Style Details

Name
Pale Kel­ler­bier
Cate­go­ry
Amber Bit­ter Euro­pean Beer
BJCP Style Code
7 C1
Appearan­ce
Slight haze to moder­ate­ly clou­dy, but never extre­me­ly clou­dy or mur­ky. Medi­um yel­low to pale gold color. Crea­my white head with good per­sis­tence. When ser­ved on cask, can have low car­bo­na­ti­on and very low head.
Aro­ma
Moder­ate­ly-low to moder­ate­ly-high spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hop aro­ma. Very low to mode­ra­te dia­ce­tyl, pos­si­ble very low green apple or other yeast deri­ved notes. Plea­s­ant­ly grai­ny-sweet, clean malt aro­ma, with pos­si­ble low back­ground note of DMS.
Fla­vour
Moder­ate­ly mal­ty with a roun­ded, grai­ny-sweet pro­fi­le. Low to moder­ate­ly-high spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hop fla­vor, with a mode­ra­te hop bit­ter­ness that can lin­ger. Finish is crisp and dry, but the after­tas­te remains mal­ty. Very low to mode­ra­te dia­ce­tyl, which should always remain at a plea­sant, drin­ka­ble level that balan­ces some­what with the other cha­rac­te­ris­tics of the beer; over­whel­ming dia­ce­tyl is not appro­pria­te. Pos­si­ble very low green apple or other yeast deri­ved notes, and pos­si­ble low back­ground note of DMS.
Mouth­feel
Medi­um body. Low to medi­um car­bo­na­ti­on. Depen­ding on the level of yeast in sus­pen­si­on, it may assist in crea­ting a slight­ly crea­my tex­tu­re. A slight slick­ness on the tongue may be pre­sent from the dia­ce­tyl.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A young, fresh Hel­les, so while still a mal­ty, ful­ly-atte­nua­ted Pils malt show­ca­se, the hop cha­rac­ter (aro­ma, fla­vor and bit­ter­ness) is more pro­noun­ced, and the beer is clou­dy, often with some level of dia­ce­tyl, and pos­si­b­ly has some green apple and/or other yeast-deri­ved notes. As with the tra­di­tio­nal Hel­les, the Kel­ler ver­si­on is still a beer inten­ded to be drunk by the liter, so over­all it should remain a light, refres­hing, easy drin­king gol­den lager.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Pils­ner malt, Ger­man hops, Ger­man lager yeast; same as a Munich Hel­les.
Histo­ry
Modern adap­t­ati­on from the tra­di­tio­nal Fran­co­ni­an style, using Hel­les ins­tead of Mär­z­en. Today, a popu­lar sum­mer sea­so­nal beer. Ori­gi­nal­ly, Kel­ler­bier refer­red to any Lager beer being matu­red in the caves or cel­lars under the bre­we­ry. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, Kel­ler­bier was a strong, aged beer meant to last the sum­mer (Som­mer­bier), stored in rock cel­lars and ser­ved strai­ght from them. But when ref­ri­gera­ti­on began to be used, the term shifted to describ­ing spe­cial beers that were ser­ved young, direct­ly from the cel­lar or lage­ring ves­sel. Today some bre­we­ries use the term pure­ly for mar­ke­ting pur­po­ses to make their beers appe­ar spe­cial. While a kel­ler­bier is some­ti­mes con­si­de­red more of a ser­ving style than a beer style, the ser­ving tech­ni­que is still pre­do­mi­na­te­ly used with cer­tain styles in cer­tain regi­ons (such as Hel­les around the Munich area, or a Mär­z­en in the Fran­co­nia regi­on).
Comments
Most Pale Kel­ler­biers are young, unfil­te­red, unpas­teu­ri­zed ver­si­ons of Munich Hel­les beer, alt­hough Pils or a dif­fe­rent, cus­tom gol­den lager beer desi­gned spe­ci­fi­cal­ly for ser­ving young could also be used. The best examp­les are ser­ved only on tap at many of the Munich area bre­we­ries. Bot­t­led ver­si­ons are not likely to have the fresh­ness, hop cha­rac­ter and young beer notes exhi­bi­ted by the draft ver­si­ons.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
(local) Pau­la­ner, Pau­la­ner Brau­haus, Hof­brau, Tegern­seer Tal. (bot­t­led) Ayin­ger Kel­ler­bier, Hacker-Pschorr Munch­ner Kel­ler­bier Anno 1417, Hof­brau Munch­ner Som­mer Natur­trub, Wolnza­cher Hell Natur­trüb
Notes
A very com­mon sea­so­nal sum­mer beer bre­wed by many of the Munich area bre­we­ries and ser­ved in the beer gar­dens, whe­re they are very popu­lar.
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.045 - 1.051 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.008 - 1.012 SG
Color
3 - 7 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
20 - 35 IBU