Style Details

Munich Hel­les
Pale Mal­ty Euro­pean Lager
BJCP Style Code
4 A
Medi­um yel­low to pale gold. Clear. Per­sis­tent cre­a­my white head.
Mode­ra­te grai­ny-sweet malt aro­ma. Low to modera­te­ly-low spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hop aro­ma. While a clean aro­ma is most desi­ra­ble, a very low back­ground note of DMS is not a fault. Plea­sant, clean fer­men­ta­ti­on pro­fi­le, with malt domi­na­ting the balan­ce. The fres­hest examp­les will have more of a mal­ty-sweet aroma.
Modera­te­ly mal­ty start with the sug­ges­ti­on of sweet­ness, mode­ra­te grai­ny-sweet malt fla­vor with a soft, roun­ded pala­te impres­si­on, sup­port­ed by a low to medi­um-low hop bit­ter­ness. The finish is soft and dry, not crisp and biting. Low to modera­te­ly-low spi­cy, flo­ral or her­bal hop fla­vor. The malt domi­na­tes the hops in the pala­te, finish, and after­tas­te, but the hops should be noti­ceable. The­re should not be any resi­du­al sweet­ness, sim­ply the impres­si­on of mal­ti­ness with res­trai­ned bit­ter­ness. Very fresh examp­les will seem swee­ter due to the fresh, rich malt cha­rac­ter that can fade with time. Clean fer­men­ta­ti­on profile.
Medi­um body. Medi­um car­bo­na­ti­on. Smooth, well-lage­red character.
Over­all Impression
A clean, mal­ty, gold-colo­red Ger­man lager with a smooth grai­ny-sweet mal­ty fla­vor and a soft, dry finish. Subt­le spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hops and res­trai­ned bit­ter­ness help keep the balan­ce mal­ty but not sweet, which helps make this beer a refres­hing, ever­y­day drink.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Con­ti­nen­tal Pils­ner malt, tra­di­tio­nal Ger­man Saa­zer-type hop varie­ties, clean Ger­man lager yeast.
Crea­ted in Munich in 1894 at the Spa­ten bre­wery to com­pe­te with pale Pils­ner-type beers. Curr­ent­ly the most popu­lar style in Sou­thern Germany.
A ful­ly-atte­nu­a­ted Pils malt show­ca­se, Hel­les is a malt-accen­tua­ted beer that is not over­ly sweet, but rather focu­ses on malt fla­vor with under­ly­ing hop bit­ter­ness in a sup­port­ing role. Export examp­les can quick­ly lose some of the rich malt cha­rac­ter that often sug­gests sweet­ness. Hel­les in Munich tends to be ligh­ter in all aspects than tho­se out­side the city, which can be more asser­ti­ve with more body, fla­vor, and hop character.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Augus­ti­ner Lager­bier Hell, Bür­ger­bräu Wolz­nacher Hell Natur­trüb, Hacker-Pschorr Münch­ner Gold, Löwen­braü Ori­gi­nal, Pau­la­ner Pre­mi­um Lager, Spa­ten Pre­mi­um Lager, Wei­hen­ste­pha­ner Original
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.044 - 1.048 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.006 - 1.012 SG
3 - 5 SRM
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
16 - 22 IBU