Brewer: Bierstadt Lagerhaus (United States)
Style: Munich Helles
Review Year: 2021
Helles by the Bierstadt Lagerhaus (Colorado) is a light lager and the purest expression of malt. This beer is meant to toe the line between bland and sublime.
Bierstadt Lagerhaus was founded by Bill Eye, Ashleigh Carter, and Chris Rippe in 2016 and is dedicated to recreating the beers from the Old World. The brewery’s beers adhere to the Reinheitsgebot or the beer purity law– no IPAs, no fruit beers, just classic German-style lagers.
This beer is being evaluated as a Munich Helles (4A) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Brilliantly clear pale gold with a foamy white head that dissipated. Medium-low aroma intensity primarily grainy-sweet akin to honey; supported by faint spice, cedar, leafy, and citrus peel impressions. Light-bodied with carbonation above moderate. Malt-forward flavor profile: think of that distinct bright Pilsner malty character but with hints of citrus, cane sugar, and something akin to barley in the background. Low bitterness; clean fermentation character. The aftertaste lingered with light cantaloupe.
Helles by Bierstadt Lagerhaus is a light, refreshing, grainy-sweet German-style lager with complementing spice and citrus impressions. The brilliant clarity is spot-on as a Munich Helles, but we wish the head persisted longer (although our glassware of choice and pouring method could have affected this). The rich and sweet malty flavor (e.g., cane sugar, barley) is expected to temper down with age; however, at the beer’s current state, this character was in harmony with the grainy-sweet, malt-centric theme. Bierstadt’s Helles is relatively sweeter, less bitter, and less hop-forward than your average German Pils (5D). We’d imagine this being enjoyed during the summer over German sausages and sauerkraut. Excellent.
- The best Colorado beers and breweries in 2020 and what to watch in 2021 (Colorado Sun, 2020)
- The Oxford Companion to Beer definition of Reinheitsgebot (Craft Beer & Brewing)