Cowboys from Helles

Brewery:  Independence Brewing Company
Style:  Munich Helles (4A)
Package:  12oz Can
Packaging Date:  02/12/18
Purchased:  HEB Tech Ridge, Mar 2018

Details from the Brewer

Style: Helles Lager
ABV: 4.5%
Availability: Feb – May
Hops: Hallertau Mittlefruh, Huell Melon
Malts: German Pilsner
Yeast: German Lager
Food Pairing: Bratwurst, shellfish, Texas BBQ, pork chops

Cowboys from Helles is a bright, crisp, and refreshing Munich-style Helles. Slightly less bitter than a Pilsner with a crystal clarity that shreds like a “Dimebag” guitar solo


Aroma – 7/12

The aroma start with a low level of sweetness. Low level of bready character with a hint of cracker. Malt character is a bit muted. Very low earth hop character. No yeast character

Appearance – 3/3

Pours a brilliant clear deep straw or light gold. Compact white bubbles form a moderate sized head. It quickly dissipates with low retention to a thin layer which disappears after a few minutes.

Flavor – 13/20

Low bready malt character is present at the start of the taste. Some graininess appears at the mid-palate and persists through the finish. A slight herbal hop note right before the finish. Balance is malt forward, and slightly sweet. Clean fermentation. Low-medium bitterness is present on the finish with a slight biting character that quickly fades to dryness.

Mouthfeel – 4/5

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Finish leave a prickling sensation on the tongue. Could be a touch softer on the finish.

Overall Impression – 7/10

A very drinkable lager, which would be perfect for those opposed to bitterness. The flavor and aroma have hints of that continental pilsner malt character you want in a Munich Helles, but it’s very muted. I’d love to see a better head retention and some lacing. The recipe seems decent here, might be some process improvement which would bump this up to the very good / excellent range.

Rating – 34/50

Munich Helles is one of those styles that you don’t really appreciate until you’ve had one of the few world class examples.  This unfortunately falls a bit short.  It’s a style which should showcase continental pilsner malt (from Europe), but it just comes off as muted and more like American pale ale malt.  I’m sure will be improvements on future batches, but in the meanwhile I’ll grab Real Ale’s Helles instead (just started hitting stores).