So what do you do when you’ve run out of room in your refrigerator to put beer, and you have about 20 more sitting on your counter waiting to find their temporary home in there? Well, in my case it’s grab one, pour it in my favorite custom engraved glass by my buddy at www.brokenhopsglass.com (check out his site and get your own glasses made) and tell you guys all about it!
Let me start out by saying the Lager beer style is not my forte. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy one from time to time, but I’m more a custom to a nice IPA, or a big bodied Stout. But as with most things in life, don’t mock it until you try it. And in this case, I did.
I was shopping at the beer store the other day and I came across some bright yellow cans on the counter (where they put their fresh limited release beers) so I decided to investigate. They turned out to be the Beer Geek Helles, a colaboration between Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers and the New England Brewing Company. Not knowing much about Jack’s Abby, other than being pretty sure they only brewed Lagers, and literally knowing nothing about New England Brewing, I was immediately intrigued. I mean, they dry hopped it with Nelson Sauvin and Hallertau Blanc hops, it can’t be bad, right?
Unsure of what to do; whether or not I should buy some, whether or not I’d like the style, I finally decided buy 4 cans roll the dice.
A quick description of the Helles style is that it is in the Lager family. It originated in Munich Germany and actually has a birthday of March 21st, 1894. This style and I share a birthday! The Helles has a little bit more of a bready note to it and is a little bit more malt forward than you might expect from a Lager. Jack’s Abby and New England decided to put their own twist on it by using custom malts from Stone Path Malt, and dry hopping it with a few hops that perfectly compliment the style.
This beer pours a slightly hazy light yellow color with a nice white head that left a new ring of lacing with every sip. The aroma from this beer was nice and bready, with a lot of melon and mango, some floral notes, and backed up by a very interesting Riesling/ white wine character. Really fantastic. The flavor was very similar to the smell, but a little more pronounced. Very fruity with white grapes, mango and oranges dominating up front, the same white wine you get from the aroma, with a touch of the bready character. And one thing is for damn sure, this beer is very crisp, clean and refreshing. I’m shockingly surprised…I honestly didn’t think it would be as good as it is.
Sometimes stepping outside your comfort zone can be rewarding, in this case it definitely was. I was rewarded with three more cans of this delicious beer to enjoy just by taking a chance and buying something I was unsure of. I know you can still find this beer because I’ve seen it at a few stores after I bought mine, so go find it! Save one for someone who’s not really a beer fan, because this is the kind of beer that might turn someone on to craft beers!