 2016
1036 = January 21, 2016
1056 = January 31, 2016

Now try a first digit of 5, with instances of 5, 15 and 25:

5016 = January 5, 2016
5036 = January 15, 2016
5046 = January 25, 2016.


So as Marc pointed out, 0335 really would be August 20th, 2015, yes?

Thanks for explaining that.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: RPIScotty on April 01, 2016, 01:48:16 AM
So as Marc pointed out, 0335 really would be August 20th, 2015, yes?

Thanks for explaining that.

Yup. Sounds right to me.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: udubdawg on April 03, 2016, 12:29:04 AM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
How do you decipher that 1146 means it was bottled today?

1xxx - either 1 or 11 depending on week.
x14x - 14th week of the year
xxx6 - 2016

So 14th week would be mid April so the 1 would be an 11.

April 11, 2016. I think.
Basically yeah. I've always looked at the second digit for the specific day. Perhaps I had that part wrong.
I was saying this was the 14th week though only the 13th full one so maybe 1136. The problem with that dating is the 31st and 1st would have same bottle date.

Don't think I was quite correct but I'm going to still tell people I taught ya something anyway.  8)
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: RPIScotty on April 03, 2016, 12:33:45 AM
Weihenstephaner is fave if fresh, just remember to decipher the bottle date. If I remember correctly a bottle dated today would be 1146.

Paulaner is much easier to find fresh I've found but beware they use a 12-month best-by dating. So that 9/16 out there now isn't that fresh.
How do you decipher that 1146 means it was bottled today?

1xxx - either 1 or 11 depending on week.
x14x - 14th week of the year
xxx6 - 2016

So 14th week would be mid April so the 1 would be an 11.

April 11, 2016. I think.
Basically yeah
I was saying this was the 14th week though only the 13th full one so maybe 1136. The problem with that dating is the 31st and 1st would have same bottle date, but what's one day I guess.

I think that's wrong. Take January:

1016 = January 1, 2016
1056 = January 31, 2016
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: udubdawg on April 03, 2016, 12:38:55 AM
March 31st and April 1st happened the same week, so if you're looking at 2nd digit...

For that matter, if you are looking at the first digit, March 30 and 31 are same week too...

...the first digit is useless, they should just use the other three. Useless to us at least. Perhaps it helps with batch info.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: RPIScotty on April 03, 2016, 12:41:21 AM
March 31st and April 1st happened the same week, so if you're looking at 2nd digit...

For that matter, if you are looking at the first digit, March 30 and 31 are same week too...

...the first digit is useless, they should just use the other three. Useless to us at least. Perhaps it helps with batch info.

Good point and good catch.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: HoosierBrew on April 03, 2016, 12:42:24 AM
...the first digit is useless, they should just use the other three. Useless to us at least. Perhaps it helps with batch info.



That was my thought, too.
Title: Re: commercial examples of helles lager
Post by: pete b on April 03, 2016, 01:13:15 AM
If it requires this much analyzing perhaps its just a completely aweful way to do it. Maybe they could just put a date on it? My guess is they do it the most confusing way legally possible so people don't know how old it is.