So often when we’re talking about lagers in Australia, we’re thinking mid-strength Aussie lagers designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. But there are plenty of German-inspired lagers that are more of an experience in themselves, and High Water Helles fits this latter category.
Hallertau Blanc hops bring a lemonade-y tang that reaches from first sniff to last sip. Munich malt shows off with a silky body and big grain flavours, letting a little syrupy sweetness and a sliver of herbal spice stick around into the aftertaste. It ain’t mid-strength, it ain’t unobtrusive, and it ain’t half bad. It’s a hell of a Helles.
On the flip side, due to a small mix up, I poured Big Picture Hazy IPA into a glass thinking it was the High Water Helles. I took one look at the orange juice opacity of this "lager" and was very skeptical. I smelled it with nostrils of suspicion, and decided that this huge punch of tropical fruit did not belong in this so-called Helles. I tasted it, and was dubious about this textured experience of sweet mango with a touch of coconut and rockmelon, which were not at all what I was expecting from a traditional German-style lager.
You can enjoy this hazy IPA oozing with Talus, Cashmere and Ella hops all you like. But don’t let anyone tell you it’s a Helles.
- Helles Lager & Hazy IPA
- 5.8% & 6.8%
- 21 & 22 IBU