Focusing on Helles

We’ve already had the opportunity to mention this type of beer, Helles Lager. Only once, in fact – with reference to Ottenbräu Helles Lager, in a post where we also introduced to this style of lager.

Otherwise known as Urhelles, Spezial Helles or Helles Export, this pale lager was the Bavarians’ commercial answer to the success of the Czechs in the middle of the 19th century.

Helles means “light-coloured”, not “low-alcohol.” These beers run from 4.7% to 5.4% ABV; this one titrates 5.3%. Does that mean that these beers are pils? The answer: not exactly, because the latter are clearly more hopped. (But anyway Bavarian pils are generally not very hoppy.) Outside Germany, and more exactly in the Anglo-Saxon countries, we can find them under the name “Munich Original Lager.”

This Baumburger Export Hell from the Klausterbrauerei Baumburg, founded in 1612 (in Altenmark an der Alz, Bavaria, Germany), is a classic Export. A beer fermented under chilled conditions and kept at 0° Celsius for more than a month. It’s a filtered beer, a good thirst quencher, simple, fine, and renowned for being highly digestible. A beer which will delight amateurs of malt who are not overly concerned with the balance with hops.