Ninkasi Helles Belles

For me, Ninkasi beers have been pretty good since I’ve had the chance to sample of few (they got distribution in Philly a few years back). Hopefully this one is just as good as the others.


ABV: 5.1%

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Trivia: According to brewery website, “Oregon’s own Ninkasi Brewing Company announces its year-round Flagship Series offerings for 2016. Starting January, Helles Belles, a Helles Lager, and Easy Way IPA, a drinkable India Pale Ale, join Ninkasi’s lineup of steadfast favorites available year-round in bottles and on-draft. Known for its highly-hopped offerings like Total Domination India Pale Ale, Tricerahops Double India Pale Ale, and Dawn of the Red India Red Ale, Ninkasi has grown to become the 36th largest craft brewery in the United States and prides itself on making well-balanced, high-quality craft beers for a wide range of palates. Founded in 2006 by Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi first debuted with Total Domination IPA. Since then, the brewery has developed its Flagship Series to include seven diverse beer styles all available year-round. In 2016, craft beer drinkers can find new additions to Ninkasi’s year-round lineup including Helles Belles, a Helles Lager. After the brewery first released Lux, a German-Style Helles Lager, to its Flagship Series in 2015, it decided to revisit the recipe and brand. ‘We love Lux, which is why we gave it an upgrade,’ explains Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi co-founder and founding brewer. ‘Helles Belles has a slightly higher ABV and IBU, offering a beer that is a little more expressive and playful for a German-Style Lager.’ New branding also demonstrates the brewery’s more playful side, capturing its affinity for rock-‘n’-roll.”

Random: I’ve been enjoying this style a bit more than I used to, although it’s not my favorite.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw-yellow with a green tinge to it. There was light carbonation as well. The nose was clean and sweet malt. It had some earthiness to it, I assume from the hops, but the nose was all malt. The taste was not quite as clean, but the dominant flavor was bready, doughy malt. It had a certain sweetness to it. It also had a grassy hop note that complemented the sweetness well. After a few sips, a slight skunky characteristic came through that I wasn’t a huge fan of. The body was on the light side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with honey and skunk. A bottle of this will run you about $2.50 ($.21 per ounce). I would have rated this beer higher if not for the skunk flavor. I wouldn’t have this one again because of it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

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