Bavarian Helles

Updated: Oct 10

The Helles style beer encapsulates the Bavarian idea of what a pale lager should be: balanced flavor profile, drinkable, with golden clarity. Göller hit the mark perfectly with the Baptist Helles, combining a subtle maltiness with a light touch of spicy hops. The malts are very lightly roasted, giving a feeling of lightness ("helles" means light in German) and a malty flavor resembling saltine crackers and pretzels.

The next flavor that gently rolls around in your mouth is honey and even spice, providing a surprising amount of variety in so unpretentious a beer. The secret ingredient is the Spalter Select Hops, a delightful cross between the noble Hallertau Mittlefrüher and the ancient Spalt variety from Franconia, making it a slightly spicier version of the earthy Spalter. However, the beer is not hoppy. The IBU rates at only 16, bringing out subtle flavors of spice, earth and floral aroma. This beer won’t strike you as being as bitter as some beers. It has a slight sweetness, just enough to feel pleasant.

Göller Brewery named their Helles “Baptist” to remember a great, great Uncle by that name. They have fond memories of Baptist because he improved relations with the local farmers, strengthening the great tradition of localism that Göller is known for. He even farmed barley grains himself for the family brewery. The other, more interesting side of Baptist was his affinity for cards and pub-life. The beer picks up on the friendly, easy going manner of Baptist. The Helles pairs easily with a variety of foods. It’s dry enough to provide contrast with grilled steak, but subtle enough to complement grilled fish and berries for dessert. Most importantly, it’s great on its own. On a warm afternoon, a slightly chilled Baptist Helles refreshes like nothing else!

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