Helles. Much like Dunkles, Helles is a Munich thing. Now, we’re talking light. Yellow to golden and generally around 5%, this is by far the most popular brew in Bavaria but it wasn’t always the case. Though it was introduced in Munich in the late 1800s, it didn’t overtake Dunkles until the 1940s. As for Franconia, it’s still far from the most popular but I’ve seen more and more of them every year. It’s not that there weren’t golden or yellow beers there before, but they weren’t as malt forward and certainly weren’t called Helles. On my first trips to Franconia, I never sought them out and to be honest, I’ve only started trying them there in the last few years. Since I live in Munich, drinking Helles in Franconia seemed like a waste of time. Now, I’ve grown to appreciate them and while it’s not my first choice, I have found some which are quite good.

Helles is gaining popularity in Franconia

It’s another style I’ve mostly had in bottles brought back home but I do enjoy Held-Bräu Hell when there and Sonne Lager Hell is most refreshing.  Mahrs Helles is quite good as is Staffelberg-Bräu Helles. Both of the latter add Vollbier to their names but more on that below. I find both of them to be truly Munich-like Helles.

Next up Kellerbier or back to Beer Styles.


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