Monday, May 12, 2008

Helles Yeah!

With summer quickly approaching my palate has shifted towards the more crisp and refreshing and nuanced beers: beers that don't necessarily smack you over the head with huge flavors and high alcohol contents. Now - don't get me wrong girls... I love those beers too..its just that lately, I've been in the mood for something a little "lighter." OMG!!! I know... I said it. What? Has the self-proclaimed beer chick whose first article was titled "Turn Away From the Light?" gone loca?

Aside from writing about myself in the third person, the answer is no, la chica de la cerveza no esta loca! I have found a nice happy light colored pale lager style that, if done right, I like a lot; especially for summer: called Helles. Now...what the hell is a Helles beer?

The word "Helles" (pronounced hell-us) actually means "a light one" in German. But this light really only refers to the color of this beer and not necessarily the alcohol content. And, according to the German Beer Institute, "if there is one beer style that typifies the greatness of German, and especially of Bavarian beer-making, it is this straw-blond lager." The subtlety of flavor from a Helles challenges the palate, in the best way.

Don't get Pilsners and Helles confused. This style is a Bavarian style (Southern Germany) not the Bohemian style that Pilsners are. This beer looks like a Pilsner, but its not. It looks like a dazzling blond sparkling beer, but because it is a full-bodied beer with more malty characteristics, this style is extremely satisfying to the sophisticated beer drinker. You may think you're drinking a light-bodied beer because usually, this style - like many lagers - has virtually no nose. These beers should be dry, but never harsh, it should have some good hops but be delicately balanced and elegant. A great summer beer for cool beer chicks.

Here are some good Helles that I've enjoyed:

1 comment:

  1. Another good helles is Spaten Lager. It isn't really a lager, it just plays one on tv! Seriously though, it is very yummy.