Munich Helles Lager Beer Style Guide | VinePair

Munich Helles Lager


Munich Helles Lager Beer Style Guide

Essential Info

  • Color: Yellow to gold
  • ABV: 4.5%-6%
  • Commercial Examples: Spaten Münchner Hell, Hofbräu Original, Weihenstephaner Original

Developed by the Spaten brewery as a response to the popularity of the Czech Pilsner (in German, “helles” means “bright”), a Munich Helles is always going to be maltier than the Pilsner style. Whereas hops get center stage in a Pilsner, it’s actually the Pilsner malts that get center stage in a Munich Helles, with some grainy, malty sweetness that’s gently undercut by spicy, modestly bitter noble hops. A slightly higher alcohol content and smoother, more medium-bodied mouthfeel than a Pilsner.