Northern Light

Brewery: North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery
Style: Munich Helles (4A)
Package: 12oz Can
Packaged Date: 3/23/2018
Purchased Date: Whichcraft Mueller, April 2018

Details from the Brewer

ABV: 5.0%
German-Style Helles —  A crisp, clean and cool light lager w/ a touch of
Hallertau hops.


Aroma – 10/12

A crackery, sweet and grainy malt character is prominent at first smell. The medium malt character is backed by a low herbal, floral hop aroma. Clean fermentation, with no esters or alcohol present.

Appearance – 3/3

Pours with a deep straw color.  Brilliant crystal clear clarity.  On a vigorous pour, a large, 4cm head of small and medium sized white bubble is seen.  The bubbles persist for around a minute before they collapse to a thin layer.

Flavor – 18/20

Pilsner malt is showcased on the flavor.  A medium grainy sweetness hits the palate first.  This is complemented by a very light bread crust at the mid taste.  Towards the finish, low levels of spicy and floral hop character appear.  The finish is soft , with a low malty sweetness.  Balance is towards the malt character over bitterness, and slightly towards sweet over dry.  A clean lagered character with no fermentation byproducts.

Mouthfeel – 5/5

Drinks with a medium body throughout the taste.  Moderate carbonation, good for the style.  Smooth, but not slick feeling in the mouth.  No astringency on the finish.  Low alcohol warmth.

Overall Impression – 9/10

This is a really nice Munich Helles, a step above the others I’ve reviewed so far.  All the boxes are checked for the style highlighting a great pilsner malt experience.   To push this up with the best examples of the style, it needs just a touch more malt aroma, and hop flavor.  Just minor tweaks on an amazing take on the style.

Rating – 44/50

I was originally impressed with this beer when I had it on tap last year at NXNW Slaughter.  I was excited to see it as one of NXNW offerings in their first release of cans.  It lives up to its memory in the packaged version.  These cans will serve Austinites well during the summer, especially when grilling or tubing.  I’m definitely excited to try their other two cans, which is something people don’t usually say about NXNW.  Also, it’s cool of them to integrate the Texas Craft Brewers Guild logo into the new can labels.